November 2010

Here’s a TV feature from the Fox station in Chattanooga about the pending sale of the Delta Queen:
Click here.

The Rally on the River event yesterday was a big success and lots of fun. It was such an honor to get to be a part of such a special day. Much thanks to hosts Leah Ann and Randy Ingram for such a terrific event and for all their efforts on behalf of the Delta Queen. They work tirelessly to preserve the boat and to make sure she remains in Chattanooga to be cared for, cherished, and open to the public. On a crisp and lovely autumn afternoon, dedicated volunteers welcomed visitors aboard and gave tours of this fascinating National Historic Landmark. Steam was brought up enough to rotate the paddlewheel and that beautiful sight filled me with a wave of nostalgia. Travis Vasconcelos played the calliope, the whistle blew and we all felt like a bunch of kids having a play day! It was an absolute blast.

The evening event was fantastic. Guests enjoyed several food stations around the Delta Queen and aboard the visiting Belle of Cincinnati docked alongside. Each station had different delectable treats prepared fresh by a team of talented chefs. Each station had wines paired to complement the culinary treats. Dessert was served in the Orleans Room and Laura and I performed our “Delta Queen: A Musical Journey” show chronicling the Delta Queen’s amazing adventures and many songs we’ve uncovered written about the boat. A silent auction also helped raise additional funds. All these proceeds go toward the establishment of a non-profit organization to raise private funds for the maintenance and preservation of the Delta Queen. There are even grand goals of purchasing the boat from its current owners (former cruise operators Ambassadors International) to make certain the boat stays in Chattanooga and its historical integrity is protected.

We’ll keep you posted as things progress.

Here’s a little video we put together with some highlights from the November 4 afternoon events:

A true Victorian-style Tea Room has just opened on the Delta Queen. It is the perfect idea in the perfect place. They’ve set lovely tables in the Forward Cabin Lounge with beautiful views of the park and the river. The gorgeous tablecloths, silverware, and fine china highlight the elegant experience. Laura and I enjoyed a wonderful array of teas, delicious scones, quiche, cakes, etc. Every bite was heavenly! I highly recommend it!

Here’s a few photos and copies of the menu for your review. Click on any image to enlarge:

A nice letter of support for the Delta Queen remaining in Chattanooga was written by R.J. Johnson and published by the Chattanoogan:

Chattanooga Can Help Save The Delta Queen
posted October 24, 2010

A city that can build an aquarium, save a century-old bridge, and restore a deserted downtown and riverfront to the level of global recognition, can surely save a riverboat.

I understand the Delta Queen is priced at $4.75 million, which is a lot of money, but it’s only a pittance to what Chattanoogans have raised before. When you consider the accomplishments of the last two decades, this should be chump change to us.

A shimmering jewel of history is in our midst, and we have one chance to permanently rescue this world-renowned vessel.

Thank you to Leah Ann and Randy Ingram, current operators of the Delta Queen Hotel, for your vision in establishing the Delta Queen Preservation Foundation. I hope Chattanoogans will support this effort, including the “Rally on the River” fundraiser on Tuesday, Nov. 4.