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Red Hook’s beloved barge is going on sick leave.

For eight years, the Waterfront Museum Showboat Barge at 290 Conover St. at Pier 45 has hosted the Sunset Music Series and Circus Sundays. On May 25, the 88-year-old barge, also known as the Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge No. 79, will be towed away from Red Hook to get some dry dock TLC in Waterford, New York.

To raise funds for its dry-dock campaign - a lengthy restoration to repair wood-eating ship-worm damage and protect the hull from further deterioration - the museum is producing two fundraisers.

On May 11, at Lillie’s [46 Beard St. at Dwight Street, (718) 858-9822] a mixed bag of five bands will perform, including Ellsworth and Hicks and The Novellas, and on May 18, at Red Hook Blue [18 Commerce St. between Richards and Columbia streets, (718) 522-9400], the lineup includes five rocking bands, including pop rockers Rome 56, the funky Thin G and the Ramones-esque Original Rays. Both shows begin at 9 pm, and the $10 admission-donation includes one free drink. A free shuttle will be available to and from the clubs from Downtown Brooklyn. For shuttle information, call (718) 624-4719.

The barge, on the National Register of Historic Places, still needs $90,000 to be restored, according to museum president David Sharps - so bring your friends!

On May 18, from 3 pm to 6 pm, the museum will host an open house to celebrate the harbor’s working waterfront and to discuss future plans for the museum. For more information about the museum and its voracious ship-worms (borers, gribbles and teredos), visit on the Web.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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