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Local

Paddlewheel Boat Belle Christened on Delaware River

(Mayor Michael Nutter observes as well known local vocalist Lauren Hart wields the champagne bottle just prior to today's ship christening.  Photo by Karin Phillips)

(Mayor Michael Nutter observes as well known local vocalist Lauren Hart wields the champagne bottle just prior to today’s ship christening. Photo by Karin Phillips)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The latest attraction on the Delaware River was officially christened in a ceremony this afternoon on Penn’s Landing.

With a flourish of champagne and applause, the Philadelphia Belle was christened in its berth at Penn’s Landing.  At 65 feet high and almost 262 feet long, the Belle is the largest paddlewheel boat of its kind on the East Coast (see related story).

Tom D’Amato is general manager.

“We’re really trying to embrace the city and feature it all on this boat, and tell everyone who rides the Belle all the other great things they should be doing in Philadelphia,” he said.

Stephen Starr Events will provide the food aboard, and Philadelphia International Records will provide the entertainment.

More than 10,000 passengers have already signed up for cruises on the Belle, according to promoters.

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060.