Section: LOCAL,  Page: B4

Date: Monday, July 21, 1986

Today is an off day for Tricentennial celebrating, but the party continues Tuesday with Charter Day festivities and you'll have to get up early to catch everything.

A day of hot-air balloon launchings, bell ringing, fireworks and historical re-enactments begins at 6 a.m. and it goes on - with a few breaks - until 10 p.m. The events will celebrate the Dongan Charter, which was official granted on July 22, 1686, and made Albany a self-governing city. The charter is still the basis of government in Albany today.

The following is a schedule of the day's events:

*6 a.m. A Hot-Air Balloon Liftoff from Lincoln Park. The event will be held if weather permits and is free of charge.

*7 a.m. Church bells throughout the city will ring in unison to usher in Charter Day and announce Albany's 300th anniversary.

*9 a.m. A Charter Day Proclamation will be read by Mayor Thomas M. Whalen III at City Hall. A mobile unit of the U.S. Postal Service will be on hand to imprint stamps with a special Tricentennial cancellation for collectors.

*9:15 a.m. A Tricentennial Clock will be dedicated at the corner of State and Eagle streets. A gift to the city by Margaret Farrell Lynch, it has two dials measuring 36 inches in diameter.

*9:45. a.m. The Mayor's Motorcade Tour of old and new Albany with visiting dignitaries, including the mayors of the other Albanys around the world. The mayor and his guests will greet Albany residents at the Urban Cultural Center, Quakenbush Square; at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Washington Park at 10 a.m. and the Schuyler Mansion at 10:30 a.m.

*Noon. At the steps of the Capitol, the granting of the Dongan Charter will be re-enacted by Mayor Whalen and Gov. Mario M. Cuomo at noon. A Tricentennial Chorus will perform and a 30-gun salute will take place.

*5 p.m. Music and entertainment begin at the Charter Day Celebration at the Empire State Plaza and will continue until approximately 10 p.m.

*7 p.m. Whalen will cut a giant birthday cake for Albany. It will be big enough to feed several thousand people.

*7:45 p.m. There will be a ceremonial procession of people in historic costumes.

*8 p.m. Whalen will re-enact the signing of the Dongan Charter.

*9:30 p.m. Fireworks display, followed by music.

Capital District Transportation Authority has announced free shuttle bus service Tuesday for Charter Day activities, and again on Wednesday and Thursday for the "Cultural Showcase" - tours of eight of the city's museums.

Rides to Charter Day activities will leave from the New York state parking lot on McCarty Avenue between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. every 15 minutes, bound for the Concourse level of the Empire State Plaza via I-787 north. The trip takes about 15 minutes.

Upon the conclusion of the fireworks display at about 10 p.m., buses will leave from the Concourse level of the plaza heading back to the McCarty Avenue every 10 minutes until 11 p.m.

The Cultural Showcase Wednesday and Thursday is actually a network of free tours through eight area museums: the University Art Gallery at State University at Albany; Historic Cherry Hill; the Schuyler Mansion; the Ten Broeck Mansion; the Albany Institute of History and Art; the New York State Museum; the First Church in Albany; and the Museum of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration.

Bus shuttles will be available to all Cultural Showcase events. Buses will leave the Concourse level of the plaza every 15 minutes from 5 to 9:15 p.m. both days. From the Concourse level, the buses will run a continuous loop service to each attraction.

Both of these special shuttle services are in addition to regular CDTA service. For more information call 482- 8822 for Albany, Troy and Saratoga areas and 393-2101 for the Schenectady area.