By Judy Garrison
Mother Nature shined down indulgently, and only intermittently, on Community Day weekend, sparing us both the kind of incessant heat that wilts energy levels and the emptying of the heavens that occurred late in the evening. In short: unexpectedly perfect weather!
The parade (thank yous to Mary Davis, Ann Roberti and the Fire Department for organizing) included some creative farm floats, a contingent dressed in anti-Rent War costumes, as well as all the stalwart marchers.
I was by necessity tethered to my store, taking pleasure in greeting both familiar faces and those brand-new to me, but allowed a quick visit to our Farmers’ Market across the street and one departure to the Hotel’s Summer Shack where a lively band played, for a purchase of barbecued chicken and sides. However, I heard tell of many, many other micro-centers of activity and music. It’s hard to imagine any one person could have visited them all:
—ACS school grounds where face-painting, the classic car show and a myriad of craft vendors prevailed (thank you Maria and Jeff Ditchek); The Stoddard Hollow String Band kept the vendors and spectators entertained.
— The Andes Hotel pulled out all the stops again with a variety of fun kids games, music by the Blues Maneuver and their fine BBQ chicken dinners, in addition to hosting the judges and parade MC, Ron Guichard, on their balcony.
— Dirty Girl Farm & Micro-Creamery’s vendors featuring interesting goat cheese-based “craft food” like rice balls, jalapeno poppers and fresh greens with goat cheese crumbles; also, BBQ chicken, shish kabobs and pulled pork. Laurie McIntosh’s music and storytelling entertained while children petted the goats.
— The pop-up “Art Up” (Art Upstate) is an informal visual extravaganza showcasing upstate artists held in the Cantina building (thank you, Gary Mayer). It’s not too late to see this show! The gallery will remain open on weekends, 11-4.
— The all-afternoon Block Party featuring music, food and games (like chicken tic tac toe) at the Andes General Store. (Thanks to Lauren and Patrick Atcher for organizing that fun-filled venue.)
—A multi-media Dancing in the Park performance at Ballantine Park. Choreographers, visual artists and musicians collaborated to create an interactive celebration of the beauty of the park and the verdant landscapes of the Catskills.
—The Library’s HUGE book sale;
—Bratwurst and beer and museum tours at the Hunting Tavern Museum;
—The Michelle MacNaught annual art auction with refreshments at Leo Koenig’s barn. Proceeds benefit art programs in local schools.
That is not even touching on craft demonstrations, the Tremperskill Boys at Wayside Cider in the evening, the Fire Department pancake breakfast, Sunday’s farm tours and sheep dog demo, the hike on the Shavertown trail and paddle on the Pepacton, and the wildlife rehabilitation demonstration which featured wildlife rehabilitator,
Annie Mardiney, with her one-eyed broad-winged hawk, blind barred owl, adorable tiny screech owls and many other birds too injured or too habituated to people to be released to the wild.
I heard raves about each and every event and venue. It was another fully-enjoyed old home weekend for some, fun and celebration for residents and a spirited introduction to our town for many newcomers.~