The rain that dampened the opening ceremony on Wed. evening was a minor hiccup to the four days of Sesquicentennial festivities. Multiple concerts, cakes, contests, and activities led up to Saturday’s Time Capsule Opening, parade, Arts Festival performances, cookout, and fireworks.
What fun! The weather was beautiful and folks came out for all the events. The Time Capsule opening was filled with anticipation and excitement. Hundreds of people came and the Trustees from 1967 were present to help perform the duties laid out for them 50 years ago! Many of the personal letters were picked up by family members. Those that haven’t will be listed in the local papers and social media so the owners can hopefully retrieve these precious notes from the past. Other items are being scanned for a documented record and will be displayed shortly.
The parade stepped off at 4 p.m., perfectly on time thanks to the coordinated efforts of the parade committee headed by Rob Pavlick, Heather Gardener and Deb Schweikart. Village streets were lined with well-wishers and residents. It was a remarkable slice of Warwick – floats, multiple color guards, elected officials, marching bands, over-sized puppets, fire trucks, ambulance corps, representation from the VFW, American Legion, the Odd Fellows, the Historical Society, the Warwick Valley Central School District, Boys and Girl Scouts, the Queen Village Queens, the Pine Island Chamber, the Pennings and Wright Family farms, the Department of Public Works, and antique cars and tractors to name a few! Also, Bon Secours, a parade sponsor and the first baby born in 2017, Martin King Paul Jr.!
It was a wow!
This led everyone to Memorial Park for free food, concerts, and kids’ activities while the Wright Family Farm supplied a fun “cow ride.” The concerts were performed by local talent and the finale of the Summer Arts Festival included a Dance Performance by Warwick’s newest professional dance studio, run by Director (and Art Festival Organizer) Melissa Padham-Maass.
The Mayor of Warwick,
England, Stephen Cross, presented a proclamation to the Village with a gift for myself and George Arnott, who established the connection between the “two Warwick’s.” Rotarian David Dempster read a poem by Annabella Houston Feagles, plucked from the time capsule titled, “Warwick” – Thoughtful and beautiful words from the past.”
The final act, Double Down, hit the stage running and filled the air with an incredible nonstop sound, mixing swing and pop, musically leading us to the most incredible fireworks display ever shown in our Valley. The Mayor of Warwick, England said it was by far the most incredible display he had ever seen and I think we all agree.
So, it ain’t over, folks – the Sesquicentennial Celebration continues till Apple Eve 2018! So many hands and hearts have made this year, and especially this past weekend, a great success. A shout out to the Village of Warwick DPW Supervisor Mike Moser and his men, the Warwick Ambulance Corp, Warwick Fire Department and Warwick Police for making it look effortless and safe.
This was an amazing moment of celebration. Warwick Magic at its best.
The next Village Board meeting will be held on Mon., Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Aug. 9 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.