By Danielle Barbour
A special part of the Sesquicentennial celebrations going on in Warwick this week was a ribbon-cutting held on Wed., Aug. 2 to kick-start an iconic weekend of events in the Village. Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard jokingly said, “Ribbon-cutting is something we do here often.” He explained that Warwick’s over 70-year-old Chamber of Commerce is famous for them. The ribbon was cut to honor the next 50 years and to signify the beginning of the Sesquicentennial celebrations.
Joining the festivities from across the pond were Mayoress Christine Cross and Mayor Stephen Cross, from Warwick, England. With their airplane arriving just in time for them to join the ribbon-cutting, the couple walked from their bed and breakfast to the Warwick Reformed Church where the ceremonies were held. Originally, the opening ceremony was scheduled to be held on Railroad Green, but due to rain it was moved into the church.
The evening began with a performance by Oxford Depot, a local bluegrass band. After a few knee slapping songs, the ribbon-cutting got underway with a flurry of photographers ready to capture the moment. Michael Johndrow, the Executive Director of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, brought his trusty giant scissors and the ribbon. Mayor Michael Newhard and Mayor Stephen Cross jointly cut the ribbon and the crowd cheered.
Mayor Newhard then presented a special gift to Mayoress Christine Cross. With the help of native Warwickian, five year old Mya Joy Barbour, Mayor Newhard presented the Mayoress with a bouquet of purple and lavender flowers.
Mayor Stephen Cross went on to thank everyone for having them here, stating, “We are really excited to be here!” Both Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeten and Mayor Newhard delivered proclamations, speaking of the history of Warwick, NY in connection with Warwick, England. They proclaimed an everlasting friendship between the two.
After Oxford Depot played their last song, everyone gathered by a special strawberry shortcake made by Jean-Claude’s Bakery & Dessert Café. The strawberries for the delicious cake were donated by Bob Schluter, of Warwick Tomatoes.