Land of Rural Charm will be humming come summer

COPAKE—Never mind that we’re still waiting for spring. June 20, the day before summer officially begins, will see the first of 10 Saturdays of Music in the Park.

With attendance down and vendors dwindling over the past few years at the town’s annual Community Day celebration, town officials have decided to embark on a different course, at least temporarily, when it comes to bringing the community together for some fun and entertainment.

Copake Supervisor Jeff Nayer told those present at the March 12 Town Board meeting that with the assistance of the Copake Park and Recreation Commission, he believed the Town Board should “take a shot” at sponsoring weekly Music in the Park events at Copake Memorial Park, 305 Mountain View Road.

The board approved a motion to allow the park commission to oversee Music in the Park events, the same way the town puts on its annual Easter Egg Hunt and Light Parade.

Ideally, the 10-week music series will not cost the town anything, with each event sponsored by willing businesses or individuals, Mr. Nayer told The Columbia Paper this week.

Park Commission member Chris Quinby said in a phone interview this week that he already has booked several events and secured sponsors for each of them, starting June 20 with the Ghent Band, which has been around since 1899, performing its repertoire of marches, overtures and show tunes; John Farrell of Hillsdale, “an internationally acclaimed songwriter, author and peace educator,” according to his website, for June 27; and the Stable Hands Bluegrass Band for a Saturday in July.

But Music in the Park won’t be all music. A garden tractor pull and a Shakespeare play are also in the lineup. Varied entertainment will include family fun events and maybe even a block party.

Music in the Park also seeks to involve local eateries by inviting them to put together dinner specials on event nights. Music-in-the-Park-goers can have the option of bringing their own picnic dinner or purchasing a meal packed up and ready to-go from a local business to bring with them to the park along with their blankets and lawn chairs.

In other park business at the March meeting, Councilperson Kelly Miller-Simmons, the Town Board liaison to the Park Commission, told the board that the commission now has a Facebook page, where those interested can see what park events are upcoming. Plans for the park’s annual summer program for youngsters ages 5 to 12, are in full gear. The program takes place at the park July 1 through August 7, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Copake residents can register at the park building, Saturdays, May 30 and June 6, 10 a.m. to noon or until the program is full. May 30 is for Copake residents only, June 6 is for Copake residents and non-residents. The cost for Copake residents is $100/child or $250/family; non residents pay a $150/child flat rate.

The park commission is also already getting a jump on planning a rededication of the park event in honor of the park’s 35th anniversary in July 2017. Ms. Miller-Simmons said the “really nice event” will incorporate the park’s history.

To contact Diane Valden email



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