Did you know that today is Gloria Fried Day in the Town of Ossining? Last night we celebrated Gloria's career in public service as she retires from her position as our Receiver of Taxes. Gloria has served the Ossining community in many ways since she moved here with her husband, John, in 1972, and she will certainly be missed. Thank you to Gloria for all of her hard work, especially for the many innovations she brought to the Tax Office to increase efficiency and maintain a high level of customer service. I hope you will all join me in welcoming our new Receiver of Taxes, Holly Perlowitz, as she starts in this role next week and picks up where Gloria left off in serving the public.
Ossining's Annual Fireworks Celebration takes place this Monday, July 3rd and is also the start of our Summer Waterfront Concert Series. This year's celebration features reggae cover band Tribal Legacy beginning at 7:30pm, with the beautiful fireworks beginning at 9:15pm. Tribal Legacy will follow the fireworks display with another set and play until about 10:30pm, so plan to stick around and avoid the traffic. This is one of the highlights of summer in Ossining, and I encourage everyone to attend. Just as a reminder – on Monday the 3rd, the commuter parking lot on the West side of the tracks will be closed off once it is full, as will the access road over the tracks. In order to get to the West side of the tracks, you must use the Snowden Avenue bridge (by Shattemuc Yacht Club) if you require access to Harbor Square, 3 Westerly, or any other businesses along Westerly Road. To enjoy the fireworks, your best bet is to park on the East side of the tracks. Commuters -- please be mindful that your car may be towed or blocked in if you park in an area that will be used for the program and do not get back to Ossining to pick up your car before 4pm. So since July 3rd is a workday for many, commuters, please plan your travel accordingly! The boat ramp at Engel Park will also be closed on Monday. Also, we received some complaints last year that people were using drones during the fireworks display which blocked the view of the fireworks for some attendees. Drones are not permitted to be flown over people. Also, please be mindful of everyone at this community event, and try to not bring anything that will disrupt your neighbors. In general, follow the instructions of the Ossining Police Department, and everyone is sure to have a great time!
Next week brings double the concert series fun, with the first Friday night concert starting just a few days after the fireworks celebration. On July 7th, local talents Sundad and The Soul Projekt will be splitting the stage for a festival-like performance. All of the members of both bands have strong ties to Ossining, and we look forward to showcasing some of Ossining’s best. (In fact, Sundad made it to the first round of Grammy nominations for both of their albums!) Sundad begins their set at 6:30pm, followed by The Soul Projekt at 8:00pm. Tribal Legacy, Sundad, and The Soul Projekt are the first of many talented performers that will be a part of this year's summer Waterfront Concert Series, hope to see you there. With the exception of the Mike Risko Band playing on Saturday, August 5th, all concerts are on Friday evenings. There will be no concert on Friday, August 4th due to the annual Firefighters' Parade.
In addition to the Waterfront Concert Series, many organizations in the Ossining community have countless amazing events scheduled before school starts up again in September, and I want to call everyone’s attention to the community calendar the Ossining School District spearheaded to keep everyone in the loop this summer. The community calendar can be found here -- be sure to check out everything Ossining has to offer while school is closed.
Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining does not rest for the Fourth of July weekend! Enrique Rosario of ICU Fit Training will be holding a Fourth of July-themed workout on Sunday, July 2nd at 9:45am at Louis Engel Park. The first two months of Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining events have been very successful and well received, so I would like to thank the dedicated trainers and businesses that have taken the time to share their time, talents, and insights with the community in these free sessions. There is much more to come, and the school district's community calendar above has all of the scheduled dates for Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining through August, so be sure to mark your calendars.
From now until the fall, the Ossining Public Library will be hosting senior services navigators on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The navigators will be able to help seniors, their families, and caretakers obtain the resources they need related to benefits, health care, housing, and much more. These resources can often be hard to locate, but Ossining residents have assistance at their fingertips thanks to the leadership at the Ossining Public Library.
The Ossining Historic Cemeteries Conservancy (OHCC) has been hard at work preserving the history of our community through grave cleanings at Dale Cemetery and Sparta Cemetery. Earlier this month, OHCC partnered with the Historical Society of Briarcliff Manor to work on the Losee family plot in Sparta Cemetery. By cleaning off these 19th century graves, the OHCC and the Historical Society of Briarcliff Manor were able to reveal new information about this local family, alongside one of the family's descendants, Bill Losee. Thank you to this dedicated group of volunteers for helping to maintain the rich history of Ossining and Briarcliff. The OHCC will be holding another grave cleaning on July 15th at Sparta Cemetery from 9am to noon, check out their flyer for more information.
Another organization that is committed to preserving the history of the Ossining area is the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct. Next weekend, in the area of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail that is just north of us in Croton, they need volunteers to help remove invasive species from the trail. This is an important task which preserves our natural resources and keeps the trail looking beautiful and restores the local environment.
Although this is still a few weeks away, the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce and the Sing Sing Prison Museum will be holding their Lobsterfest at the Sing Sing Prison QWL Building at 354 Hunter Street. Tickets are for sale now on the Chamber's website.
Also coming up, the Westchester Collaborative Theater will be showcasing a number of one act plays as part of their 2017 Play Reading Series from July 21st - 23rd, directed by NYU Tisch School of the Arts Professor Nathan Flower, who is known for his directorial work Off-Broadway, abroad, and at various actor studios in Manhattan. Tickets are sure to sell out, so advance purchase is suggested at the WCT website.
Please keep in mind that all Town offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th for Independence Day. We will be back open on Wednesday, July 5th at 8:30am. The Work Session scheduled for Wednesday, July 5th has been cancelled, but we will be holding a Special Meeting on that date at 8:30am at 16 Croton Avenue. We will see you back again on July 11th at 7:30pm for a legislative session at the court house.
Over this holiday weekend, I hope everyone has an opportunity to spend time with family and friends and reflect on the inalienable rights we all share and that are enshrined within our country's Declaration of Independence. On the 241st anniversary of its signing, we remain hopeful that we can continue to further the principle that all of us are created equal through our actions as community leaders and in our day to day interactions with our neighbors and friends. We also must remember that it is our identity as Americans that unites us more than divides us, and we must work towards furthering the tenets that our nation was founded on, together.
Have a great weekend, and happy Fourth!