As you might imagine, a lot of this week was about fireworks. We were certainly put through our paces, working with the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce to nail down last minute details, while making sure the food vendors had all of their paperwork, all the restrooms were fully stocked, the fireworks company had their wood piles, and the Parks Department stayed fully hydrated (Wednesday had a high of 86 degrees with 75% humidity). However, we had a fantastic night (some might say record-breaking attendance) and everyone had a fantastic time! And, not one drop of rain. Phew!
We have a lot of folks to thank for the success of this year's event. I have to give a big shout out to my office staff, Maddi Zachacz and Victoria Cafarelli for rolling with the punches and keeping us together to get to the finish line. They are awesome!
Big shout out to all of our first responders who made sure we could all celebrate safely.
- Our Police Chief Kevin Sylvester, Lt. Rich Damiano and the entire Ossining Police Department.
- Fire Chief Manny DaCruz, 1st Assistant Chief Scott Gallery and the entire (multi-award winning!) Ossining Volunteer Fire Department
- OVAC Chief Nick Franzoso and the paid and volunteer members of the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Next, for making Engel Park fireworks-concert-and food truck-ready, big thank you to Mario Velardo and the Town Parks Department! I also want to thank the Village Recreation and Parks Superintendent Bill Garrison, as well as his Parks staff and the DPW staff as well. We are grateful for all their hard work. Finally, a special thanks to the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce, Mike & Miriam Risko and the Jay Prince Band for making the night one we will never forget. Now to start planning for 2020!
While the Engel Park fireworks are done for this year (although St. Augustine's will have theirs later in July-- keep reading), the concert series will continue through the end of August, starting with this very Friday. DJ Johnny J will hit the Engel Park stage tonight for a DJ dance party-- if you are staying in town for the weekend, we will be joined by some food trucks (Peruvian snacks and ceviche from Ossining's own Aji Limo, Sicilian rice balls from Eat My Balls Food Truck, and all things fried and delicious from Sloppie Joe's Gourmet Grub), along some cold beverages from Hudson Lemonade and Sing Sing Kill Brewery.
Come down and grab dinner, and then dance the night away with your friends and neighbors while you catch one of Ossining's signature sunsets.
Lots coming up, but here's some quick news from the Town offices this week.
We are excited to announce that the Forest O' Fears Haunted Attraction will be working with some new partners in 2019-- the newly formed Kiwanis Club of Greater Ossining will join SPCA of Westchester to raise money for this year's haunt, and all proceeds over the Town's expenses will go to benefit the SPCA on North State Road. We are so pleased to work with some new volunteers this year to make Cedar Lane spookier than ever before-- stay tuned for more information on what we have in store.
Some other news from the North State Road neighborhood-- our Highway Department is getting a bit of a facelift under our new Superintendent Pete Connolly. The trailers that house the Highway Department got a fresh coat of paint (one of the paint colors is "Lemonade," known for its ability to cool down Highway staff recovering from high temperatures) and new carpets. Take a look at the "Before" shots and you will see why we are almost giddy about this long-awaited upgrade.
All of the furniture got piled up so that the flooring tiles could be installed, and so operations were a little hinky on Wednesday: phones unplugged, computers balanced precariously, and so on.
Special thanks to Superintendent Connolly and his staff, especially Intermediate Clerk Fern Quezada, for organizing this project, getting us good pricing, and making us more presentable to our visiting public! We know this is going to increase productivity and make everyone feel better about coming to work than they already do-- sometimes it's the little things that really help us get moving.
We have a lot going on in Ossining this week-- most of it is live music! If you don't get the dancing out of your system at tonight's DJ dance party, plenty of opportunities await you in the coming days to do just that.
This Saturday, July 6th, head over to the Cedar Lane Park for Tai Chi Easy with Ben Leavitt from 9AM to 10AM for this weekend’s installment of Mind, Body, Spirit -- Ossining. After your Fourth of July festivities, take some time to perfect your mindfulness practice in one of our most beautiful and relaxing Town parks. This is the second of three classes Ben is hosting this summer, and I heard the first class was amazing. Register here so you can be contacted in the event of a weather related cancellation and to qualify for raffles from our partners at Club Fit and UMAC Briarcliff!
Then that night, head down to Westchester Collaborative Theater on Water Street for the next installment of the 2019 Jazz Masters series, where the Marshall McDonald Jazz Project will be hitting the stage at 7:30PM.
End your holiday weekend with a sound bath from world class musician Erik Lawrence at the Campwoods Auditorium. Erik has traveled with famous musicians the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Osborne and Elvis Costello, and will return to Campwoods for his annual sound healing visit on Sunday night at 7PM. This event is free, but donations for the historic preservation and upkeep of the Campwoods Auditorium are always welcome. If you plan to attend, please be sure to find parking outside the Campwoods Grounds.
Coming up on Monday (July 8th), you will have another chance to get in a free yoga workout with Shannon Reilly at Briarcliff Manor's Law Park-- Shannon is a Briarcliff native and an outstanding instructor. If you over-indulged over the weekend and feel the need to sweat it out, Shannon is your girl!
On Wednesday, July 10th, the Ossining Police Department will be hosting their first of FOUR block parties this summer, and this one will take place on James Street. Got other plans on Wednesday? No worries. Other dates are Wednesday, July 24th (Yale Avenue), Wednesday, August 7th (Croton Avenue), and Wednesday, August 21st (Dale Avenue). All block parties begin at 5PM and wrap up around 7PM. Be sure to bring the youngsters out and enjoy a fun night out courtesy of OPD! Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining is also going to be represented at the Block Parties – MBSO favorite Sue Radparvar of Studio95 Zumba will be doing a demo at each block party that will be fun for parents and kids. Sue is hosting classes every other Saturday at Louis Engel Park for all ages, so be sure to check out her expertise at the Block Parties and then join in the fun at the park later this summer.
Looking for something a little more low-key than a block party? Every Wednesday night starting on July 10th, head down to Market Square for Acoustic Night between 6PM and 8PM.
Then starting on Thursday, July 11th, the Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce will be starting their summer concert series at Law Park, which will take place on four consecutive Thursdays. Come down for some live music and grab some dinner and drinks-- 105 Ten and Mission Taqueria will be on site to sell you some yummy snacks and icy drinks to round out the evening.
Another opportunity to get out Thursday night will be at the next installment of Ferry Sloop's 2019 Summer Music Series, when singer-songwriter Greg Connors will perform at the Shattemuc Yacht Club at 7:30PM. Greg's vocals and guitar will be coupled with special gust Lisa Dodakian on violin. Learn more about this free event here.
On Monday the 15th, more live music! The Roni Ben-Hur Quartet will be at Henry Gourdine Park for a night of jazz down at the Waterfront. Head down at 6:30PM and enjoy some tunes on the Hudson. Not a bad way to start the week.
Planning any international travel this summer and in need of a passport? Westchester County has you covered. Timothy C. Idoni, the Westchester County Clerk, and his staff will be visiting Ossining on Tuesday, July 16th; head down to the Community Center between 11AM to 2PM to get your application ready and even take your passport photo! If you have any questions, you can contact the County Clerk's office at (914) 995-3082.
Finally, although a few weeks out, make sure to mark your calendar for the St. Augustine's Church 42nd Annual Italian Festival. Beginning on Tuesday, July 23rd, head over to St. Augustine's on Route 9 for rides, games, casino, the famous White Elephant sale, and food. Lots and lots of delicious food. And then, on Wednesday the 24th, stay late for a fireworks show (rain date Thursday the 25th). The fair runs Tuesday through Sunday from 6PM to 11PM-- this is not one you will want to miss!
Enjoy the weekend, everyone!