Food Truck Friday is BACK at the Waterfront tonight! Our friends at the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce have a great line-up for us starting at 5PM, including Aji Limo/Peruvian Cuisine, Cravin Jamaican Cuisine, Sloppie Joes (if you haven't tried their Churros filled with Bavarian Cream, you're going to want to do that ASAP), Westchester Burger Company, Penny Lick Ice Cream Company, Brothers Fish & Chips, and some locally brewed suds from Sing Sing Kill Brewery to wash it all down!
Come for the snacks and stay for the music! Local favorite The Old Mill Singers will take stage after Elisa Peimer, OHS grad and opening act starts off the night at 7PM. Make sure to bring your chairs and blankets (pack a few extras-- that rain from Wednesday may have left the field a bit soggy) and get your spot ready for a great night of family fun on the Hudson!
First and foremost, I want to thank my fellow local officials and members of our community who joined together last night for the Candlelight Vigil at Louis Engel Park. While we were in discussions about weather cancelations until the very last minute, we decided to follow through and it was a great choice. The vigil was well attended and we even got to see a double rainbow. It was incredibly touching to join together to honor the lives lost in the mass shootings of the past two weeks in El Paso and Dayton, and to take a public stand about the violence that this community will not ignore or tolerate.
Earlier this week, I attended a meeting with Police Chief Kevin Sylvester, Captain Jeff Giorgio, our partners in the Village of Croton and Town of Cortlandt, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, and representatives from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, State Parks, Forest Rangers, and some neighbors and Citizen Patrols/stewards regarding the piece of property along the Croton River called the Unique Area. This is a popular hangout during the summer months. On the weekends, there are often many safety, environmental, and quality of life issues associated with the high number of visitors coming to this very small piece of property without adequate parking, supervision, or enforcement. We – Town of Ossining, Ossining Police, Village of Croton, their police, Town of Cortlandt, Westchester County Police, and neighbors -- have all been trying to do our part to monitor the area, but we are advocating alongside Assemblywoman Galef for the State to dedicate more enforcement and financial resources to this area which is under their jurisdiction. Our meeting this week was attended by several representatives from the DEC’s many departments, which was encouraging to see. I am hopeful that we will collectively be able to pursue a solution to this situation, similar to the ones the state has funded in similar forest land properties elsewhere.
This week was Ossining Day at Playland! On Wednesday, August 7th, Playland celebrated Ossining with special discounts. I had the opportunity to stop by and enjoy a couple of my favorite rides.
I even got to see Coaster in action teaching some kids in Kiddieland the Cotton Eyed Joe! If you missed out because of the not so nice weather that evening, don't worry -- every other Town Day celebrating any Westchester municipality is now also Ossining Day because of the rain out.
With just proof of Ossining residency, you will receive discount coupons when you arrive at the park by going to the Fountain Plaza Administration Building. These discounts include one free mini golf entry, one 2-for-1 rides admission (a wristband good for all the rides), one free beach admission, one free pool admission, $1 off of one food value meal and a $5 discount for parking on a return visit to the park. I hope you will consider taking advantage of these discounts and enjoying a day of fun at Playland! For a list of Town Days remaining this summer, visit the Playland website.
Finally, my office spent the morning with our Superintendent of Recreation Bill Garrison, as well as our Parks Foreman Mario Velardo and our insurance agent from NYMIR visiting all of the Town playgrounds (for those not yet in the know, we have playground equipment at Louis Engel, Gerlach, Ryder and Buck Johnson Parks). In preparation for our 2020 Capital Plan, we wanted to take a look at the equipment we have now and decide if any pieces are due for an upgrade and if so, in what order.
The good news is, we are in really good shape! Our equipment at Engel Park was recently visited by a company rep and several pieces are getting replacement parts, which should keep them going strong for many years to come. We have some other ideas about pieces that we may want to swap out for something new (we had discussed adult workout equipment and pickleball fields) for a few spots, and we are going to share our findings with the Recreation Advisory Board and see if they have any recommendations. However, we know we will be getting a few new pieces in 2020 no matter what, so keep your eyes peeled when you travel around Town.
After the concert tonight, we have a lot more in store for you over the coming week. Check out what we have going on in Ossining this weekend and beyond.
Furry, four-legged Westchester residents are welcome to join the Westchester County Department of Health at SPCA of Westchester on North State Road for a free rabies vaccination Saturday, August 10th between 10AM and 2PM, appointments are required – call (914) 941-2896 extension 10. Animals must bring a human companion over age 18 and must arrive in a carrier (cats and ferrets) or on a leash (dogs), and aggressive dogs must be muzzled.
Also, Saturday, August 17th is National Adoption Day, and SPCA of Westchester is participating in Clear the Shelters adoption event from 10am to 4pm with waived or reduced adoption fees for some animals. Head over to the SPCA’s website www.spca914.org to meet the over 100 animals looking to find their forever homes in our community!
There are some great Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining events coming up. This Saturday, August 10th, head down to Louis Engel Park for Zumba with Sue Radparvar of Studio95 Zumba at 4PM. Her fun class is great for participants of all ages! Next week is jam packed with MBSO offerings starting on Wednesday, August 14th for sunset yoga at 7PM with Elisha Simpson of Crossover Yoga Project at Louis Engel Park to celebrate Global Yoga Therapy Day. Elisha will be back at Engel Park on Saturday, August 17th at 9AM for more yoga at the waterfront and UMAC Briarcliff will be at Ryder Park at 1PM on Saturday, too. Please register in advance to be notified in the event of a weather related closing and qualify for raffles and giveaways from UMAC Briarcliff and Club Fit Briarcliff at the end of the summer. But as always, walk-ins are welcome.
The Ossining Arts Council will hold their opening reception from 4-6PM on Saturday (August 10th) for "River Reflections" a show of contemporary art by OAC members, displayed in collaboration with The Jug Tavern of Sparta as part of "Sparta Speaks 2019: Return to the River." Admission is free, and the exhibit will be open to the public through October 27th on Sunday afternoons between 12PM and 4PM. Check out the flyer below for other special events as "Return to the River" continues through the Fall.
You have one last chance to check out free jazz at Gourdine Park this summer! On Monday, August 12th, check out the Noriko Ueda Quartet playing at 6:30PM and keep your fingers crossed for one of Ossining's legendary sunsets.
This will also be the last week for the Market Square Acoustic Series- Powderfinger will play at 6PM.
Finally, don't miss the final installment in the Ossining Public Library's 2019 Summer Film Series-- "Mary Poppins Returns" will hit the big screen in the Budarz on Wednesday, August 14th.
The Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce will hold their last summer concert on Thursday night (August 15th) at 7PM-- this will be a rescheduled performance by "Off The Record", who got rained out on July 18th. Make sure you catch this concert at Law Park, as it is the last one for the season!
That same night, Playland will be showing "Big," starring Tom Hanks, as part of their Family Film Frenzy-- visit the exact spot on the boardwalk where Josh Baskin locates the magical Zoltar machine that he, with the help of his friend Billy Kopecki, has searched for ever since Josh’s original Zoltar wish, “I wish I were big,” was granted. Be sure to snap your own Zoltar photo for your social media page - Playland’s Zoltar machine will be positioned at the beach entrance, selfie-ready. You can bring a picnic or grab dinner from the concession stands but make sure to bring blankets or chairs to sit on. Tickets go on sale at the main beach booth when the beach opens at 7:30PM; the movie begins at 8:15PM. The $5 fee (free for ages under 5) is for the movie only, you still must pay for parking.
The next couple weeks get a little quieter here in Ossining, as many families head out of town and get the kiddos ready for Back to School. The Town will not be meeting on Tuesday, August 13th-- we expect to have a short meeting on Tuesday, August 20th and will share details as the week develops.
I hope everyone stays cool out there this weekend! Tomorrow is National S'Mores Day and I don't know about you, but I plan on celebrating.