Trout Ponds offers last concert in their summer series

Trout Ponds offers last concert in their summer series

Last weekend, concert goers enjoyed the free music at the Trout Ponds, paid for by a state grant. (Photos by Keri Blakinger)

Trout Ponds offers last concert in their summer series

Randy Miritello, a musician who grew up in Newark Valley, played with the Horseshoe Lounge Playboys at a free concert at the Trout Ponds on Sept. 6.

Last weekend, Newark Valley residents gathered at the Trout Ponds for the last of a four-concert series sponsored by a state grant. There was drinking, dancing, and carousing – and a good time was had by all. Newark Valley Mayor Jim Tornatore said, “There was a lot of foot stomping going on.”

The Saturday night event featured the Horseshoe Lounge Playboys. The lead singer, Randy Miritello, said the band’s music is all original, and when asked to describe the genre, he said, “I call it backwoods Americana.”

Miritello is originally from Newark Valley, although like the rest of the band, he now lives in Oneonta. He said that he loves coming back to play at events in Newark Valley:

“I see people I haven’t seen in 25 years.” He added, “I grew up playing and partying in this park.”

In the past, the Horseshoe Lounge Playboys have played at Friday Nights at the Depot, which is how the village knew to contact them as a possible band for the concert series.

In addition to Miritello, the band includes Will Lunn on mandolin and vocals, Darin Trass on fiddle and vocals, and Tom Wetmore on upright bass.

Tornatore, who attended the free event, said that he was pleased with how it went, although he conceded that the drizzly weather probably hurt turnout. He said, “It went very well, but I think that the weather kept some people away who would have attended.”

The grant that funded this event was a New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grant. To receive the grant for this summer, the village had to submit a grant application last October. Tornatore said that the village’s deputy clerk, Rachel Jacobs, deserved a lot of the credit for organizing the four concert events.

The village has received Decentralization Grants for the concert series in years past, although in 2012 the application for summer 2013 events was denied. Tornatore said, “Last year we did not have the program because the village was not using enough creativity and we were turned down, so last year we had no programs.” This year, though, the village corrected those shortcomings and the grant application was accepted.

Tornatore said that the village will probably apply for a grant for programs to run next summer. He said, “These things are important for our residents, for just hoping that everyone can have a good time at the least possible price and for the value of being here. So we just want to keep on doing it for as long as we can.”

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