It was a picture-perfect weekend for Newark Valley’s own small town festival this year. The night was warm and clear for the Ithaca DixieKats who entertained the crowd at the Depot with high-energy jazz. On the other side of town, many visitors viewed the Art Show at the Village Hall and the Quilt Show at the Congregational Church. A wine tasting at Village Wine and Spirits added to the evening.
Newark Valley Days started early with many crafters on the Village Green. Music played all day courtesy of Tom and Marie, the Lovesick Boys, and DnT. Many people browsed for original works of the crafters present.
Saturday morning, the weather was crisp and cool for our third Newark Valley Trout Ponds 5K run. Many runners of all ages converged on the Trout Ponds and wound through the course on quiet village streets.
On the lawn of the library, hundreds of books were available to buy at rock bottom prices. Every penny spent helped support our hometown library. And if you didn’t get over to the firemen’s chicken BBQ on Water Street quickly, you were out of luck since they sold out by early afternoon. Their secret recipe is something terrific!
By 11 a.m., everyone eagerly awaited the parade to see what new entries would delight them this year. The marchers came down Main Street with music, floats, and community groups, among others. Paul and Judy Eldridge, who have done so much for our community, were the Grand Marshals this year.
A steady stream of visitors viewed the work of many local artists who displayed their work in the Art Show. There are so many talented artists in the area it was difficult to select winners. Hard as the decision was, the following artists won ribbons: Best in Show: Greg Chianis;
First: Dee Gage;
Second: Jeff Mann;
Third: Abigail Parker; and Honorable Mention: Burton Taylor.
In addition, the display of quilts at the Congregational Church, courtesy of the Valley Quilters, was phenomenal. There were quilts of every color and style and seeing them in contrast to the beautiful woodwork of the church was awe-inspiring.
At the Train Depot, the friendly volunteers helped kids of all ages enjoy great food, a fun inflatable bounce house and other kids’ activities including trackless train rides, pony rides, and a dunk tank. Visitors watched Will Stafford, The Juggler Extraordinaire, balance on his unicycle while juggling, a real treat.
New this year at the Depot was the Dog Costume contest and Agility Demonstration. Winners in the costume contest were: Funniest: Allison Constable as a butterfly and Sophie as a flower garden; Most Creative: Neena Kurts as a cowgirl and Shadow as a pony; Best Look Alike: Katie Greene and Cocoa; and Best 1950s Theme: Katie Popp and Teddy in coordinating poodle skirts.
In the dog agility demonstration, Casey Delaney-Hammond and her dogs, Ollie and Quin, Katie Popp and Teddy, and Becky Miles and Homer showed how to jump through a hoop, jump over a bar, sit on a table and go through tunnels.
Meanwhile, at the Trout Ponds, the Chamber of Commerce annual rubber duck race was underway. They were all wondering if there would be enough water in the creek but by Saturday they were in luck as hundreds of ducks bobbed gently down the creek.
As evening fell, you could see glowing necklaces, bracelets and sticks everywhere in the park. Country Mile entertained the early crowd and Watts on Tap sang old favorites right up to the first boom of our annual fireworks show.
The organizers would like to thank all who helped with planning, setup, clean up, fundraising, and working the events all over the village.