The community has pulled together once more to host the 3rd Annual Village Appreciation Night, set for Oct. 6, and held at the Tioga County Fairgrounds from 5-10 p.m. This free event is hosted by The Owego Police Department and its Benevolent Association, and is supported by area businesses and foundations.
Several years ago, and following the lockdowns and restrictions related to the COVID pandemic, the Owego Police Department wanted to thank the area’s first responders and those that worked to respond locally to the pandemic. They did so by creating a night that would celebrate these volunteers and service workers, as well as the community that held together through those difficult times.
Planning for the first event centered on a popular fall activity, a bonfire, and from there it grew. Built on volunteers, the event provides a night out for families in which they can enjoy live music, food and entertainment, all free of charge. There will also be face painting and the popular kids’ tent, offering crafts, games and prizes, and even a Mystery Box that will let you dare to test your senses.
This year, Inlaws Entertainment will present Nick Adams, performing acoustically; followed by Nova Band, covering Rock hits from Fuel, Bush and 3 Doors Down, among others, from 6:45-8 p.m.; and then Devon Lawton & The Inlaws will return to the Agriculture Stage for a 8 p.m. performance that will culminate with a fireworks display, presented by American Fireworks Display LLC.
Rooted in the Southern Tier of New York, Devon Lawton & The Inlaws brings the best in Prime Country and Classic rock. Covering some of the greats, like Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Guns and Roses, AC-DC and Chris Stapleton, and mixed with some high-powered originals, The Inlaws will keep you moving with their high-energy brand of music.
“This isn’t your typical Outlaw Country, this is Inlaws Country,” the band stated.
Formed in 2019, the Inlaws currently consist of Devon Lawton, lead vocals and acoustic guitar; Al Furgeson, bass guitar and backup vocals; Rob Kliment, drums; Paul Kliment, rhythm guitar and backup vocals; and Leroy Armitage, lead guitar and backup vocals. Full Bios can be seen on the Bands website, www.devonlawtonandtheinlaws.com.
The entertainment is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and will be capped off by the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
The event also pays respect to our first responders, with departments and agencies on-hand for the event, volunteering their time. Village officials, in what is now a tradition, will be cooking up food for guests and there will be plenty of surprises to take away.
Because the event is a 100% volunteer effort, it takes support to bring it all together while offering everything free of charge to guests.
To help fund the event, 50/50 raffle tickets will be sold along with a chance to earn one of two gas cards donated by Scott Smith & Son, Inc., and as they continue their 100th year celebration of serving the community.
In a fashion aligned with his wishes, the Floyd Hooker Foundation has once again stepped in as a major sponsor of the event with a generous donation that will fund a large portion of the activities taking place on Oct. 6. The music stage, known as the “Vic Hooker Stage”, serves as a testament at this event to the foundation’s philanthropic roots, and the fund’s continued support of youth within the community.
Also sponsoring the event for another year is Cops 4 A Cause, a local, charitable organization that provides funding to events that provide an impact within the community. A small organization, Cops 4 A Cause works to raise charitable dollars throughout the year to support events that have an impact on their community; Village of Appreciation Night is one of those events.
Tioga Downs Casino and owner Jeff Gural will return this year as a major sponsor, with their contribution providing a significant source of funding for this event. Gural was quick to jump on-board with this effort that strengthens the relationship among members of the community by providing enough funding to pay for the music entertainment, food, and the prizes that will be offered to guests.
And what would the event be without our community partners, Tioga State Bank. Jumping in to support events throughout the community, TSB will once again be contributing to the Oct. 6 event. The Owego Fire Department is supporting the event again this year, and will be providing volunteer support as well on Oct. 6.
Greg Kies Auto Sales, located conveniently on Rt. 17C in Owego (Fifth Avenue), also stepped in this year as a sponsor for the event.
Additional and in-kind sponsors for the event include Southern Tier Hardwoods, Wagner Lumber, F.W. Webb, and Price Chopper / Market 32, who offers a gift card to assist with some of the food purchase.
“This is truly a community event,” said Owego Police Chief Joseph Kennedy. “We are truly humbled by the folks that step forward every year to offer help for this event.”
For residents, the event is a night out, with many anticipating what might be offered to guests each year, while celebrating our first responders as well.
If you would like to become involved in this free community event, call Owego Police Chief Joseph Kennedy at (607) 687-2234, ext. 2603, or email to Policechief@villageofowegony.gov.