The 20th is May Day

Memorial Day, the official start of the summer season, is just around the corner. But folks right here in the Harlem Valley aren’t waiting for the calendar  to hit May 29 to get the season kicked off in a big way. Saturday, May 20, in fact, is so chock-full of activity that it makes one’s head spin.

In Pine Plains, there’s the ground breaking and community day celebration at Memorial Hall. Memorial Hall is a hallmark building in Pine Plains, in the midst of a multimillion dollar renovation that will turn it into a performing arts center for the entire Tri-state region. At community day there will be food, music, vendors, a flea market, games and walking tours. There will also be a community photo taken at 4 p.m., shovels in hand. Children can also participate in the fun when they decorate shovels of their very own.

A short distance away, in the town of Amenia, The Wassaic Project will hold its May Summer Festival. This year, instead of a multi-day summer fair, the arts collaborative is hosting multiple day-long events. There will be art, games, dance, music and food. At 3 p.m., get ready for a special parade through the hamlet of Wassaic, with the What Cheer? Brigade’s 19-piece brass band.

A few miles into town and one will discover the Strawberry Festival at Four Brothers Pizza Inn Restaurant. An annual event that was nearly canceled when the church that sponsored it dissolved, members of the community have since made sure residents and visitors alike can see, and taste, the best Amenia has to offer.

At the Amenia Free Library down the block, there will be a Book and Bake Sale for bibliophiles and snackers alike. Tasty homemade treats and plenty of bound beauties make stopping by the library a must on the 20th.

Take a few more steps eastward to visit Temple Beth David, which will be participating in the annual Sacred Sites Open House Tour. This year, the focus is on the stained glass windows at the synagogue. There will be tours and refreshments, and plenty of positivity.

The Amenia Lions Club is also getting into the act, hosting the annual Ralph Vinchiarello Memorial and Amenia Lions Kid’s Fishing Derby, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Ralph Vinchiarello’s pond behind Freshtown. 

In Dover, the fourth annual Cabaret Variety Show will be held to benefit the Mitchell J. Colucci Memorial Fund at Dover High School. Combine entertainment with a good cause, on top of hors d’oeuvres and conviviality, and a good time is all but guaranteed.

Millbrook, meanwhile, is playing host to the annual Literary Festival come Saturday. Anchored at the Millbrook Library, the Literary Festival showcases the best of what’s in print. There will be readings and workshops, panel discussions and book signings throughout the day. 

Also in Millbrook, gardening enthusiasts can take advantage of the Master Gardener plant sale at the Dutchess County Farm and Home Center on Route 44. Learn how to nurture nature from the very best, all while picking up something sure to make any garden shine.

To round out the day, do some purging at the Shed the Meds at the Millerton Police Department, from 10 a.m. till noon. A drug drop box will accept unused medicine — legal or illegal — with no questions asked. Only needles will be refused. Names will not be taken, drugs will not be reported. The event is sponsored by New York State Senator Sue Serino (R-41) as a way to discard expired or unneeded medication.

For more on these events and others, make sure to read this week’s issue of The Millerton News, page by page. And to those who put so much hard work into organizing the events that we all love to attend, thanks. You all do a remarkable job.