Community Spirited

A sure sign of Autumn in the Hudson Valley, besides the cool nights and drifting leaves, is a delightful ritual called Community Day, where our small rural towns across the region take to the streets — or a local park — to celebrate their community.  Dropbox-Stanford potato - DSC00233

The day is usually highlighted by great eats, often musical beats, and sometimes marching feet.  But what the day is mostly about is the profound sense of community that is such an important part of our region.

Amenia Indian Rock SchoolThe 19 small towns, and one city, that make up the 106th Assembly District are full of people who volunteer at the fire department, who serve on village, town, planning and school boards, who help out weekly at the town library. We love the feeling of connection that comes from being an engaged part of our community.

This year many of our towns used Community Day to harken back to the region’s rich past.  Held on the grounds surrounding the one room Indian Rock School House, Amenia’s celebration showcased farm animals, a BBQ and traditional crafts.  The Town Historian and Historical Society happily shared highlights of the town’s history as a center of education.

Pine Plains paid tribute to it’s 18th Century past, honoring the Revolutionary PinePlains Rev WarWar soldiers buried in Evergreen Cemetery and launching a new effort to restore the town’s historic Graham-Brush House, a little known gem located behind Peck’s Market in the middle of the hamlet.

Stanford’s event was centered around the community’s historic Grange which continues to play a important social and agricultural role for this rural town.  I especially loved the giant baked potato made to advertise the booth selling yummy looking stuffed baked spuds.

Germantown ApplesRain didn’t dampen spirits in Greenport, which held a giant flea market and Germantown built their theme around beloved and versatile local apples, celebrating our local apple farmers, so much a part of the Hudson Valley’s agricultural tradition.

Pretty clear these celebrations are just another reason why #ILoveMyDistrict!

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About Diner Dialogues

Didi Barrett was elected to the New York State Assembly in a special election in March 2012 and re-elected to a full term in November 2012. Her district, the 106th AD, covers some of the most beautiful parts of Columbia and Dutchess Counties. She has deep roots in the Hudson Valley and came to elected office after a career as a community activist, writer and longtime leader of not-for-profit organizations. Didi is passionate about the agricultural, natural, cultural and historic resources of the Hudson Valley and their critical importance as economic engines and job generators. She is also a great fan of the iconic diners that dot the region. As a member of the Assembly she serves on the Committees on Aging; Agriculture; Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Mental Health; Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development and Veterans Affairs.
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