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December 21, 2014
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Shine on, harvest moon

Even Gianni and Dominic Gagliardo were aware that the ducks would cooperate during the race at Jeff Fest.


At Jeff Fest this past weekend, the streets of Jeffersonville, NY were brimming with excitement, in anticipation of the first annual tractor parade (man, how I love a tractor parade!), which helped build excitement over the traditional yearly duck race. Hmm. I had heard of it, but clearly not attended, since I was ribbed throughout the day when word got out that I was expecting to see ducks. Race. Who knew?

“Really, Jonathan, how did you think that was possible?” asked race organizer Jack Costello, as he instructed his army of volunteers out for the day, preparing to corral the (small, multihued, plastic, toy) ducks that were about to make their way down Callicoon Creek. “Hey, I did my homework!” I sputtered. “I read about ducks and free popcorn and figured that ducks ate popcorn.” Hmm. Even as I protested I could see (IMHO) the folly in my thought process, since 1,500 ducks is a sizable group (flock? gaggle? swarm?), but Jack still felt it necessary to add insult to injury by reminding me that “Um, ducks can fly, ya know.” Nice.

I tried to squelch the story, but it ain’t easy in a place “where everybody knows your name,” so I took my pictures and held my (red-faced) head high, having the time of my (nothin’ wrong with simple) life at Jeff Fest.

Now that it’s here, I get out my “Fall Fun” notes (okay, I’m a geek) and peruse. Another visit to www.gardening.about.com reminds me of the supplies needed to “preserve” fall leaves and that the Port Jervis “Fall Foliage Festival” is coming up (September 25) before fave-rave “Pumpkin Fest” in Barryville, NY (October 8). Farm-to-fork dinner season is amping up in Callicoon’s Cafe Divine and the Agrarian Acts Farm Festival at the NACL in Highland Lake is (yay) upon us (August 25).

Naturally, there is no shortage of art openings, benefits, concerts and shows to see and even I have to check TRR’s “where and when” section to keep it all straight. My mind is already swirling with (hmm) Halloween costume decisions that must be made before I can even step foot outside the house, listening to the rustle of the leaves beneath my feet. The parties and costume parades are legendary in our neck of the woods and I have no intention of letting my (I’ve won a few contests, ya know) guard down for a second. Shine on!