Are the stars out tonight?
August 9, 2012 —
Gazing skyward over the last week, the heavens alternated between cloudy and bright. In between showers, the sun blazed and people frolicked. Not wanting to be left out in the rain, I packed an umbrella and headed off in search of adventure while keeping one eye on the weather. With the “dog days of summer” right on schedule this past Saturday, the relentless heat ushered in the return of an-all American local favorite: the Jeffersonville Jamboree. Weeks of anticipation and preparation culminated with tremendous success, and the promise of “great food, unique vendors, kids’ activities and exhibits” did not disappoint.
Entertainment provided by blue grass/country faves The Latimer Brothers Band wafted through the air as kids cavorted through the petting zoo and giant inflatables scattered across Lions Field. I chatted with friends and neighbors for hours as folks continued to stream in throughout the afternoon, and despite the broiling heat, the day was a shining example of country livin’ at its best.
Ominous clouds and intermittent rain prevented me from making it to the first annual Monticello Days, but my pals on that end of the county tell me that the afternoon was fun, even without my attendance. Designed to boost awareness of the recently completed beautification program, and boost tourism, the inaugural affair was spearheaded by Les Kristt, who was joined by Sullivan County historian John Conway in promoting the celebration. “This is a rallying cry,” Conway said. “Business owners have decided to band together and reinvent themselves, and Broadway is bigger and better than ever before.” Kristt concurs, saying that “the attitude about Monticello is changing, and that’s probably the biggest thing that’s going to draw people and businesses, that they see us as a family community.” Wouldn’t you know, just as I leave Monticello (I moved a few weeks ago), things are looking up for the historic village. I have always been fond of the place and look forward to the resurgence of its popularity as a destination.
Forced to make decisions, I had to forgo opening night of the Shandelee Music Festival (www.shandelee.org), knowing that there are a few twilight time concerts on the horizon. The roster of international artists is always impressive and the music festival continues to provide enchanting concerts under a blanket of stars. Pianist Magazine has declared Shandelee “one of the finest music festivals in the world” and, (as I recall), I once dubbed it “The Carnegie Hall of the Catskills.” So rest assured, the 2012 Sunset Concert Series is in my future.