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December 29, 2014
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Fireworks, festivals and all that jazz

“Fitz & the Tantrums” vocalist Noelle Scaggs was on fire, opening for the Dave Matthews Band at Bethel Woods.


Independence Day dawned and although the heat was outta control, folks flocked to the many events and fireworks shows all around the Upper Delaware River Valley. I decided to check out the festival and parade in Liberty, NY, and (with the wonder dog in tow) spent hours perusing the booths, enjoying the entertainment and photographing kids, floats and (of course) fire engines and tractors, which I never seem to tire of. To tag your friends and share the pics of both the Liberty and Narrowsburg parades, go to (yep, you guessed it) www.facebook.com/theriverreporter.

On Friday, photographer extraordinaire Jerry Cohen welcomed guests to the opening of his new exhibit “Eagles of the Upper Delaware,” which runs through the 17th of the month in Bethel (www.straycatgallery.com) and exemplifies his lifelong love affair with imagery. I spoke with Cohen, who pointed me to his bio, which reads in part, “Whether it is the majestic nature of an eagle in flight or the haunting secrets held within an abandoned structure, there is beauty and intrigue everywhere I look.” My advice? Check out the show; this guy (and his skill at capturing his elusive subjects) is (IMHO) amazing.

Of course there’s more, including a trip to the “Chalk Walk” in Livingston Manor, which (for me) was a little too much walk and nowhere near enough chalk, but I chatted with friends, observed kids having a ball down at the swimming hole and took some fun pics of the various artists at work and the dog romping with pals. Want to see the photos? You know where to go.

The week’s pièce de résistance came with my visit to the Parksville USA Music Festival where founder and managing director Tom Caltabellotta (www.parksvilleusa.com) had to set up extra seats to accommodate the huge crowd that showed up to hear (U)nity, who (according to the program) “aspire to create a completely original sound, fusing their Afro-Cuban roots with modern Jazz and Hip Hop.”