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November 27, 2014
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Before the parade passes by

More than 300 tractors snaked their way through Callicoon, NY, celebrating the 18th annual Tractor Parade that draws onlookers from far and wide.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox


Wow. June is already slipping by. It fascinates me that while the winter months seem to drag on forever, the warmer weeks fly by at a breakneck pace that is dizzying. Granted, there is more to see and do between spring and fall than at other times, but still... wow.

Now that concert season is upon us, I have to pace myself when it comes to Bethel Woods (www.bethelwoodscenter.org). Last week’s opening show was exciting, which may have set me up for a fall, since the triple-crown performance of Kaycee Musgraves, Alison Krause and Willie Nelson this past Sunday was a bit of a letdown. Going in, I was prepared for the best of the best, but since Musgraves is still a bit green, her performance was somewhat lackluster. Her voice is sweet, but she’s still missing the wow factor, from my vantage point. She expressed that she was thrilled to be playing the venue, but I got the impression that many folks were there to catch multi-award-winning Krause, who has a rabid following. In fact, after Krause performed, a lot of people took off before the main event—Mr. Willie Nelson—who, at 81, lacked (IMHO) a bit of spark himself. To be sure, Nelson is an icon, but following Krause’s high-energy brand of bluegrass fiddle prowess, the place thinned out. Truth be told, I was a teeny bit bored, but chalked it up to exhaustion, since I had been to the 18th annual Tractor Parade in Callicoon, NY prior to the concert in Bethel.

This particular cavalcade is a perennial favorite, and the mob that showed up to cheer on the 300-plus tractors was (as always) beyond enthusiastic. The parade route (www.visitcallicoon.com) was lined with onlookers, many of whom make a day of it, with a pancake breakfast, a visit to the farmers’ market, the grand-daddy of river-town parades and a chicken barbeque following the smoky, smelly, good ole time that residents and visitors look forward to all year long. The River Reporter’s Amanda Reed and I took scads of photos and they can be viewed, shared and tagged at www.facebook.com/theriverreporter.

Another parade is in the offing and is one that grows in popularity with each passing year. That’s right, the Trout Parade! Now in its 11th year, (where does the time go?) the Livingston Manor fish-fest is set to cast off on Saturday, June 14 at 1 p.m. Online information (www.catskillartsociety.org) promises that “local businesses and organizations are known to put their creative hats on and add a witty, wacky twist to their march down Main Street,” and I have no doubt that participants and attendees will enthrall. This year’s theme is “steampunk,” which combines old-school science fiction with retro 19th century style, twisted up with Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes and crazy robotic design that is bound to amuse, surprise and entertain. Naturally, Dharma the Wonder Dog and I will be there, snapping pics and cheering from the sidelines as this truly unique parade snakes through town, giving Mardis Gras a run for the money. Say hello, I might take your picture!

Naturally, these events are just the tip of the iceberg. More music festivals are on the horizon (think Shandalee, Roots and Rhythm, Weekend of Chamber Music, et al), and I’ve yet to begin the summer theatre season. In fact, one of my favorites (www.FBplayhouse.org) is about to raise the curtain on its season this week in Forestburgh, so I’ll be taking my seat for “My Fair Lady,” “Mame” and “La Cage Aux Folles” very soon. The playhouse is under new management, and while I’m sad to bid adieu to über-producer Norman Duttweiler, I look forward to seeing what theatrical tricks the new guy (Franklin Trapp) has up his sleeve. And, it is not the only game in town. The Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop (www.scdw.net) is about to open with “Dog Sees God,” which “re-imagines the iconic ‘Peanuts’ characters as teenagers” and is prepping “Guys and Dolls” along with an eclectic mix of shows, so (if I’m invited back) I’ll be sure to check out one or two as summer unfolds. The Ritz in Hawley, PA (www.ritzplayhouse.com) is rehearsing Michael Frayn’s smash comedy hit “Noises Off,” and I suspect a road trip is in the offing for me and the pooch as we careen through the Upper Delaware River region in search of entertainment. More parades are marching toward us, and with the Fabulous Fourth just around the corner, the flag waving has just begun. Understanding that there is “no rest for the wicked,” I’m guessing that I’ll see you there.