EagleFest: Nature at its best
Education, entertainment and activities featuring the natural world
By SANDY LONG
NARROWSBURG, NY EagleFest is about to land in Narrowsburg on January 13, as approximately 2,000 people flock to town to take in the educational and entertaining events centered around our nations number one raptor and the natural resources of the Upper Delaware River region.
What weve been trying to do with EagleFest is raise the level of awareness of our environment, to educate the public and stir their passion to help preserve it. Our focus is on protecting what weve got, to get kids and the public excited enough to care about it, said Yoke Bauer DiGiorgio, Director of The Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance (DVEA), the non-profit organization that organizes the annual event.
During the day-long event, DiGiorgios husband, John, renowned nature photographer and co-founder of EagleFest, will exhibit works in conjunction with sculpture by artist George E. Boudman in the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Gallery, on Narrowsburgs Main Street.
Members of the community, as well as area businesses, have provided ongoing support of the festival and the Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance (DVEA). Tony Coscia and Barry Becker, owners of the River Gallery in Narrowsburg, sponsored a holiday fundraiser in their Main Street gallery for the benefit of the DVEA, raising more than $1,000 for EagleFest.
The work of artist Wanda Gangel ( artbypolygon.com ) was selected as this years Featured Artist poster, which will be available for purchase at the River Gallery and in the Narrowsburg Rural School Auditorium on Erie Avenue. Proceeds from all poster sales also benefit the DVEA.
New this year, the festivals first-ever Nature and Wildlife Art Show will feature regional artists exhibiting oil and watercolor paintings; paintings on feathers, stones and ostrich eggs; photography; woodwork and more. The show will be held in the school.
A silent auction of more than 30 art posters created and contributed by regional artists will be conducted throughout the day in the River Gallery. Bids can be placed on the fine artwork, which is created in a variety of media, from paintings to photography to ceramics and woodwork.
According to DVEA secretary Debbie Reimer, a Native American program will be conducted, with various events delivered by the Metis Nation of Canada and led by Robert Ross. The opening ceremony will include a Thanksgiving Address and drumming. Children will be invited to drum and sing and a Snake Dance and Candy Dance will be performed. A replica of a traditional longhouse will be displayed and talks will be given on various subjects.
Reimers employer, the Bank of America, has sponsored a childrens art competition, which brought more than 400 works submitted by Sullivan West students, grades K through three. Awards will be given in the school auditorium at 9:30 a.m.
The movies, American Bald Eagle Heritage on the Wing, Return of the Raptor and Life on the Delaware, will be shown at 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. respectively, at the firehouse on Bridge Street. The Delaware Riverkeeper, Maya van Rossum, will speak on Habitat Preservation Along the Delaware at 3:00 p.m. at the firehouse.
Ongoing throughout the day will be eagle-viewing opportunities, with binocular and birding scope demonstrations, exhibits by regional conservation groups and ice sculptures.
The event also features various childrens programs and two different Live Birds of Prey programs offered by Bill Streeter, of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, and Lauren Butcher, of The Raptor Trust, NJ. Streeters program will occur at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the school auditorium, followed by Butchers owl program at 3:00 p.m. in the Tusten Theater.
Regarding the likely delisting of the bald eagle from the Endangered Species Act in February, DiGiorgio cautioned, We should never forget that we share this earth with other living creatures. Just because eagles are delisted doesnt mean theyre out of trouble. Whether theyre on a list or not, we need to protect them and their habitat, said DiGiorgio.
Now in its sixth year, EagleFest is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the town of Narrowsburg. For more information visit naturesartllc.com or narrowsburg.org, or call 845/252-6509 or 845/252-7146.