Color-A-Thon Happening Saturday - Short Run Around Block Raises Money For South Avenue Elementary

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DETAILS:
Registration:
Starts at 10m. Includes bounce houses Bounce House: Starts at 10:30-12pm
Color-a-Thon: Starts at at 12pm.
We will have music, food for sale, and an awesome raffle. Enjoy South Avenue’s playground where we just added a new climbing wall and ten spin!

The moment South Avenue has been waiting for all year is here - The Color-A-Thon (also called the Color Run)! This is South Avenue’s big fundraising event organized by the PTA, which helps them buy playground equipment for the school, fund field trips, purchase class supplies, establish a sustainable school link with an Ethiopian partner school, and more.

Color-A-Thon Open To All

The run is open to everyone in the community, not just South Avenue students, and you can register at the event for $15. Some teachers and students have sponsored “student spots” for those who don’t have the registration fee, including teachers like Mrs. Biersack andk Mrs. Fabia. Other teachers will be at the run throwing color and participating in other ways, including Mrs. Nunez and Principal Cahill.

Raffle Prizes

Raffle prizes include Alps Sweet Shop, Beacon Bath & Bubble LLC, Beacon D'Lites, Homespun Foods, Hudson Beach Glass. and Obercreek Farm. Other organizations include Wee Play Community Project for a gift certificate to the Ree Play Sale (last weekend in April!) and Beacon Recreation for donating a 2019 Beacon Pool Pass.

How The Color-A-Thon Works

So it’s pretty easy - you wear white and run around the block in the neighborhood next to South Avenue. The streets are blocked for the run, and you can run around as many times as you like. Often there are parents running or walking with the kids, so if you can’t run or walk, your child will most likely be in a pack with others.

Then, there are color points at each turn, and bright colors are literally thrown onto you! You get covered head to toe in color, and it’s a lot of fun. The color itself is cornstarch, and the bright color in it is a mystery :)

You can register at the event.

TIP: Walk, don’t drive to this event. Your car will get really messy with color if you sit inside of it. Shoes get really messy.

Color-A-Thon Made The “Morning News”

South Avenue Elementary’s librarian, Mr. Burke, produces a morning news show from his library in the basement. He goes throughout the school for different scenes and has recurring characters. Usually played by himself (kind of like how Eddie Murphy and Tyler Perry play so many roles in one movie).

Here’s Mr. Burke exploring what would happen if the Color-A-Thon and the State ELA Tests were on the same day (they were the same week this year).

Last Chance For Artists To Register For Beacon Open Studios 2019 - All Artists Welcome

Photo Credit: Beacon Open Studios, Russell Cusick Gallery

Photo Credit: Beacon Open Studios, Russell Cusick Gallery

Are you an artist? This is your last chance to register your studio to be an official Open Studio for the weekend of Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, 2019 for Beacon Open Studios. This is a citywide event in its 11th year, where the public gets to roam around all of the neighborhoods in search of artists they want to discover. We have written about the phenomenal event bunches of times here on the blog.

This free, citywide, weekend-long event has become one of the largest of its kind in the Hudson Valley. Artists are encouraged to put themselves out there to meet others, and get on the map - literally. Your studio will be on the map produced by Beacon Open Studios and distributed to business locations throughout Beacon, NY to help people find artists. You can see which artists have signed up so far on the BOS website.

This is one of A Little Beacon Blog's most favorite collaborative events of the year, and we are once again a proud sponsor.
Details & Register >

K104.7's Cupcake Festival Moves From Beacon To Stormville Airport

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UPDATED 3/20/3019: The City of Beacon has since issued a response to our inquiry about the 2019 Cupcake Festival decision. Please see below for that quote from the City Administrator.

K104.7’s annual Cupcake Festival has moved from the Main Streets of Fishkill for a few years, then to Beacon for two years, and now is at the Stormville Airport, which is also known for the Stormville Airport Antique Show and Flea Market. The Cupcake Festival is wildly popular, attracting bakers from all over the state to compete for a chance to be considered at the final judging table to take home a cash prize.

We were hoping to come back to Beacon this year but given the growing attendance and space/parking constraints, we had to look elsewhere. We’re looking forward to keeping it in the county and growing the festival in new and exciting ways.
— Zach Higgins, Non-Traditional Revenue Director, Pamal Broadcasting

Attendance to the event has been growing, and possibly grew out of Fishkill, triggering the radio station to consider Beacon. For two years, the festival was hosted in downtown Beacon on Main Street, shutting down the street and leading to an elbow-to-elbow sugared-up experience (parents know how difficult it can be to maneuver children past tables and tables of cupcakes and lemonade).

We reached out to Pamal Broadcasting, the hosts of the event and owners of K104.7, to learn more: “We had met with the City [of Beacon], and after discussing all the particulars, it was in the best interest of both parties to change the location. The two years the festival was in Beacon catapulted this event to the next level and we are very grateful for the city and what it had to offer,” said Zach Higgins, Non-Traditional Revenue Director for Pamal Broadcasting.

The attendance estimates for this year seemed more than the City could handle in parking and safety constraints. We would love to have them back, but wish them continued success and hope to work with them on other projects in the future.
— Anthony J. Ruggiero, M.P.A. City Administrator

The City of Beacon’s City Administrator, Anthony Ruggiero, had this to say: “The City had an incredible working relationship with Pamal Broadcasting and their success was our success. However the attendance estimates for this year seemed more than the City could handle in parking and safety constraints. We would love to have them back, but wish them continued success and hope to work with them on other projects in the future.”

How Was The Cupcake Festival In Beacon?

A Little Beacon Blog did a an unscientific economic study of the Cupcake Festival on businesses in town in 2017. Most eateries did extremely well that day, while boutiques reported a mixed experience. One retail store who had been a vocal opponent of the Cupcake Festival in its first year, raved about it the day after the first festival came and went, after the day’s sales came in, calling the day “as good as Christmas," which in retail-sales speak means a very good day.

However, other businesses were not as pleased, including an art gallery owner who found it difficult to keep children away from touchable artwork inside the gallery, and other retail stores who saw lots of lookers, but no buyers. Citizens experienced a deluge of cars parked near their homes, sometimes blocking driveways. To read more about the 2017 cupcake experience, click here. To see pictures from 2018’s cupcakes, click here.

Trash was well-contained for the most part, though residential complaints about overflowing trash cans after most spring/summer weekends with or without events prompted the City to accept the offer from the trash collection company, Royal Carting, to replace the metal trash cans on Main Street, letting go of the two-hole approach for recycling and trash, in favor of a larger hole for all waste.

Now that the recycling market has crashed, and most recycling in this country isn’t getting recycled due to it being dirty (food waste on plastic makes it non-recyclable) or wet (soggy newspapers or cardboard can’t be recycled), this can replacement seems to be containing trash better. A Little Beacon Blog does have an article coming on this, and you can read more about it in the Highlands Current.

Parade-A-Month Keeps Beacon Touchable By Citizens

Beacon is known to have a parade every month from spring to fall, so this is one less event to keep track of on the calendar (well, in town, that is… you could still drive out to Stormville!), but there are new events coming to Beacon at the Riverfront, in addition to the usual annual events and fundraisers that keep the community in Beacon together.

See A Little Beacon Blog’s Events Calendar, Classes For Adults Guide, and Classes For Kids Guide for lots of events you want to plan for. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop and get emailed about opportunities.

Where Is Stormville, Anyway?

If you need a quick map on where Stormville is, here’s a picture of the map. It’s *that* way! Good luck to any bakers entering the contest, or vendors vending on the big day!

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2019 Parade of Green Grand Marshal Fred Antalek Shares His Fondest Beacon Memory - "Rowing Behind Rite Aid" (Sponsored)

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You’ve seen this face before - longtime Beacon resident and business owner Fred Antalek. Fred was born in 1937 and still works for his family business, Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency, coming to work “faithfully to keep everyone in check.” On Saturday, March 9, 2019, he’ll be bundling up along with everyone else to serve for his first time as the Grand Marshal in Beacon’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Green.

To find out how Fred feels about being this year’s Grand Marshal, we reached out to his daughter, Susan Antalek Pagones, who now runs the business with her partner Vince Lemma and their team of staff members. “Fred is quite honored about being the Grand Marshal this year,” Susan replied. “People ask if he is Irish… LOL, he is actually from the Gallagher family, so don’t be fooled!”

Fred’s Fondest Memory of Beacon

Schoonmaker’s, a department store in Beacon. Open from 1929 to 1960.  Photo Credit: Beacon Historical Society

Schoonmaker’s, a department store in Beacon. Open from 1929 to 1960.
Photo Credit: Beacon Historical Society

Our Beacon elders are filled with fond and important memories. We asked Susan for one of Fred’s: “When Fred was 10 years old, he used to row around in a boat on the street behind Rite Aid,” Susan recalled. That street is also the location of Antalek & Moore’s current Beacon office. “This area was always flooded.”

Flooded? “Yes,” said Fred. “Matteawan Brook is what constantly overflowed. This brook caused major flooding to the back of what is now Rite Aid and the intersection of Church and South Chestnut Street.” Before Rite Aid, the location was the home of Schoonmaker’s.

Schoonmaker’s, which you may have heard references to in old stories, was one of the first department stores in Beacon. According to the Beacon Historical Society:

 

Schoonmaker's Department Store. Beacon had its first "modern" Department Store when Schoonmaker's opened its doors in the Christmas season of 1929. With "60 departments under one roof" (including "Toyland" in the basement), Schoonmaker's was the first stop for your Christmas shopping on Main Street. Later on, across the street at 341 Main, was the W.T. Grant store (Schoonmaker's biggest competitor), where you could even buy a live parakeet for Christmas! Like so many other good things in Beacon, Schoonmaker's and Grant’s were both gone by the late 1960s.

- Beacon Historical Society

 

A map of Beacon from 1876, when the town was known as Fishkill on the Hudson. The Map shows the Matteawan stream.

UPDATE 3/9/2019: Since first publishing this article, a reader wrote in with a picture of a map of Beacon from 1876 when it was known as Fishkill on the Hudson. The stream is also on the 1867 map we covered earlier. The reader, Air Nonken Rhodes, is on the Resources Committee for Beacon, a new committee that is currently compiling all known natural resources in Beacon. Residents who live in that area still experience some flooding, so we asked Air about the stream as it is today:

“They buried the stream circa 1910 - scavenger hunt to find the plaque in Memorial Park commemorating that! The stream-burying was done rather poorly. It was especially challenging since it was swampy ground all around what’s now Rite Aid. That’s a big part of why the center section of Main Street wasn’t developed sooner and more fully. So, flooded basements still today, and not many historic buildings along there.”

More Beacon Business Trivia

Family businesses run deep in Beacon. Fred used to have his office on East Main Street, where Tiko’s Hair is now. “I remember it well,” recalled Susan. “I used to slide along the floor, where the large picture window is. playing with my toys. His sister Mary Ann worked for him.” In the late ’70s/early ’80s, Fred moved to 308 Main Street, where the Darrow Brothers used to have their clothing store. When Fred merged with Pat Moore, the business moved to 340 Main Street, Antalek & Moore’s current location. Fred’s mother worked at Gallagher’s Market, the current location of BAJA.

Continuing in her father’s footsteps, Susan has recently closed on the purchase of their building. She is one of Beacon’s newest female building owners. She’s got her eyes fixed on a new project on their roof involving a light. “We are trying to get the ‘beacon’ light on the roof - look for it the next time you pass by. I think that might be neat to find out the history of that.”

Stay tuned…


Antalek & Moore is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

Beacon Open Studios 2019 Is Coming...Sneak Preview Of Artists To Visit

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As the first bulbs of spring start coming up, artists in Beacon are busy preparing for the big day when everyone and anyone is invited to step inside of participating artist studios during Beacon Open Studios. Usually spring has sprung, and you can smell the freshly thawed ground and greening grass as you walk, drive or hop around to different artist studios. This year, the big weekend is Friday to Sunday, May 17 to 19, 2019, and A Little Beacon Blog is a proud sponsor.

Open Studios was the first event that locked in my love for Beacon when I accidentally discovered the studios while out jogging one day. An artist had opened their studio (their garage), had the red balloon tied to their mailbox (the official sign that they are inviting you in) and visitors were encouraged to walk up the driveway to explore inside and meet the artist.

Register! Artists Participate

Artists of all kinds are invited to participate. If you’re in Beacon, and if you are an artist - no matter what your age, tools, art supplies, etc. - you are encouraged to register and help people get to know your art. I’m partial to jewelry designers’ studios because I like looking at their work tables. What kind of art do you make? Pottery? Sculptures? Ephemera? Let’s get you on the map and in the brochure. Register here to participate in Beacon Open Studios 2019.

Sponsor! Help Make It Happen

Artists are often withdrawn with their art - or they are just hard to find. Beacon Open Studios is the initiative that make them approachable by everyone. You never know what kind of inspiration may hit you or your children or friends while visiting one of these studios. This is why A Little Beacon Blog sponsors Beacon Open Studios. It keeps the community churning and ideas accessible.

Sponsor Beacon Open Studios here. Or, you can simply donate!

And Now, A Sneak Peek…

A bunch of artists have signed up, and you still can. Here are three that we found and intend to explore during the big weekend:

Photo Credit:    Beacon Open Studios

Photo Credit: Beacon Open Studios

Ómò Oba (Prince) Adetomiwa A. Gbadebo

“Born Ómò Oba (Prince) Adetomiwa A. Gbadebo in Abeokuta, Nigeria; into three royal families: the Gbadebo royal family of Egba Kingdom and the Ademiluyi family of Ilé-Ifè Kingdom, as well as the Oshodi (Tapa) family from Lagos. Òmó Oba (Prince) Gbadebo uses his Yorùbá heritage and life experiences to create his pieces based on emotions and the journey that life stitches; he embodies a spiritual trance while he creates. He does not associate himself with any artistic movement; for it is with the guidance of Olódùmarè that he executes his message.” - from his artist page.
Open Studio Destination:
211 Fishkill Ave. (Old Beacon High School)
Represented by Ethan Cohen Fine Art (Ethan Cohen Fine Art owns the Old Beacon High School, where several artists have working studios or exhibit space)

Photo Credit:    Beacon Open Studios

Photo Credit: Beacon Open Studios

Toby Dunne

To be honest, we don’t know much about Toby - yet. Mystery artists are a favorite. Well, maybe not a mystery to you. But he remains one to us. We’ll fill you in as we learn more - possibly after a visit to his working studio on Rombout Avenue!
Open Studio Destination
186 Rombout Ave.
Working Studio

Photo Credit:    Beacon Open Studios

Photo Credit: Beacon Open Studios

Yali Lewis

Yali Lewis’ jewelry may look familiar to you because… her flagship shop, Lewis & Pine, is in Beacon at 133 Main Street (near Bank Square)! “Lewis & Pine Jewelry and Apothecary are created by New York-based artist Yali Lewis and are inspired by modernist design and natural beauty. Yali creates her jewelry and apothecary collections by hand in her studio in Beacon, NY. The visual and sensory landscape of the Hudson Valley meet the architectural geometry and cultural richness of New York City in Yali's work. Yali has shown in numerous juried craft fairs around the country. Yali’s work has been at the Bryant Park Holiday Village, Columbus Avenue Craft Fair, Renegade Craft Fair, Urban Craft Uprising, and many others.“ - excerpted from her website.
Open Studio Destination:
Catalyst Gallery, 137 Main Street
(an art gallery just a few doors down from Lewis & Pine’s shop)

Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon At The Howland Public LIbrary

“How To Edit Wikipedia” is an event at the Howland Public Library to encourage women to make edits in Wikipedia, the content producers of which are traditionally men.

“How To Edit Wikipedia” is an event at the Howland Public Library to encourage women to make edits in Wikipedia, the content producers of which are traditionally men.

WHAT: Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
WHERE: Howland Public Library
DAY: Saturday, March 2, 2019
TIME: 11 am to 3 pm

Happening today is the (so far) annual Wikipedia Editing event at the Howland Public Library during Women’s History Month. The class is provided as a means to encourage women especially to come out and edit Wikipedia, the group-sourced encyclopedia of the Internet. This local event is organized by local library advocate, Ms. Rajene Hardeman, as part of the international annual Art+Feminism campaign. As of last year, only 9% of the edits or contributions made to Wikipedia were made by women.

This can change! Half of the battle is probably not knowing where to start with how to edit. This class aims to change that. A tutorial of how to enter Wikipedia to make an edit kicks off the day, and from 12 to 3 pm, an open edit session happens, where people can sit and edit.

All people are encouraged to attend, regardless of gender, and bringing your own laptop is encouraged.

Last year, our writer Catherine Sweet wrote about the event for A Little Beacon Blog, and explored the gender gap in who is making the edits in this globally used information center.

A Little Beacon Blog Signs On As Sponsor For 2019 Beacon Open Studios

Beacon Open Studios was one of the first annual events I ever encountered in Beacon while out for a jog one day. It embodies one of the things that makes Beacon so easy to love - there is always something going on, and every day offers the chance to stumble across something magical.

That is why we are once again a proud sponsor of this year’s Beacon Open Studios. This is a chance for artists to open their homes or studios to the public, so that the public can see how the art gets made. In the past, this has been garages, sheds, apartments, offices, and other nontraditional venues of viewing art.

ARTISTS
Artists can register to participate by visiting the Beacon Open Studios website.

SPONSORS
Businesses and individuals can sponsor by clicking here and following the Donate button after you fill out the form. Just type in the sponsor dollar amount your are opting in for.

2019 Martin Luther King Day Parade and Events Rescheduled Due To Snowstorm

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Due to the snowstorm, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration with the Southern Dutchess Coalition at the Springfield Baptist Church has been rescheduled to Saturday, February 16. February is also Black History Month, the Southern Dutchess Coalition has noted.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Springfield Baptist Church
Day: 
RESCHEDULED DUE TO SNOW:
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Location: Springfield Baptist Church, 8 Mattie Cooper Square, Beacon, NY
Times:
8 am: Community Breakfast
9:30 amCeremony and Annual Singing Parade and Civil Rights March.
Read the Poughkeepsie Journal article about last year's parade, with several quotes from participants.

Where to Buy a Christmas Tree Near Beacon, NY

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Your hunt for a Christmas tree in or near Beacon is going to be a satisfying one. Below, you’ll find different local Christmas tree lots from which to purchase your live tree. The lots will smell heavenly, as the aroma is bursting from the trees. If you are totally out of decorations, and need a place to start, you could go to Brett’s Hardware in Beacon for the Christmas tree stand and an entire galaxy of light options (choices for your house, your tree and for other outdoor decorations like a mini-light show).

You could also go to Home Depot in Fishkill for Martha Stewart brand shatter-proof ornaments and other staples for indoor and outdoor decorating. If you change your mind on a real tree and instead opt for an artificial tree, you could head back to Brett’s or read our faux tree roundup.

SUNNY GARDENS NURSERY

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Sunny Gardens Nursery is the nearby nursery located on 9D a little ways past Stony Kill Farm as you head toward Poughkeepsie. The regular plant nursery is open in spring, summer and fall. Once frosty winter days hit, Sunny Gardens opens its lot for the Christmas trees, wreaths, and decorated wreath balls.

Drive into the parking lot and step out, and it smells. so. good. The pine fragrance is accented with a slow-burning fire as the staff keeps warm around a fire-pit off to the side while you search for the exactly-right, perfect-for-you, favorite tree.


CHRISTMAS TREES FROM BEACON'S FIRE DEPARTMENT

The Christmas tree shed from the Beacon Engine Fire Company next to Dogwood's parking lot.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Beacon Fire Engine Company’s Christmas tree lot usually keeps hours consistent year to year.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Beaconites can also buy a tree that benefits the Beacon Fire Engine Company, which is one of three fire companies in Beacon that respond to fires. To buy a tree from these firefighters, look for them in the lot next to Dogwood's parking lot (a single rope separates the two parking lots), at East Main Street and Liberty Street, on the east end of town, over Fishkill Creek, near the mountain.

A perfect December day might include a late lunch or dinner and a beer at Dogwood, followed by a Christmas tree pickup.
Location: 60 East Main Street 
OPEN:
Wednesdays to Fridays, 5 to 9 pm

Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 6 pm


FISHKILL FARMS

Wow, what a beautiful location to go buy a Christmas tree! Fishkill Farms is just a short trip east on I-84. In addition to the fragrant trees, you may also smell the homemade donuts being cooked up fresh every morning. Don’t miss their store stocked with their apples and homegrown organic veggies, eggs, and fresh-pressed cider. Plus, Santa is visiting on Saturday, December 15, 2018.


VERA’S MARKETPLACE & GARDEN CENTER

Speaking of homemade donuts, more homemade donuts are in Cold Spring at Vera’s Marketplace & Garden Center, and they are famous. The garden center is located in a strip on a rural part of Route 9, and it shares its location with The Pantry and Marbled Meat Shop. You will not leave hungry from this tree hunt when you get yours from Vera’s. Getting there from Beacon is easy.


ADAMS FAIRACRE FARMS

And of course, you can buy your Christmas tree from Adams Fairacre Farms on Route 9 in Wappingers Falls. Adams offers a big selection of small and large trees, and walking through their tree nursery at night is always a lovely, fragrant experience. In years past, they’ve had real. live. reindeer.


CHOP YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TREE

If you’re the real adventurous type, and want to cut down your own Christmas tree, you could try Battenfelds, up in Red Hook in the arctic reaches of northern Dutchess County. They offer wagon rides, Santa sightings and do sell other Christmas decorations. Just a heads up, though: They open at the end of November, so you may need to go early in the season if you want more of a selection. You could also visit TJ’s Tree Farm in Highland, which opens on Black Friday. They offer pre-cut trees, as well as trees you can cut yourself.


BIG STORE OPTIONS - HOME DEPOT AND PARKING LOT NEAR WALMART ON ROUTE 9

If you're a recent transplant from NYC, then buying a Christmas tree from Home Depot on Route 9 (to the right off the ramp from eastbound I-84), or from the parking lot across from Walmart on Route 9 (to the left off the same ramp) won't feel that much different from picking a tree from a pop-up Christmas tree lineup on Broadway.

Keys to Beacon 2018: An Exploration Of The Outdoor Pianos That Played In Beacon

Photo Credits: Izdihar Dabashi

Photo Credits: Izdihar Dabashi

A boy crouches to play a tiny piano outside of Towne Crier. Photo Credit: Lisa Marie Martinez; Piano Artist:  Miss Vickie

A boy crouches to play a tiny piano outside of Towne Crier.
Photo Credit: Lisa Marie Martinez; Piano Artist: Miss Vickie

Back before the peak fall foliage season of September, and before the first blizzard of the pre-winter season hit us, A Little Beacon Blog planned a big feature on the Keys to Beacon project from BeaconArts. This is the outdoor, interactive art installation, in which 11 pianos covered in some kind of artistic expression were placed at locations throughout the city.

We sent out an essayist to find and experience as many pianos as she could in real life. Please meet Izdihar Dabashi, a writer, poet and college student, and follow along on her discoveries, and read how the pianos touched her and those around her.

Keys To Beacon 2018 - An Exploration

by Izdihar Dabashi
All Photos by Izdihar Dabashi
Izdihar is studying Psychology. She is a writer, loves fiction novels and writing poetry. When she is not writing, she is reading a novel with a strong heroine and drinking tea in a faux fur coat.

Auburn leaves danced in the wind, wisps of hair and tangles of scarves flit about in the cool weather. Softly, Adele’s voice weaves into the moment creating an ambiance that is undoubtedly autumn in New York. As if singing “Hello” to myself isn’t dramatic enough, the universe seems to encourage my bout of melodrama, as evidenced by the several pianos adorning Main Street. I was tempted to ignore the peculiar sights and continue to sonder, but the tinkling sounds of the pianos rang through the air and lured me to their sights.

Piano at Bank Square at Polhill Park  Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Piano at Bank Square at Polhill Park
Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Across the street from Bank Square at Polhill Park, a white-speckled black piano bathed in the autumn sun. Strikes of sheer gold paint the surface of the piano, balloon-like blobs of paint float amidst the spectacular design. A trio of city girls tinkered with the keys, flooding the afternoon light with airy chimes and tittering smiles. Leaves of maroon and honey weaved through the air pushing me forward to my next location, humming “Colors of the Wind” underneath my breath as the scenic fall weather emitted a Pocahontas-like movie moment from me.

Piano Artist: Donna Mickelson

I found myself outside of City Hall facing a grand piano. Blends of scarlet fade into citrus, bursting out smooth blues and shocks of violet; the sophisticated rainbow design contrasted beautifully against the sleek ebony body. I seated myself on the sturdy bench, stretched my dainty fingers, and summoned a tune so beautiful and strange all of Beacon peeked out from their windows, traffic stilled, even the birds turned their ambitious chirps into humble murmurs.

Kidding - it took about five minutes for my short stubby fingers to figure out how to gracefully lift the fall board. I could understand why BeaconArts placed this particular piano outside City Hall, because the glorious sight was enough to reinforce the visual legacy Beacon holds, an enticing city full of expression.

Piano at Beacon Historical Society on South Avenue  Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Piano at Beacon Historical Society on South Avenue
Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Somehow, my suede camel boots clicked their wooden heels all the way to Beacon Historical Society. A tangerine piano with magenta circles brought me back to the days of Maggie and the Ferocious Beast , a popular children’s cartoon show. Childlike-wonder surrounded the theme of this piece and graced a smile on a little girl’s face. She happened to be the pianist of the hour, and a runaway from the birthday party hosted next door. Setting down her fairy wand and birthday party hat, she clambered to settle onto the orange bench. Her happiness was contagious and soon a small crowd formed, finding joy in her clumsy tune as she confidently bobbed her head. We should have exchanged autographs.

Making my way back to Main Street, immersing myself in the hustle and bustle of the weekend flow, I came across the next piano. Situated a few feet away from the Rick Price mural, a sky-blue piano covered in paintings of a garden and a chubby Garfield-like cat invited a young couple to playfully serenade one another. It was disgustingly cute, a scene straight out of a Rom-Com.

Piano at Key Food.  Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Piano at Key Food.
Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Flickering flames mask the small black piano outside of Key Food. An adorable little boy dressed in black and red fit the aesthetic of the piano; the scene was too cute for me not to stop and take a photo of him.

Piano outside of Beacon Pantry.  Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Piano outside of Beacon Pantry.
Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Outside of Beacon Pantry, a chalkboard piano waits for me to scribble my signature all over it. A bucket full of colorful chalk is screwed into the top of the piano, inviting people to temporarily leave their mark. I left my autograph then followed the scent of sharp cheese and fresh bread for a heavenly sandwich from Beacon Pantry.

Piano at Howland Cultural Center.  Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Piano at Howland Cultural Center.
Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

The piano next to the Howland Cultural Center is covered in sheet music and children’s handprints in an array of vivid colors. This piano seems to play on its own, simply needing the wind to tinker with the keys. Soft blue spikes decorate the surface of the bench hosting a young pianist. Her bright smile crinkled the corners of her cinnamon eyes, her joy as distinguishable as her vibrant magenta shirt. My inner babushka managed to resist pinching her cheeks.

Edging closer to Beacon Falls, an ivory piano blanketed with a crocheted burst of warm orange and yellow sits across from Loopy Mango, the chunky yarn store. I was in the middle of explaining to my parents how I wanted to take a photo of the piano when my mother whipped out her phone and took several photos of my father modeling. Le sigh.

Piano near Beacon Falls, along the Fishkill Creek. Piano created by the artist  Lori Merhige .  Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Piano near Beacon Falls, along the Fishkill Creek. Piano created by the artist Lori Merhige.
Photo Credit: Izdihar Dabashi

Crimson wings hide out under a cover of branches across from Beacon Falls. The massive red piano settled beneath the serenity of the clusters of trees attracted several city goers to an otherwise abandoned spot. I expected a magical dragon to appear and summon me to a quest, or perhaps the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland to lure me to another dizzying sight of magic. I stumbled across a family of three celebrating their father’s birthday, and another cluster of friends creating tunes out of thin air.

Locations For All Of The Pianos

BeaconArts volunteers (including local artists and musicians) provoked conversation and inspired feelings of awe by placing 11 pianos around Beacon. This year's locations have been City Hall, Beacon Historical Society, Polhill Park, the pop-up park at Cross and Main streets, Key Food, Howland Library, 380 Main St., Howland Cultural Center, Fishkill Falls Park, Memorial Clock (across from Loopy Mango), & Hudson Valley Brewery.

To follow the fate of the pianos as they were moved around the city, and to see other performances and activities around the pianos, visit the Keys to Beacon website.

To learn how to support the project with a donation, or to donate a piano, see their support page.

Saturday: For Goodness Bake Fundraisers String Up Their Aprons Once More To Raise Money For A Family

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The For Goodness Bake event is a Beacon staple, and has become an annual event throughout the years. Started by Kristen Pratt and Tara Tornello, the community-sourced bake sale raises money for one particular cause that has demonstrated an urgent need in the community (see below for info on how you can bake). This year, the highly anticipated bake sale is on Saturday, November 10, from 10 am to 3 pm at 145 Main St. in Beacon (aka Beacon Healing Massage and Create Space), near Bank Square Coffeehouse.

Say Kristen and Tara as to what inspired them to put on their aprons: “We wanted to raise funds to help keep a beloved Beacon family together. For 4 years, this local family (who must remain anonymous) has helped to nurture a little boy who needed a home. Now his future and their family are in jeopardy as they face a difficult fight for his rights within a legal system that consistently puts political interests above the best outcomes for children.”

How This Bake Sale Works

Bakers from around the Hudson Valley will join the fundraising efforts by donating a variety of sweet and savory baked goods. Pay-what-you-can beverages and coffee will be provided by Drink More Good and Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters.

Now in its sixth year, For Goodness Bake has previously raised nearly $15,000 for local causes, including the Beacon After School Program Tuition Assistance Fund, the Beacon Community Kitchen, Green Teen Beacon, and the Kids R Kids Feeding Program.

To learn more about the event or to get involved, call (845) 518-4194 or email forgoodnessbakebeacon@gmail.com.

To donate baked goods, sign up via this link: http://signup.com/go/jsTeNdH

INSIDER TIP! They are accepting baked goods up until the last minute. So if you have mad baking skills, use ‘em! I have done it (I am not a baker) and it was a wonderful initiative to be a part of.

Simply drop off to to Kristen and Tara tonight (Friday) at 145 Main from 6 to 8 pm, or Saturday from 7 to 8 am.

If you are reading this article after the bake sale has ended, but want to offer to bake for another one, email forgoodnessbakebeacon@gmail.com and ask to be added to their notification list.

Photo Credit: For Goodness Bake

Photo Credit: For Goodness Bake

Photo Credit: For Goodness Bake

Photo Credit: For Goodness Bake

Photo Credit and Baker: Raquel Verdesi

Photo Credit and Baker: Raquel Verdesi

Photo Credit and Baker: Alena Morgan Brown

Photo Credit and Baker: Alena Morgan Brown

Photo Credit: For Goodness Bake

Photo Credit: For Goodness Bake

Sign Us Up! Beacon Players Program Sponsorship Open

Sign us up!

It’s the season for the Beacon Players amazing theatrical productions, and program sponsorship opportunities! The Beacon Players are the theatrical group of the Beacon High School. The opportunities afforded to kids for working behind the scenes on the set, or being an actor or actress are amazing.

If you work in a storefront, some cast and crew may be coming to your door. But if you miss them, contact Beacon Players by visiting their website to sponsor the program or more!

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The Hocus Pocus Kids Halloween Parade This Weekend: How It Works

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Day: Sunday, October 28, 2018 (Rain or Shine)
Lineup Time: 12 pm at the Visitors Center
Parade Start Time: 1 pm

Hocus Pocus Kids Halloween Parade, from the Beacon Chamber of Commerce

Every year, the Beacon Chamber of Commerce puts on the Kids Halloween Parade, known as the Hocus Pocus Parade.

Costumed kids start lining up at the Visitors Center at Polhill Park (the little triangle land at South Avenue/Route 9D and Main Street, near Bank Square and Beacon Creamery) for a parade all the way down Main Street stopping at the intersection of Verplanck Avenue and Main Street.

In years past, kids have trick-or-treated while they parade. However, according to the parade’s main organizer, Sheryl Glickman of Notions-n-Potions, the intent has been for participants to parade down the middle of Main Street, and head back up on the sidewalks to casually trick or treat from storefronts, and spend time visiting the shops and galleries. We checked in with Sheryl, and got the nitty-gritty details for you on how it all works:

How This Kids Halloween Parade Works

The lineup is at the Visitors Center, which is near Bank Square and Beacon Creamery. When the parade starts, the kids and parents march down the middle of Main Street showing off their costumes. This year, the parade route has been extended. It will end at the intersection of Main Street and Verplanck Avenue. Sheryl has indicated that the Beacon Jeep Club may lead the parade route. We shall see!

Extended Parade Route

Wait - slow down - Verplanck intersects with Main Street? Yes, it does! Allllll the way at the end of Main Street by the old train tracks and the former Hop location, which is now Melzingah Tap House. You will parade past the Howland Cultural Center, past the Dummy Light, past the Roundhouse, and you will parade past lots of art galleries and shops you may not have discovered yet on this slightly hidden end of Main Street, sometimes referred to as the East End Gem of Main Street. See A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide and Art Gallery Guide to familiarize yourself.

Collecting The Candy - Trick or Treating Back Up Main Street

The first step is the parade. Make sure you smile and wave! A firetruck will be bringing up the rear of the parade while police escorts lead the parade.

The second step will be trick or treating from storefronts on Main Street as you make your way back up - on the sidewalk! - from the end of the parade route. After everyone completes Phase 1 of the parade (the marching part), the street will be unblocked, and you and the kids will trick or treat on the sidewalk on the return trip back up Main Street. This gives people time to visit the storefronts, see what’s inside, and have an overall more casual experience.

Bonus Round - Cider

Before you head back, stop by The Roundhouse! They will once again be handing out cider on their outdoor patio.

Getting Ready For Hocus Pocus Kids Halloween Parade

It’s always a good sign when there’s a BOX OF CANDY 🍭 outside your door. Getting ready for Beacon’s Hocus Pocus Halloween Kids Parade on Sunday! Check A Little Beacon Blog’s Events Guide for details. Thank you to Katy Hope from Beetle and Fred for hooking us up with this stash of candy - and for the door-to-door delivery!!

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The Car Show In Beacon 2018: The Art In Engines

Photo Credit for All Photos: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit for All Photos: Katie Hellmuth Martin

This year, we changed it up a little bit with photo coverage of the Chamber of Commerce and Dutchess Cruisers Car Show. Engines!

I don’t know how engines work, but during the car show, hoods are usually open for spectators to take a peek inside, so there must be something very creative about them. There was one cylinder in the middle of the ... under the hood part (lol, not sure what the whole area under the hood is called) and I asked the car owner what this large circle did (see picture below of smooth circle in the middle). It’s the air filter! Then I noticed that all of the cars had them, but in different forms. Some thicker, some smaller, and some in cone shapes. But all of them were part of the show.

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Beacon is usually equated with modern art. But, you know, these super custom cars are art. This hobby for some requires a passion and a curiosity to tinker and fiddle and figure things out. That’s what the car show is all about. Some even had screaming Halloween decorations! That’s what my kids were looking for - the Halloween-decorated cars.

Can you see the rat on top of the car? Pictured here is the trunk of the car - a convenient coffin. Boo!

Can you see the rat on top of the car? Pictured here is the trunk of the car - a convenient coffin. Boo!

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This air filter looks a little taller…

This air filter looks a little taller…

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I don’t know if that cone-shaped thing is an air filter, but looks like it’s in the same family…

I don’t know if that cone-shaped thing is an air filter, but looks like it’s in the same family…

Hadn’t seen this Joker car yet… Did you peek inside to see how he decorated the interior roof?

Hadn’t seen this Joker car yet… Did you peek inside to see how he decorated the interior roof?

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We only saw a smidge of the car show, as it stretched from the beginning of Main Street at Route 9D, all the way to Fishkill Avenue. Can’t wait to see the creativity next year’s show offers.

Until next year...