Beacon's Egg Hunt In Memorial Park Canceled Due To Saturday Rain

This image originally appeared in  A Little Beacon Blog’s Instagram Stories .

This image originally appeared in A Little Beacon Blog’s Instagram Stories.

This just in from the Beacon Recreation newsletter:

“Egg Hunt at Memorial Park scheduled for Saturday April 20th WILL BE CANCELLED.

“In keeping participant and volunteer safety and enjoyment our number one priority we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event due to forecasted weather.

“With no scheduled rain date it is our hope to raffle bicycles and goodies later this Spring at an event to be determined. Stay tuned.

“Happy Easter and Happy Passover.”

To get future updates from Beacon Recreation, you can subscribe to their free newsletter here. Updates include events, classes, After School Program registration notices, and Summer Pool signup alerts.

Common Ground Farm's Opening of the Fields Event

Common Ground Farm invites visitors for a contemplative walk through the early spring fields on Saturday April 13th at 1pm. The walk will be guided by Farm Director, Sarah Simon, with reflection and commentary shared from the faith traditions of food access partners and community leaders, including: Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek of Beacon Hebrew Alliance, Lt. Leilani Rodríguez-Alarcón of Salvation Army, Pastor Ben Larson-Wolbrink of First Presbyterian Church, Pastor Bill Dandreano of Salem Tabernacle, and Sarah Capua.

Everyone Welcome To Celebrate The Growing Season

The Opening of the Fields walk is an opportunity to appreciate the potential abundance of the fields as well to reflect upon the changes and uncertainty inherent in nature. Farming can be isolating work, and the farmers look forward to sharing the springtime activities on a Hudson Valley vegetable farm. Visitors can park by the red barns and meet the group by the picnic tables. Hot tea and snacks will be provided, and guests are welcome to stay and picnic afterwards if the weather is fine. The event is free and open to all. Common Ground Farm welcomes everyone to visit the farm and help celebrate the start of the growing season.

Farm Director, Sarah Simon states, “Both hope and uncertainty shape the beginning of the growing season on the farm. The traces of last year's labor have faded, winter has claimed what was once green and lush, and the farm is just beginning to wake up again as the soil starts to warm and the sun begins to shine.”

About Common Ground Farm

Common Ground Farm is a community farm dedicated to food justice, which donates produce to six different local food pantries and soup kitchens each week during their growing season. This event is an opportunity for the farm’s valued community partners to visit the place where the produce is grown, and to see the fields that will feed their communities from May until November. Many of the soup kitchens and food pantries are organized by religious organizations, and on the walk the farm has invited the leaders of these churches, synagogues, and mosques to share blessings and teachings about nature, food and land from their traditions. There will also be non-denominational teachings and blessings shared by community members.

Common Ground Farm donates weekly to the following food pantries:

  • Beacon Community Kitchen

  • Fishkill Food Pantry

  • First Presbyterian in Wappingers Falls

  • New Vision Church of Deliverance

  • St Andrews Episcopal Church in Beacon

  • Occasionally to: Salvation Army in Beacon, Dutchess Outreach in Poughkeepsie

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.

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
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Location: Springfield Baptist Church, 8 Mattie Cooper Square, Beacon, NY
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.

Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum to Offer 2nd “Free Pizza and Play Night” for Families of Federal Workers Affected by Government Shutdown


The first free Pizza and Play Night from The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum was appreciated by many. The museum has decided to host a second one. Local families of federal employees affected by the current government shutdown are invited to a second night of free pizza and play on Wednesday, January 16, from 5 to 8 pm. The first event, held on Thursday, January 10, was well-received. "Attendees at our event last week were very happy to see fellow employees, and meet others who are in the same situation,” said Lara Litchfield-Kimber, executive director of the museum. "We had some older children attend also. We had some STEM activities set up for them to do. Everyone had fun."

Those who participated in the museum’s first free night for federal employees are encouraged to attend again. New families are also welcome for a night of food and fellowship. A buffet dinner will be provided, including pizza generously donated by Chef Joel Trocino of Amici’s Restaurant, 35 Main St., Poughkeepsie.

Free admission to the event is for two adults (one of whom must be a federal employee) and their children living in same household. Couples, singles and seniors without children are also welcome to attend this event and join in for dinner, conversation and play. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Tickets may be reserved online at or by calling the museum during business hours at (845) 471-0589.

The museum is located in the heart of the historic waterfront in Poughkeepsie, nestled between two city parks, just steps away from the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station and fabulous restaurants.

40th Anniversary Celebration for Howland Cultural Center in May: Tickets & Sponsorship Opportunities

howland cultural center 40th anniversary.JPG

The Howland Cultural Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and you are invited to attend and participate. Ticket reservations and sponsorships are available now. The celebration is in honor of Florence Northcutt and the Howland Public Library for their many contributions to the cultural and social life of Beacon. The celebration will take place at the Roundhouse, 2 East Main St., Beacon, N.Y., on Wednesday, May 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Please call (845) 831-4988 or email to learn about major sponsorship benefits.
Learn More >

The Howland Chamber Music Circle - The Musical Jewel Accessible To So Many In Beacon


Some cities have symphony halls. Beacon has a group of professional musicians who started meeting in someone’s living room, who now play regularly in the Howland Cultural Center on Main Street in Beacon, N.Y. The group is called the Howland Chamber Music Circle, and you have most likely attended one of their performances or kids instrument “petting zoos.”

This is a great place to perform. It’s like being inside an instrument itself.
— A Howland Chamber Music Circle Performer

For several Beaconites, listening to this amazing grade of music is an every Sunday afternoon kind of thing. We may not realize just what we have at our fingertips at the Howland Cultural Center, whose unique architecture has special acoustic advantages in which world renowned musicians come together to play. So we asked the Howland Chamber Music Circle to recall their history for our readers, so that we may better understand this group who is now popping up to perform in other locations throughout Beacon and the Hudson Valley. A board member of the Howland Chamber Music Circle, James Lichtenberg, researched and wrote this article for you:

The ‘Chamber’ of the Howland Chamber Music Circle Was A Living Room in the 1980’s

Gwen and Bill Stevens, Howland Chamber Music Circle (HCMC) co-founders.  Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Gwen and Bill Stevens, Howland Chamber Music Circle (HCMC) co-founders.
Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

The Howland Chamber Music Circle (HCMC), founded in Beacon, N.Y. in 1993, in the verdant valley of the Hudson River, began in the 1980s, appropriately enough, in a chamber… the living room of HCMC founders Gwen and Bill Stevens (sadly, they both passed away in 2018). Gwen was an accomplished musician, teaching piano at Vassar. Friends and neighbors would arrive to enjoy spontaneous performances by other artists whom Gwen invited to play on their two gorgeous Steinway grand pianos.

One of the more frequent attendees, Polly Gage, suggested to Gwen that they also promote house concerts for gifted young musicians. With the assistance of a friend and fellow pianist, Ed Loizides, and after contacting their respective alma maters, Yale and the Manhattan School of Music, they began the process of finding young talent, expertly aided by Robert Besen, then of the Concert Artists Guild. Besen was taken by Gwen’s enthusiasm and made it possible for her and an enthusiastic cadre of volunteers to learn the ropes of bringing exciting programs to a growing audience.

Howland Chamber Music Circle Outgrows The Living Room

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

As the number of attendees swelled, home venues grew inadequate. Gwen began to think about a venue somewhere in Southern Dutchess County to accommodate wider audiences. Among the considerations was a music barge in the Hudson River itself.

Then, in 1992, Gwen and Bill attended an exhibit of historic photos at the Howland Cultural Center, located at the far east end of Beacon’s Main Street. The Center’s building, a gothic jewel designed by Richard Morris Hunt, features walls of richly-carved wood beneath an open vaulted ceiling, and a space capable of seating 120 people. Not surprisingly, the two HCMC founders were struck by the potential of that space for chamber music.

First HCMC Concerts Start In Howland Cultural Center In 1993

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

The Howland Cultural Center agreed to produce a series of concerts under their auspices. The premier three-concert season in 1993-1994 featured the Meridian Brass Ensemble, the St. Lawrence String Quartet and a string duo of Ayako Yoshida and Semyon Fridman. As Besen remembers, “[If] a walk around the Howland Center (quite different from today) was…more than a little scary, the concert was well-attended. The venue was…magnificent…. Over the years I’ve booked 39 performances.”

You can walk out of your house and hear world-class artists just a few blocks away.
— One Beaconite

With the increasing abilities of the Stevens and their associates to secure talent, the growing annual programs became a staple of the Hudson Valley music calendar, with the unique venue a draw in its own right for both listeners and artists, who were only too happy to return to play in subsequent seasons. As one performer put it, “This is a great place to perform. It’s like being inside an instrument itself.” The sell-out audiences, standing and clapping for encores add, no doubt, to their pleasure. One Beaconite, also a musician, exclaimed, “You can walk out of your house and hear world-class artists just a few blocks away.”

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

Photo Credit: Howland Chamber Music Circle

With continuing success in the early years, it became evident that the “Circle” should be more formally established to ensure its future. In April 1999, it was incorporated as a not-for-profit membership corporation, independent of the Howland Center.

Twenty-five years later, its annual offerings have grown to include a 12-concert season, featuring four pianists and eight chamber music groups -- with Sunday afternoon performances (in the 2018/19 season) including the Juilliard and Brentano String Quartets, and pianists Jeremy Denk and Simone Dinnerstein. Along with its dozen formal concerts, the Circle also hosts a number of pop-up concerts in other Beacon venues, a Classics for Kids series, co-sponsored by the HCC, as well as music residencies in local high schools. To celebrate its founders on the group’s 25th anniversary, HCMC commissioned a beautiful string quartet by local composer Debra Kaye, performed in the spring of 2018 by the Voxare String Quartet.

The 2018/19 season also reflects the continuing aspirations of HCMC to take new paths and broaden its appeal, including this season’s “concertante” approach, adding soloists to the quartets, like the oboist James Austin Smith, who performed with the Telegraph Quartet, harpist Bridget Kibbey, who will join the Daedalus Quartet, as well as rising violinist Alexi Kenny, partnered with pianist Renana Gutman. In addition, there will be a break-out “living-room” performance by the So Percussion group, whom The New York Times called “exceptionally inventive with instruments galore!”

Established and applauded as it may now be, the Howland Chamber Music Circle is not content to rest on its laurels. Rather, it is dedicated to continuing the inspiration of its founders in finding ever new ways to bring broad and engaging programs of music to its supportive community in Beacon and beyond. The hills of the Hudson Valley are indeed alive with the sound of music.

Learn about and buy tickets to upcoming concerts, and learn about how to support the Howland Chamber Music Circle with donations.

Reel Life Film Club Presents: "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song"

The Reel Life Film Club for tweens and teens returns to Beacon on Friday, January 11, at 6 pm. The Howland Public Library will be screening the film, Pete Seeger: The Power of Songa documentary about the life and music of folk singer, activist, and local hero, Pete Seeger. 

Q&A with David Berns & Jeff Haynes

After the film, there will be a Q&A with Grammy Award winners David Bernz and Jeff Haynes. David worked with Pete Seeger for many years producing his CDs, including the 2010 Grammy Award-winning Tomorrow's Children with the Rivertown Kids and Friends. David is also the co-owner (with his son, Jake) of Jake’s Main Street Music. Jeff Haynes collaborated with Seeger on his last project, the spoken-word record The Storm King, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013. David Gelber, creator of the docuseries Years of Living Dangerously, will moderate the discussion. 

What Is Reel Life Film Club?

Reel Life Film Club is an opportunity for middle-school students to view award-winning documentary films and talk about them with inspiring people. Now in its third year, the film series is a collaboration between the Beacon, Cold Spring and Garrison public libraries. A new film is shown each month, rotating among the three locations. 

All students in grades 6 and up are invited to the screening. Pizza will be served at the event and registration is encouraged to ensure there is enough pizza for everyone. To register to attend the January 11 screening of The Power of Song, email

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

for goodness bake 2018 flyer.jpg

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

To donate baked goods, sign up via this link:

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 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

One Beacon Presents: "Light in the Darkness of Racism & Anti-Semitism"


This evening, One Beacon will be hosting a special interfaith event at The Salem Tabernacle at 7 Delavan Ave. in Beacon, from 6 to 9 pm. Clergy in Beacon planned this event almost two weeks ago as a response to racism and anti-Semitism in our local area.

“When this event was being planned, we had no idea that the topic would continue to be more urgent, as we saw with the mass shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue last weekend,” said Jacolyn Dandreano, the Office Administrator for the Salem Tabernacle, who is also the pastor Reverend Bill Dandreano’s wife.

The event will include time for dinner together (many will be fasting until dinner on Thursday) as well as reflections and exhortations from several speakers from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities in Beacon, in addition to Mayor Randy Casale.

Speakers include:

  • Pastor Bill Dandreano of Salem Tabernacle

  • Pastor Ben Larson-Wolbrink of First Presbyterian Church

  • Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek of Beacon Hebrew Alliance

  • Imam Abdullah Abdul Wajid of Masjid Ar-Rashid

  • Pastor Ronald O. Perry of Springfield Baptist Church will be in attendance but will not be speaking.

No sign-up or donation is necessary to attend. Salem Tabernacle is providing the food and venue, and childcare will be available for children ages 9 and under.

InterFaith Alliances And Support Shown In Beacon

Some clergy in Beacon met at the Beacon Hebrew Alliance on Sunday in order to show support to the Jewish community before they headed off to their own services. “Our pastor, Reverend Bill Dandreano, related that many were overwhelmed to the point of tears by the comfort this simple act provided,” said Jacolyn in an email to A Little Beacon Blog. From the event’s postcard:

“One Beacon calls on people of all faith and good conscience to come together to acknowledge our collective capacity for racism, anti-Semitism, as evidenced by the recent flyer attack in Dutchess County.”

Learn more about this event on their Facebook page.

Update on Fundraiser for New LGBTQ+ Center Opening In Newburgh, NY


In March 2018, A Little Beacon Blog was the proud sponsor of the Move It Baby, Move It family dance party and fundraiser for the newly formed Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center. We checked in with the fundraiser's organizer and author of this article, Phoebe Zinman Winters, to see how it all went!

This dance party fundraiser for the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center tore up Quinn’s dance floor with some superstar DJs, raffle prizes and dancers that didn’t quit. Those dancing families raised $1,000 for the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center, which helped the center open new doors.

Fundraising Opened the Doors To The Newburgh LBGTQ+ Center

Photo Credit: Phoebe Zinman Winters.  The DJs are Decora and H2O.

Photo Credit: Phoebe Zinman Winters. The DJs are Decora and H2O.

We are so pleased to share such a great update from them! Karen Naimool from The Newburgh LBGTQ+ Center reports that they used the funds to rent space in Newburgh for a "pop-up office."

"We are able to go into this venture for three months and are looking for additional funding to help us keep the doors open,” said Karen. The office will be used for general operations as well as a place where resources and events can be offered. The Newburgh LBGTQ+ Center is involved in many events, education and trainings for community and board members; they also work on increasing their visibility in the community.

Fundraising Events Since Move It Baby, Move It

The Newburgh LBGTQ+ Center's Purple Rain Prince Tribute Dance Party and Drag Show Fundraiser was in June, and fundraising dancers laced up our dancing shoes again (or zipped up our dancing boots) and partied like it was 1999. It was an especially good time and the dance floor was overflowing with cuteness and love. 

Karen let us know about the results of the Prince Fundraiser: "It was an amazing success. Monies were raised by ticket sales, the GoFundMe, community member donations and local business sponsorship." Sponsors of that event included:
1. The Wherehouse
2. Shapiro's Furniture Barn
3. Blacc Vanilla
4. Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley
5. Millenium Tattoo
6. Hale's Hardware
7. Machu Picchu Restaurant
8. Liberty Street Bistro

The next dance party is a drag show happening during Newburgh's Last Saturday celebrations on August 25, from 10 pm to 2 am at The Wherehouse on Liberty Street in Newburgh.

How You Can Donate & Get Involved

The Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center set a fundraising goal in June 2018, and made it to $3,760.77! This funding will go towards programs (materials, advertising, etc…), stipends for organizers and further leadership development through trainings, retreats and workshops.

If you’d like to contribute to the center's current fundraising goals, you can donate at to continue to grow and support this valuable local resource in its mission to serve the needs of the community.

Stay tuned for more fabulous Move It Baby, Move It dance parties in the future, and if you have any great ideas for fundraising recipients, you can send them along to

New Corn Bread Contest at the Corn Festival 2018


When: Sunday, August 12, 2018
Time: Noon to 5 pm
Price: Free
Ages: Family-friendly

This year, enjoy a new flavor at the Beacon Sloop Club's Corn Festival, down at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Park (Riverfront Park) in Beacon, NY, on Sunday, August 12, 2018 from noon to 5 pm. The event is rain or shine, so pack a poncho just in case!

How To Enter the Corn Bread Contest

1.  Anyone can enter. The only rule is that the corn bread must be made from scratch.
2. Prize for first place is $25.
3. To enter, bring your corn bread to the Contest Tent before 2 pm. Bring your corn bread on a dish or plate, along with a card with your name, phone number, and recipe. Besides the name of your recipe, please include the ingredients used. Attach the card to the plate. If you would like your plate returned, please note that on the card.
4. The judging will start about 2:15 pm and consider such aspects as taste, appearance, and texture.
5. Winners will be announced from the tent at 3 pm.

About the Corn Festival

Fresh picked, ready‐to‐eat, local‐grown sweet corn on the cob is the feature of this festival down at Riverfront Park, now known as the Pete and Toshi Seeger Park for their decades of work to improve and protect the Hudson River. Enjoy cold drinks and other summer treats. Environmental displays will be set up, and fun activities for all ages will be available.

The sloop Woody Guthrie will give free public sails (weather permitting), and there will be lots of craft and food vendors. Two solar music stages will feature great sounds. Free admission.

Music on the Main Stage:

  • April Mae and the June Bugs
  • Caroline Doctorow
  • Cosby Gibson
  • Hank Woji
  • Spook Handy
  • The Offshoots
  • The Roadhouse Roosters.

Music on the Children's Stage:

  • Bindlestick Bill
  • Lydia Adams Davis
  • Miss Vickie
  • Solar Sound
  • The Hudson Valley Troubadors
  • The Quahog Quire

Vendor Opportunities

Those interested in vending can email or call (845) 463-4660. For more information, check out the Beacon Sloop Club's website -

Photographers Wanted -> Howland Public Library & Spirit of Beacon Day Committee Wants to See Your Spirit!


Submission Deadline: August 1st, 2018
Exhibition Dates: September 8 – October 6th, 2018
Submission Rules & Details >

The Spirit of Beacon Day has been a part of the community since 1977, always held on the last Sunday of September. Over the past year, they have gone through a lot of changes - including a new website! The event is organized and run by a volunteer committee with help and donations by local citizens and businesses, alongside the support of the City of Beacon. The Spirit of Beacon Day is set for Sunday, September 30, with a rain date of Sunday, October 7.

Spirit of Beacon Photography Contest

This year, the Howland Public Library and the Spirit of Beacon Day Committee are looking for photographs that best capture the essence of The Spirit of Beacon. They are looking for images  capturing what makes the community so unique. Is it the mountainous backdrop? Our connection to the Hudson River? The historic architecture? The colorful, vibrant, and diverse community? The backyard gardens and/or chickens? What makes Beacon Beacon, in your eye?

How to Enter the Photo Contest

Photographers of ALL ages and skill levels are invited to submit their original photos by the deadline of Wednesday, August 1. Photos should be submitted with a certain format and naming structure. Read more about the submission requirements here

Selected photos will be displayed in the Community Room Exhibit Space at the Howland Public Library during the month of September as part of the Spirit of Beacon celebration. A reception for the community will be held on (Second) Saturday, September 8. 

You can get more details and information on how to register at the library's website.

The River Pool at Beacon IN The Hudson River Opens for 2018!

The left side of The Beacon River Pool - eye level.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The left side of The Beacon River Pool - eye level.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

As you play at Riverfront Park, known since 2014 as Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, you may have experienced the extreme desire to swim in the Hudson River to cool off. Well, now you can - because The River Pool at Beacon is open again this year! Starting in 2007, five years after submitting construction plans to New York State, the pool opened to the public for the first time. The river pool idea was originally proposed by the pool's co-founder, Pete Seeger, according to the pool's History page.

What's a River Pool?

The river pool is netted and shallow, with a net bottom designed by Meta Brunzema Architect P.C., a New York City-based design firm. You could crawl on it, with a child on your back, pretending you are an alligator gliding just under the water surface. Or you could sit or stand in the shallow water, enjoying the breeze off the water and gazing up or down the river, thankful you aren't in the traffic moving (or not moving) on the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge. Or, you could simply sit on the colorful plastic seats and bask in the sun, slipping further into the water as you're ready.

River pools aren't unique to this spot - they have been around since at least 1830, up and down the Hudson River - but they were removed after 1930 due to water pollution. Pete Seeger was a major advocate for cleanup of the Hudson River. Thanks to his efforts as well as many other organizations including Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper, the river has improved since then, and many groups and people continue to advocate in this direction.

Can Anyone Use the River Pool?

It's a free pool for all, thanks to support from individual donations, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Durst Organization, the Abrons Foundation, the Hudson River Foundation. The pool's organizers actually want to increase its size. They're working with another architecture firm to design a bigger pool, and they're talking with cities and towns to find the right location that offers agreeable environmental considerations.

What's It Like Swimming in the River Pool?

The changing room at The Beacon River Pool.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The changing room at The Beacon River Pool.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

So fun. So relaxing. You're IN the river, just sitting there protected from the currents by the anchored netting. The pool is small, so you'll be near others as they dip in and out of the pool. The pool is also very shallow: An adult is up to their waist or thighs. The River Pool is fully staffed by lifeguards, and even has a changing room!

If thunder rolls in and you need to leave the pool and wait 30 thunder-free minutes to go back in, you could always shoot baskets at the park's basketball court, or play on the playgrounds. Or have a picnic on the grass (watch out for alllll of the goose poop).

An additional perk: Riverfront Park is very breezy, so you'll be cooled off quickly down by the river no matter what.

Is Swimming in the Hudson River Safe?

The Hudson River was contaminated by companies who dumped pollutants into it for many years. An ongoing effort to clean up the Hudson River has spanned several decades. As of today, it has reached cleaner levels, but is closely monitored by The River Pool at Beacon. Says a representative from The River Pool this year: "The quality in Beacon Harbor is definitely of concern. Beacon Harbor had a long run of low numbers. We hope this is a temporary situation. That said, the pool is off the north shore of Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. The water is tested every week by the county health department. We would not open if the water was not considered safe for swimming."

Swim For The Pool - From Beacon To Newburgh!

Fundraising continues for the pool with regular donations that you can make at any time, and during the 15th Annual Newburgh to Beacon Hudson River Swim, where you can sponsor a swimmer - or be a swimmer that people sponsor! See the Beacon to Newburgh Swim page for details.

Make a donation here to keep this all going, but don't worry if you can't. It was designed for all to be able to access and experience the Hudson River. See you at the pool!

Get Your Sneakers & Bathing Suit - The 2nd Annual Cannonball Run Fundraiser is July 7, 2018


The Race That Runs The Trails, and Ends IN The Pool!


When: Saturday, July 7, 2018
Time: Registration, 9:30 am; first heats start at 10:15 am
Where: The Beacon Pool at the University Settlement Camp, 724 Wolcott Ave., Beacon, NY
Donation/Price: $20 for 5K; $5 for 1 Mile

The Beacon Recreation Department is producing their 2nd Annual Cannonball Run, a 5K and 1-mile race through the trails of the University Settlement Camp, located on Wolcott Avenue on your way out of town toward Cold Spring on Saturday, July 7, 2018.

This is a race with an extra splash of fun - you get to start at the Beacon Pool, and end with a jump into the pool. Says Nate Smith, assistant director of the Beacon Recreation Department: "You can walk, stroll, jog, sprint, however you want to participate. We just want you to have fun. Though this is a trail run, so there will be some hills. Just to make it more exciting."

If you don't feel like running, you can still enjoy the event by taking part in a huge raffle. On offer: plenty of prizes from your favorite local businesses, including the Beacon Creamery, Trax Espresso Bar, Meyer's Olde Dutch Food & Such, Artisan Wine Shop, and many others. Bagels are being donated by Beacon Bagel for early registrants, and Sal's Pizza is pitching in a few pizza pies for after the race. The South Avenue PTO Collaborative will be selling ice pops and water. So bring your bathing suit, and be ready for a great Saturday morning.

Fundraiser for the Beacon After School Programs

The run itself is awesome, but the main reason for the event is to raise funds for Beacon's After School Programs, which have been instrumental in hugely improving the public school experience in Beacon. See our article here from when the program first launched in the elementary schools.

If enough money is raised during this event, funding will go toward a new middle-school After School Program - it's the trickle-up effect! Fundraising efforts will help the Beacon Recreation Department secure the funds they need to start that program.

The five-day program, which runs from 3 to 6 pm on school days, started in the elementary schools, allowing enrolled kids to stay at school and engage in different themed activities each day, such as Yoga, Martial Arts, Spanish, and more. Local businesspeople are involved and serve as the instructors. "It has been a win-win for everyone," says Nate.

A Little Beacon Blog is a proud media sponsor of this Cannonball Run, as we have first-hand experience of how wonderful the After School Program is - including instructors, caregivers and programming. We give this event a double-high five!

About The Cannonball Run

Participants have the choice of doing a 5K (just over 3 miles) or a 1-mile trail run. The race begins at the pool and ends IN the pool. Registration begins at 9:30 am and the suggested donation is $20 for the 5K, $5 for the 1-mile. You can also pre-register at the City of Beacon Recreation Department's Facebook Page.

Win Some Of The Best Prizes Around!

There will be prizes for the following categories from the following businesses:

  • Fastest 5K Male
  • Fastest 5K Female
  • Fastest Mile (Male, under 12)
  • Fastest Mile (Female, under 12)
  • Best Costumes
  • Raffles

Sponsoring Businesses:

  • Nella Bellas Boutique
  • Mountain Tops
  • Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters
  • Bank Square Coffeehouse
  • Fishkill Farms
  • Hudson Valley Renegades
  • Beacon Bagel
  • Barb's Butchery
  • Garrison Art Center
  • Beacon Creamery
  • Bounce! Trampoline Sports
  • beBhakti Yoga
  • SHRED Foundation
  • BCSD PTO Collaborative
  • A Little Beacon Blog
  • Beacon Arts & Education Foundation
  • Girls Inc.
  • Keyfood Beacon
  • Meyer's Olde Dutch Food & Such
  • Artisan Wine Shop
  • Play Toys and Gifts
  • Beetle and Fred
  • Fishkill Bowl
  • Mr. V's Deli
  • Sal's Pizza & Pasta

You can RSVP on Facebook here

See you there! We are training...