Pumpkins and Corn Stalks for Home Decore at Sunny Gardens On 9D

Pumpkins at Sunny 😎 Gardens...always a festive sight on 9D on the way to or from Poughkeepsie or Wappingers Falls. The mai goal for this visit is for bales of hay for mulching before the winter to hopefully slow weed growth come spring (should be straw but going the hay route). Two years ago I tried leaf mulch and that produced great soil but resulted in stray leaves all over the snow.

Look for the light-lined rows of Christmas Trees w 🌲 in the winter. 

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Putting Up the Spooky Lights on Main Street

We’re setting up the spooky lights in the office ... After seeing orange, purple and pink Halloween 🎃 lights going up already on front porches of Beacon, we had to join in the spooky spirit!

Usually Home Depot has the glorious spread of Halloween yard decorations, but this year, Rite Aid in Beacon has enough choices on the shelves to do in a pinch. Brett’s Hardware, down on West Main, has the mums (flowers, not mummies!) and some other colored lights.

Happy Fall! 

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Happy Valentine’s Day 2018

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Celebrate this day of love. Pass it forward to anyone you see today. Anything can be a valentine - a hug, a piece of paper with a little note on it, something special you found, or just anything thoughtful.

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

PS: This valentine was made at the revived Create Space popup venue (also home to Beacon Healing Massage), during their valentine card-making workshop last weekend. Find it in A Little Beacon Blog's Shopping Guide, and they often have pop-up shops or workshops in the Classes for Kids Guide or Classes for Adults Guide. Be sure you’re receiving our newsletter to learn of special events like that, and check our Things To Do In Beacon Guides to mark your calendar in advance!

The Source for Halloween Yard Art and Scary Props - A Home Depot Halloween

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After living in Beacon for several years, it has become very clear that holiday yard art is a thing. Air blown, lit up, puffed up things in the night are to be embraced. Like giant Santas, Snoopies, Grinches, and now Ghosts, Spooky Trees, and even a herd of hatching, rabid dinosaurs.

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A Little Beacon Blog has documented this for the past few years for the December holidays, when we go around Christmas Light Hunting. But we've never done it for Halloween. We've attended the unofficially named Willow Street Halloween Extravaganza aka Halloween Night of Crazy, where several of the houses on that street get really into Halloween and set up spooky houses, play eerie drums, show old movies, and generally create a street party. But we've never documented the Halloween decorations...

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Until now. Halloween has come to Home Depot in Fishkill in a big way (and probably every Home Depot in the country, but we prefer the one off of 84 in Fishkill because it's at the base of a mountain and employs some neighbors), making it really easy to access these marvelous decorations that people seem to spend years acquiring.

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We only had one bin of Halloween decorations, but after stopping into Home Depot one weekend this September, our lives were forever changed. Being that we have kids, it was as exciting as going into a haunted house. When their grandparents visited from out of town, the kids wanted to take them to Home Depot to visit "the Halloween section." We needed to set a Halloween Budget so that we would stop getting asked what they could buy.

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So we set the budget and made a plan. Tough choices were made. Spooky things with effects like The Three Witches were cut from the must-have list. Electric things that made noise were assembled. We are now ready for our Very Beacon Halloween (a Beacon Chamber term, but that's what it feels like when getting into the yard-art spirit). For the first time, I want to stay home to hand out candy in order to represent at our spooky home.

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Kids can pick up the phone outside of your door, and hear a spooky message...

 For the glue gun enthusiasts, you could webcast your home...

For the glue gun enthusiasts, you could webcast your home...

For the glue gun enthusiasts, you could webcast your home...

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Instant-mega-deecoration with these lights. At holiday time they have taken off in Beacon, but for Halloween, you can have creepy ghosts flying around the siding of your house.

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You must go into Home Depot to experience this actual 3D TV. Just turn the dial, and wait. It's actually about 7 seconds too long, but next year maybe they will edit it back. Wait for the effect of this creepy face popping out...

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And for those who just want a little Halloween Pretty, there is the black wreath with glitter silver spiders and ribbon.

Beacon's Parade Of Green 2017 On A Chilly Main Street in March

 Madeleine Ouellette of King Family Chiropractic helps the Beacon Chamber of Commerce sell green headbands.  Photo Credit:  Beacon Chamber of Commerce  and Kate Rabe

Madeleine Ouellette of King Family Chiropractic helps the Beacon Chamber of Commerce sell green headbands.
Photo Credit: Beacon Chamber of Commerce and Kate Rabe

It was a chilly day in Beacon last Saturday, March 22, 2017, for the 2nd Annual Parade of Green, but that did not stop the floats from promenading down Main Street. Over thirty organizations participated (several can be seen here). Although the turnout to cheer them on was a little lighter than last year, there were still many members of the community who did bundle up and come out to watch.  

The marching was kicked off by the Parade of Green committee, who greeted all of us with a smile and a wave. Without the committee, none of this wonderful new tradition would be possible. They were followed by various groups from our community, including kids from the Boy Scouts of America, Beacon’s Pop Warner teams, Yanarella School of Dance, the Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps, various fire departments from the area and even an impressive float from the McElduff Family.  

 Stinson's Hub, a pub on Fishkill Avenue, was out with flying colors.  Photo Credit:  Beacon Chamber of Commerce  and Kate Rabe

Stinson's Hub, a pub on Fishkill Avenue, was out with flying colors.
Photo Credit: Beacon Chamber of Commerce and Kate Rabe

Businesses along Main Street participated as well, coming out onto the sidewalks to hand out some St. Paddy’s Day goodies. Bank Square kicked off the day with a great Keg & Eggs event, making over five dozen eggs! Antalek & Moore had a popcorn machine running throughout the morning to hand out treats to spectators and the marchers. 

The parade took a new route this year, ending at the East of Main near the dummy light. But the day's festivities did not stop there. Multiple bars and restaurants - from Joe’s Irish Pub to The Elks Club to Max’s - opened their doors to welcome everyone with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Even The Vault was dressed up for the occasion, renamed “McVaulty’s Irish Pub." Stinson’s Hub also featured Irish step dancers and a pipe and drum band.

 The Vault turned into McVaulty's Irish Pub for two weeks to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Photo Credit:  The Vault

The Vault turned into McVaulty's Irish Pub for two weeks to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Photo Credit: The Vault

Although we missed the warm sunshine that graced the parade last year, it was still a memorable event that brought Beacon together. We're all looking forward to celebrating the 3rd annual parade next year!

  Photo Credit:  Beacon Chamber of Commerce  and Kate Rabe

Photo Credit: Beacon Chamber of Commerce and Kate Rabe

About This Citizen Blogger: Kate Rabe was born and raised in Beacon, NY. Her mother works for Antalek & Moore, and Kate holds a newly elected position as a Director with the Beacon Chamber of Commerce. Kate is a certified business coach, helping corporations and small businesses navigate and implement their HR needs.  

Summer Numbers - Presidents Day Weekend Packs Restaurants

 This photo was taken in March 2012, back when the Vintage Cafe was serving breakfast and lunch amidst their antique collection.

This photo was taken in March 2012, back when the Vintage Cafe was serving breakfast and lunch amidst their antique collection.

Sunshine gets anyone giddy, but when it beams on a weekend in Beacon, the first weekend in Beacon after a snowstorm hit the previous week, that results in a lot of people out on the sidewalks, exploring. It inspired me to head out and hit winter clearance sales at Mountain Tops and Bellus on Main, but if you were out and trying to get lunch or dinner at your favorite restaurants, chances are you were met with a 25-minute or even an hour wait, as certainly was the case at Beacon Falls Cafe. Once in, the special may not have been available anymore!

"We were packed for all three days, even Monday," recalls Stefany Lynn, bar manager at Max's on Main. "There was a steady stream of people for the entire day. The dining room was full at 10:30 pm. We ran out of sloppy joes! I couldn't even get one!" Max's wasn't the only restaurant that ran out of dishes. The Vault ran out of their salmon special when they opened the patio sooner than anticipated. Says Vault manager Chris Sudol about the weekend: "For the most part, the weekend was a big success, and we definitely learned a few things as well. Opening the patio was great for the public, and we did business that we haven't ever seen at The Vault before. The only time we saw sales like that was when there was a band playing, and the sales came from drinks."

Jason Schuler, owner and partner at Drink More Good, expressed with eyes wide open: "Did you see how many people were out this weekend? We did summer numbers!" Summer numbers is a sales term that refers to a great sales day, usually expected and hoped for in the summer, not for a weekend when people are usually trying to squeeze in a last ski run. Other weekends that tend to be great are the weekend after Thanksgiving, and other weekends during December. Restaurants in Beacon usually go on vacation during the first weeks of January in order to give staff a break and recover from the intense holiday season.

Welcome to early spring, Beacon! And welcome new visitors. Be sure to check A Little Beacon Blog's Things To Do In Beacon Guides for your full list of things to do, shop and eat during your stay!

A Pop-Up Shop Is Back for Valentine's Day Weekend!

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A Pop-Up Shop is back at A Little Beacon Space! Our planning meeting is complete for the Valentine's Day Pop-Up Shop, happening the weekend before Valentine's Day, which is also February's Second Saturday. Some of your favorite makers in jewelry, flowers, yummy baked goods, and mayyyybe print, if the letterpress company signs on. Cute name for this pop-up shop to come, but makers include:
Kit Burke-Smith @kitburkesmithjewelry
Margaux Lange @margauxlangejewelry @redheadmidge
Dana Devine O'Malley @five_hens_baked_goods
Diana Cowdery, Diana Mae Flowers @dianamaeflowers
Martha P Humphreys Third Muse Metal Arts @mphumphreys

Christmas Lights On Houses In Beacon - 2017

Driving around Beacon to hunt for Christmas lights is a treasured pastime of many. The first time a roundup of light displays was published on this blog, people's comments recalled childhood memories of neighbors, who may or may not still live in those houses. Driving home at night in December is truly a festive experience. Here are a few of the many houses elaborately decorated for the holidays. And bonus "holiday feel" points for us this year - it has snowed already!

The Classic look.

Taken by graphic designer Stacie Merrill during the nights of the spooky moon in December 2016.

Ribbons, trimming and garland. Bring more snow!

Yard art is really hard to resist. This van with the laser lights is something special.

  Taken  by graphic designer  Stacie Merrill  on one of her nightly walks.

Taken by graphic designer Stacie Merrill on one of her nightly walks.

Setting the scene.

Each year, these row houses on East Main just past Dogwood always dress up.

More yard art! The blow-up scene.

A naturally decorated house, with its gingerbread trim.

Each piece has its place.

Epic every year.

But needs two photos, because of the side yard.

A sparkler.

Same house as above, but captured differently. See the orbs in this one?

Aww, what a friendly porch!

Photo Credits: All photos taken by Katie Hellmuth Martin, except those taken by Stacie Merrill as indicated.

Santa Letter Delivered In Beacon - Did You Write Him?

Have you ever written a letter to Santa and sent it to the North Pole? I don't think I ever did. Maybe at Higbee's when we visited Santa one time, you needed to write something. My 6-year-old this year asked if she could write a letter to Santa. Correction: She didn't ask, she declared she was doing it. And now that she has just learned how to write, she can accomplish this.

One letter was written to Santa, the envelope was addressed, and the whole shebang was sent with a real U.S.P.S. stamp to give the post office the extra Christmas cash. The next day, she checked the mailbox, and the letter was indeed gone. Unlike the Elf on the Shelf, it wasn't anything I had anything to do with. The letter had been whisked away to the North Pole. The job was done.

Until December's Second Saturday, when we were out and about. My daughter and I hit two pop-up markets on the east end of town, then shopped our way up Main Street at Utensil, Echo, and Style Storehouse (where we saw carolers!). We stopped into Rite Aid to contemplate Big Gigantic Bears, and made it allllll the way to the new boutique, Bellus on Main, to try on their amazing boot selection. Hunger overcame me, so we needed to head straight to Dogwood for an emergency burger. But not before stopping by our own mailbox to check on an Elf on the Shelf that appeared there. Lo and behold, we also found a mystery letter, decorated in stickers and lollipops! I assumed it came with the Elf, which had been offloaded by a friend whose child had condemned it to live in her car's glove compartment.

Ho ho ho, this letter was not from my friend.

It was from Santa! The note thanked my daughter for sending him her Christmas list. He told her that he checked it, saw that she was on his Nice List, and would be paying a visit, but only if she did not peek. The note was pre-typed on Santa stationery, with her name hand-written in purple marker. The outside of the envelope was decorated with multicolored markers, with glitter stickers and a super-special gingerbread lollipop that - at her own insistence - has been stored in a special place by my daughter until Christmas.

None of us had ever seen a letter from Santa, and we were all shocked, extremely excited, and very warmed to the heart to live in Beacon.

The only clue to the letter's origin - not that one needed a clue, because it was signed "Santa" - was the return address and stamp. Of which there were none, except for the logo of the United States Postal Service, and a pre-paid postage placement. Well, heck. There are some elves out there!

Speaking of elves, I saw one in Accuprint the other day when I was shipping gifts. He'd asked me, while he waited to take away my packages and a bunch of others: "Did your daughter get the letter I brought?" YES, I said. According to this elf, he'd delivered my daughter's letter and others to a woman in the post office. Every year, she answers children's Christmas letters to Santa. No one knows why she does it, he told me. And it's not her official job to do so. She just does. Rainbow markers, glitter stickers and all. Leaving the rest of us speechless.

Making magic happen.