Updated: Jul 18
With growing attendance at Village of Washingtonville events, there is increasing scrutiny over safety in the face of the potential thousands of visitors that are likely to come for October's popular Witchingtonville After Dark Event being planned for October 21, which involves the Village Center, Fulton Square and May's Field. May's Field, being town owned property, reqires separate authorization.
Village Events Committee leaders came with a map of first level events, details about the success Witchingtonville has had in previous years, especially in terms of increasing business in its center, and with specific details of the many extra safety precautions they require vendors to comply with such as their proof of insurance in a timely manner. Patrick Maiorino emphasized they are designing a layout that will move some of the activities a bit farther back from Main Street
for safety. Supervisor Rob Jeroloman and Councilman Chuck Quick had concerns over a few of the activities, like a possible laser light show and roller derby, that would be dependent on reasonably good weather. They asked for backup plans where locations mighy be switched and substitute entertainment could keep things running smoothly if the weather prevented things like the roller derby. In addition to spreading the many activities out, without putting the quality of May's Field at risk of damage, Patrick and his wife Justine of the popular "Guilty Pleasures" cheesecake and sweets shop, Tina Knuele of the Events Committee, and Martha Barrera, also an Events Committee Member and Manager of Walden Savings Bank's Washingtonville branch, assured the board that they would be out with measuring tape to make sure the space is well understood and that everything will fit perfectly, like they did at Vern Allen's recent Fireworks Event.
Justine Maiorino pointed out how succesful last year's Witchingtonvill's After Dark was, with over 5,000 attendees including some from out-of-state. Local businesses all participated with specials and sidewalk sales.. This time there will be carnival games and haunted attractions. Last year's "After Dark" event had been a big boost to business, even getting on the list of favorite Hudson Valley Events.
Martha Barrera pointed out that as far as space goes there is added flexibility since there is a Witchingtonville afternoon event as well, more suitable to younger children and older adults, at Vern Allen Park.
By the end of the meeting the only issue at question was the plan for a "Spirit Garden" where light alcoholic beverages could be served. The suggestion that "Shirley Temple" drinks that looked like those of the adults but had no alcohol content received a good round of laughter because of the nightmare of monitoring it could pose for police oversight. But the possibility of an enclosed area, such as the small area surrounded by hay bales, for a limited number of ticketed adults, was veru successful at the Fireworks display and might still be considered.
The meeting was detailed, productive and friendly, and with the expectation that additional meetings will follow, including a more detailed map after measurements have been taken, and while the long list of eager vendors and performers are requesting applications to join in the fun.