The one day Festival on Saturday, September 14th at the Milton Landing Park turned into two because of rain.
On the 14th the annual Corn Hole Tournament was held with players braving the intermittent rain. Bruce Crane and Pete Gattuso took 1st Place and Mark and Lisa Papo came in 2nd Place. The band ‘Chosen Adolescence’ came the next day, playing classic rock all afternoon.
Ed Bozydaj and Matt Appler won the social division, defeating Matt Kneeter and Todd Werba.
Supervisor Al Lanzetta said the festival was put on by the Milton Landing Foundation, pointing out that they are officially a 501 C 3 organization.
“This is the first fundraiser for the Foundation,” he said. “They have some seed money from a donation and this event is to keep it going.”
Lanzetta is pleased to see the progress that has taken place at the park.
“It warms my heart because ten years ago I was fighting to buy this place and now I come back and everybody loves it and appreciates it because it’s the only [town] public access to the river,” he said.
Lanzetta said now that the Milton Train Station rehabilitation project is finished, the town is moving forward with fixing the south pier and grading has already begun in the nearby park area.
“That’s another grant that was dead and I helped it come alive again,” he said. “It was $98,000 that was there with a 50/50 match with NYS Parks and Recreation.” Each entity contributes $98,000.
Gael Appler Jr. is chairman of the Friends of the Milton Landing Park Inc. He said the transformation of the land into a recreational park is “amazing” because when he was a child there was no access to the river at this spot.
“Today, we have 150 people or so here and to see this come from a sumac forest is amazing. I think next year this (festival) is going to be even bigger,” he predicted.
Appler said replacing the fencing that borders the park and fixing the southern pier are items on their immediate agenda. The pilings are slated to be repaired in early October and new decking is expected next spring. Once completed, tourism ships will be able to tie up at the dock and small buses can take visitors around town.
“A lot of towns have their rail trails and this town needs something for people to drive to instead of just driving through,” he said. “If it works out, it’s going to be amazing for the town, especially for the farms; they are really going to realize the impacts of this.”
Tim Lawton, who serves as secretary to the Landing Park Committee, said the park has been a boost for recreation, “but it’s also great for networking because I’ve met a lot of people who use the park on a pretty regular basis and they’re speaking up, which really makes me happy because it is very positive.”
Lawton has long supported the park and said it is “fantastic” to see the turnout for the festival.
“Look at all the people sitting here enjoying the music,” he said. “Mike Charter is a godsend as he pulled together friends who are musicians and said we need to play for an event and they charged a pittance to be here. They are all ‘Miltonites’ and they’re doing a really wonderful job.”
Lawton said the park continues to grow and evolve.
“It’s getting better and better and people should keep coming to see what the new things are,” he said. “This month and into October come down and see what’s gong on with the southern pier. There’s going to be a huge barge there and there will be divers going down and they will be driving in pylons; It’s going to be a sight to see.”
Lawton said people can make donations earmarked for the park by sending a check, made out to the Friends of the Milton Landing Park, to 63 Main St. Box 103, Milton, NY. 12547. Donations can also be made in person at the Milton Fire Station at 21 Main St. or with the Town Clerk at Town Hall, 21 Milton Tnpk, Milton.