Several thousand people, a mixture of Town of New Windsor residents and visitors, joined together to celebrate the 13th Annual New Windsor Community Day at Kristi Babcock Memorial Park on Saturday, August 20. This event was free to the public.
Despite a brief rainstorm passing through the area, smiles, laughter and fun were all present during the course of the afternoon long community celebration. The event featured over 100 vendors who were present selling handmade goods, jewelry and crafts while other vendors included local organizations such as UHAUL, United Healthcare, West Point Tours, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, Cornwall United Soccer, etc., who distributed information for residents and visitors to browse and ask questions about.
With over a decade of attendance, Sherri Williams has been operating her business, Crafty Sherri’s, for the past three years and being back at community day again was a great experience for her. “Today has been an awesome day. It makes people happy,” Williams said.
Compared to several years ago back in 2020, the town was forced to cancel the event entirely due to the on-going COVID pandemic. In 2021, an abbreviated version of the celebration was held; but now in 2022, the event came back in full force.
“I like happy faces instead of sad, especially the times that we’ve been through and the times that we’re still going through today,” Williams said. “It makes me feel really good that we’re getting back to what we used to be.”
Mariah Darrah, owner of Mind Body Chi, joined the Community Day vendor lineup for the first time this year and was very happy with the turnout of the event from the people to the vendors. “I see people I know, I see people I don’t know, I’m getting to know new people,” Darrah said. “I’m really excited to be here.”
As a local business owner, Darrah was happy to see the support of not just her work and creativity but for all the other vendors and artists who came out with their own goods and products for people to browse and she looks forward to coming back next year.
Angie Latham, owner of Tupperware, has been attending NWCD for the past 13 years and shared that this celebration is one of the best in the area. She shared that the entire afternoon celebration is well run, safe and a great place for all to enjoy, whether they be longtime residents, new transplants or visitors from other towns. “It [New Windsor Community Day] gives you a sense of belonging. It’s really great to finally see people out,” Latham stated.
As a retired Newburgh Enlarged City School District teacher, Latham shared that she was happy to see children and their parents having fun throughout the day.
Children and families were able to enjoy two stages with live music performances, a petting zoo, several bounce houses, a roller coaster and other carnival rides and games during the course of the afternoon.
The Vails Gate and New Windsor Fire Departments, the New Windsor Police Department and the New Windsor Ambulance Corps were all on site during the event with their vehicles for families to inspect.
Frances Hales of the Pampered Chef, similar to Latham, has been attending NWCD since its inception and she is very grateful for the support of the community each year, especially as a vendor. As the celebration continues to grow each year, she encourages everyone to come and experience the fun.
“Our community really is a great wonderful community,” Hales said. “If you’re a member of New Windsor or even if you’re not a member of New Windsor, come here for Community Day because everybody is welcome.”
For those interested in a meal or a treat, residents and visitors also had the opportunity to visit several food and dessert trucks and food tents to see what would appeal to their appetite.
Carmella Yonnone, who has been attending NWCD for many years as a resident, marked her second year as a business owner operating at the celebration. Yonnone is owner of Carmella’s Cucina, a local food truck that specializes in Italian food.
Yonnone remembered when NWCD first began, the celebration was held on several fields with several musicians and outdoor games but has now grown with food trucks, rides and a variety of vendors and she expects the celebration to grow even more in size next year when she returns.
“This is New Windsor, we do it big here. It definitely gets bigger and bigger every year,” Yonnone said. “This is what the community needs, it needs to come together for a day like today.”
Residents and guests also had the opportunity to take rides in a helicopter during the first portion of the afternoon followed by a hot air balloon to take in an aerial view of the entire celebration.
As the day continued, more and more residents started to make their way to the park in preparation for a special evening. The night concluded with a fireworks display for all residents to enjoy thus marking that another NWCD had come to a close.