Happy birthday, High Falls! - BlueStone Press
August 23, 2019
Come join BSP in the parade!

Happy birthday, High Falls!

Come celebrate the hamlet’s 350th anniversary by marching in the parade with BSP

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High Falls has a milestone birthday coming up, and the practically whole town has been working tirelessly make sure it’s one to remember. Originally settled in 1669, the hamlet has come a long way for a small town that sprung up to support the Delaware & Hudson canal. Yes, High Falls has seen it all. Neighborhoods so rough they had names like “Shotgun Alley,” an influx of an international workforce with the creation of the reservoir, charismatic cult leaders like Father Divine (founder of the International Peace Missions Movement ), painters who have entire museums dedicated to them in their motherland (bonjour, Marc Chagall!) and glamorous movie stars who did indeed look splendid in the grass. Yes, for a tiny village, High Falls has kept itself quite busy.

Fast forward to today, at the precipice of the hamlet’s 350th birthday, and not much has changed (well, at least there isn’t a Shotgun Alley anymore!). High Falls packs a cornucopia of residents who have deep roots or are in the process of making deep roots – comprised of artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, orators, quirky restaurateurs, civil servants, activists, preservationists and more then a few movie stars. And what better way to celebrate this wonderful, diverse community then a good old-fashioned parade? Buffy Gribbon, member (and chair, according to most) of the 350 Steering Committee, says that a parade is very fitting.

“High Falls has done many parades over the years to honor historic dates so it seemed fitting to do so. (A parade) also allows us a time to celebrate our first responders and the creativity of our town,” says Gribbon. The parade will line up at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at The Sheeley Hosue Bed and Breakfast (6 Fairview Ave., High Falls) and proceed at 11 a.m. through the center of town via the bridge, ending at the intersection of Main Street and Mohonk Road. Hot dogs, ice cream and a feast of words about the hamlet will to follow at the base of Second Street.

The event was announced in February, and the entire town quickly got in on the act, forming the 350th Anniversary Celebration Steering Committee. Every sector of town is represented in the committee including numerous groups, businesses, and members of the High Falls Community including the Conservancy, the Civic Association, the Community Church, the Fire Department and the D&H Canal Museum.

“High Falls community members always do a wonderful job of pulling together to make fun things happen in our town,” elaborates Gribbon. “Everyone here has a sense of pride when it comes to the town so it is not hard to get everyone to pitch in.”

Registration for the parade has been extended to Wednesday, May 22. To add your group, float or participation plan to the 25-30 already registered, email Gribbons at highfallscafe@earthlink.net. All groups must be registered, reminds Gribbon, so that the finalized list will be ready for the big day. Gribbons reports that most businesses and organizations are already registered but that she “would love to see some more community registrations like kids decorating their bikes, mowers, wagons anything like that.”

Not one to miss a good party, the BlueStone Press will also be joining in the festivities and marching in the parade. And what would BSP be without our readership! Please come join the BlueStone Press team as an honorary BSP reporter for the day and march down Main Street with us in the High Falls 350th Anniversary Parade. As long as supplies last, we’ll outfit you with a classic reporter’s fedora, press credentials and an official BlueStone Press pen to record all the hard questions. We’d also love to hear YOUR thoughts of the parade, the town and living life as a local, weekender or day-tripper, many of which will end up in the next issue of BSP. Look for our banner at the parade lineup point!

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