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September 27, 2012

Celebration of Cooperstown takes on new name

JIM AUSTIN
THE COOPERSTOWN CRIER

COOPERSTOWN — Members of the Celebrate Cooperstown Committee approved a new name for the end-of-season community celebration during their meeting Tuesday morning. The celebration will now be called Fall for Cooperstown, Homecoming 2012.

Mayor Jeff Katz told the committee that the board of trustees had declared the Oct. 13 and 14 weekend as an event weekend, opening the door to vending on Main Street. There was the stipulation that it be a sidewalk sale for downtown businesses only.

  Katz asked the board to declare it an event weekend for existing Cooperstown businesses in front of their store.

  “I don’t think we need to do any of the permits,” Katz said.

  Merchants will not have to apply for a permit to vend, but are asked to notify the village office if they plan to do so.

  Katz also asked the board for some funding for the celebration. He said he was “uncomfortable” seeking $1,500 from the contingency budget line for something he acknowledged was “clearly an unbudgeted and unnecessary expense.”

  He had asked for $1,500 because he was given a quote of $1,000 for tables and chairs for the community dinner planned for Sunday afternoon.

  Trustee Ellen Tillapaugh said she believes the celebration is a “fabulous idea,” but that she “had a little problem with $1,000 for tables.”

  Trustee Cindy Falk, agreed and suggested a more minimal amount.

  The board settled on authorizing Katz to spend up to $500 on the celebration and recommended borrowing tables and chairs from community organizations to save the expense.

  The village cannot solicit contributions from businesses or individuals, but Trustee Walter Franck said, “if anyone from within out community wants to give of themselves, that’s OK.”

  Katz said he was approached by Brewery Ommegang, which was interested in participating, but was uncertain because it is not a village business. Katz and the board did not want to open up the event weekend to businesses outside the village, but decided they would welcome Cooperstown-related businesses if they want to participate without selling products or services. Ommegang or other local breweries would be welcome to pour samples of its beer, but not sell any during the event, he said.

  The board, acting on the concerns of some businesses, decided against closing Main Street in the business district and will close the Main Street, from Fair Street to River Street where Growing Community will set up a 400-foot long dinner table Sunday afternoon.

  It was decided not to close Doubleday Field parking lot for the celebration to keep activities on Main Street. There will be some activities planned in Pioneer Park and on the municipal building lawn. Music is planned for Saturday in Pioneer Park and not all bands will be performing free of charge. Any individual or business interested in underwriting a performance should contact the village office.

  There are still opportunities to play on Doubleday Field, whether it’s baseball, softball or touch football in the outfield, Katz said, adding that he believed the time slots would have been reserved quickly.

  “I thought it would be the first to fill up, but it’s been slow,” he said.

  Anyone interested in playing on the field should contact the village office.

  The Community Harvest Supper, being organized by Growing Community, will take place Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. on Main Street between Fair and River Streets. Growing Community is a local initiative that encourages people to grow or purchase food locally, eat well, share knowledge, and in doing so, build community.

Growing Community invites residents to celebrate the harvest season and bring a dish that, if possible, “highlights our amazing local bounty — be it from your own garden, a friend’s garden or a farmer’s fields.” Participants are asked to bring a dish to share, their own place settings and drinks. They also suggest diners dress warmly for the event.

  For additional information about Fall for Cooperstown, contact the village office at 547-2411 or the homepage of the website, cooperstownny.org.