12/08/2009 (9:04 am)


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Rosendale bills itself as “the Festival Town,” and with something like eight of them each year, it seems as if this might be truth in advertising. It probably tarnishes my image as a jaded New Yorker to admit this, but I am a sucker for each and every one. Sure, at root they’re just commercial, promotional efforts by the town’s chamber of commerce. But the festivals are all so small town and hokey, they have a certain ernest local authenticity that truly appeals.

The one that probably gets me the most is Frozendale Day, the pre-holiday event that was held this past Saturday, 12/5. I was working all day, but took a break to have lunch at The Big Cheese and quickly survey the festivities and gifts for sale up and down Main Street. Our bleak-chic grey little town with very few operating stores took on a completely different hue. It didn’t hurt that it snowed, big glistening flakes.

There were kids everywhere, in town for the free showing of Polar Express at the Rosendale Theater and the puppet show at the Redwing Blackbird Theater. They were there to see Santa as well, and my heart melted when a little girl of about three or four jumped up and down at the sight of him riding up the road on a hay ride. “It’s SANTA!” she shouted! Maybe it’s a result of all those pre-Brian years I spent as a lonely Jew on Christmas, but I couldn’t help getting excited, too.

I was only out for about a half-hour, but it was the perfect uplifting break from my work.

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