Following opening day of the Pawling Farmers Market on Saturday, June 15, the Pawling Merchants Committee and the Chamber of Commerce will hold the first ever Block Party event. The afternoon will provide an afternoon of music, shopping, and fun that will showcase the very best of local commerce.
Several months ago, members of the Merchants Committee and the Chamber of Commerce conceived an event that could help promote local businesses. Soon, the idea for the Block Party began to take shape. “We wanted to give multiple businesses a chance to offer deals and get recognized,” explains John Ragusa, owner of the Imperial Castle Toy Shop. Eventually, the decision was made to hold the festivities after the opening of the Farmers Market on June 15, making the day a chance for visitors to stay and experience the best of Pawling. “It’s going to be a great way to kick off the season,” adds Ragusa.
The event will be held from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Charles Colman Blvd, beside Joe Pietryka Inc. “We’re so fortunate and grateful for them to allow us to use this space,” says Ben Christgau, owner of the Tap House Tavern and Tacos & Cones.
The Block Party will be a showcase of local businesses, with more than a dozen Pawling merchants already committed to attend. “We’re going to have an assortment of things to show what Pawling is all about. People are going to see that this town has a lot of interesting things going on,” says Ragusa. “If you’re in town that day, the Block Party will be a reason to stick around.” Free parking for the event will be available in the Metro North parking lot.
In addition to the merchants in attendance, area businesses will also be offering specials for shoppers throughout the afternoon. For kids, there will be face painting, a bounce house, games, and pony rides courtesy of Lucky Orphan Horse Rescue. For the grown ups, Mill House Brewing Company from Poughkeepsie and Two Roads Brewing Company of Stratford, CT will also be in attendance. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and other local food will be available. “It should be a great time, we’re just trying to do something good for the community,” says Henry Schaber, owner of Pawling Family Quick Stop.
Since no party is complete without music, Block Party organizers have booked an afternoon of entertainment. The day’s lineup includes DJ Andrew Vitti, Space Dog, The Special Sauce Band, and Shot of Karma, as well as other local musicians. “We encourage everyone to bring chairs and blankets, and there will be specials available for take-out food for people enjoying the music,” says Christgau.
Though the combined efforts of the Merchants Committee, Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers, organizers are hopeful that the Block Party will become a new tradition. “Everyone wanted to pitch in and make this happen, we all wanted to help make Pawling a destination town,” says Ragusa. Ben Christgau echoed that sentiment, adding “we want to make this an annual event. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we’re all on the same page.”
The Block Party is sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway, Celestial Touch Reiki and Readings, The Colman Family, EPSG Merchant Services, The Imperial Castle Toy Shop, and Key Bank.