2002-09-28 / Columnists

Notes From The High C’s

By Sharon Gabriel
Rockaway Music and Arts Council

The Rockaway music & arts council wishes to respectfully acknowledge the first anniversary of 9/11 and 11/12 at our Fall Festival. As a living tribute to those lost from the Rockaway’s, The Rockaway Music & Arts Council will be presenting a Kwanzan Cherry Tree to the community. This tree will be found at the RMAC Tent in the middle of the festival grounds. Everyone who wishes will have an opportunity to tie on a name and/or a memory message with patriotic ribbons. We envision lovely ribbons fluttering from the tree this weekend and beautiful pink flowers blooming next spring. After the Festival the tree will be dedicated and planted in Pat Brackley Park as a lasting remembrance. Remember to stop at the tent and participate in this wonderful event.

Going from the serious to the sublime; in my "other" life I was in the film industry and one of the pictures we produced was the musical "Oliver". In that film there is a song entitled "Food Glorious Food" and that is what I think of as our 18th Annual Fall Festival is about to begin. Our food vendors will have a variety of goodies, from Middle-Eastern to Southern to good old American hot dogs. There will be something for everyone.

This year, many of our good friends will be returning. The "Good" guys from the Beach Club will have some Tex-Mex to sample and from there we go to a new food vendor with Greek-Middle Eastern food including Souvlaki and pita and maybe some falafel as well. If that’s not on your diet, try a little Southern food with fried fish, shrimp and barbeque shrimp. If you’re not too adventurous there are always hotdogs and hamburgers. A little side dish of spiral potatoes are always needed but be sure to get there early as the line goes on forever. To go with that hamburger or hotdog you will need some roasted corn vendor for some of the most delicious farm-fresh sweet corn, or perhaps you would like some pickles. The Pickle People will be with us once again and their variety of pickles is outstanding. Desserts! We will have everything from funnel cakes which Andrew will again present to ice cream and smoothies. Just bring an appetite and enjoy.

For music and entertainment we will be presenting some of our all-time favorites. For all of us 50’s and 60’s fans, that super rock-n-roll group, Jump Street, will be with us once again and for our Latin fans, there is Acapulco 90 the best mariachi band around. They will be strolling throughout the festival grounds so you can meet them. Want some more music a little more subdued, how about a barbershop quartet and the world-champion Kings Chorus. With their red vests and white shirts you won’t miss them. For a little theatrics the Rockaway Theatre Company ill be presenting a special program and I don’t even know what it is yet. However, I can tell you whatever they do, they are the best around. In case you want to try your hand at juggling or riding a unicycle, Wade Henry will be here to show you how.

When I think back to when we started the festival it’s hard to believe so many years have gone by and so much has been added to the festival. From our first little event when approximately 2,000 people attended, we now have approximately friends visit us each year. Thank you for making the RMAC Fall Festival such a great event.

One of the exhibits that have been added since our first days is the Demonstration Tent where craftsmen can show off their special talents. One of the most interesting is the "lace ladies" who come to us from upstate New York. Mary Cohen and Gunta Jorgenson are pros in lace making. They will be with us both Saturday and Sunday. If your artistic endeavors lean toward stained glass see George Marion and his beautiful designs.

At different times on Saturday the demonstration tent will be presenting candle-making with our own Grace McCloskey, flower arranging with Joan Metz, necklace beading Maria Lambasa and pastel portraits with Connie Jorgenson.

On Sunday there will be weaving with Richard Blank, quilting with Maryann McEvoy and Japanese brush painting with Sydell Rothafel.

Everyone needs what I call "quiet or down time" and any one of these arts will give you the time to just sit and do something that you totally concentrate on and will help you forget about everything else. I know this for a fact, as over the years, I have done many needlepoint pieces. At one time I thought, oh, that’s not for me, but I learned to do it and the peace and quiet and concentration make you forget about everything else. Crafts are a great relaxer. So, think about something you might like to do when you visit the Demonstration Tent and get a lesson.

With close to 100 vendors and friends, we hope you will come by and visit. Possibly think about buying some holiday gifts from the vendors and stop off at the RMAC tent and participate to the Tribute Tree.


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