Fleischmanns will be hopping with holiday weekend fesitivites
Fleischmanns — Fleisch-manns will once again host a village-wide celebration this Memorial Day Weekend worthy of its festive history as one of the greatest summertime resort towns of the Catskills.
On Saturday, May 23, the entire Main Street will be bustling with vendors and tag sales, vintage base ball on Wagner Avenue ball park, the season opening of the Museum of Memories, the Community Church’s annual Quilt Show and Skene Library’s annual book and bake sale.
There will be a children’s tent full of old-fashioned games and crafts, with face painting, pony rides and a petting zoo — and a pie eating contest! Hilt and Stella Kelly will lead a square dance at the gazebo and Dell’s Belles will give a tap dancing revue in the historic Fleischmanns Theater (how long has it been since you could go inside this landmark theater?) Grownups and kids alike can enjoy old-fashioned horse carriage rides, too.
“We were so pleased at the community wide response and enthusiasm last year, and I think this year will be even better organized with more activities and fun,” said Jeanine Pascarella, one of the participants in Fleischmanns First, a community group that is helping to organize the event.
Fleischmann’s Main Street will be lined with vendors and organizations hawking everything from antiques and hand-made furniture to maple syrup, honey and specialty foods, artists’ wares, clothing, jewelry and crafts, including chimes, birdhouses, totebags, metalworks and much more.
The ever-popular quilt show and sale at the Fleischmanns Community Church will add its colorful touch to storefronts and porch rails too. The quilt show will include a demonstration by several seasoned quilters and a screening of Melissa Cooperman’s film about the Sunbonnet Quilters. “This show spills out onto porches and storefronts, so people will be drawn to the church to see the full, spectacular collection,” said show organizer Peg DiBenedetto, adding, “And, you can actually buy some of these masterworks and take a piece of the mountains home with you.” In addition, there will be a pie and bake sale to support restoration work in the church.
In the historic ball park the 1895-style vintage Mountain Athletic Club will host a “round robin” baseball tournament both Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon. Teams will include the veteran Roxbury Nine, the brand-new vintage team from over the hill, the Bovina Dairymen, and visiting from afar, the Jersey City Skeeters and the Elizabeth Athletic Club.
This year, the park will also be home to more children’s activities than ever, and hands on. Crafts will include making macaroni necklaces, suncatchers, and scavenger bags for ... you guessed it! ... the scavenger hunt. Games include bean bag toss, ring toss, a “fishing” pond, three-legged race, the scavenger hunt and of course, once those appetites are really big, a pie-eating contest — all the fun that Fleischmanns children knew and enjoyed a century ago.
If you’d like to take in some history, too, there’s a self-guided walking tour brochure of Fleischmanns available at Skene Library, which hosts its biggest fundraiser of the year, its annual book and bake sale, while the Fleischmanns Museum of Memories opens its season with some new exhibits of recent acquisitions and on the history of the railroad in the village.
And what would Memorial Day be without Karl Von Hassel’s famous chicken barbecue? The grill will be firing up on Main Street with its irresistible savory aroma (and the chickens!) to fortify hordes of hungry shoppers and baseball fans.
On Sunday, vintage base ball games will continue all afternoon in the Wagner Avenue ball field. Ballpark fare and kid’s activities will be available at every home game this summer. On Monday the whole village will turn out at 9 a.m. for a truly old-fashioned Memorial Day parade.
You can also learn more about the full season of fun planned in Fleischmanns at www.centralcatskills.org.