“Around Town with Amy Modesti” – 200th Annual Schaghticoke Fair
Written by Amy Modesti on September 7, 2019
Hi readers!! Welcome to my blog, “Around Town with Amy Modesti”!! I am looking forward to sharing my latest adventures “around town” with you and to all of the listeners who have been keeping up with what is happening around the Capital Region music scene here on “RadioRadioX”!!
I had the idea to start a blog a few months ago after the sudden passing of my friend and “Blotto” vocalist, Greg Haymes. Haymes was an inspiration to so many creatives, musicians, and writers for many years. Greg was the ultimate cheerleader; he was extremely supportive of anybody who was making a difference in the scene. Whether you were a cover band, a solo artist, a local creative business, or a budding visual artist, photographer, or writer who was emerging into the scene, Haymes supported them all. He kept things up to date daily about the latest happenings, showcased artists in “Art Beat” (art exhibition openings/shows), event reviews, show previews, anything that needed attention. I was impressed how dedicated Greg and wife, Sara Ayers, kept their patrons informed about our creative happenings for the past nine years. His kindness, support of the creative scene, and his dedication to keeping local journalism alive had made an impact on my life, and many others as well.
The Capital Region is not the same without Greg. His loss has left a huge hole in all our hearts. Since his passing, it has become a bit more difficult for creatives to get the word out about their events to patrons that could be interested in viewing their art, attending a theatre performance, or watch a cover band or an original artist perform their songs. The readers that don’t always follow or use social media or perhaps, use social media daily, are having difficulty figuring out what to do on a day when there is so many things happening in our community. You must use either “Local” on Facebook to figure out what events to attend in the community, view your event invitations from peers, through word of mouth, newsprint, posters, and other sources.
I was asked a few weeks ago to take part in writing a weekly blog from my friend and “RadioRadioX” writer, Liam Sweeney. I was excited to take part in this opportunity. In February 2019, I was asked to become a contributor for the publication. Since then, I’ve attended their monthly music events held at the RadioRadioX headquarters, participated in the 1 year Anniversary Party to sell some exclusive music and nature photography at Chrome Food And Spirits, and I received a photo pass to cover future events just a week just before my milestone birthday in May! I am thankful to be a part of “RadioRadioX” with Liam, Art, Ralph, Jimmy, and my friends and contributors who work together as a team to share and inform others about what is happening in our creative scene within the arts, music, and community! Thank you again Liam and company for the opportunity!
From time to time, a friend sends me a private message on Facebook or comments on a status to ask me what is happening in the community that they would be interested in attending. I search through my events list to research community happenings, skim through the news feed to review status updates, or perhaps I see something in print that may be of interest and share it. I hope that with the blog, I will be able to inform you of the happenings that one could potentially attend in the community, or at least, let you know of the cool events that I’ve attended, places I’ve traveled to, or just anything of interest. If there is anything you need me to help get the word out about or if there’s a place that I should check out that may be of interest, please let me know!! My goal is to turn this blog into a website too, in addition to my weekly posts and collaboration with “RadioRadioX”. Only time will tell what will happen in the future!!
Apart from my duties as a “Rock Photographer”, music fan, visual artist, events promoter, whatever title I am being given at this time, I am a journalist. I am a reporter and photographer for “RadioRadioX” as well as my local county newsweekly that I am involved with part-time. You’ll be able to find out where I have been traveling to for that through my artist page at “ALM Fine Art and Photography” on FB.
200th Annual Schaghticoke Fair
Last Wednesday (8/28/2019), I attended the opening day of Rensselaer County’s county fair, the 200th Annual Schaghticoke Fair held in Schaghticoke, NY. Not only was this their opening day, it was also “Dollar Day” where general admission is only a dollar, and it was “Media Day” that I covered first thing in the morning!
I went to the fair twice that day. In the morning, I met with the fair manager, Carly Reyna-Ostrander and fair patron, John Cipperly from JC Tractor of Hoosick Falls, NY, who gave the media sources and I a tour of the fair grounds and informed the media of the happenings that would occur all week on the fair-grounds, both on foot and in ATV’s and go-karts.
My adventure included a tour of the main ground; from the rides and entertainment section, to the cooling area where I watched cows being hosed off in the sun outside near their stall by their owners, checked out an indoor horse arena where we met with staff that talked about the horse shows, and finally, met with members of Circus Incredible, a performance family from Sarasota, Florida who performed some fantastic tricks and aerial moves for their fans later on twice that afternoon.
Circus Incredible features three talented performers, Simon Arestov, wife, Lyric Wallenda- Arestov, and their two-year old son, Alex Wallenda-Arestov. Originally from Russia, Arestov is a second-generation roller bowler performer. Arestov mainly performs his act from the ground, often in his routine, twirling a huge giant cube in his arms very fast on the ground. On the roller bowler, he is high in the air twisting and throwing huge hoops in the air or holding his son, Alex, in his arms as he holds the American flags up high in the air.
Lyric Wallenda-Arestov, is from a family of extremely talented performers, family members that focus on the tight rope. She is a 7th generation performer of the famous Wallenda family. Her cousins, Nick and Leona Wallenda walked the tight rope in Times Square this summer on National TV!! For her act, Lyric performed her dazzling aerial tricks on a large circular hoop that she twirled around in, sat on a giant beam and swung it around like it was a giant swing, and balanced and twisted herself in the air with just a head restraint!! Their act that I witnessed that afternoon was fantastic to watch! This was the first time that the family performed at the Schaghticoke Fair.
I left the fair after “Media Day” to take part in a commitment in Troy. I later returned to Schaghticoke Fair to enjoy the remainder of “Dollar Day”. It gave me a chance to check out the other locations that I didn’t have time to view earlier that day.
I have certain places that I always check out at the local fair that I enjoy; the Arts and Crafts booth to check out the photography and fine art submissions that won prizes and the country crafts that were for sale, I caught only a few songs from local band, “7th Squeeze”, at the small stage at the park, I took a walk through the rides, shopping, and gaming area that was full of patrons purchasing items from the booths or taking their chance to ride on a dizzying ride, checked out the Veteran’s Museum and its many artifacts that were on view, and last but not least, I took a walk inside the grand stand to check out the vendors that were selling their goods or products. Under the grandstand, I checked out some nice nature photography from a Valley Falls, NY photographer and I finally had a chance to meet Meg VanEpps, the owner of Meg’s Media, in person! Meg and her sister work together to paint and create their home-made wooden signs that are ready to be hung in a home or local business. Their signs can be seen and ready to purchase at the Rustic Barn Pub and other community events that they’ll be a part of during the fall. I purchased a painted sign with a sand dollar on it for my dad as a birthday present for him to display at home. Those are just some of the places that I had visited at the fair, among others, until the rain came rolling in and the fair came to an end for the night.
Some of the food vendors even had dollar deals at their booths in honor of “Dollar Day”. There was a food booth that even gave away a free piece of birthday cake at a certain time in celebration of the fair’s 200th Anniversary (and birthday). A favorite venue to eat at is over at the Hoosick Valley Booster Club where they have a giant fried dough (with optional fruit) that you can eat as a whole meal that is out of this world! It is huge! You must sit down at a picnic table or near the grandstand just to eat it alone or with a group of people that are hungry to eat.
As for whether I watched Trace Atkins perform the following day, no it never happened. Unfortunately, the media was never allowed any media passes to cover Atkins’ show. Still, I had a fantastic time attending the 200th Annual Schaghticoke Fair.
Happy 200th Birthday and Happy Anniversary to the third oldest fair in New York State, The Schaghticoke Fair! Great job to all involved who took part in the event and helped make this fair a huge success for its bi centennial! Be sure to check out the fair’s website at http://www.schaghticokefair.com/index.php to learn more about it and its upcoming events and opportunities to take part in. There are all kinds of fun things to do in Rensselaer County and the Schaghticoke Fair is one of those fun events to attend every year with family and friends.