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Community turns out in big numbers on Greenville Day weekend


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

It took a team of four to hold the 110-pound Burmese python in the reptile exhibit. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

GREENVILLE — Even threatening skies and intermittent rain couldn’t keep revelers from turning out in big numbers on Greenville Day weekend.

The two-day celebration of all things Greenville took place on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23, and rainy weather on Saturday did not keep celebrants home.

Alan Roehr and his kids, Regan, 8, and Parker, 6, traveled from Coeymans Hollow for the day and refused to let the weather rain on their parade.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Alan Roehr said. “We made the trip out here and are trying to have fun before the rain starts.”

“I like the games best,” Parker said after winning a prize at one of the vendors.

Greenville Day was organized by the town this year and on both days took place at Vanderbilt Town Park with kids’ rides, carnival games, pony rides, a reptile show, music, vendors and plenty more.

For the first time, a $5 parking fee was charged to cover the cost of the kids’ rides, which were offered free to families, as was the reptile show, pony rides and more.

Carson Crawley, 4, takes a ride around the park. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

The weather was lovely on Friday, but skies were overcast all day Saturday and the rain was on and off. But that didn’t get in the way of a good time, especially after a summer filled with the wet stuff.

“I’m having a blast,” said resident Debbie Smith. “It’s just sprinkles — we’ve had sprinkles all year. This is nothing compared to what we’ve had for rain.”

“I still wouldn’t miss this,” Smith said of Greenville Day.

The Greenville Faculty Association had a table of free books for readers of all ages donated by local faculty at Greenville Central School District.

“We collected gently used books and we are giving them away to encourage kids and adults to read. We are also collecting donations for the Greenville Public Library as well,” said Casey Gannon, president of the Greenville Faculty Association. “Reading is great for vocabulary development and gives kids something to do with their parents, so anything we can do to encourage that really helps build their foundational skills.”

Karen Rosenberg, left, and Casey Gannon handed out free books to readers of all ages on Greenville Day. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

For Everett Hastings, 4, the face-painting station was his favorite part of the day.

“He loves the face painting — he wants to do that everywhere we go,” said mom Taylor Hummer, who said the weather did not deter them. “As long as he is having fun, that is what counts.”

A large crowd gathered Saturday afternoon under a tent with the NJ Snakeman for an exhibit of reptiles — with the bravest in the crowd petting and holding snakes, a bearded dragon and more.

“It feels spiky,” said Corrinna Carpenter, who held and pet a bearded dragon.

Corrinna Carpenter said the bearded dragon she held in the reptile exhibit felt “spiky.” Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

A team of four was needed to hold the yellow and white 110-pound Burmese python, while others took a turn with the red-tailed boa.

John Scarafile, from NJ Snakeman, said there is a major misconception among many people about snakes and other reptiles.

“People think these animals want to hurt us. Most people are afraid of snakes because they think they are going to bite them, but they will only bite if you bother them,” Scarafile said. “They are more afraid of us than we are of them because we look like something that will eat them. They are much smaller than us and unless they are very much used to people, they are afraid of us more so than we are of them.”

Avery Pruiksma shows no fear as she pets a red-tailed boa. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Greene County Legislator Greg Davis, R-Greenville, said he was pleased to see such a turnout at the park on Greenville Day weekend.

“I am really happy to see that so many people turned out even though the weather isn’t so great,” Davis said. “It’s really nice for the citizens to be so happy with our town and to have so much town spirit and camaraderie.”

Here are more images from the weekend’s festivities:

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