Fall Fest Set for Columbus Day Weekend
Posted September 25, 2020 The Mountain Eagle, Windham Weekly
The void over Columbus Day weekend in Windham will hopefully be filled a little bit by the C.D. Lane Park Fall Fest. A community-oriented event is taking place on Saturday afternoon, October 10, at the family-friendly park outside the hamlet of Maplecrest, sponsored by the town with backing from the Windham Foundation.
While the festival is not intended to, nor could it, replace the annual and very popular Autumn Affair, hosted by the Windham Chamber of Commerce, its timing is not mere coincidence. Thousands of people have come to the 2-day Autumn Affair over the 25 years of its existence, putting Windham on the mid-October travel map. Main Street overflows with a variety of vendors, music, the Apple Festival held at the Methodist Church and a ton of stuff for kids to do and see. There will be no vendors for Fall Fest, in deference to the ongoing Covid-19 need for social distancing, save for one or two food trucks.
The main attraction will instead be the park itself, which is in the process of receiving several enhancements, courtesy of the Windham Foundation. Two live bands are also going to be part of the pre-Halloween gathering, featuring “Steel,” from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. followed by “Four 26.” Everything begins at noon, wrapping up by 5 in the evening, getting everyone home before sunset, hopefully feeling uplifted.
“We want to give people who live here something to do for a few hours,” town supervisor Thomas Hoyt says, laying out the welcome mat for residents in neighboring mountaintop towns and villages. “This is not as big a splash as the Autumn Affair. We still have the virus out there. We have to act responsibly. It will be just like our 4th of July parade and fireworks. People were able to celebrate and be protected,” Hoyt says. “We want people to bring a lawn chair, bring their own peanut butter and jelly sandwich and cooler or buy a hotdog, spread out on 15 acres at our beautiful park and get a sense of normalcy back in our lives.”
C.D. Lane Park may look different from when you last saw it unless you are one of a growing number of visitors who stopped by the past few months. Windham Foundation funding has facilitated a refurbishing of the basketball court, the softball field and the lakefront. Betterments are underway on the park’s foot trails, being careful to keep them otherwise undisturbed. A temporary stream crossing has been laid over the Batavia Kill, easing access to a mile-and-a-half of trails on the far side of the lake, with a permanent crossing planned for next year, blending with the terrain. A 35-foot Stars and Stripes flagpole is being installed, replacing a smaller one at the roundabout, near the playground. New grills have been put in and picnic tables have been spruced up. Lifeguards are expected to be onsite, next summer, allowing use of the lake by swimmers with easier access/ storage for kayakers also unfolding.
“We want to create an awareness of everything positive that’s happening at the park,” Windham Foundation member Phyllis Parrish said. “It’s such a wonderful resource and this is a full community effort,” Parrish said, noting entranceway landscaping was donated by Smitty’s Nursery.
C.D. Lane Park Fall Fest is free-of-charge and, in the spirit of the Autumn Affair, will offer numerous activities for children such as Frisbee Golf (providing individual frisbees), nature crafts and more. “We want this to be a real family day,” Hoyt says. “There have been so many cancellations of events. This is something we can safely share.”