by Bill Batson
The Nyack Chamber of Commerce will celebrate 60 years of service at a gala on Thursday, April 6, 2016. “The Chamber was formed to create a space where businesses could thrive,” said Chamber President Scott Baird. “We took advantage of the groundswell of population growth and new-found tourism that was expected in Nyack in the 1950s and ‘60s after the construction of the first Tappan Zee Bridge.” The 60th anniversary gala will be held in shadow of the new Tappan Zee Bridge at 65 on Main and will honor the man behind Amazing Grace Circus, Carlo Pellegrini, the owners of the Hudson House, Matt Hudson and Amy Lehman and Kim Cross, the executive director of Nyack Center.
This week, Nyack Sketch Log profiles these institutions that these honorees have built that offer a glimpse at the past and the future of our village.
May 2012 was a big month at the Hudson House, one of Nyack’s premier restaurants. The New York Times praised new chef Jeffrey Kaufman for his “dazzling dishes.” And owners Matt Hudson and Amy Lehman received an award for Historic Preservation from Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef. In both culinary standards and civic responsibility, the Hudson House is getting high marks, which is fitting when you are serving the public from a building that was once Village Hall.
Nyack Center operates from the oldest surviving house of worship in our village, the First Presbyterian Church. The original sand stone building that stood on this spot was erected on land deeded by Peter Depew in 1816. It was torn down and replaced by today’s familiar wooden edifice in 1839.
There is a life force emanating from the building that stands at Broadway and Depew Avenue: an aura from almost 200 years of uninterrupted community activity. If it were not for an enlightened congregation and a dynamic woman, this building would have been demolished in 1990.
Amazing Grace Circus
You may have seen the Amazing Grace Circus perform at a school, theater, street fair or house of worship. Many remember when they marched behind an elephant to a massive pitched tent in Memorial Park, or their contingents at every Halloween Parade. In my sketch, the pint-sized performers are mesmerizing motorists during an impromptu parade on the way back from the Nyack Farmers’ Market. With summer camp programs now on both sides of the Hudson River, Amazing Grace Circus is flying high. Here’s how they formed.
Chamber Programs and Events
The year round market, organized by the Nyack Chamber of Commerce, begins its outdoor season on April 6th, in the Main Municipal parking lot and will be open every Thursday through November 30th from 8:00 am – 2:00pm. The winter market is held in the Nyack Center.
SpringFest Street Fair
SpringFest is on Sunday, April 9 from 10am – 5pm for live bands, great food, kid rides, and over three hundred vendors offering unique crafts, jewelry and more! It’s a great day for the whole family, and while you’re here, check out Nyack’s one of a kind shops, pubs and fabulous restaurants. No pets are allowed by order of the Village of Nyack. Presented by the Nyack Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Nyack Boat Charter. For vendor application visit Woodwill.com.
Earth Day 2017 – Saturday, April 22 – Veterans Memorial Park – Cedar and Main Street – noon to 5 pm. Live music, food vendors, used battery drop, local artisans, craft projects, unique hands-on activities. Keep Rockland Beautiful, Inc. Great American Cleanup crew prior to to the event. Brought to you by the Nyack Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Nyack and sponsored by Casa del Sol, Solar Maximum and Green Mountain Energy.
An artist and writer, Bill Batson lives in Nyack, NY. Nyack Sketch Log: “Nyack Sketch Log: Nyack Sketch Log: Nyack Sketch Log: Elmwood Playhouse” © 2017 Bill Batson. Visit billbatsonarts.com to see more.