Mum’s the word in Saugerties

Mum Queen Hannah Spoljaric, center and her court, Bhavrett Dhandi and Madison Perri. (photo by Robert Ford)

Mum Queen Hannah Spoljaric, center and her court, Bhavrett Dhandi and Madison Perri. (photo by Robert Ford)

Hundreds of visitors and local residents came out for the annual Mum Festival at Seamon Park last Sunday.

Each year, Village of Saugerties parks superintendent George Terpening and his crew plant more than 1500 mums in the park, while the Society of Little Gardens fills the planters throughout the business section of the village with mums. Numerous residents decorate the front of their homes with mums to welcome the fall visitors.

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While the theme of the day is mums, the festival features numerous activities for young and old alike. The 51st festival began with the raising of the American flag by members of the Saugerties American Legion Post 172 honor guard. Noah’s Ark Nursery School students recited the pledge of allegiance. The Royals singing group presented the Star Spangled Banner.

State legislator Pete Lopez talked about the beauty and peacefulness of the park. “The park is a place of refuge for us,” Lopez said of his and his wife’s love of Seamon Park. “We’re touched by its dignity. And today is not only about the vibrancy of its flowers but of its residents as well.”

County legislators Mary Wawro, Dean Fabiano and Chris Allen read a proclamation saluting the park, calling the festival “a major fall event in Saugerties.”

Youngsters from the Saugerties Boys and Girls Club at the Mum Festival. (photo by Robert Ford)

Youngsters from the Saugerties Boys and Girls Club at the Mum Festival. (photo by Doug Freese)

Throughout the day, Mum Queen Hannah Spoljaric and her court along with members of the Saugerties High School Key Club passed out mum wristbands made by the Society of Little Gardens to visitors. The queen and her court wore mum wreaths created by the Dancing Tulip floral boutique.

A host of activities were held throughout the park, which had been donated to the village of Saugerties by brothers John and George Seamon in 1909. The brothers owned the Seamon Brothers Funeral Home, founded by their father Henry in 1873.

There were musical offerings by the Saugerties Community Band, the River Bank Banjo Band and the Paul Luke Band.

There were also hay-wagon rides by Ray and Carol Ann Mayone, a petting zoo by Michel’s Farm, the Saugerties Women’s Club annual art show, face painting by Tina VanVoorhis, the Saugerties High School PTSA craft tables, a reptile show by high-school biology teacher Mark Perpetua, and a raptors’ show by Brian Robinson.

The annual festival is one of the more special events in the village, according to village trustee Jeannine Mayer. “It brings together local residents and tourists to share and celebrate one of Saugerties’ true treasures, Seamon Park,” Mayer said.

Excited youngsters from the Saugerties Boys and Girls Club. (photo by Robert Ford)

Excited youngsters from the Saugerties Boys and Girls Club (photo by Doug Freese)

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