SpringFest 2012, slated for May 12 in the Lloyd hamlet, is poised to be an all-day extravaganza of fun, activities, hysterical bed races, waiter races, a kids’ bike parade, jumpy castles, face-painting, prizes, local food vendors and live music into the night.
The day starts off at 10 a.m. with a “Blessing of the Bikes,” a non-denominational ceremony intended to bring safety to riders of all ages for the upcoming bike season. This takes place outside of the Methodist Church, and immediately following will be a kids’ bike parade that will wind them through the hamlet and end at Brooks and Brooks Surveying. There, a bike safety workshop will be held to ensure that helmets are being worn right, brakes are working, gears are shifting and those two-wheel wonders are ready to hit the trails and the roads. The kids are being encouraged to put the “bling” into their bikes and jazz them up, as there will be prizes for the most creative bike decoration.
“I really wanted to emphasize our rail trail with the Blessing of the Bikes and the parade, and remind people that we have such an incredible rail trail, with three entry points, that serves as the gateway trail to the Walkway over the Hudson,” said Stephanie Fraino, a member of Highland’s exuberant Events Committee and the chair of the SpringFest.
Following the bike parade and safety check will be all kinds of activities for kids, including a jumpy house, chalk art and face-painting. Then the races begin, with a Waiters’ Race slated for 2 p.m. taking ten waiters from local restaurants on a course starting at Town Hall and ending at the intersection of Vineyard Avenue and Main Street. “This should be so fun,” said Fraino. “People are getting so into it. Mariner’s Harbor is having its mascot, the lobster, do the Waiters’ Race. Each waiter will have a tray filled with glasses of water, and the one to cross the finish line first, with the driest tray, will win a $150 prize.”
At 3 p.m. is the Bed Race, where nine teams have signed up, each with five people, to put a bed on some sort of chassis, with one person lying on the bed while the other four race it around the course. “It should be interesting to see them make some of those turns, since they can’t steer; it’s all manpower.”
This is an international fun competition that began in the 1700s in France and happens all over the world. “Where I grew up, more upstate, we had a two-week-long festival, and we always had bed races, which are hysterical,” said Fraino. The prizes are no laughing matter, with a first place prize of $500 and a second place prize of $250 awarded based on a combination of how fast the teams make it through the course and how creative their beds are.
While all of this activity is happening, there will be a deejay during the day and a food court filled with fare from local restaurants. “As a volunteer for the schools, I’m always asking businesses for donations or gift certificates for the PTA or a charity or different fundraisers. And when I joined the committee and wanted to introduce a SpringFest, I thought it was my way of giving back to the local businesses and bringing in as many people as we could to support them and see all of the great things they have to offer. So I was really happy that our awesome food court is made up of all-local restaurants and food establishments.”
Jacob’s Music will kick off the live music portion of the day by bringing out instruments and letting kids touch them, play them and get a feel for the various instruments, while the three live bands set up at the corner of Vineyard and Main Street. Music will kick off at 6 p.m., beginning with a two-man country/rock band known as the Free Draft Beer Live Band, followed by a bluegrass band, Rich Hines and the Hillbilly Drifters, with the final performance being a reggae band called the Bomb Mob.
“It’s an all-day event with something for everyone,” said Fraino. If you’re interested in registering for the Bed Race or Waiter Race you can download the forms at www.townoflloyd.com, where you can also find more information on the Ring in the Spring rain-or-shine Festival on May 12. ++