A team of approximately 16 dedicated volunteers is in the process of putting the final touches on this year’s 24th annual Gardiner Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14.
Charged with organizing, running, setting up, scheduling and masterminding this beloved free community event that celebrates all that is Gardiner and all that is small-town summer, the Gardiner Day Committee has evolved from a small ad hoc group 20 years ago into a multifaceted volunteer board that puts on events for its town throughout the year, Gardiner Day being the best-known.
Carol Ann Majestic Lohrman explained that Gardiner Day was originally the brainchild of then-supervisor Mike Moran 24 years ago. “He wanted an event that brought our local businesses and organizations together to show their wares and what they had to offer,” said Lohrman, who was then the town’s bookkeeper.
The first year went well, but the work was done almost single-handedly by Moran. The following year it rained, and the third year he said that he just didn’t have the time to devote to it. “A number of checks had come in from local businesses towards Gardiner Day, and he said to me, ‘Well, ask for volunteers, and if we get them, we’ll form a committee,’ which is what we did!”
Since that time, the Gardiner Day Committee has grown, as has the event, bringing in well over 1,000 people, and the numbers grow every year. It has evolved from a smaller business-expo event into a multifaceted day-long event that features live music, children’s activities, performers, food vendors, pie-making and -eating contests, pony rides, exhibitions from local karate dojos, dance groups, a popular craft tent, the State Police, the Gardiner Fire Department, an ambulance presence and activities, as well as the business expo, housed in the new pole barn at George Majestic Memorial Park.