Honoring the volunteers

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

Been working for the town of late, volunteering for a myriad different elements of what makes Woodstock click? Hey, it’s your time this Saturday, when the 11th Annual Woodstock Volunteers Day rolls around. The celebration begins at 3 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m. when the Alf Evers Award is given, after which everyone heads off for a quick dinner or spreads a blanket on the grass and picnics a bit, waiting on Andy Lee Field on Rock City road for nightfall, around 9 p.m., for the Woodstock Fire Department’s annual Big Fireworks.

The art bus and a bouncy tent will once again be free for children and grandchildren of volunteers, with only a small charge for all other children attending to join in. Same goes for those wishing to celebrate the town’s volunteers alongside them all, for whom grilled food will be for sale, from veggie burgers and hot dogs to hamburgers, cold drinks and chips.

Plus, for the first time ever, artist Gay Leonhardt, will be coordinating a “participation art piece.”


It’s all in honor of those who work for their neighbors, without pay, those in the Fire Department and on the Rescue Squad, on the Library Boards, Planning and zoning boards, commissions, committees; those who work at the Food Pantry, at Family of Woodstock, at Meals on Wheels, for the Land Conservancy, Hospice, Historical Society, and many more…


The schedule

As for the music schedule: The fabulous Cupcakes kick things off from 3 p.m.-3:30 p.m., followed by Zumbidelic 3:40 p.m.-4:10 p.m., Salted Brothers from 4:20 p.m.-4:50 p.m., the great Joe Veillette goes on at 5 p.m., Doghouse from 5:40 p.m. to 6:10 p.m., always effervescent Bruce Ackerman at 6:20 p.m., and Rennie Cantine of guitar army fame playing from 7 p.m. until the fireworks start, with a break at 8 p.m. to hand out the annual Alf Evers award to the volunteer of the year.

Who’s that going to be, you ask? Hah! According to Tamara Cooper, who took over coordination of the big day from Volunteers Day founder Sam Magarelli this year, not even she knows.

Or Magarelli for that matter.

“We would like to acknowledge the Woodstock Fire Company for the wonderful firework display that they have orchestrated for the past 21 years,” Cooper added. “It is the culmination of a wonderful day of community spirit and engagement. WAIV appreciates its partnership with the fire company and thank them for all that they do for our community.”


Alf Award

At 8 p.m. on Saturday evening, just prior to the fireworks at Andy Lee Field, the recipient of the annual Alf Evers Award for Volunteer of the Year will be announced. The award, which honors the memory of Alf Evers and all he gave to Woodstock, goes each year to that person, who, over the course of his or her life, has shown extraordinary dedication to giving back to the town and their fellow Woodstockers. This year’s recipient will be the eleventh Woodstocker to receive the award.


Fireworks display

In its own inimitable way, Woodstock declares its independence with a grand fireworks display as the culmination of the great celebratory day in which its Volunteers are feted all day long, followed by the announcement of the Alf Evers Award.

Then finally, at around 9 p.m., as darkness takes over, The Woodstock Fire District presents its 21st Annual Fireworks Display, a grand cacophony of brilliant light and booming sound that can shake the ground at Andy Lee Field and is visible throughout much of the town. Bring a blanket and prepare to be bedazzled.