Highland SpringFest features 5K run, vehicle show, shopping cart relay & local microbrews

The annual Highland Spring Fest will be held this Saturday May 20. The festival organizers have joined forces with the Herbert W. Litts Forget Me Not memorial vehicle show. Also new this year is a shopping cart relay. Pictured left to right: Jennifer Perkins Reeves, Kate Jonietz and Stephanie Frano. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Founded in 2013 as a public/private partnership of the Town of Lloyd Events Committee and the Highland Business Association, SpringFest will be back in the Highland hamlet this Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It brings with it the second annual running of the 5K Run/Walk, starting at 10 a.m. at the Rotary Pavilion at New Paltz Road on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. Since SpringFest coincides with Armed Forces Weekend, the $20 registration fee for participants in this “fun run” goes toward services to Gold Star families and war veterans, through the not-for-profit organization Semper Fi Parents of the Hudson Valley. “They do a lot in the community to help families,” says event coordinator Stephanie Frano.

Another fundraiser that used to compete with SpringFest on the same day every year was the Herbert W. Litts, Jr. Memorial “Forget Me Not” Vehicle Show. Dedicated to the memory of a farmer, construction worker and civic-minded Highlander who died in 2011, car and vendor fees at the Litts Vehicle Show go toward the regional chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Formerly held in the parking lot of the Tractor Supply Co. in Bridgeview Plaza, the auto show was invited this year to join forces with SpringFest and relocate further downtown. It will be setting up shop on Saturday in the municipal parking lot at 43 Main Street.

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Something else that’s new about this year’s SpringFest is a wacky competitive event called the Shopping Cart Relay, which incorporates the Waiters’ Race of past years with several new elements. The first member of each three-person team must first push a shopping cart heavily laden with canned goods (donated by Hannaford’s) between two points in the racecourse – about 30 feet apart, according to Frano. Then the second team member has exactly one minutes to unload the cans and stack them in a pyramid formation. The third team member must then run while carrying a waiter’s tray with three full cups of water without spilling any. Finally, one team member dons a helmet and hops into the cart, while the other two push him or her to the Finish Line. Teams will compete in heats of three, and the price of entry is the donation of one 18-by-18-inch box of non-perishable food per team to local food pantries. Prizes of gift cards will be awarded for the winner at each station of the relay, plus one “really cool” Grand Prize overall, says Frano.

SpringFest’s other attractions will include live music from Probable Cause, the Touch of Rhythm Band and Mix 97.7 deejay Rick Knight; lots of food, art and craft vendors; and “a ton of kids’ activities” in the Town Field according to Frano, including an irresistible-sounding 54-foot-long Inflatable Obstacle Course. And this year, the Beer Garden will feature all-local microbrews! In other words: something for everyone.

To learn more about Highland SpringFest 2017, visit www.facebook.com/Spring-Fest-593101760717862.

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