Wallkill River will be celebrated with festival at Sojourner Truth Park in New Paltz

Members of the Wallkill River Watershed Alliance will be holding the first annual festival to celebrate the river at Sojourner Truth Park in New Paltz on October 7, assuming that parking issues can be worked out. Holding the festival by the river is such a strong preference, according to alliance member Martha Cheo, that the riverfront park is preferable to holding it at the Gardens for Nutrition, from which the Wallkill is only partially in view. In addition to waiving the insurance requirement, which trustees easily agreed to, alliance members are seeking parking along Plains Road to accommodate visitors. On that point, a decision will have to wait until public works commissioner Bleu Terwilliger and a town police official can weigh in. It’s estimated as many as 200 people will attend the event, which will include a fundraising art auction to benefit the alliance.

“If there’s no parking on Plains Road, we can’t have the event there,” Cheo told trustees. Having the river dominate the view is expected to set the right tone for a festival that’s about both celebrating and cleaning up the Wallkill. There’s more parking by the community garden, but the river’s not in view without an effort. “You can’t, as a group, see it,” she explained. The inaugural festival was supposed to be held last year, but according Cheo, “we did not do it because of the river turning green,” caused by a to