Woodstock’s Day of Gratitude returns this Saturday with awards and fireworks

The Woodstock Volunteers Day of Gratitude returns to the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center and Andy Lee Field Saturday, August 21 with a day full of music, fun and the bestowing of the Alf Evers Award, followed by its usual grand fireworks display.

The festivities kick off at noon and conclude with the fireworks display at sunset, usually about 9 p.m. The organizers assert the event is not a recruitment event but instead is intended to offer thanks and appreciation to all the volunteers in town.

“While we are reminded every day of the considerable acts of kindness, personal generosity and bravery that our volunteers offer us on a daily basis, never asking to be thanked, on Volunteers’ Day, the volunteers are the ‘Guests of Honor,’” the event’s website said.

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Those guests of honor include the volunteer fire companies and Woodstock Rescue Squad and the COVID-19 vaccination army organized by Neal Smoller of the Village Apothecary; Family of Woodstock, Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Hospice, Woodstock Area Meals on Wheels, and the Food Pantry, volunteer performers and coaches, organizations like Habitat for Humanity and so many more.

All volunteers both and current and retired will be treated to lunch from noon to 3 p.m. and music from noon until 9 p.m.

The afternoon music bill includes Bennet Harris from noon to 12:30 p.m., Sweet Marie from 12:35-1:05 p.m., the Peter Einhorn Trio from 1:15-2 p.m., D Squared from 2:15-3 p.m., Joe Veillette from 3:15-4 p.m. The evening features one-hour sets by Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers, and Edward James Band at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. Then at 7 p.m. Rennie Cantine and Friends close out the evening with a two-hour set.

The Alf Evers Award, a lifetime achievement award for a volunteer, will be given at 8 p.m. Later at 9 p.m., the festivities close out with what the organizers bill as the “Greatest Fireworks Show in the Hudson Valley: Presented by the Woodstock Fire Department.”

“Volunteer’s Day — A Day of Gratitude is a day in which we all remember what is good about our community,” the event’s website said. “Woodstock is the only town in America that has a volunteers’ day — a day of gratitude like this one, in which all volunteers both current and retired are celebrated.”

The general public is welcome and food will be available for purchase by the public and children can play for a small fee.

“All are encouraged to come and show up for the volunteers; ‘they always show up for us’,” the event’s website said.