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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Businesses planning Porchfest for Woodstock Weekend in Callicoon

By Fred Stabbert III

By: Fred Stabbert III
Porchfest will include many Callicoon establishments, including The Western, foreground, and the Callicoon Brewery, seen in the distance, which will be re-opening early next month after an extensive renovation of the former Olympia Hotel on Upper Main Street, Callicoon.
CALLICOON - It's an idea that started 12 years ago in Ithaca and has grown to include 130 events throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Now Irene Nickolai is spear-heading an effort to bring the popular musical and community event to downtown Callicoon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 16, 17 and 18, of Woodstock Weekend.
It will be named Callicoon Porchfest 2019.
“There will be a lot of tourists and visitors in Sullivan County [for Woodstock weekend],” Nickolai told the Delaware Town Board on Wednesday night.
“And we would like to take advantage of that and have this event showcase historic Callicoon.”
Nickolai was at the Delaware Town Board in search of support in applying for a ‘Plans and Progress' grant from the Sullivan County Dept. of Planning and Environmental Management.
The $10,000 grant - which needs matching funds - needs to be administered by another government agency.
Nickolai presented a $22,500 budget to the town for the event, which included $3,500 for marketing, $4,500 for advertising, $11,000 for bands and performers and $3,500 for a Public Address system and lighting.
Supervisor Ed Sykes was enthusiastic in his support.
“I think it's a great idea,” he said. “The only thing I am concerned about is insurance.”
Because the Town of Delaware will be a sponsor - but with no fiscal commitment - Sykes and the board asked Nickolai to add the township as an “additional insured” on all the policies of the host businesses.
Sykes added, “You [the committee] need to have coverage. You assume liability if you sell one glass of beer.”
Sykes told about his trips to New England Jazz Festivals and how important it is for communities to have events which attract and entertain tourists.
“I also know how much effort goes on behind the scenes to throw an event like that,” he said. Sykes added, “I see a lot of loose ends. It's easy to say ‘I'll take care of it' but you need to make sure it's very organized and nothing slips through the cracks.
“It's called Murphy's Law.”
Councilman Al Steppich was less than enthusiastic, saying “I see way too many flies in the ointment.”
Councilman Chris Hermann commented said, “As long as the Town is safe from liability [I'll support it].”
Councilman John Gain said he would support the event “As long as they [the committee] can perform what they say.”
The board approved a motion to become “the grant recipient” by a 4-1 margin, with Steppich dissenting.
Porchfest will start Friday, August 16 with a Callicoon Pub Crawl featuring music at local businesses.
On Saturday and Sunday, over 20 homes and businesses will serve as stages presenting artists, ranging from classical to improv jazz to blues, funk and soul.
Vendors will be on hand at Callicoon Creek Park.

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