Looking back at 2017
By Roger Gavan
WARWICK — It’s been said that just like politics, “All news is local.” So while 2017 was filled with major national and International events, Warwick also had its share of important stories which began and ended with Apple Eve, the first of two community New Years Eve celebrations on Railroad Avenue.
These are some but not all of those events.
• January ended on a sad note when the Warwick community lost another of its most treasured citizens, Debbie Iurato, a business owner best known for her numerous contributions to the Warwick community.
• On Feb. 9, Warwick had its first major snowstorm of 2017.
• The beginning of March was spring like but that all ended on March 14, with winter storm Stella causing Orange County to declare a state of emergency.
• Early in April students from the Warwick Valley School District were invited to participate in “Design Day” activities and share their input for the proposed new playground at Stanley-Deming Park.
• The highlight of the year was the celebration of the Village of Warwick Sesquicentennial, its 150th anniversary of incorporation.
• And on Saturday, April 15, the Sesquicentennial Committee invited the public to a parade on Main Street to ceremonies held at Railroad Green
• On April 28, there was a departure in part from the usual Arbor Day ceremony at Stanley-Deming Park when it honored outgoing Village Tree Commissioner Roger Metzger, a 50-year veteran of the Commission and its Commissioner for more than 40 of those years.
• During the Town of Warwick Board Meeting on May 11, Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Town Historian Dr. Richard Hull took the opportunity to present awards to The Warwick Advertiser and the Warwick Valley Dispatch for their distinguished service to the community.
• That month the Town of Warwick also launched its Friendly Visitor Program, committed to supporting residents by helping them remain in their homes.
• The annual Memorial Day parade is seldom canceled for any reason. But on Monday, May 29, heavy rain caused ceremonies to be moved indoors to the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department’s Church Street Firehouse.
• And that same month over 500 cyclists in “Farm to Fork Fondo” rode from Pennings Farm and Cidery in distance options for cyclists of all abilities. Warwick also hosted the biennial Firemen’s parade.
• In July the Warwick Historical Society commemorated the 100th annual George Washington Day in Lewis Park
• And in August Warwick celebrated a weeklong 150th anniversary or Sesquicentennial series of events in honor of the incorporation of the Village of Warwick in 1867.
Joining Mayor Michael Newhard in the opening ceremony was Stephen Cross, the mayor of Warwick, England, the county town of Warwickshire, and his wife, Christine.
Later in the week we celebrated the unearthing of the time capsule, buried in 1967 at Veterans Memorial Park. And on the last day of the scheduled events there was a parade past Warwick Village Hall, ending at Veterans Memorial Park with a free barbecue, live music and spectacular fireworks.
• It was hometown USA again on Sept. 16 for the annual Homecoming Day Parade and on Sept. 24, a colorful assembly of members of the Spanish Ministry of the Warwick Reformed Church formed a line of march from the church down Main Street, to the Railroad Green. The event was a partnership between the Spanish Ministry and the Sesquicentennial Committee.
• In October it looked like we may have to raise the estimate of the number of people attending Applefest from 30,000 to 40,000.
• “First Responders Day,” also sponsored by the Village Sesquicentennial Committee, honored the Warwick Fire Department, the Warwick Emergency Medical Service, the Warwick Police Department and the Village of Warwick Department of Public Works.
On Oct. 14, approximately 150 people gathered in Veterans Memorial Park to witness the burying of the new Sesquicentennial Time Capsule next to the Firemen’s Memorial
• That same month the Warwick Valley Rotary Club presented its annual Citizen of the Year Award to Stan Martin.
• Home for the Holidays began on Nov. 19 and ended successfully on Christmas Eve.
• Meanwhile, the Warwick Ecumenical Food Pantry delivered more than 400 Thanksgiving Day and Christmas baskets.
• On Nov. 30 Warwick joined New York City as one of the only two communities in New York State to receive the SolSmart Gold designation for removing obstacles to solar energy development.
Mount Peter Ski area officially opened for the season on Dec. 16.
And finally, in spite of well below freezing temperatures on New Year’s Eve, a new tradition continued as the community celebrated another “Apple Eve,” to kickoff the Village of Warwick’s future in 2018.
Of course there is much more and the most read stories in 2017 can be viewed at www.warwickadvertiser.com.
Happy New Year!
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