The year in review

Warwick. While 2019 was certainly filled with major national and International events, Warwick also had its share of important stories

| 14 Jan 2020 | 12:55

It’s been said that just like politics, “All news is local.” So while 2019 was certainly filled with major national and International events, Warwick also had its share of important stories which began and ended with Apple Eve, the community New Years Eve celebration on Railroad Avenue.

These are some but not all of those events.

Mount Peter Ski Area still had the only snow in town but on Saturday, Jan. 19, there was snow, sleet, and freezing rain late that night into Sunday with strong winds and 10 inches accumulation of snow and sleet

In February the Orange County Industrial Development Agency’s Accelerator announced plans to establish a $2.1 million branch for the production of the hemp compound CBD (cannabidiol) at the former Mid Orange Correctional facility.

There hadn’t been many snowstorms last winter until Friday, March 1, and again on Saturday, March 2. But those storms were immediately followed by a more significant one. On Monday, March 4, the heavier snowfall that began after 4 p.m. on Sunday evening left up to eight inches of additional snow cover in the higher elevations.

On Sunday, March 24, the temperatures were on the mild side as Mount Peter celebrated a great 2018-2019 winter sports season with its annual Spring Rally.

The annual Warwick Little League parade and ceremonies took place on Saturday, April 6, under bright sun and clear blue skies.

Where there’s a will there’s a way

When the National Weather Service predicted a 90 per cent chance for heavy rain on Saturday, April 20, the organizers of the twelfth annual Village Easter Egg Hunt had to come up with another plan. And they did. When the forecast turned out to be true, they moved the event from Veterans Memorial Park to FireHouse Station No. 1 on Church Street Extension.

On Wednesday evening, May 22, almost a thousand well-wishers, including local officials and members of organizations like the Warwick Lions and the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce along with other groups, parents and children gathered in Stanley-Deming Park to celebrate the grand opening of the new ADA accessible playground built with the aid of volunteers..

It was cloudy but great weather for fishing on Saturday, May 4, as approximately 200 people, youngsters along with their parents or grandparents, came out to enjoy the overcast skies and mild temperatures while fishing in a creek well stocked with trout for the Warwick Valley Rod & Gun Club “Take a Kid Fishing Day.”

Later that month the third annual “Too Good to Toss” community swap sponsored by Sustainable Warwick with the cooperation of both the Town and Village of Warwick was held at Stanley-Deming Park and declared another huge success.

'Choose Life Parade'

On Saturday, May 11, the Warwick Knights of Columbus Council #4952 sponsored the first “Choose Life Parade.” Approximately 300 marchers assembled on High Street and then headed down Main Street to Railroad Green where the speakers welcomed and addressed the crowd.

Rare for last year’s spring, it was actually warm and sunny on May 19 as a large crowd turned out for Winslow Therapeutic Center’s 29th annual Duck Derby.

On Sunday, May 19, after two weekends of rain, there was summer like weather and a perfect time to “Play ball!” It was opening day for the Beautiful People adaptive baseball on the Daniel Fratto Memorial Field at Wickham Woodlands Town Park.

And there were clear skies and mild temperatures as hundreds of members of veterans’ groups, their guests and other organizations participated in the 2019 annual Memorial Day ceremonies on May 27

On Saturday, June 1, the public had a unique opportunity to go back in time to Colonial Days and the Revolutionary War era in Warwick.

It was the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Minisink, then commanded by Warwick resident Col. John Hathorn and Warwick’s first Founders’ Day was held at the General Hathorn historic site on Hathorn Road,

On Saturday evening, June 15, 385 guests gathered in Winslow’s Ruth B. Ottaway indoor arena, transformed into a huge colorful nightclub. The event, one of the top annual social functions in the Town of Warwick, raised more than $85,000.

The first annual Family Day with bicycle rodeo and fun field races was held on Sunday, June 23. The event, a fund raiser for the Warwick Valley Community Center, began with a bicycle parade.

After a somewhat rainy and cool spring, record crowds enjoyed clear blue skies and summer weather at the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department’s annual carnival in Veterans’ Memorial Park It was also the 150th anniversary of the Warwick Fire Department and the carnival was one of many events scheduled this year to celebrate that milestone.

On Thursday evening, June 21, the Church of St. Stephen, the first Martyr hosted a well-attended Baccalaureate Ceremony for this year’s graduates of Warwick Valley High School. As a result of a complaint made by a local resident to Freedom From Religion, Inc., the School District can no longer endorse the inter-faith service, although members of the clergy and other volunteers are able to continue the tradition..

The Warwick Town Board again officially proclaimed the month of August "Backpack Snack Attack Back to School Month." Backpack Snack Attack is a non-profit organization that provides nutritional snacks to approximately 300 needy school children throughout the Town of Warwick each week of the school year.

Storytellers, BBQ and playgrounds

On Saturday evening, July 27, more than 100 guests, enjoying a gentle breeze on the hill and patio behind the Albert Wisner Public Library for the long awaited Anthology Program where they heard 30 Warwick locals share their short story of hometown moments past.

On Tuesday August 27, approximately 500 seniors enjoyed near perfect weather with temperatures in the low 70s, great food, music and good company for annual senior barbecue at the Town's Union Corners Park. As usual, businesses, members of Warwick Valley Rotary and other local organizations and volunteers along with Town of Warwick employees insured the success of this and previous senior barbecues.

On Friday, August 30, members of the Pine Island and Warwick Chambers of Commerce along with local officials, supporters, families and children joined members of the Playground Committee to celebrate the official grand opening of an updated new playground in Pine Island Park at Kay Road and Treasure Lane.

On September 11, local residents, public officials, veterans and members of the Warwick Police, Ambulance Corps and Fire Departments, and others gathered in Veterans Memorial Park to honor the victims of the 9-11 attack, especially those who lived in Warwick.

Homecoming, Clydesdales and apples

On Saturday, September 15 the skies cleared just in time for a huge turnout of onlookers along Main Street eagerly awaiting the 48th annual Homecoming Day Parade. A heavy rain shower had delayed the arrival of the marchers and floats on Main Street for about 20 minutes.

On September 28, the weather was near perfect and there was also the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales that attracted record crowds for the 104th Orange County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and 150th Warwick Valley Fire Department parade

The 31st celebration of Applefest on Sunday, October 6, enjoyed a good turnout but because it was cloudy and a little on the cool side, the crowd was estimated to be shy of the usual 30,000 or so visitors anticipated.

The good news, however, was that in 2019 the apple orchards produced a bumper crop.

The weather was picture perfect on Saturday, Oct. 12. And the eighth Children’s Book Festival, held that day on Railroad Avenue in the Village of Warwick drew huge crowds.

On Friday, Oct. 25, state and local officials along with members of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce joined Warwick Valley Superintendent Dr. David Leach, Middle School Principal Georgianna Diopoulos and Middle school student representatives and school officials for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the official opening of the Warwick Valley Middle School’s new media center, STEM classroom, industrial kitchen and music suites

The holidays

A huge pyramidal shape Norway Spruce from a home in the Village of Florida was selected to be this year’s 87th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

It was a dark and stormy night – for real. On Thursday evening, Oct. 31, rain, heavy at times, and dark spooky clouds did not deter another record crowd from participating in the annual Halloween Parade.

On Monday, November 11, a parade down Main Street culminating in ceremonies at Veterans Memorial Park began at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the official time of the World War I Armistice

It was on the cool side with temperatures in the mid-thirties but nevertheless, on Friday evening, Nov. 29, another huge crowd, estimated at over 500 residents, turned out for Warwick’s official Christmas Tree lighting.

On Sunday morning, Dec. 1, the National Weather Service was suggesting it was a good time to stay home. But by 9:30 a.m. and in spite of cold temperatures and a snowstorm warning, a large crowd had gathered in the Chase Bank parking lot as a diesel locomotive pulled “Operation Toy Train,” into its first stop.

Official winter was still a few weeks away but the first major snowstorm of the season began that same day with a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain A dangerous road condition was followed by heavy wet snow that the slow moving storm deposited at a rate of one to two inches per hour until Tuesday at 2 a.m.

The weather was cool but not uncomfortable on Sunday evening, Dec. 22, the first night of Hanukkah, the beginning of the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. A crowd of about 50 residents, including local officials and even Santa gathered in Lewis Park as business owner Moshe Schwartzberg began officiating at the Menorah lighting of the first candle, a ceremony he has conducted for the past 26 years.

And finally, a new tradition continued as the community celebrated the fourth annual “Apple Eve,” to kick off the Village of Warwick’s future in 2020.

Of course there is much more and the most read stories in 2019 can be viewed at

Happy New Year!