Rec commission events successful

Area residents attend a movie screening at Myers Park presented by the Gloversville Recreation Commission on June 22. Additional free movie nights will be held at dusk on the second and fourth Saturday of each month beginning in July and running through September. (Photo submitted)

GLOVERSVILLE — The city Recreation Commission on Thursday conducted a debriefing on a pair of well-attended events organized by the commission earlier this month.

A total of 737 wristbands were sold during the fifth annual Southern Adirondack Wine and Food Festival held downtown on June 1, topping last year’s sale of around 600 wristbands.

“Overall, from the public and from the follow-ups from vendors, it was really good reviews for this year. We had more vendors, the vendors that we had were all very happy with the day,” Recreation Commission Chairman Jeremy Krajewski said Thursday. “The numbers that we had show up for that day were better than ever. It was a great event.”

“It was a great fundraiser for us,” City Clerk Jennifer Mazur added. “As someone who has done this exact event in the past I was surprised and very happy with the reception that we got, everyone did a great job.”

The Southern Adirondack Wine and Food Festival held downtown on North Main Street features tastings from wineries, breweries and distilleries paired with a variety of food available for purchase along with goods from craft vendors. Admission this year was $10 presale or $15 at the door for tasters and $5 for non-tasters.

The commission sent surveys to vendors following the event requesting feedback and suggestions for next year with most responders offering positive comments about the event, Mazur said.

“A lot was, ‘we were pleasantly surprised, we did well, easy in and out, well organized and we will come back,'” Mazur said.

Several vendors participating in the wine and food festival requested sign up information that day for the Recreation Commission’s other upcoming events, Krajewksi noted.

The commission did receive feedback from vendors that some members of the public entered the festival space without purchasing wristbands, something the committee hoped to prevent by limiting access to the area to a single entrance at the intersection of Church Street and North Main Street.

The group discussed methods to better control access to the event next year including blocking off cross streets with orange “mesh” safety fencing,, discouraging vendors from selling merchandise to non-wristband holders and recruiting additional volunteers to staff access points and direct anyone who is not wearing a wristband to the entrance to purchase one or to exit the festival space.

The commission also plans to utilize signs throughout the festival grounds directing event-goers to key points including the entrance and bathrooms next year and to produce a map featuring vendor locations.

The commission also discussed the first free movie night of the summer event series held at Myers Park on June 22 when “The Secret Life of Pets” was shown. Additional movie nights will be held at dusk on the second and fourth Saturday of each month beginning in July and running through September.

Myers Park will serve as the venue for the outdoor movie screenings except for the Aug. 10 movie night when “Field of Dreams” will be shown at Parkhurst Field and the Aug. 24 movie night which will be held at Trail Station Park immediately following Z-Fest, a fair organized by the commission featuring vendors and fitness classes in the park taught by area instructors for event-goers to participate in.

The first movie night had a healthy turnout of about 70 area residents despite being held just before the end of the school year and one day after the summer solstice, leading to a start time of 9:15 p.m. when dusk had finally set in.

“People really, really did enjoy it,” Recreation Commission member Amanda French said. “The only complaint I heard was it got too cold.”

Also proving popular were the movie snacks the commission had available for purchase, including freshly made popcorn and cotton candy, candy bars and cold beverages, as well as glow sticks.

“We got busy at the concession stand,” Mazur said. “In 30 minutes we made $160.”

To improve upon the first movie night of the season the commission members plan to work with the city Department of Public Works on lighting solutions to better illuminate Myers Park following movies. They also plan to offer a wider variety of candy options in the future.

Additionally, the commission plans to continue offering area residents the ability to select movies that will be shown through online polls on the Gloversville Recreation Commission Facebook page a few weeks before each scheduled screening after receiving a positive reaction to the survey that saw “The Secret Life of Pets” chosen.