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Artists’ Soapbox Derby returns to Rondout this Sunday

The Kingston Artist Soapbox Derby tournament arrives on Sunday.

We’ve all heard stories of annual parties so legendary that potential guests kept showing up on the doorsteps of bewildered new tenants, years after the original hosts left. Apparently, the last hilly stretch of Broadway in Kingston, ending at the Strand along the River Rondout, achieved this iconic status, thanks to a quarter-century of gravity-fueled chaos known as the Kingston Artists’ Soapbox Derby . Even the 2020 pandemic couldn’t stop it completely.

“We got it last year. A few die-hards showed up. We kept it alive, ”said Michael DiPleco, a professional photographer who is chairing this year’s Soapbox Derby, which takes place this Sunday. “I have been participating in the event since 2004 – as a participant, as a technician. Some years I did Gravity Control for them.

If you’ve ever been to a Derby since its debut in 1995, you’ll know that those hardworking volunteers in Gravity Control T-shirts are sometimes the only buffer between a fleeing rolling object and the vulnerable spectators who fill the sidewalks lining Broadway under Spring. Street. The Derby is not a race, and participating non-motorized wheeled vehicles, like skiers, are never expected to lose control; but minor steering accidents have been known to occur on occasion. It’s all part of the silly fun.

The small 2020 rally was unofficial and did not involve closing the street to regular car traffic. Although it was slow to get started due to uncertainties last spring regarding the safety of public gatherings, this year’s event is a reality. The street will be closed for a few hours, but the route will be a bit shorter and end at Abeel Street, as some of the restaurants on the last block of Broadway are now dependent on their customers being able to eat at curbside tables. (If there are any benefits to COVID-19, the rise of a European-style beer garden culture in America has to be one of them.)

The first Kingston Artists’ Soapbox Derby was founded by George and Nancy Donskoj, who owned an art gallery on the corner of Broadway and Spring, which became the starting line. The event turned out to be very popular and the crowds have increased every year. Entrances ranged from the most basic go-karts built by kids to ambitious rolling works of art designed by renowned Hudson Valley sculptors. This provided an irresistible challenge for DIY enthusiasts to reuse piles of garbage accumulated in their garages into imaginative assemblies on wheels.

But then the couple broke up and a succession of other organizers took the helm. A few years ago, the derby didn’t take place at all – much to the chagrin of local businesses, who love to feed the crowds that flock to see the action. It is a great way to encourage new visitors to discover the Rondout district, with all its summer attractions; many of them return for further exploration.

According to DiPleco, the management of the Derby has strayed somewhat in recent years, including a misguided attempt to repackage it as an “Artist’s Derby”, without the DIY aspect that has always been its charm, in order to make it profitable. . “They tried to turn him into something he’s not,” he says. “You can’t mark it. It’s a fun event.

This year, says DiPleco with palpable relief, the Derby is back under the auspices of the non-profit Hudson Valley Community Productions, which also hosts the annual Sinterklaas community celebrations in Kingston and Rhinebeck. He and the other current organizers are hoping to start their own 501 (c) (3) organization to keep the Derby going for the foreseeable future. They are also looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event, Sunday August 15th.

The Derby itself will take off at 1 p.m., but the street will close and the festivities will begin at noon. The Brassroots Band will walk around and play while late entries register at a table on the Spring Street start line. Radio Kingston will provide the master of ceremonies for the event.

Organizers hope that same-day registration will ensure an impressive harvest of soapbox vehicles, given that many manufacturers have started late this year, as well as enthusiastic participation from spectators. “We are optimistic,” says DiPleco. “We have been locked out; we want to go out and do things!

Due to the late green light date for this event, there will be no food vendors on site this year. But there are plenty of great restaurants in the immediate vicinity, the owners of which should be smiling after a difficult year and a half.

As the Derby coincides with the regular Kingston Waterfront Farmers Market on Sundays in TR Gallo Park, the Derby Awards Ceremony will take place in the neighboring pavilion. There will be prizes for adults and youth, as well as the Audience Award, voted on by the participants, and the Rondout Reject (a / k / a the Horse’s Ass Award) for the preferred failed attempt.

It costs money to make all of this happen, so if you want to donate, visit https://gofund.me/44cdbdd2. To register your vehicle online before Sunday, go to https://kingstonartistsoapboxderby.com. Admission is $ 25 for adults, free for children 12 and under.


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Local officials say Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul set to take over as first female governor – NEWS10 ABC

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Over 100 “fun facts” about the Hudson Valley

Did you know that Lucille Ball made her stage debut in Newburgh? How about Philadelphia Cream Cheese was invented not in Philadelphia, but in Orange County? Or that a Dutchess County mansion inspired the phrase “follow the Joneses?” »Find out and over 100 other fun facts about the Hudson Valley.

Did you know Over 100 “fun facts” about the Hudson Valley

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On the list, there is a robust mix of offerings ranging from large schools and nightlife to public and pedestrian parks. Some regions have experienced rapid growth thanks to the establishment of new businesses in the region, while others offer a glimpse into the history of the region with well-preserved architecture and museums. Read on to see if your hometown makes the list.

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fallout in the days following the Governor Cuomo investigation – NEWS10 ABC

Cameron, 5, and Taylor, 3, of Pittsfield MA Pledge of Allegiance

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Salvatore, 8, from Rotterdam Pledge of Allegiance

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Asahel Rockefeller, 2, from Greenfield Center

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Kenadee, 11 years old and Brayden, 6 years old from Corinth

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Natalia, 3, from East Greenbush

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Willa, 4, from Bennington Pledge of Allegiance

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Noah Walsh, 5, from Clifton Park

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Kolby, 7, of Squill Shady Clover Farm, Pledge of Allegiance

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Cora, 4, from Giloa Pledge of Allegiance

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Remington Jones of Berlin Elementary School

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James of Stillwater Pledge of Allegiance

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Former MyPayrollHR CEO Sentenced to Up to 24 Years on Federal and State Charges – NEWS10 ABC

Cameron, 5, and Taylor, 3, of Pittsfield MA Pledge of Allegiance

Video /

Salvatore, 8, from Rotterdam Pledge of Allegiance

Video /

Asahel Rockefeller, 2, from Greenfield Center

Video /

Kenadee, 11 years old and Brayden, 6 years old from Corinth

Video /

Natalia, 3, from East Greenbush

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Willa, 4, from Bennington Pledge of Allegiance

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Noah Walsh, 5, from Clifton Park

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Kolby, 7, of Squill Shady Clover Farm, Pledge of Allegiance

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Cora, 4, from Giloa Pledge of Allegiance

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Remington Jones of Berlin Elementary School

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Cecily Strong starts a new conversation

RHINEBECK, NY – It’s hard to think of Cecily Strong and not remember the effusive TV characters she plays. If you are a fan of “Saturday Night Live”, you immediately mention her exuberant performance as Jeanine Pirro singing “My Way” while she soaks herself in a vat of wine. Or if you watched her in the Apple TV + musical “Schmigadoon!” ” the pleasures of corn pudding or smooch with a suitor.

The actors, of course, are not their characters, and Strong has tried to explain that while she is impressed with the self-confident types, can I talk to the manager in real life, she is not. t one of them. As she said a few weeks ago, “Anytime there’s someone doing a show in public it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. But when I say I’m shy or introverted, people tell me, I don’t mean it. I’m like, okay – but I am, you know. “

So it’s surprising that Strong, who doesn’t consider himself a denominational person, writes a personal memoir, and more so that his book isn’t really an account of his showbiz career but rather a candid unfolding of his life prompted by his thoughts. at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The memory, “Everything will be over soon” will be published by Simon & Schuster on August 10. He occasionally explores his time at “SNL”, where she has been a member of the cast since 2012. But it starts with her learning, in January 2020, that his 30 year old cousin Owen had hours to live before dying from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Weeks later, Strong discovers that a man she recently started dating has fallen with a fever which turns out to be a symptom of the coronavirus. Soon after, she collects items from her Manhattan apartment – a salad spinner, a garlic press, a yoga mat – as she and two friends prepare to flee to an Airbnb rental in the Valley. ‘Hudson for what she mistakenly assumes to be just a few weeks.

For Strong, 37, the book is an opportunity to make these episodes his own and reveal them to his audience without fear of judgment.

Thinking back to the circumstances that gave birth to the book, she said, “It’s like, who has time to be ashamed of right now?” She thought for a moment then added, “I mean, I guess we have all the time in the world, but why waste the time we’re stuck with?”

During a lunch at a Mexican restaurant here in late June, Strong displayed nails decorated with rainbow patterns and a crazier sense of humor than she’s known for on “SNL.”

As she prepared to discuss deeply personal experiences, she took an order of crisps and salsa and said, “Now I’m going to cry and I can blame the spice.”

She didn’t shed tears, but shared painful stories. She grew up in affluent Oak Park, Illinois where her parents divorced while she was in elementary school, her brother had ADHD and spent time in a psychiatric ward for children, and she was kicked out of a high school after potty was discovered in her. backpack. Strong struggled much of her life with anxiety and depression, she writes in her book, and spent years in an intermittent relationship with a physically abusive boyfriend.

Some of Strong’s most touching anecdotes in “Everything Will Be Over Soon” are steeped in the frustration and injustice of loss. After playing Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in an “SNL” skit, Strong remembers a friend from Kalamazoo who died after her car was hit by a train. Or she remembers a time in 2018 when she helped her cousin Owen get VIP tickets to an “SNL” show – a show hosted by Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” star who died of colon cancer. last August.

Strong told me that her intention in writing the book was not to cultivate sympathy but to deal with events that she may never have fully dealt with, “things that have defined my life and which I do not know.” ‘hadn’t realized at the time, or things that I maybe was ashamed of but didn’t want to be, ”she said.

His “SNL” career, full of memorable prints and cheeky ‘weekend update’ characters, is booming, and last month she earned her second Emmy nomination for a supporting actress in a comedy series. Strong said that in recent years she has also wanted to find ways to express herself outside of the show.

Without singling out a particular role or performance, she said, “I wanted to do different things from this sketch, the one someone else wrote, and people maybe think it’s my voice but not my voice. “

Even some of the praise she received for “Schmigadoon!” aroused feelings of ambivalence. “People were like, nobody knows you can do that, they’ve never seen that side of you,” she said. “And I was like, wait a minute – what do you really think of me?”

Lorne Michaels, the longtime creator and executive producer of “SNL,” said he had always viewed Strong as “a very private person” but one who projected an inner tenacity.

Michaels said Strong embodied the values ​​he saw in the actors he recruited in Chicago “because Chicago is looking both coasts and is not very impressed.” He said she was reliable in her instincts and firm in her choices: “You can’t really make her do something that she doesn’t want to do.”

Strong said she was hesitant to write a book but felt compelled to keep track of her experiences when she began self-quarantining in March 2020. Logistical challenges and panic attacks got in the way, and one day she finally chopped up a few. hours to start, she spilled a bag of shells and shredded lettuce on the floor of her apartment. “So I had to delay my writing a bit longer,” she said with some relief.

Once Strong got out of Manhattan, she was able to work more productively, writing often during the day, then listening to a roommate read the passages aloud at dinner time.

Kevin Aeh, a longtime friend who lived with her during the pandemic, said he didn’t mind being a character in her memories. “It’s also my time capsule from that year,” he said.

Aeh said Strong was already in touch with her own feelings about loneliness and grief when the pandemic began, and the stories she shares in the book could help her connect with readers who have had experiences. similar.

“So many people lost people last year,” he said. “We all spent time being confused and scared. Even though she was confused and scared like the rest of us, it was a space she had been in, which I think made it easier for her to write about it.

Leda Strong, the author’s cousin and sister of Owen Strong, said that while she had some initial misgivings about the memoirs, she felt they served a broader purpose.

“The story of my brother, Owen, is being told and people are getting to know him as a person,” she said. “At some point, it trumps any other anxiety. It’s really not about me – it’s Cecily telling her story, and as part of that my brother has to be immortalized.

Eventually, Cecily Strong’s television career began to encroach upon her pastoral literary retreat. She was distressed by her commitment to “Schmigadoon!” Which was filmed in Vancouver last fall amid severe pandemic protocols.

“It was my dream job, and I said no several times, because I was so scared,” she said. “I was afraid of being in quarantine again, afraid of this isolation. What if something happened to my family and I was behind a closed border? “

When she returned to “SNL” with her season already underway, Strong was confused. “I felt like I messed up all the social interactions I had,” she said.

She recalled a farewell moment in the closing credits of a show when she pointed out to Lauren Holt, an actor who just completed his first season, that they were dressed alike. .

Strong’s voice was flooded with grief as she continued. “She was like, I can change, and I was like, oh my God, what did I do to you?” said loudly. “What did you think I meant?” Please no.”

She writes in her memoir about wrestling with “SNL” this year, dividing her time between Manhattan and upstate New York while grappling with restrictions on coronaviruses and her fears of not being funny. When she needed time off for herself or to spend time with her family to commemorate what would have been Owen’s birthday, Michaels said it was easy to provide it for her.

“She earned it,” Michaels said. “This season has probably been the most difficult for her.”

Now that Strong has completed her ninth season on the show, some of her collaborators are assuming that she gave her last performance as a member of the cast.

Bryan Tucker, “SNL” editor-in-chief who worked with Strong on his Jeanine Pirro segments for “Weekend Update,” said the “My Way” wine sketch was deliberately put together to give Strong a ride. Victoire.

“She’s such a special part of the show, and I wanted to write something for her that gave her a big start,” Tucker said. “I thought I might never get another chance to do something like this.”

But Strong said his own plans for the next “SNL” season remain on the table. “I’m still thinking,” she said. “Throughout the year, there were times when I felt like a fifth year senior and I was just hanging around dead weight. Then there would be times that felt so good.

She added, “There are things I want to do and I want to be open to those things. If I’m there, so much the better – if I’m not there, so much the better. I just want it to feel like the right thing.

Michaels said he and Strong “had spoken”.

“I hope she will come back,” he said. “What I told her, and what I believe is, I don’t think she’s finished yet.”

Whether or not the “My Way” number turns out to be her swan song, Strong said the skit was unforgettable for her. She also pointed out that the tank she dipped into at the end was actually filled with “diluted grape juice, but it was very hot – I enjoyed it”.

“The security guy was like, don’t open your eyes in there because the juice is going to burn, and I was like, okay, thank you, I didn’t plan that,” she recalls. . “And then he said, I splashed it in my eyes to test it, and I thought you didn’t have to do that.”


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The unvaccinated should avoid New York bars and restaurants

A health expert believes that if you are not vaccinated you should avoid all bars and restaurants.

With new cases of COVID skyrocketing in New York and across the country, CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner has warned those who are unvaccinated, avoid bars and restaurants.

“What I would say bluntly is, if you’re not vaccinated right now in the United States, you shouldn’t go to a bar, you probably shouldn’t be eating at a restaurant. risk of getting infected, ”said Dr Reiner. who is also a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University told CNN.

About 50 percent of the country is not fully immunized. 30 states did not reach 50 percent, According to the CDC. The CDC also reports that the daily average of fully vaccinated people is at its lowest rate since vaccines became available.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, believes the country is heading in the wrong direction on COVID and has confirmed he is part of an active conversation about the recommendation everyone is wearing masks again.

For all the news the Hudson Valley shares, be sure to follow Hudson Valley Post on Facebook, download the Hudson Valley Post mobile app and sign up for the Hudson Valley Post newsletter.

Governor Cuomo briefed New Yorkers on the state’s progress in the fight against COVID-19 on Sunday. 2.28% of all tests in the last 24 hours came back positive.

According to Cuomo, 74.6% of all New Yorkers 18 and older have received at least one vaccine while 68.0% have completed their vaccine series. Just over 62% of all eligible New Yorkers have at least one dose of the vaccine.

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