When you think of the quintessential small American town, what comes to mind? Pine Plains, NY, comes to the mind of many. Perhaps it is the fact that it’s a one-stop-light town; it has a committed fire department in the heart of the town as well as a beautiful library; it’s got numerous amazing restaurants; everyone knows Peck’s grocery store where you’re sure to bump into someone you know; the entire town is filled with cute streets that are lined with well-loved homes that are perfect for Trick-or-Treating; it’s one of the few communities in our area that has both an elementary and junior/senior high school located in the heart of the town so that kids can walk to- and from school; and it also has an amazing recreation area with baseball fields and basketball courts with a backdrop of Stissing Lake and Stissing Mountain… what’s there not to love about Pine Plains? This town screams community and Americana.

To secure that status even further, the community (not the town’s government or organizations, but the community) has come together to bring back the well-loved Pine Plains Community Day. It will be a fun-filled day for the entire family, that is entirely free!

Come one, come all to Pine Plains, New York

The Pine Plains Community Day is set to take place on Saturday, September 10 in the heart of Pine Plains. You know where that one and only stop light in town is? That’s where all of the activities will radiate out from, so you can’t miss all the hubbub! This was purposefully planned so that it would be easy for families to navigate.

When we asked the organizers of the Community Day what brought about the idea to bring this event back, they shared that it all stemmed from a brainstorming session this past March, “A diverse group including the library, the recreation department, the Stissing Center, the Lions Club, the Stissing Theatre Guild, the Fire House, Town Hall, Friends of Stissing Landmarks and more, came together to explore ideas to bring the town together,” explained Patrick Trettenero who is part of the group spearheading the festivities.

“We wanted to bring the community together – bring folks of all ages and all walks of life together – to meet their neighbors and have fun,” Trettenero continued. “It was also important to us that the entire day was FREE! At this time of year there’s a lot going on and associated costs for families in our community with back-to-school shopping, the Dutchess County Fair, and then Ag Day just around the corner, so we wanted to make sure that everyone could come out and enjoy themselves, for free.”

The Community Day used to be a tradition and the event was always held in the spring. The last Community Day took place in 2017, but then with Covid, priorities shifted. As previously mentioned, the driving force behind bringing the day back came from the community: this event is not presented by the Town of Pine Plains, but is the result of a bunch of volunteers and organizations brainstorming to bring people together and bringing them to Pine Plains. “The people are organizing this event and it feels like there’s a real grass roots effort here,” explained Trettenero. “The goal is literally to bring people together! And the fact that we have things for people of all ages with free food, historic tours, and music all day long is incredible!”

Getting involved

It always takes an army of volunteers to get things done, and the fine folks of Pine Plains weren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work to bring this day back. Sarah Lyons Chase and Patrick Trettenero have brought together a corps of volunteers, clubs, organizations, and businesses to make this happen. Thanks to some generous donations and funding from local businesses including Crown Energy, they have ensured that the entire day is free for all.

What to do, what to expect

The day’s activities will radiate out from the town’s center: there’s a free pancake breakfast at the Fire House on South Main Street from 9-11am. The Kids’ Zone will be full of fun, arts, crafts, and games from 10am-3pm and will include a bounce house and local elected official reading stories to the children at The American Legion lawn on North Main Street. From 11am to 3pm there will be two locations in town that will have live music, on the porch of the American Legion on North Main Street and at The Stissing Center office on Church Street. There will also be a jazz concert featuring The Bridgeport Trio at The Stissing Center at 4pm, you can’t miss that!

Did we mention that the whole day is free? Because there will be a free light lunch from 1-3pm at El Guacamole, Rosey’s, and Tower Pizza – again, all thanks to the generous donations of local businesses. There will also be historical tours of sites in the center of town including The Graham-Brush House and Stissing House. Local businesses are also in on the festivities like Demeter Home will be holding a raffle for a gift card and the Pine Plains Pharmacy will be giving away bottles of water. “Everyone is jumping in without exception!” said  Trettenero.

This is the dress rehearsal

The Community Day steering committee shared that they’re viewing this year’s Community Day as the dress rehearsal to Pine Plains’ big Bicentennial event that’s set to take place in 2023. “We hope to learn from this year’s event so that we can make next year even bigger!” said Trettenero. “We’re really encouraged and proud how everyone has stepped up and come together.”

“We hope that everyone will come out and celebrate a fun-filled day in Pine Plains on September 10!” exclaimed Trettenero. Here’s hoping we’ll see you all in Pine Plains.

To learn more about Community Day you can visit their Facebook page, “Pine Plains Community Day 2022” or email PPCommunityDay2022@gmail.com.