By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Tuesday may not be your typical night to head out on the town, but this Tuesday, make it a point to get to Broadway in Monticello.
This Tuesday, August 2, from 4-8 p.m., Broadway from Bank Street to Liberty Street will shut down and host an immense block party and street fair.
Admission is free.
“I think the community has been ready for something like this,” predicted Karen Stogner, prevention and project coordinator with the Recovery Center and co-organizer of Monticello Night Out.
“These kinds of street fairs were presented when I was a kid,” added Monticello Police Chief Doug Solomon, the other co-organizer.
You want vendors? They’ll have dozens, selling everything from clothing to art.
You want entertainment? Up-and-coming bands, established groups, and brand new artists will take to two stages throughout the afternoon. (Don’t miss the hula hoops of fire!)
You want food? How about cotton candy, popcorn, burgers, hot dogs, salads, Stewart’s Shop ice cream, even a Pepsi Car?
“And every child,” promised Stogner, “is going to leave with a prize.”
Perhaps most importantly, village and county residents and visitors will get to know their community while having fun.
Non-profit aid groups and local officials will be in attendance to provide useful information.
“We all have the same goal in mind,” said Stogner. “We want this to be a better community.”
Events like this one, modelled after National Night Out, accomplish that in part by letting the community socialize with the cops who protect it, said Solomon.
“The police department is sponsoring this event,” he explained.
Solomon had wanted to mount such a party for years but found little time amidst his other duties. The irrepressible Stogner and her employer, the Recovery Center, had a similar idea for a street fair, and together they created what they hope will be an event long remembered not just in Monticello, but in all of Sullivan County.
“We’re up for an award for ‘Rookie of the Year’ for National Night Out,” said Stogner.
Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll see and do:
• A basketball contest at noon at Dillon Park
• An 8 p.m. dance for 13-17-year-olds at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center
• From 4-8 p.m., activities up and down Broadway, including the “Suspicious Character” scavenger hunt, Zumba and dance classes, and guest speakers (no more than four minutes apiece, however!)
• There’s more: K-9 demonstrations, chalk art, double dutch jumproping, the KONS (Keeping Our Neighborhood Safe) community patrol
• And a “big announcement” on Broadway at 7 p.m.
Parking is available in the municipal lots on North Street and Lakewood Avenue, and port-a-poddies will be stationed throughout Broadway.
Most Broadway businesses will also be open and serving customers.
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Stogner has accomplished a major task gaining dozens upon dozens of sponsorships and volunteers from individuals and businesses around the area.
Even the village itself waived the vendor permit fee (vendors are charged $25, all of which benefits two summer camps the Recovery Center runs, and vendors are welcome to keep all profits).
But she could still use some help and is always up for more vendors and performers.
Interested? She welcomes calls at 794-8080, ext. 117, or check out the Facebook page at villageofmonticellonationalnightout.