Celebrating community

Communities are often a reflection of the people who live in them. Some are closed and forbidding. Others, however, like those in the Harlem Valley, are open and welcoming. They are the reason why so many people move into the area — to live in a place with a real sense of community — and to enjoy all of the benefits of doing so.

Whether finding support with friends and neighbors, making use of resources unique to your hometown or enjoying local amenities, our communities are what keep us grounded and happy. Here, in the Harlem Valley, we are fortunate to be surrounded by rural countryside at its best: there are rolling hills and gentle mountains, acres of fertile soil, mooing cows and bleating sheep. Hordes of people flee the cities to live among us, and who can blame them?

To help celebrate where we live and work, towns and villages throughout the region have been holding Community Days. This summer was a spectacular one, with festivities scheduled locally in Dover on Sept. 21, in Millbrook on Sept. 7, in Stanford on Sept. 14 and in Copake Falls on Aug. 17. During the Community Days, residents and visitors alike were introduced to local businesses, organizations, churches and Granges, not to mention farmers markets and area restaurants and bakeries. 

People got to mingle with each other, to visit old friends and to make new acquaintances. Communities were showcased to their best advantage, and we all enjoyed the process. There were parades, push car derbies, ice cream socials and more.

It was, in sum, a time to celebrate the best of what the Harlem Valley has to offer. We hope everyone made the time to stop by their hometown’s Community Day, and maybe even visit a few neighboring ones. 

The work that goes into planning and organizing these events is gargantuan. But it’s all worth it. And, we want to say, well done! Now, heading into fall, we know even more about where we live and who and what we’re surrounded by, and are well armed to make the most of our time in the country.