“Working with the students, that’s been fantastic. They’ve been really gung-ho,” said organizer Shari Kanner. “They’re working hard on it, and we hope that next year’s PIGLETS class will help out with the second annual New Paltz Day.”
Festival organizers -- which include the high school kids, the Community Partnership for a Safer New Paltz, and the New Paltz Police Department -- have been meeting for months to set up the events.
Kanner, who is co-chair of the Community Partnership group, said that besides bouncy castles, music, massage demonstrations and fun, the day will help spread the word about preventing drug and alcohol abuse.
“There are still people who don’t know who Community Partnership is and what we do,” she explained.
Part of the educational component of the day will be a special “Jeopardy” inspired game, where adults will try to answer questions related to substance abuse, laws on drinking and drug use, and other trivia.
But the theme of the day will also extend to what kind of means people will have to entertain themselves at the fairgrounds. “We’re advertising it as an alcohol-free and drug-free day,” she added.
Police Chief Joe Snyder noted that the Cops For Kids Day events will continue much in the way they did last year -- only they’ll work in tandem with the events of New Paltz Day.
“The Cops For Kids Day itself is not going to be different -- just a little more fun than ever,” Snyder said.
In the past, the day has featured an impressive display of police technology, including SWAT turnout gear, an ATV and motorcycle demonstration, and even a police helicopter landing on the fairground fields.
“Weather permitting, we’re hoping to have the helicopter back,” the chief said.
But -- as the name might suggest -- Cops For Kids is an event aimed at a younger crowd, giving parents a little less to do than their offspring.
“What I’m hoping for is that we’ll get the entire community involved in this day, rather than something for just kids,” he said. “I hope that we have another successful year. It’s not about just kids anymore.”
New Paltz Day is still looking for some sponsors, especially when it comes to printing T-shirts for the school children who’ve been invited to the day. For more information about how to become involved, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (914) 474-0797.
To pre-register for the Cops For Kids events, please head to www.newpaltzpolice.org.
Keep in mind that the festival will continue regardless of rain -- so even if the clouds look dark and stormy, head on out.