This Saturday, July 2, Catskill kicks off what many are hoping will become a new tradition with an Uncle Sam parade, featuring a stiltwalking you-know-who, that leads down to a historic warehouse fast by the Hudson River for a four-hour concert of music-making by homemade experimental instrument-makers, accompanied by wildly inventive kid activities, all ending with what promises to be a massive drum circle extravaganza to which percussionists from throughout the region have been invited.
Labeled as the Big Bang Boing Music Festival finale, the concert draws to a close a weeks-long Festival of Radical Instruments of Sound and Vision, run at the Greene County Council for the Arts Gallery. There will be music by exhibition curator Ken Butler, widely acknowledged as a key figure in the history of performance-based sculptural instruments; Palenville musician Peter Head of Pitchfork Militia fame; Catskill artist Brian Dewan and his Westchester-based cousin Leon Dewan, whose Dewanatrons were recently used in the Oscar-winning sound track of the movie The Social Network; Kiskatom’s Harry Mathews, playing with his brother Josh of Blue Man Group fame; Matt Bua of Catamount People’s Museum fame; Brooklyn artist Nick Yulman, creator of the popular Song Cabinet; international performing artist Bradford Reed with his Pencilina; and a special group composed of electronic box inventor Ed Potokar, Mark Schaaf and the legendary Chris Butler of Waitresses fame. (Remember “I Know What Boys Like” and “Christmas Wrapping”? He wrote them.)
Augmenting the concert will be performances and incidental entertainment by the Wild Rose Belly Dancing Troupe and a number of kids-oriented events, including kitemaking and -flying, PVC marshmallow airgun demonstrations and contests and other assorted mayhem and fun. Vendors on hand will be selling yummy Fourth of July food, some of it healthy, alongside kids’ lemonade stands and beer and wine sales.
The parade will kick off at 11 a.m. the Catskill Farmers’ Market on Church Street and Main, then proceed about a mile down to the old Warehouse Building at Catskill Point, featuring the brand-new Rogue Hud-Skill Marching Band, loads of local kids and percussionists and some extra stiltwalkers. The concert runs from 12 noon to 4 p.m., when the all-out jam and drum circle starts.
Parking will be down at Dutchman’s Landing, next door to Catskill Point (1 Main Street), with shuttle services provided for those who want to be part of the parade. The whole day’s events will be broadcast at a later date on the new community radio station WGXC-FM, a co-host of the day’s events. For further information, call the Greene County Council on the Arts at (518) 943-3400 or visit www.greenearts.org.