The City of Amsterdam hosted its annual Spring Fling street festival on Saturday. The picture perfect weather drew a crowd of thousands, anxious to get out of the house and enjoy what the festival had to offer. As you will see in the following images, Amsterdam did not disappoint. Amsterdam Mayor Mike Villa was very pleased with the festival, crediting Recreation Director Rob Spagnola and Assistant Director Danielle Whelly for pulling it all together.
Just a day before the Summer Solstice and the sun is shining on the Mohawk River in Tribes Hill, New York. Time for some fun in the sun! A little skeet shooting, swimming, boating and a cookout.
A perfectly fine day.
Amsterdam, New York celebrates Spring with a street festival! Time to get outside, enjoy the weather and your neighbors. This year’s event was bigger than ever thanks to Mayor Mike Villa and the Recreation Department’s Director Rob Spagnola and his assistant Samantha Bonnano. With rain forecast for the afternoon, most people visited in the morning. What a great event to bring Amsterdam’s community together.
A creative spark ignites downtown Amsterdam at Sharpshooters on Main Street. Every Tuesday night from 8-11pm, local musicians get together to hone their craft. What a great idea that is bringing much needed life back to the downtown area. Where else can you go to enjoy free live music on a Tuesday night?
I first learned about the music venue from Tim Becker’s excellent article in the Mohawk Valley Compass.
Sharpshooters is not just an excellent billiards hall, they have many local brews on tap, pub food and a friendly atmosphere that is very welcoming. The owners have really struck a chord with open mic night. The local musicians are hungry to perform. Newcomers to the scene are anxious to share the spotlight and the more seasoned musicians just light up on stage as they rock out to some classic tunes. The music is loud and unapologetic. I was especially impressed by a young woman named Emily Shuttleworth who sang solo and also performed with a young man who went by the acronym Q oNe A. They told a story onstage with a creative fusion of rap and country music that was very well done.
Tonight was the Travers Stakes race at Saratoga Racecourse and Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah did not win. He really didn’t have to because just appearing at this year’s Saratoga meet caused a major frenzy that really boosted track attendance. This blogger was not among the 50,000 people in attendance at the Traver’s Stakes. I did the next best thing and went to the Friday track warm-ups, which broke a record with over 15,000 people who came for just a glimpse of the horse that won the Triple Crown.
Saratoga Racecourse didn’t open for visitors until 7am on Friday and my friend and I arrived about 6:30am. We took a trip across the street to the Oklahoma Track where we got some great shots of the horses practicing in the morning fog at sunrise. Once we actually arrived at Saratoga’s main track where one can usually enjoy a leisure breakfast while watching the thoroughbreds warm up, we saw the very large crowd of people waiting for a glimpse of racing royalty. There was no room at the rail, people were planted in prime positions and would not move. My friend and I were shooting with cameras held high overhead to try and get some photos when a very gracious woman named Karen offered to trade her place when American Pharoah entered the track in exchange for one of my images.
The Triple Crown winning thoroughbred entered the track at 8:45am as promised escorted by a safety horse. They made one stop in front of the winner’s circle and one quick lap around the track before exiting promptly. People were frantically snapping photos on their cell phones and digital cameras. It was over in what seemed like seconds as the hoard of people now moved en masse to the parking areas where it took my friend and I about 40 minutes to get to Union Avenue. Despite the inconvenience, the opportunity was immensely enjoyed resulting in the following images. These images were shot with the FujiFilm X-T1 and the Fujinon XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens. Most of the images were shot at 1/1000 sec, f/5.6 at IS0 640. Continuous, wide area tracking autofocus was used with continuous high speed frames (8 frames/sec). Please do not copy or reproduce my images, they are my intellectual property and quite a bit of effort was spent creating them.
“There has not been a carnival in the Town of Amsterdam in over 43 years!” exclaimed one local resident as he walked through the gate of the Carnival at Polar Plaza sponsored by the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. “It is larger than it looks from the road!’ was also heard among the many people in attendance. The professional midway put on by Gillette Shows is clean, safe and every child receives a prize on the many games of chance. The rides are amazing and fun. The carnival also sells pizza, hot dogs, fried dough, cotton candy as well as the decadent deep fried oreo cookies!
A portion of the proceeds from the carnival rides benefit the not-for-profit local organization Friends of Sanford Stud Farm. It is a fun event so please come, have a good time while helping the FSSF restore a national monument to local thoroughbred racing history. FSSF has an information table at the carnival entrance where they are selling raffle tickets to win a $1,000 cash prize and tickets for a takeout chicken dinner held in September. Stop by and say hello!
The carnival is open Saturday August 15th from 1pm to 10pm and Sunday August 16th from 1pm to 6pm!