The Daily Star
---- — Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
June 6, 1988
A large crowd that stayed for most of the day made the Upper Catskill Community Council on the Arts’ Festival ‘88 “Downtown Day” a success Saturday, according to UCCCA Executive Director Victoria Faoro.
She said a crowd estimated between 6,000-8,000 attended the events on Main and Dietz streets and in Huntington Park between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “The weather was a little touch-and-go,” she said, “but we had steady crowds all day long. There was no time of day that you could look down Main Street and see the end or see no people.”
She said the main attractions of the weekend seemed to be “Sound Village” in Huntington Park, which featured experimental instruments; crafts people in the park; folk dancing at the bandstand; and the cookie handout by cast members of the Susquehanna School of Dance’s cast from “Hansel and Gretel” at the UCCCA Gallery.
She said the ballet by the school’s young performers, held Saturday and Sunday at Hartwick College’s Slade Theater was also successful. The Saturday night performance was a sellout, Faoro said, while Sunday’s matinee was about 20 seats short of a full-house.
UCCCA met at least 10 percent of its membership drive goal for June on Saturday, according to Faoro. The council wants 75 new members by the end of the month.
The Festival ‘88 events will conclude Saturday with a performance by Indian sitarist Roop Verma at Hartwick College’s Anderson Center for the Arts.
50 years ago
June 6, 1963
With a sharp blast on a whistle, and a whipslap on the hard bare ground, the show was on, at River Street School circus staged Tuesday afternoon by the school’s kindergartners and first graders.
Seven-year-old John Nader was ringmaster under the canvas in front of the school.
At his command, pretty Peggy Drake, six, dressed as a majorette, led the parade into the ring.
Behind her, painted clowns, pretty tight rope walkers and hula dancers and other children dressed as horses, seals and even one “elephant” trooped grandly into the ring.
Children from River Street and Mitchell Street schools, teachers and proud parents munched popcorn, laughed and applauded from the sidelines in the hot muggy weather.
In the ring, the kindergarten strong man struggled and strained to lift a “heavy” weight above his head. Then amid applause, he blithely strode out carrying his rubber barbell with the “heavy” balloons tied on the end. He carried it off with one hand.
First graders Michael Grimes and John Scavo were the performing seals. They nimbly played a game of toss and catch with the ringmaster, returning a large beachball with pointed nods of their heads.
There was even sad “Freddy the Clown,” first grader Fred Ploutz in real life.
As clouds gathered overhead and the wind came up stronger, John Nader hit the dirt with his whip closing the final act.
Minutes later, it rained and children scurried for shelter.