Dinner and fireworks kick off holiday weekend

| 08 Jul 2015 | 12:32

The second Annual Dinner along Delaware and Fireworks was a great success. More than 500 tickets were sold, raising more than $7,000 for the Recreation Department.

The Recreation Department hosted the event with all volunteer help and food donated by local area restaurants and cafes on Friday July 3, the day before Independence Day.

Mayor Kelly Decker who was present with several other council members and area dignitaries, among them District Attorney Dave Hoovler and new Orange County Member of Legislature Tom Faggione.

“You can’t ask for a nicer event for the community," Faggione said. "People who lived in Port Jervis years ago came back, and are excited and to be here and to see their friends. I want to thank all the restaurants that donated the food, as well as the volunteers who helped to put it together.”

Weather favored the event with beautiful sunshine, and the Riverside Park turned into a giant picnic with people sitting under the pavilion and marquee, and in the long rows of tables and chairs in the sports area set up by the volunteers for the day.

Music played via loudspeakers as community members lined up for the food, set up in colorful booths — buffet style. Kids used the swings and other playground equipment to play, and after dinner was done, many stayed to wait for the fireworks courtesy of Phantom Fireworks that illuminated the sky from the imposing Point Peter towering over the city.

Turn outSome visitors talked about their experience.

Halaina Stefanias and Levi McCollum, both 11 and from Port Jervis, came with their families, and enjoyed the park after eating.

“It’s my second time,” Halaina said.

Both girls said they enjoyed it.

Peter and Ali who came with their kids Reese (7) and Molly (11) didn’t give their last name, but enjoyed after dinner ambiance on the lawn. They’d owned a business in Port Jervis, and came back.

“It’s great, so much to do. I enjoyed it a lot,” Molly explained.

Faggione, who’s the twin brother of Recreation Department Director John Faggione was all smiles after dinner.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a great community event, like a big picnic.”

Organizers Christine Addy and Brooke Csenscits explained, “It’s bigger than last year. We have more people.”

They were busy organizing the youngsters who go to the Recreation Center to go around with baskets full of raffle tickets, among them Skyler Phillips and Elena Lopez who are both 11th graders at Port Jervis High School. They laughed and joked, and enjoyed themselves. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Recreation Center.

Patty Roch from Matamoras sat listening to the music after eating.

“The music’s great!” she explained.

Fireworks completed the July 4th weekend experience, and many lingered in the parking lot and around the area, sitting in lawn chairs in holiday spirits.