A Midsummer’s Night Picnic Returns to Little Falls for Third Thursday

IMG_1728There is certainly no shortage of fun events to attend in historic Little Falls and the Third Thursday series is a shining example of this. Main Street First introduced the Third Thursday concept several years ago in an effort to allow local businesses a way to offer special deals showcasing their goods and services through cooperative city-wide marketing. The Third Thursday initiative gained momentum quickly and the Main Street First sub-committee, Think Local, began to dedicate even more time to the coordination of these monthly events.

In recent years, Think Local has teamed up with the Little Falls Family YMCA to incorporate their Summer Concert Series into the Third Thursday fold. Executive Director, Tony DeLuca, explains, “For over 30 years, the YMCA and the city had partnered to present the Summer Concert Series on Wednesday nights in the parks. Prior to that, the Little Falls Civic Band and Military Band presented throughout the summer. It made sense three years ago to combine our efforts with those of Think Local and enhance the series for everyone.”

Think Local member, Chris VanMeter, adds, “We were so excited to incorporate the YMCA’s wonderful program into Third Thursday. The Summer Concert Series has brought joy to so many people for decades and we are thrilled to welcome that energy into our program. It certainly has added value to Third Thursday!”

“The partnership with the YMCA has been tremendous which was demonstrated most recently during our June Third Thursday which attracted hundreds of people to Main Street,” explains Think Local member, Jessica Kelly. “Think Local has received such support from their organization as well our City officials and the Tourism Committee. Of course, the generosity of the Dale Trust Fund and CNY Arts has been instrumental in planning these celebrations.” Organizers successfully secured funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts, for the second year in a row.

On July 21, another enhanced Super Third Thursday will take place in the form of a Midsummer’s Night Picnic in historic Canal Place. Community members are encouraged to pack their own picnic and bring a picnic blanket. Food will also be available for purchase from local eateries, with a free beer tasting from 4-8pm at Piccolo. Guests may also peruse the Makers Fair beginning at 4pm for the opportunity to make a masquerade mask, build a fairy garden, or create a floral hair wreath to name a few. The Herkimer Home will also bring colonial toys and games for kids to play at 4:30pm.

Kids may take part in classic kids’ races including a three-legged race, egg and spoon race, and sack race at 4:30pm for a chance at bragging rights. Outdoor summer lawn games including Bocce, Crochet, and Badminton will follow at 5:30pm. The Little Falls Interact Club introduces a new event for A Midsummer’s Night Picnic for all ages to try their hand at Jousting with Pool Noodles and Paint at 6:30pm! For some less messy indoor fun, Barbara Albrecht, will read from the works of Danish author Dorthe Nors for Story Hour for Grownups at Gansevoort Bookstore beginning 5:30pm.

“One of our most popular events returns,” shares Kelly, “which is the Kids Dream Big Talent Show at Sterzinar Park Stage. Participants can register there at 5pm and the show takes place from 5:30-6:30pm.” Also in this artistic center of the city will be free plein air art lessons with artist Yulia Levkovich outside the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. Guests will also have an opportunity to turn sidewalks into art by creating poetry in chalk with hosted by Guerilla Haiku Movement.

Matt Powers of Little Falls Theater explains, “LiFT is so excited to be invited to yet another Third Thursday and the timing is perfect! We are preparing to perform five shows of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and can’t wait to preview a little bit of what we’re putting together.” LiFT will perform a few scenes of Much Ado at Benton’s Landing from 6:30-7pm.

Of course, a Super Third Thursday would not complete without live outdoor music. The Rusty Doves take the Sterzinar Park Stage at 7pm for two hours of ‘bluegrass meets jazz’ style music to wrap up the celebration. For those that simply don’t want the fun to stop, they can continue to solar and star gaze with the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society which runs from 5-10pm.

VanMeter explains, “Third Thursday is a fun way to collaborate and work toward our goal to build a ‘local living economy’ by inspiring residents and businesses to rediscover the beauty and opportunity within Little Falls. We have so much to be proud of and enjoy!” This good old-fashioned Midsummer’s Night Picnic is open to the public to celebrate another Super Third Thursday! For more information, visit or like “Think Local Little Falls” on Facebook.

“This concert is made possible in part by the City of Little Falls, The Little Falls Family YMCA, the generous support of local businesses and with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.”

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