Over 1000 people celebrated the weekend finale of the Hudson River Valley Ramble at the Jay Heritage Center on Sunday, September 25th. The 23 acre park teemed with activity, music and creative engagement as well as vendors and a farmers market for the non-profit’s annual friendraiser Jay Day. Adults enjoyed tours of the mansion as well as aerial photographer Alex MacLean’s new exhibit “Shorelines and Greenscapes” with captures of Rye and Greenwich water views. Families with young children began the day outdoors riding ponies in the stone walled “corral.” Others listened to author and architectural historian Isabel Hill read from her book “Urban Animals” on the idyllic front lawn. Older children learned about the centuries-old sport of swordsmanship with a live demonstration of lunges and parries from the New Amsterdam Fencing Academy on the veranda. And a perennial favorite, archaeologist Eugene Boesch, let children handle some of the Archaic period artifacts uncovered at our landmark site.
But the afternoon held the most excitement as acclaimed French artist Hervé Tullet, author of small kids’ favorites “Press Here, Mix it Up, and Let’s Play” led the crowd a kinetic, colorful art workshop out in the Jay meadow. Children brandished paint dipped brushes with confidence drawing circles and dots on 2400 square feet of mural paper creating an exhibition worthy phenomenon. With his characteristic humor and gentle encouragement, Tullet inspired the shyest and smallest of artists to create big, colorful patterns with ease. The day was a tour de force organized by Meghann Kelly, Puja Chandiramani and Kelly Bakshi along with other members of JHC’s auxiliary volunteers, the Preservationists, plus our dedicated staff and board members. True to this year’s National Park Service 100th anniversary anthem, everyone was able to “Find Your Park, Gain a[n Art] Classroom” at the Jay home in Rye. Proceeds will benefit more family oriented programs in the future. Many thanks to our vendors too: Pickle Licious, Fair Harbour, Circle 7 Framing and Streudel Z. We are grateful to Whitby Castle for providing overflow parking, Richie Castellano and his team of outstanding traffic flow coordinators, and our high school volunteers especially Sean Curran and Aidan O’Neill. Yummy bites were served by the Meltmobile and Jimmy’s Soft Serve Ice Cream. Patrick Corcoran of Arcade Booksellers provided young readers with many choices. Julie Corbalis and Graham Clarke kept toes tapping.