PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Dozens of volunteers arrived early Thursday at the Blue Mountain Reservation to raise fences, make signs and get the park ready for this weekend's 42nd annual Rotary Club of Peekskill Horse Show.
"Our members arrived at about 8 a.m. this morning and opened up the big trailer and emptied out all the materials," said Peekskill Rotary President Andrea Blizzard. "We erected the ring, the tents, all the cooking supplies. We have our own generator and produce all our own electricity for the show."
Admission and parking for the event are free, and the show will take place rain or shine. Competition and attractions will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The show is the only one in Westchester County with both English and Western riding classes. There are 28 Western classes with eight championships Saturday and 28 English classes with eight championships Sunday. Riders from stables throughout the tri-state area participate in the show.
New this year is a pet parade, which will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday.
"Local children are invited to bring their pets, whether it's a dog, a cat, a goat, a lizard, whatever they might have," Blizzard said.
Fair attractions will include pony and hay rides, live music, a country fair and craft market, bouncy castles and slide rides for the children, and a “Kountry Kitchen.”
"We'll have a lot of home-baked goods," Blizzard said. "Many of the friends and spouses will bring in cupcakes and pies and doughnuts to sell."
In the food tent, Rotarians will be serving burgers, hot dogs, chicken, sausage and peppers, fries, beverages, ice cream, and pretzels. Breakfast will be available for early arrivers.
A child ID program operated by Cortlandt Masonic Lodge 34 will be offered again this year. The program provides parents at no charge with a CD including a child’s photo and background data to help law enforcement agencies more quickly find a missing child.
"Wells Fargo will have their stagecoach here as well, so kids can see the stagecoach and get their photos taken with it," Blizzard said.
Rotary members pride themselves on their volunteer work. Rotarian Tony Washington, an employee of BASF, said the international Rotary organization has a positive impact on communities in many ways.
“We have a great group of people,” Washington said. “ 'Service above self' is one of our mottos, and I think that’s embodied by some of the things that we do. You really don’t hear about what Rotary Club does, but we do some very significant things in the community, from scholarships to things like Hope for Youth which helps children who need special surgeries who don’t live in the United States get lifesaving care.”