Labor Day. The end of an exceptional summer in Cooperstown. Dare we say exceptional? Yes we can, despite the ominous glooms of COVID and recent blooms of algae.
Our Main Street businesses are still here. They may not have had their best summer, and they may still be sadly short-handed, but they are proudly displaying their wares and energetically inviting shoppers into their establishments. The Hall of Fame reopened its doors for Induction Weekend, welcoming pre-COVID crowds for a celebratory salute to the national pastime. Baseball fans swarmed the streets, and the Village was clean within hours. Doubleday Field is refurbished and Dreams Park is back. Our Village is alive.
As are those hills, as the Glimmerglass Festival came in from the cold, with, among others, a smashing production of The Sound of Music and a ripping new take on The Jungle Book. The Fenimore Chamber Orchestra debuted in Christ Church, the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival returned for its 24th season and the Cooperstown Lakefront Concert Series held its 17th. Music returned to Otsego 2000’s Farmers’ Market; concerts raged at Ommegang.
COVID-cancelled weddings reappeared. The Otesaga staged lakeside bridal celebrations on most summer weekends, complete with star-nipping, eye-catching, ear-shattering fireworks and a busy golf course. Weddings at The Farmer’s Museum were soundly announced by church and carrousel.
Sadly, the lake is taking an algae beating, but there are boats out there with mindful swimmers aboard, and the Glimmerglass Queen toots away from her dock on schedule. The Otsego County Conservation Association and the Biological Field Station are keeping a steady lake watch, the lakefront buffer zone is spruced up, the Otsego Lake Association’s reprised July 4th (3rd) boat parade is a spectacular sight. Springfield’s July 4th parade, at 108, is the second-oldest in the country.
The CAA’s 87th national juried show and Fine Arts on the Lawn, Fenimore’s 15th Art by the Lake, multiple shows at the Smithy and the Art Garage amused and amazed us, as did the Cooperstown Artisan Festival, on Main Street, and the Antiquarian Book and Paper Fair at the Clark Sports Center.
It’s Labor Day. It looks like we made it through an exceptional summer. Together, everyone in and around the Village put on their best clothes and their best behavior and their best attitude and their best work ethic and attracted a plethora of tourists and visitors and fans to stop by and take part. We, and our hard-working friends, went that extra mile, and it shows. Despite the still-raging virus, (some) raging tourists and (some) raging traffic, occasional evil deeds of entitlement, many fallen trees and very little help, we have come through. Thanks to everyone, the Village is awake and thriving. And so, by the way, are the monarchs; don’t cut your milkweed, these beautiful creatures need it for their arduous journey to Mexico, and let’s get back to work and school.