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Inaugural First Weekend a success

Taylor LaValley, middle, played a mix of acoustic originals and covers in front of Irises Cafe and Wine Bar on Saturday during the inaugural First Weekend in Plattsburgh. Ralph Senecal, who often takes the stage with LaValley at open mic nights at the Monopole, accompanied her on the djembe.

Taylor LaValley, middle, played a mix of acoustic originals and covers in front of Irises Cafe and Wine Bar on Saturday during the inaugural First Weekend in Plattsburgh. Ralph Senecal, who often takes the stage with LaValley at open mic nights at the Monopole, accompanied her on the djembe. Photo by Shaun Kittle.

“When we were sitting out in front of one of the restaurants we heard some comments about how great it was that the road was closed,” said Tim Simonette, a member of the Adirondack Young Professionals. “It’s great to hear that positive feedback. People do like the road closed.”

Several organizers and participants said they fear that First Weekends will be shackled if the city’s Common Council denies a request to shut down the streets for forthcoming First Weekends.

“I think it would be hard to do this without closing the streets down, because it would be too hard to be watching out for traffic,” said Jo Vaccaro, board member of the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum. “It’s nice that people can enjoy wandering around without having to worry about crossing the road. It creates a nice, safe space for families to bring their children.”

Vaccaro was in charge of the CVTM’s Kids Station, which gave kids a chance to drive five miniature pedal-powered vehicles down the middle of City Hall Place.

Kids could also build their own “Munchie Motor” out of apples, toothpicks, string cheese, grapes and mini marshmallows.

“This really shows the different things Plattsburgh has to offer,” said Tim McCormick, event organizer and board member of the Adirondack Young Professionals. “We are going to the next Common Council meeting to ask them to close the road for the next event, and we’re asking everyone who enjoyed this to join us. If we can show them that this is what the citizens want, then they’ll be more likely to do it than if it’s just one or two people asking for it.”

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