The events of the busy weekend of May 31 – June 2 culminated with the Flavors of Haverstraw, Food Crawl in the Village of Haverstraw.
Events like the ones the town and villages put together this weekend take a lot to organize and carry out. How long did it take for the village to plan this year’s event? “This is our 6th year. We kind of have it down. It’s modified a bit over the years. It doesn’t take long
with the planning,” said Mayor Mike Kohut.
According to Kohut the hardest part is the leg work going out and speaking to the restaurants, making sure they’re lined up, printing up the flyers, and doing the social media aspect of it. Which he gladly stated luckily doesn’t involve him at all. So, there’s a big return for not as much investment as other things.
“This year’s event attendance, I would say it was as good or better than last year. The other organizers seem to think the numbers were higher than last year. I’ll take their word for it. I just know there were a lot of people I didn’t know and who weren’t local who came out to enjoy it. That’s the beauty of social media.” Kohut agreed that this was a fast – paced weekend and that nobody involved really got much rest. “I believe that’s true. It was a really good weekend. It really helps to showcase what we have in North Rockland. It puts a positive spin on who we are and what we’re all about and that’s what it’s really all about.”
Henry and Jessica Nunez felt it was a nice beautiful day. Good food. “We found out about the event on Facebook today. So we decided to stop by and have some good food. We live in village right up the block from here. Would do this again next year. If we have time we’ll be at the Dancing Under the Stard on June 14. Their favorite thing so far today is this (raised right hand and made a circle) the beer.” Scott Williams, a Garnerville native who lives in Suffern now, thought it was a great event. “The food is good. Only been to Union and 5 senses (at time of interview) so far but everything was good. I think that the Village does these kinds of things is good. You get more people to come out into the town.”
He would definitely go if this was done again. He attended the Dancing Under the Stars on 5/31 and will be at Dancing Under the Stars on June 14. Williams’ 9 year – old daughter Makayla shrugged her shoulders when asked what she thought of the event, and whispered, “I don’t know.” Her favorite food so far were the oysters. Samantha Flores and employee at Vitos and Ariels pizzeria in the village, one of the 16 restaurants participating in the food crawl, thought the event was really good. “You get to meet new people. They come and try different foods. It’s a little different. Like the type of spices and everything. To try new things. I feel it’s nice for the people to come by.”
She was working until 6, but she did get to walk down the block for a delivery. “I thought it was good. Everything smelled good. I thought it was amazing. I wish I could go down but… I have to stay here. They should do this every year. To populate more people to get them to come down here. Havey is a nice place. The food is good here and anywhere else the food is good if anyone wants to try new things.” Proving what Kohut said about there being many people he did not know at the event, Vinny Lanni came to the event from North Jersey in the Paramus area. “We were at Bear Mountain to have fun, nature hike and check out the scenery. I went to Facebook and typed in good things to find around Bear Mountain and this was one of them. Haverstraw is a beautiful little town. It’s funny how you can drive for a long time and nothing then you stumble on a little town like this. It’s really cool. It’s really lively.”
He said that he had only been here for 30 mins and told his girlfriend he wants to move here. “Dead serious. I really said that. The event is fun. I like the different options. I like the way it’s laid out. The map is really helpful. The beer was really good.” He added that it’s cool trying to build a community amongst the towns that are already here. “People in NYC don’t know about this little town this little area means so much to the people here. An event like this really brings everyone together. You get to meet your neighbors and really have a fun time. I think it’s really good for the local businesses and really good for the people in general.” Kohut added that once people come here, for example with the food crawl, since there’s people who have never been here before or haven’t been here for years and they come and see the reality of Haverstraw and how friendly it is and how welcoming it is.
“I think that sort of puts an indelible mark in their minds for the future and that’s what will bring
them back again. And that’s what we always want because tourism dollars are, you get a lot more for every tourism dollar invested than it costs you. So that’s what we’re aiming for.”