It starts!!! First the idea. Then, the gathering. Then the Synergy. Then the Rejuvenation and Uplifting of Humanity.
A group of visionaries, artists and musicians devote a specific time for creativity upon which they simply invite the neighbors. Joined by food and beverages and local business sponsorships, these are the ingredients of America’s rejuvenation. The spark that ignites infinite possibilities paving to the imagination, creating a path to a collective synergy with enough power to uplift all around them and revitalize entire towns.
Photo Courtesy 1st Weekends
For 3 years, the tiny town of Plattsburgh, NY has held First Weekends but has recently decided, under the newly elected President Leigh Carter, to expand their ArtWalk and efforts to speed up the revitalization of the town.
Plattsburgh, New York is located on Lake Champlain in the northeast part of New York State about 30 miles from the Canadian border. Plattsburgh was started by French missionaries who began living among the indigenous population of Iroquois as early as 1609. One can still find some of those indigenous villages in the area today. To the west of Plattsburgh sits 6.1 million acres of land called Adirondack Park which contains the famous Adirondack Mountains. There are over one hundred summits, ranging from under 1,200 to over 5,000 feet in altitude. The City of Plattsburgh also has many museums, recreation trails, fields, and beaches with access to Lake Champlain where you will find great fishing and boating. To keep it simple…Plattsburgh is traditionally pristine and beautiful.
Plattsburgh has also been the site of a number of historic events involving the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812’s and boast a grand history laden War of 1812 museum. It’s also the first city in the state to elect an openly gay mayor in November 1999. Now, that’s a way to go from totally conservative to totally liberal in less than 18o seconds …or should we say, 180 years.
Today, Plattsburgh holds many festivals throughout the year that include the Mayor’s Cup and Regatta, the Commemoration of the Battle of Plattsburgh, and various small events including First Weekends; a select group of weekends throughout the year first thought up by concept visionaries Tom McCormick, Olive Ridley, the Corner-Stone Bookshop, Koffee Kat, the Pepper, Cache Elegante, the Champlain Wine Company and the Strand Center for the Arts.
Home to approximately 19,000 people, consisting of mostly 3000 families, art events are important to the historic town with most of its main artistic support coming from the Strand Center for the Arts. It was Tom McCormick with the support of the Strand Center that helped initiate First Weekends 3 years ago, in continuation of the organization’s mission to play a vital role in the development of art education and collaborate with community organizations to help strengthen the economics of the region.
Together they brought music, arts and entertainment to the downtown Streets of Plattsburgh!
The future of First Weekends envisions an even more developed ArtWalk incorporating a concert series. Newly elected President Leigh Carter told reporter Teah Dowling of the Local Sun, “It’s quite a responsibility, but I have a great group of people to help me along the way. This year, we would like to expand and really show what Plattsburgh has to offer.”
Visit Plattsburgh for Fridays & Saturdays filled with street performers, art receptions, museums, family-friendly crafts, wine-tastings, and more!
Great Idea coming from Plattsburgh!!!!
To support local businesses they give buyers who support the night a 10% discount off entire purchases when they return to patronize the next day! The main goal of this year, Carter said, is to spread the concept of First Weekends and to look for more businesses to participate. Happy Shopping.