by Dave Warner

The rain stopped and the clouds parted just in time to provide almost perfect weather conditions for the 2019 Art Walk in Little Falls.

As the day started, Elaine Cobb with Think Local said “I was out there in the pouring rain thinking ‘this isn’t happening’ and then, the sun came out. It was such an amazing turn of the weather.”

Cobb thinks that a lot of people came out because they were just happy to see the sun. “I think people were very excited. There was real energy on the streets. Artists sold works, and that was a great thing.”

Evidently, the city was alive long after Cobb went to bed because she said that she woke up this morning to find a text from the Mayor from 10:25 at night that said “Elaine!”

“When I woke up this morning, I thought ‘that was an interesting comment’.”

There’s a lot of lead up work for the Art Walk and Cobb said that to wake up to all that rain was very discouraging. However, at the end of the day, Cobb said, “I don’t think there are any unhappy souls out there.”

During the Art Walk, a fountain was dedicated in front of the library, which was a project that had been started back in July of 2014.

The Community Foundation had given a grant to Little Falls for six artist benches along the canal and a fountain to be installed in the City center as a symbol connecting downtown with Canal Place and the Erie Canal and Mohawk River, thus unifying the City.

Sculptor Glen Zweygardt was commissioned to create a fountain to bring this water feature to Main Street. Glen also created the artist bench installed furthest to the east along the Canal.

The Little Falls Public Library Board of Directors had voted to allow the fountain to be installed within their park.

Installation was delayed by unexpected scope changes and a heavy work schedule in 2017, but Little Falls Construction came through in 2018, and the fountain was installed in the Fall. On Thursday, it was formally dedicated.

Cobb attributes the success of all of the evening’s activities to the many volunteers that work the Third Thursday and Small Business Saturday events. “I’m worried my committee does not get enough credit for what they do. We have 31 people on the committee that work to make these events a success.”

Jessica Kelly organized the children’s events and Pooniel Healy organized the artisans fair. Mena Cerone and Margaret Goldman helped organized the artists.

She says that it’s a real mix of volunteers, from young to old, with eight men now involved with the group. She’s convinced that allowing parents to bring their children to the meetings has allowed the committee to grow. “Who can afford the cost of babysitting to be a volunteer for these committees?”

Overall, Cobb thought the quality of the art and the look of the displays had improved significantly. “It was very impressive to see as you walked down the street.”

For next year’s event, Cobb wants to continue the expansion. “We want to try and be more inclusive for younger people. We’d like them to put their artwork on display.”