Photos & Story by Dave Warner

Festivals, collegiate baseball, and fun filled family events – Little Falls is getting well known for each and every one of them.

This Thursday was no exception, when Think Local, the City, Little Falls YMC and the Little Falls Tourism Committee put on an all-ages event at Canal Place.

According to organizer Jessica Susan Kelly, who joined Think Local five years ago, “we knew the event was going to happen at Canal Place. Most of our Third Thursday events are not really large enough to take place all over the City of Little Falls. We focus on different areas of the city in different months.”

The July event for Third Thursday has historically been at Canal Place, and at the time LiFT (Little Falls Theater) was doing the play Midsummer Night’s Dream in the park “and we sort of latched onto their idea and said let’s do a Midsummer Nights Picnic,” said Kelly.

“We started the first year and it was clear that the community enjoyed the event and liked the idea and it’s grown from there,” she said. “This is our fourth year, and I think we get about 700 people to attend.”

The main draw is that it’s a picnic and a relaxed family evening in the park. “You’re going to bump into a lot of your friends and neighbors,” stated Kelly.

There are the bands, the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society, a maker’s fair. Kelly continued “People are not necessarily in a shopping mood, but they want to do something with their kids and spend time together, so they’re excited to spend some time making things and creating things. They want to engage in experiences with their kids.”

The Guerilla Haiku Movement is a community engagement organization that helps communities providing folks an opportunity to create art in chalk. “It’s about what this place means to them,” stated Kelly. “It’s a great storytelling experience.”

Kelly continued “I think people are desperate for community and that is just it. They don’t feel like the community exists in the way it used to and there is a sense of nostalgia and they start to see the value in why things were different and perhaps better in the past when community was stronger… I think that’s why Little Falls is successful – people want this stuff – they are craving it.”