By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE — Several volunteers have been busy preparing for the 12th annual Railfest, which is set to kick off Saturday, Aug. 6 at Trail Station Park.
The free community event is held on an annual basis and features a variety of local musicians, vendors and acts coming together with the goal of providing a day of fun for both children and adults.
Railfest organizing committee member Robin Wentworth said this year’s event will feature the first Miss Railfest Pageant, which will feature girls of all ages. She said the winner of the event would be selected by a panel of local judges.
She said those attending can also look forward to a live magic show, live bands, a variety of games and raffles, professional face painting, trackless train rides and a grand fireworks display at dusk.
“It’s an opportunity for the whole community to come out for a fun day and get together,” Wentworth said. “We are expecting around 5,000 people this year.”
Every year, the Railfest committee selects one or more local organizations to benefit from the fundraising efforts associated with the event. This year the committee selected the Family Counseling Center’s Coordinated Children’s Services Initiative (CCSI) program.
According to a release, the Family Counseling Center provides a wide array of services designed to enhance families ability to care for their children. The CCSI program, is a multi-agency partnership that works with families who have children at serious risk of placement outside their homes, or those children returning to the community from out-of-home placement.
CCSI Supervisor Kathy Calabrese said some of the services provided through the program include advocating for and assisting families to access community resources.
“We work with kids in Fulton County who have a social, emotional or behavioral issues,” Calabrese said. “We coordinate care for them to make sure they are getting all the services they need. We also will take them out and teach them skills to allow them to express themselves appropriately.”
She said some of the programs are for the children while others provide guardians the skills needed to improve their parenting techniques and learn to advocate for their child.
Calabrese said the funding awarded through Railfest would be used to fund those types of programs for both the children and parents within the community.
Wentworth said last year’s Railfest raised about $3,000 and since it started the event has helped the committee raise almost $40,000 for local organizations.
The Railfest is able to raise money through vendor fees that are paid to the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce and other sales made throughout the event.
This year’s event will include carnival games, craft and food vendors, and a dunk booth operated by the city Recreation Commission. Attendees will have the opportunity to dunk a variety of community members throughout the afternoon.
The committee will host some games as well where it will be giving out a number of prizes such as bicycles, book bags and gift certificates. It will also hold a 50/50 raffle and a raffle for a new laptop computer.
Committee members said the proceeds from those sales will go toward next year’s event, and the local counseling center. Wentworth said the committee keeps just enough startup money for the following year.
The Gloversville Police Department will be offering free child ID cards at Railfest. The department will be available for digital fingerprinting and photographs of children, which will be placed on a laminated ID card approximately the size of a driver’s license.
Railfest will take place Saturday, Aug. 6 at Trail Station Park on West Fulton Street from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The fireworks display that will take place at dusk is sponsored by the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce.