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May 21st, 2014

This Week in Orange County 5-21-14

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus

This was a week of new beginnings and second chances for a couple of valuable Orange County institutions. On May 15th I had the privilege of announcing Orange County’s plans to host an Independence Day holiday fireworks show. The following day I announced at a press conference in Sugar Loaf that the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center (SLPAC) will reopen under new management dedicated to reviving this arts and music performance space. The grassroots response to both developments has been overwhelming.

On May 16th the Mid-Hudson Civic Center signed an agreement to purchase the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center. The Civic Center will also operate the facility until its formal closing, which is expected in late July or early August. Prior to last Friday, SLPAC had been owned and operated since 2012 by Kings Theatre Company, a nonprofit. SLPAC hosts a variety of concerts, musicals, children’s shows and other cultural offerings on its 8.8 acres and five live performance venues. It even features a gallery space to feature works from local artists.

This purchase will improve the quality of life in Sugar Loaf and ensure the long-term availability of art and musical performance for Orange County residents. The Mid-Hudson Civic Center has a proven track record of success in Orange County with Newburgh’s Ice Time Sports Complex. Thanks to its partnership with the Performing Arts Center, Mid-Hudson Civic Center has saved a community treasure and will raise the curtain on exciting opportunities for local tourism and economic development while keeping the property on the local and county tax rolls.

We are also excited to welcome back a fireworks show to Orange County after nearly a decade’s absence. On May 15th I hosted a press conference in front of the Stony Ford Golf Course Graham Skea Parks and Recreation Center to announce Orange County’s plans to host the “2014 Salute to Our Veterans Fireworks Spectacular.” The show will be sponsored by Suburban Propane of Chester, New York, and will be held on Saturday, July 5 at Thomas Bull Memorial Park beginning at 6 p.m. A rain date is scheduled for July 6.

The fireworks show is open to the public and special accommodations will be provided for veterans in attendance. These events are a chance for the whole community to come together and celebrate what it means to be an American and a resident of this community. Our 2014 Salute to Our Veterans Fireworks Spectacular will also be a chance for us to give back to those who have sacrificed on our behalf as we honor veterans and their families. I encourage interested Orange County residents to join us on July 5th for this celebration of service and sacrifice.

Orange County residents have a lot to celebrate lately. With the recent announcements of the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center’s reopening and a return of a county-hosted fireworks show, they have two more family-friendly activities to enjoy as well.

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