The streets of Beacon are filled with people of all ages — most wearing ski jackets, scarves and gloves due to the bitter winter weather. The small and charming town is bustling. It’s Second Saturday: a daylong event, which celebrates art, theater and the Hudson Valley. It also shouldn’t go unnoticed that stores offer free wine and cheese, too.
Second Saturday is a pretty self-explanatory title. On the second Saturday of each month, Beacon offers its guests the works. The usually quiet and sleepy town extends store hours and welcome people with open doors from surrounding towns both near and far. In my experience alone I met an accountant from Queens, an event planner from Newburgh and a professor from Fishkill.
Beacon, a town that prides itself on its art, is full of life on Second Saturday. The Dia: Beacon, a gigantic art museum, is packed with people of all ages. The majority are standing around taking pictures of sculptures with their iPhones, myself included. For a girl that doesn’t know a thing about art, it’s easy to tell that these pieces of work are absolutely breathtaking. Not to mention that the museum overlooks the Hudson, which makes it the ideal picturesque location.
I walk down Main Street, a quaint street that features a balance of historic Hudson Valley buildings and new businesses. It’s hard to decide where you want to go first.
For me, a journalist not particularly interested in art, I head straight to Tito Santana for what could have possibly been the greatest tacos I’ve ever eaten. The open environment makes it easy to find a place to eat and the deals make it an affordable night out.
As the sun sets and the night rapidly approaches, music begins filling the air. My people-watching is at an all time high as couples and friends whip out their best dance moves.
The growth and success of Second Saturday is immeasurable. Beacon is proof that it’s possible to create a town that prides the historic Hudson Valley charm, while mixing in hip, modern and local shops. But what do I think is the true key to success? The people.
I’m certainly not the only one to think this.
Erica Hauser, co-owner of a charming gallery off Main Street called Catalyst Gallery, emphasized the constant sense of community in Beacon. ”The sense of community drew me up from the city,” she says in the middle of the gallery, surrounded by various sized vibrant paintings. “It was a big thing from the very start. I mean, even if you’re shy you can still go out and do projects and find your way. That’s the beauty of it — especially during Second Saturday when genuinely everyone supports each other.”
Second Saturday is an escape from the real world. It’s a day of relaxation, food, drink, culture and good company. It’s a day long celebration.
For more information visit http://beaconarts.org/events/second-saturday/. Mark your calendars for the next Second Saturday!