Human InterestThe Examiner

Armonk Lions Hold Successful Fol-de-Rol After Record-Breaking Night

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The rides at this year’s Armonk Lions Fol-de-Rol were a big hit as it was estimated that a few thousand people may have attended the annual country fair’s second night last Friday.

In the days leading up to the Armonk Lions’ 48th annual Fol-de-Rol last weekend, some of the organizers frequently checked the weather reports, keeping their fingers crossed that it wouldn’t rain on their event.

But any worrying vanished by Friday evening, with an estimated record-breaking turnout on that night followed by two more excellent weather days on Saturday and Sunday after a wet opening night on Thursday.

It wasn’t just that the members of the Lions hoped to give the community a great time with rides, games, music, delicious food to sample and a variety of vendors to pick up a gift or to treat oneself. All of the proceeds from the four-day fair will go to organizations either in North Castle or the surrounding area. The better the turnout, the more the service organization can provide.

For Tony Baratta, co-chair of the Fol-de-Rol team who with his family and a limited number of other members organized and ran the country fair-type event for years, said it has been great to see new members step up, help out with the Fol-de-Rol and carry on the tradition.

“It’s a service-oriented town,” Baratta said. “People do this for their neighbor. You want to talk about a small American town, this is the ultimate.”

While there is no admission to the grounds at Wampus Brook Park, and therefore no definitive way to track attendance, Baratta and Lions Treasurer Mike Rosenman estimated that based on the number of ticket sales to the rides Friday night, there may have been more than 3,000 people to pass through Fol-del-Rol on the event’s second night.

One of the longtime volunteers and the organization’s secretary, Phyllis Padow-Sederbaum, said the dedication of local residents and businesses has been able to support a trio of signature events in the town, drawing visitors from out of town. Along with Fol-de-Rol, there is the Armonk Outdoor Art Show in early fall, and Frosty Day to help kick off the holiday season late in the year.

“It’s very unusual for a town this small to support three major things, and the personnel doesn’t necessarily overlap,” Padow-Sederbaum said.

Vendors enjoyed the beautiful weather and excellent turnout for last weekend’s Fol-de-Rol held by the Armonk Lions.

Baratta and Padow-Sederbaum along with town officials credited the resurgence of the Fol-de-Rol to Councilman Matt Milim, who as soon as he was elected, was determined to save the Armonk Lions and Fol-de-Rol. Membership had waned and the local chapter was in jeopardy of being forced to fold.

Since a late 2021 meeting organized by Milim, the club’s membership has just about tripled, Baratta said.

Milim said he was proud how many people have come forward to re-energize the organization.

“We came together, we enjoy one another and we have a really great time, and these events all raise money for charity,” he said.

That point wasn’t lost on Bill Fisher, a retired North Castle police officer and an Armonk Fire Department commissioner. At Fol-de-Rol last weekend, the volunteer fire department brought its two rescue vessels, one of which is motorized, that were bought with last year’s proceeds.

Fisher said the purchase will only enhance the safety of the community, since there are many ponds throughout the town.

“It’s always nice to have someone help us with our budget, so it was very nice and we appreciate everything the Lions have done in the past,” Fisher said.











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