Human InterestThe Examiner

Armonk Lions Prepare for Weekend of Fun at 48th Annual Fol-de-Rol

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The rides are among the most popular attractions at the Armonk Lions Club’s annual Fol-de-Rol, which returns for the 2024 edition this weekend.

Everyone loves a good, old-fashioned country fair. The Armonk Lions Club’s annual Fol-de-Rol has been held for a weekend every June for nearly a half-century, and certainly brings its share of good times to the community for four days. 

“It’s a fun few days and people seem to run into one another they haven’t seen for a while,” said Phyllis Padow-Sederbaum, secretary of the Armonk Lions. “So that makes it really feel like you’re part of a community.” 

But it represents more than an opportunity for local residents to eat, drink, go on some rides and listen to music with their friends and neighbors. 

What makes the Fol-de-Rol special, which for the 48th year starts this Thursday evening and continues through Sunday afternoon at Wampus Brook Park, is it’s the biggest fundraiser on the calendar for the Lions. All proceeds benefit local organizations, Padow-Sederbaum said. 

From last year’s event, the Lions were able to buy two rescue boats and a trailer for the Armonk Fire Department from the proceeds.  

Other organizations in and around Armonk that receive funds are 914Cares, an organization based in town that provides clothing, diapers, books and other items to needy families throughout Westchester, and the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, Padow-Sederbaum said. A list of other organizations each receive smaller donations of roughly $1,200 from the proceeds as well, she said.  

North Castle Councilman Matt Milim, who spearheaded an effort in 2021 to save the Armonk Lions from extinction, and in turn save the Fol-de-Rol, said the past two years since the return from COVID has been two of the best years in the event’s history. 

New members that have signed up to be part of the service organization have worked alongside longtime stalwarts to breathe new life into the Lions, including the preparation and operation of the Fol-de-Rol. 

Pig races at the Armonk Lions Club’s Fol-de-Rol are always a big hit with the crowds. The four-day country fair returns this Thursday evening through Sunday.

“I think it’s a really good example of an organization in town where you are able to merge newcomers, younger members with people who have been doing it for a long time and have a really great group working together,” Milim said. “It brings different perspectives, but it’s fun. We have fun doing it.” 

The festivities get underway Thursday and Friday evenings at 6 p.m. with rides and games along with plenty of choices of food and drink. On Thursday, the Norm & Bob Band will be performing, followed the next evening by musicians from School of Rock. On Friday evening, there will also be pig races and a wood carving demonstration. 

The Fol-de-Rol kicks into high gear on Saturday with an 11 a.m. opening ceremony. There will also be vendors in the park selling their crafts and other items. In addition to performances from Stephen Jordan in the afternoon and White Wedding Band in the evening, the Banjo Rascals will be roaming through the park from shortly after the opening until early afternoon. 

There will also be a touch-a-truck at 1:30 and 3 p.m. on Saturday and cash raffle drawings during both weekend days. For car enthusiasts, there will be a car show Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to noon at Wampus Elementary School. The featured musicians on the final afternoon will be local band Group Therapy. 

Padow-Sederbaum said part of the enthusiasm for the Fol-de-Rol has been outreach through social media but also to publicize the many groups that benefit from the fair’s proceeds.  

It helps that new vendors and new rides keep the Fol-de-Rol fresh and exciting. 

“I think that also makes a big difference,” Padow-Sederbaum said. 

The Armonk Lions’ Fol-de-Rol is set for this Thursday and Friday evening from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sunday, the crafts vendors open at 11 a.m. with the rides, games, food and entertainment from 12 to 6 p.m. 

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