By JOHN PURCELL
Recorder News Staff
The Recorder Spring Fling has continued to grow over the years and the annual event transforming the city’s downtown is targeted to be the biggest community celebration yet.
Amsterdam Recreation Department Director Robert Spagnola said the vendor booth spaces are completely filled at this year’s Spring Fling, which is the first year the spaces have sold out. Spagnola said carnival games were moved off the street and into a parking lot to accommodate the additional vendors this year.
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of good things that have happened in the city around the entire year, especially with the bridge opening,” Spagnola said about the interest from vendors. “All of our events have been really crowded and hopefully this is going to be another one.”
Spring Fling is held along Main Street and lower Market Street in the city and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with more than 130 vendors, live music, arts and crafts, a variety of food options and several activities for kids. The car and motorcycle show will also be returning, along with the Hagaman Fire Safety House.
Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa said Spring Fling kicks off for the city’s season of events stretching into the fall. Villa said thankfully the weather has started to improve and appears to be nice for the event.
“It’s going to be in the 70s on Saturday, so that presents a great opportunity for people to come out and not only enjoy Spring Fling but then later go and enjoy the pedestrian bridge,” Villa said.
Spagnola said the event is great for local residents and people from outside of the greater Amsterdam area.
“If you live in Amsterdam it’s a great place to go and see a lot of people you might not have seen in a quite a while or over the course of the long winter,” Spagnola said. “If you’re not from Amsterdam, certainly come visit us because if you haven’t been here before I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find at this event.”
Assistant Recreation Director Danielle Whelly said there is something at the event for every member of the family.
Whelly said a map is being printed this year listing all of the vendors and where they’re located to help attendees find what they might want to visit. The map has also been shared on the event page on Facebook.
“People are going to need a map to try and find everybody that day,” Whelly said. “It’s a really good problem to have when you’re running out of space.”
Spagnola said amusement park rides will be returning this year after being introduced at last year’s event, such as a spinning swing ride, a massive slide and rides for smaller children. There will also be an inflatable obstacle course and bounce house.
The Lynch Literacy Academy Chorus will perform from noon to 1 p.m. and the event headliner, Flame, will perform from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. AYPE DJ’s will be playing music throughout the day.
Spagnola said a fan favorite Beyond Human animal show will be coming back this year after not being at the event last year. Attendees will be able to capture the moment for free in a photo booth that is also returning.
Whelly said people who attend the event can also visit the Greater Amsterdam School District elementary school art show at the Riverfront Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The art show features work from students attending all of the district’s elementary schools.
Free parking for the event is also available at the Riverfront Center.
Whelly thanked all of the sponsors for helping to bring the event to the community. For the fourth year in a row, The Recorder is a major sponsor for Saturday’s event.
“Without the sponsors these events wouldn’t be able to take place,” Whelly said.
She said some sponsors provide monetary donations, which help to secure the entertainment and the support other logistics for the day. She said other sponsors provide a discount on their services, help set up the event or provide other accommodations.