KATONAH, N.Y. — At Sunday’s JuneFest, a free arts festival in downtown Katonah, area residents partied like summer had already begun.
Families set out lawn chairs and picnic blankets on Lot 2 behind Katonah Paint & Hardware to watch country rock band Will Van Sise and the Strugglers, followed by the PitchBlak Brass Band, a 10-piece hip hop, rap and jazz band based in New York City.
Alison Shearer, 23, a 2008 graduate of John Jay High School, performs as PitchBlak’s saxophonist. She splits her time between playing with the band in New York City and managing social media for Katonah’s Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.
Aside from the entertainment, JuneFest, presented by the Katonah Chamber of Commerce and co-hosted by local arts nonprofit Katonah Live, featured work from a variety of local artists, including some exhibited by the Katonah Arts Center.
John Jay High School freshmen Aria and Mica Linz sold their line of homemade jewelry and painted wooden pieces that they called "Basement Art." In a creative touch, the girls used wood blocks they broke during tae kwon do practice as canvases for their whimsical drawings.
Local civic groups and businesses like the Katonah United Methodist Church, Writopia Lab and Energize Bedford set up tables on the lot, while local eateries offered treats for sale, like ice cream from The Blue Pig in Croton-on-Hudson and cupcakes from Sweetooth Katonah.
Co-president Edris Scherer said the chamber thought that early June was a great time for retailers and arts-related chamber members to put on a showcase, kicking off summer with a bash to celebrate Katonah's love of music, arts and culture.
Festival goers enjoyed a clear and pleasant Sunday afternoon, but last year, the chamber's timing was not so lucky. JuneFest is a rain date for last year's Fall Festival, said Scherer, which had to be moved indoors to the Katonah Village Library.