May 8 marks Mayfest and transformative day for Walkway (videos)

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Ribbon cutting opening of Mayfest

HIGHLAND – Mayfest was not dampened on Saturday as overcast skies and rain poured down on the spring festival in Highland adjacent to the Walkway Over the Hudson.

The event brought together local farmers, producers and vendors to display their products to the hundreds who attended.

The date, May 8, was also special in the history of the Walkway’s inception.

It was in 1974 on that date that fire destroyed the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge’s deck, permanently ending rail service, noted the Walkway’s Geoff Brault.

“That was the last time a train would cross this bridge. So, this is a day that has always been important in Walkway history. It is arguably the most transformative date outside of perhaps October 3, 2009 in the history of this attraction,” he said.

That was the date the Walkway Over the Hudson was formally opened to the public as a state linear park.

On Saturday, State Senator Michelle Hinchey announced a $120,000 grant to support the Friends of the Walkway Farm-to-Market Initiative.

It was Hinchey’s father, the late Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who secured the original $1 million to kickstart the development of the Walkway.

(videos: Mid-Hudson News Network)