Saratoga County

Village offers public a place to sit awhile

This village rocks, and maybe then it’s time for a nap. This summer you’ll be able to do both.
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This village rocks, and maybe then it’s time for a nap. This summer you’ll be able to do both.

In its own version of the community-wide event that saw Saratoga Springs dotted with painted fiberglass horses in 2002, Ballston Spa will be doing something similar, only with wooden rocking chairs.

Personally decorated Adirondack-style cedar chairs will appear around the village by Memorial Day, giving people a place to take a break from other activities in what local businesses promote as “The Strolling Village.”

“We want people to shop and dine and stroll and maybe sit and stay awhile,” said Tina Mangino-Coffey, one of the leaders of the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association.

The chairs can be decorated any way sponsors want: Mangino-Coffey is taking three herself, including one airbrushed with family members’ favorite cars for the family car dealership, a breast cancer awareness chair in memory of her mother, and one promoting her small catering business.

“People can be as creative as they want,” she said.

The “Ballston Rocks” campaign will also include billboards promoting the village. But the real rocking will be done in the chairs.

“I think it’s going to be something really fun,” said association President Cliff Baum. “People seem to be really excited about it.”

The association has ordered 70 chairs. Member businesses, organizations, local families and anyone else interested can sponsor, decorate, and display a chair over this coming summer.

Steve Springer, chairman of the association’s marketing committee, said his auto parts company is sponsoring five chairs, which will be given to school classes for students to decorate.

“I think it will be interesting artistically, all sorts of themes and decorations and colors,” he said.

Over the summer, the chairs will be in businesses and parks throughout the village and the surrounding area.

At the end of the summer, the sponsors can keep the chairs, or they can be sold at auction, in a fund-raiser similar to what was done at the end of the season with the decorative horses in Saratoga.

The proceeds from the fundraising will support local activities sponsored by the business association, including the summer Concerts in the Park, a new Ballston Spa Film Festival, and the Adopt-A-Plot public flower program. All donations are tax deductible.

Sponsoring a chair will cost $100, which includes the rocking chair itself, a brass plate for the chair recognizing the donor, and a listing in a map guide showing the locations of the different chairs throughout the village.

Sponsors may choose to decorate their chair themselves, sponsor one for a school class or community group to artistically tackle, or have an area professional artist do it on commission. The association has a list of interested artists.

“We want to get a lot of involvement by the community,” Springer said.

The raw-wood chairs will be available at the end of February, though one is currently on view now at the Coffee Planet on Milton Avenue. Order forms are available at the Coffee Planet or online at www.ballston.org.

Categories: Schenectady County

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