Paul LoCascio believes you catch more flies with honey.
That’s why he is adamant about offering the Schoharie Valley Rock ’n’ Roll Flood Relief Concert, which held its second installment on Saturday, without an admission charge but with donation barrels all around the parking lot that the event took over off Main Street in the village.
Last year’s concert raised about $27,500, and this year, he estimated that with donations and food and beer sales they would be able to raise about $35,000 for the Schoharie Area Long Term recovery effort.
“There’s a lot of people who still have major issues, and people don’t realize that outside of here,” said LoCascio, an event organizer who lives in the town of Schoharie. “People think the water has receded and everything is all fine and dandy.”
Everything was fine and dandy in the afternoon for the day of music, which started at noon and went late into the evening. A string of bands were scheduled to play, including Von Rudder, FlashBack, Shakey Ground, Crash Coarse, Poor Dead Molly and a special appearance by up and coming country singer Chelsea Cavanaugh.
The musicians blasted away from inside a large tent in the parking lot that had been darkened to create a club-like atmosphere during the day, with a handful of couples dancing and most just tapping their feet. In the evening, LoCascio expected the tent to really start rocking, with a crowd of more than 2,000.
During the day, there were around 1,000 people, including dozens of children who took advantage of the family-friendly atmosphere. There were horse rides, pictures being painted and sumo suits for kids to engage in safe fights. The sumo fights turned a lot of heads and captivated onlookers who watched young fighters struggle to get on their feet after being knocked down.
Nearby, in the inflatable castle, kids continued to bounce up and down without a care in the world.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Sloansville resident Shelby Clapper, who was escorting her 6-year-old great-niece.
She said a major improvement this year was the location, just a few yards over from last year’s event, but now in a more isolated location. The change, she felt, gave kids more freedom to run around.
The event was one of many that have popped up in the community since the flood of August 2011 and Clapper said it was a great change of pace.
Donna Myers of Schoharie said it was beautiful all the different events held this summer, including Saturday’s concert.
“I’ve seen more people in the last three months than I’ve probably seen in the last 20 years,” she added.
That’s what LoCascio is hoping to promote, as he said it was a shame that in recent years Schoharie County hasn’t hosted as many community get-togethers as when he was a teen.
“This is the way it used to be,” he said as people mingled in small groups, enjoyed beer and listened to music.
LoCascio plans on continuing the event for many years, with the possibility of trying to attract a national performer for next year’s show. Down the road, though, he envisions the event benefiting other causes, with the hope that eventually residents of Schoharie County will have recovered from the flood.
Donations can be made to SALT, Rock the Valley, P.O. Box 777, Schoharie, NY 12157, or the group can be contacted through its website at www.saltrecovery.org.