Millerton Earth Day celebration asks community to ‘Invest in Our Planet’

MILLERTON — At long last, the village of Millerton will be able to ring in Earth Day with an in-person, family-friendly, village-wide festival, on Saturday, April 23, bound to be as educational as it will be entertaining.

With “Invest in Our Planet” selected as this year’s theme, Earth Day will be held on the great lawn at The Millerton Inn at 53 Main St. from noon to 5 p.m.

Elated to be in charge of this year’s celebration, Christopher Virtuoso said he was happy to put together the old-fashioned festival. While he was walking around Millerton’s inaugural Food Festival last fall, Virtuoso said he thought the Millerton Inn’s lawn was a great place to have a party, adding “it’s the closest place we have to a town green.” After approaching the inn’s owner for permission to use the venue for Earth Day, he got the green light to move forward.

Once he knew he had the space reserved for Earth Day, Virtuoso said he started talking to more and more people, from the townsfolk to the merchants along Main Street. He knew the business community was key to help raise awareness about the Millerton Community Park project (formerly known as the Eddie Collins Memorial Field revitalization project).

The park committee has a campaign to raise money, including by collecting contributions to plant trees in the park. Virtuoso said he wanted to get village merchants involved “without becoming too intrusive in their stores.”

Shedding a light on the science behind Earth Day and ecologically-safe practices, he noted this year’s Earth Day will give people the chance to learn about how to make their homes more efficient by using  insulation, heat pumps and eco-friendly products.

Wanting to get the North East (Webutuck) Central School District involved in the celebration, Virtuoso said he reached out to Webutuck art teacher Craig Wickwire.

Wickwire proposed his students create posters for Earth Day 2023. Virtuoso said the posters will be displayed and  a winner will be picked whose work will be used for next year’s Earth Day celebration, thereby creating an Earth Day tradition between Millerton and Webutuck.

Virtuoso said the Earth Day tie with Webutuck also reached into its Science Department, which will be working on a recycling project while the Webutuck Honor Society and Student Council will be holding a recycling bean bag toss game on the inn’s lawn.

Others in the village are also pitching in to help with the celebration, Virtuoso said. The Moviehouse at 48 Main St. will be holding a free screening of the documentary, “March of the Penguins,” at 11:30 a.m. (doors open at 11 a.m.). By the time attendees leave the theater, he said the day’s festivities should just be starting.

“Everybody in town has been so good about donating and being a part of this,” Virtuoso remarked.

A full list of Earth Day activities can be found online on the Climate Smart Millerton website,

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