Gerald “Judd” Morris and Kathy Marchione had wanted to have a “Town Day” for a long time. They always believed that town spirit and community were created by the people who lived in the town, and that having a gathering would help to foster this energy. Judd and Kathy put the first “Halfmoon Days” together in 1985 in about a month’s time. It was a half-day Town Day, and it was wonderfully successful. After that time, on April 4, 1988, the Halfmoon Celebrations Association was formed (Judd was the President and Kathy was the Vice President). 1988 was one of the busiest years for Halfmoon Celebrations Association as is was celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Town of Halfmoon. It was a huge year, filled with the creation of a video called “Halfmoon-A Peaceful Passageway” and the formation of the Halfmoon Herald, a publication focusing on town issues. They also created a Halfmoon Business Directory. During the year, Halfmoon Celebrations held many community events including Halfmoon Days in September. The culmination of the year was a memorable Bicentennial Ball on New Year’s Eve held at Chaucer’s Banquet House. Since the first Halfmoon Day back in 1985, the Halfmoon Celebrations Association has been an integral part of our Town’s history and a good time has always been had by all.
Over the years the organization has changed along with committee members. When Kathy decided to run for Town Supervisor in 1989, she had to resign from her position on Halfmoon Celebrations Association, as her work as Supervisor was so consuming. Judd continued to be President until 2007. At that time a new set of officers and board members were elected. Judd remained “Honorary President” until his death the following year. In 2004, the organization had its first Christmas parade. Although the weather may not have always cooperated, all attending had a good time. Following the parade were events including a bonfire and fireworks The Celebrations Association continued Halfmoon Days until September of 2005. At that time, the Town was proposing a new town hall, and so Halfmoon Celebrations Association changed directions and started a summer concert series in the park. Two years later, they purchased a 2-story inflatable movie screen and have shown “drive-in” style movies during the summer on the Town Complex offering free popcorn and water to all that attend. In 2009, the organization started co-hosting a Fall Festival with the Town Recreation Department. It was a mini version of the original Halfmoon Days.
In 2013 President David Maxfield had a vision to make Halfmoon Celebrations bigger and better then ever before. With this vision David wanted a mission statement to read by which is “Halfmoon Celebrations is a not-for-profit organization and is run by town volunteers who have the commitment to deliver family-fun events to our residents that build on the foundation of a strong neighborly community.” In 2013 the organization made some changes to the current events and added a new one. The new event was a Easter “Egg”Stravaganza which was a huge success. This event offered pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, balloon artist, child id’s, photo booth, picture with the Easter bunny and two different craft rooms to name a few of the activities. We decided to cancel the Christmas Parade and move it to the Fall time and have it lead into our Fall Festival which has grown tremendously over the years to include a rock climbing wall, vendors, bounce houses, carnival games, the Thundervolt’s, pony rides, petting zoo, local demonstrations, dunk tank and so much more.
We also decided to combine our Holiday Celebration and Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony into one large holiday event. We are always thinking of what we can add each year to to make these events even bigger and better than the last. With the committee only growing and getting fresh ideas, you can bet that these events will get bigger and better as the years go on and we promise to foster the mission of the original group.
In 2015 President David Maxfield decided to move forward and put in an application to have Halfmoon Celebrations Association, become 501(c)4 certified to help with obtaining donations to keep these events going strong. In early 2016, the IRS approved the application that the committee submitted and we are now able to obtain more sponsorship and are tax exempt certified.
As the years go on, we will try and offer newer events and keep Halfmoon a great place to live!