First Friday to celebrate history, art, food-more

F rom Welsh patron saints to local veterans, First Friday on March 1 will offer a diverse mix of art, history, culture, food and music.

In honor of significant numbers of area descendents of Welsh immigrants, the Slate Valley Museum will celebrate St. David’s Day with various activities.

“Centuries of slate quarrying in Wales gave these immigrants the knowledge of how to quarry slate and how to create slate roofing tiles from large slabs of slate. They strove to contribute to their new communities,” museum officials said.

During Friday afternoon, the museum will celebrate this Welsh heritage through showing the film “How Green Was My Valley” and offering samples of traditional leek soup and cacengri, which are Welsh cookies.

The exhibit The Dream and the Reality, which focuses on the experiences and contributions of immigrants to the Slate Valley including the Welsh, will be on display, as well as artifacts from the museum’s collection, which reflect the values and skills of Welsh immigrants to the Slate Valley and their descendents.

In the evening, a local author will speak about history of a different nature. Paul Post will discuss his book, “Soldiers of Saratoga County: From Concord to Kabul.” The work is a collection of 40 stories about local veterans and military sites from the Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan spanning more than 200 years.

Across the bridge, the Pember Library and Museum will have a variety of art on display.

Mother and daughter artistic pair Lynne and Dorothy Bittner will display their talents as well. Lynne is the illustrator behind Wildflower Graphics arts and crafts inspired design.

Dorothy, meanwhile, offers a line of wabi-sabi jewelry, in which she uses such materials as bronze, leather, pearl and turquoise.

And Hartford Photographer Jaime Thomas will display black and white photography shot with film and edited digitally.

As far as musical entertainment, Barry Hyman, a performer, composer, bandleader, recording artist, and music teacher will play. He specializes in guitar, pedal steel guitar, and surbahar (bass sitar,) but he also sings and plays bass, harmonica, keyboard, banjo, sitar, and percussion, according to his website.

Food will be provided by the Central House in Salem.

“They’re a fantastic new business that revived an old building, and they have very good sandwiches,” Pember Executive Director Patricia Wesner said.

As always, First Friday will take place from 7 to 9 p.m.

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