The themes for this summer’s four installments of Alive After Five in downtown Patchogue Village are now set.
Related to that, the immensely popular (and nationally known) West Point Band has accepted an invitation to perform once again in Patchogue.
The band, which plays anything from patriotic songs from the 1920s to the 1940s, to contemporary pop, rock, hip hop and R&B, first performed at Alive After Five last summer. They play again Aug. 3.
The year’s brand-new theme, Environmental Awareness, will be showcased at the July 6 festival, which is the first of the summer.
“Typically that first festival is closer to July, and that is usually our Salute to the Armed Forces, but in this case we couldn’t get the West Point Band until August,” said James Skidmore, the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce president and its Alive After Five committee chairman.
The chamber operates the festivals.
The themes and dates for Alive After Five 2017 are as followed:
July 6 – Environmental Awareness
July 20 – Women in the Arts
Aug. 3 – Salute to our Armed Forces
Aug 17 – Celebration of Cultural Diversity
This will be the fourth summer the Alive After Five committee is incorporating themes to the festivals, something Skidmore introduced in 2014 as a way to effect social change.
“Now, Alive After Five isn’t just something that’s fun, it helps serve a purpose,” he said.
Prior Coverage: It’s Alive After Five, with a conscience
The new Environmental Awareness theme will be “about sustainability,” he said, with environmentally conscious organizations, whether businesses or nonprofits, being asked to participate.
“We have a lot of possibilities we’re exploring with that,” said the chamber’s executive director, David Kennedy.
The festivals’ new special assistant to the chair, Jacqueline Routh, said the themes have proven to “encourage unity among restaurants, vendors and attendees.”
“While this is a street festival and an awesome party, there are many facets to Alive After Five,” she said. “It’s not one dimensional, and themes help to create more depth and meaning behind these events.”
The one theme being dropped from last year is Patchogue for Ecuador, which came in response to last year’s devastating earthquakes in the country.
Skidmore said moving forward, just one theme will likely change each year.
“I think the three themes we’ll probably go with next year again, but we’ll have the one that’s more topical and current, such as last year’s Patchogue for Equador,” he said.
Kennedy pointed out that some years, one or more of the recurring three themes could likely be more topical than others.
“This year, in particular, we can really do something with the theme of Women in the Arts,” Kennedy said. “If anything, there’s a revival in attention that women’s issues are getting in this country.”
Top: The West Point Band performs last July in front of Fulton’s Gate on East Main Street in Patchogue. (Credit: GreaterPatchogue file photo)