Benefit motorcycle run organizer passing the torch after 17 years

Seventeen years ago, Roger “Porky” Willmart, Linda Willmart and their family and friends organized their first motorcycle run to benefit Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley as a thank you for the care they provided for his parents. [Read more…]

Summer 2016: North Country Notes

A native voice and mentor to other writers is sadly lost

Like every region, the north country has produced its share of mold-breakers. Some, like F.W. Woolworth and Melvil Dewey in retailing and library classification, respectively, achieved wide renown. Others passed their time on this Earth in relative anonymity outside of small circles of the like-minded. [Read more…]

E&J Party Rentals to provide Malone area with indoor fun

MALONE — Family fun, coming to a storefront near you.

E&J Party Rentals is currently setting up shop in a storefront on Main Street in Malone, hoping to provide the community with some sorely needed indoor fun.

While E&J has been around for three years, owner and operator Travis Avery says that he is looking forward to the opening of the “E&J Bounce Store” — or the “Indoor Fun Zone” — at 454 E. Main St.

Mr. Avery has provided various entertainments throughout northern Franklin County — bouncy castles, slides and the ever-popular mechanical bull. Running the business from his home, he’s traveled from Bombay to Chateaugay, from Malone to Akwesasne.

However, that business was often tied to how cooperative the weather was on the day of the party.

“There’s nothing around for kids in the winter, or during bad days,” Mr. Avery said.

He decided an indoor location would be an excellent way to both build his business and provide the community with an indoor playground for families.

The storefront currently houses several smaller-sized bounce castles and the mechanical bull, which can be seen from the large windows at the front. The store will also house a new attraction — a build-a-bear station, complete with a machine to fill the bear dolls with stuffing.

Mr. Avery said that he has received plenty of positive feedback both from Malone locals and longtime customers who are living in the surrounding area.

“Everyone is contacting me to ask about holding private events,” said Mr. Avery. While parties will fill most of the store’s initial business, Mr. Avery added that he would not be opposed to unplanned visits — though kids will not be able to start jumping in free of charge.

In the meantime, Mr. Avery has been hard at work setting up the location — negotiating rent with his new landlord, painting the walls and raising the ceiling to get the numerous attractions in.

While there aren’t set hours of operation for the store yet, Mr. Avery said that he intends to wait and see when the optimal hours are within the first few weeks on Main Street.

The Indoor Fun Zone is the second business to open on Main Street in Malone recently. Earlier this month, Tiffany’s Dance Studio relocated from its previous location on South Pearl Street to 446 E. Main St., filling what had been another vacant storefront.

By Frank Difiore, Watertown Daily Times

Where to catch fireworks in NNY

A couple watches the fireworks over the St. Lawrence river in Clayton. Photo by Justin Sorensen, 2010

With Independence Day on the horizon, NNY Living has put together a list of venues to view fireworks throughout the north country. Looking for a location not on the list? Send us an email and we’ll add the information as soon as we confirm it.

[Read more…]