Rose’s View: Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines

The Cherry Grove Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CGDEI) committee and Fire Island Pines Arts Project (FIPAP) coordinated a fantastic schedule for the Juneteenth weekend, which brought our two communities closer together. The events included tea dances, shows, a pride solidarity walk, a barbecue lunch, salon gatherings and the MX Juneteenth Pageant at the Ice Palace. The winner is Lanece Onassis, with Kenya J. Sanchez as runner-up. The Ladies of Hip Hop, at the Cherry Grove Community House, performed a freestyle dancing and movement performance, with voice-over recorded thoughts as the audio background. Thank you, Kay Davis for your knowledge and professional expertise putting this weekend together.   

The Gay Pride Parade in Cherry Grove showcased the glamour of Queen Porsche. The revelers from the Pines, Grove and the mainland were colorful, loud, excited and proud to be celebrating Pride Day on Fire Island. There were floats galore. Congratulations to John Masiello of “The Doll House” for winning the House Decoration contest award bestowed at the parade.

The second annual Barn on Fire event was a successful evening at Whyte Hall, which presented the works of three new writers. The performance was directed by Joe Barros and produced by Nicole La Fountaine. 

”When Ocean Meets Sky,” a documentary about Fire Pines that was produced by Crayton Robey in 2003, celebrated the 20th anniversary of its release with a special screening at Whyte Hall. Many respected Pines residents were featured in the film. The screening was followed by a panel discussion, hosted by Kandi Store, which included Panzi, Crayton, Scott Bromley, and Ed Schulhafer. 

On a personal note, this is my 68th year performing on Fire Island. It was a great thrill to take the stage once again in “Rose of Cherry Grove Fame” on July 1, and work with a perfectly wonderful cast at the Community House.  I’d like to thank them and everyone who worked with us.  A special thank you to Skie Ocasio who performed and directed the production. The very next day, Cherry Grove honored me and my partner, Michael Fitzgerald, with a glorious birthday celebration. Thanks to all who made this party possible, especially Michael Moran and CGAI. 

Upcoming Events

July 8: FIPAP will present “3 Men and a Baby Grand,” at Whyte Hall. Tickets $65.

July 14-16: Fire Island Dance Festival with Broadway Cares Dancers Responding to AIDS returns to the Pines.

July 15 and 16: Cherry Grove Archives Collection will present “Come Rain or Come Shine,” at the Community House, from noon-4 p.m.

July 21-23: Don’t miss Loon Island, the theme of the Pines Party this year. It promises to be a weekend of parties and fun. Tickets on sale now.