Posted at: 08/25/2012 11:33 PM
| Updated at: 08/26/2012 9:41 AM
By: Dan Levy
PRATTSVILLE - Almost one year to the day after the town of Prattsville, in Greene County, was decimated by Hurricane Irene's raging and muddy floodwaters, the community began filling up with more mud this weekend, although this time it was deliberate.
The people of Prattsville aren't just tempting the weather gods, they're showing the world that they're resilient, they've got a sense of humor, and they're ready for some filthy, dirty fun.
After everything they've been through, you'd think sloshing through mud is just about the last thing anyone in Prattsville would want to do, but actually plenty of people are actually looking forward to it.
"Well, what Prattsville has been through this past year, we deserved a day to smile," said Stephanie Braswell, a town resident and member of the Mudfest 2012 planning committee.
To conger up as many smiles as possible, the community is holding its first annual Mudfest celebration, which includes, among other things, mud volleyball, mud slip and slides, a muddy car competition, and much, much more.
"I think this is a way of showing that we can take a negative and make it a positive," said Reverend Greg Town, another committee member. "We can take this town and say, "You know what, we're not going to let us bring it down and we're going to come through it."
At a time when residents are trying to enjoy a respite from their despair, reminders of their year-long struggle are nearby and all around them. Of the 140 buildings affected by the flood, about half are still uninhabitable.
In fact, of the 60 families that were displaced from their primary residents, only about 30 families, so far, have been able to move back in. Mudfest is not only intended as a celebratory distraction, it's also a fundraiser so that the recovery can continue.
"There's still a lot that needs to get done in this community," Town points out. "We're hoping that is something that people take away from coming to Prattsville, not only seeing what's been done, but seeing what still needs to get done."
Mudfest continues on Sunday (August 26th) beginning with muddy pancakes being served for breakfast. Music, food, and "muddy" events will continue through dusk.
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