Beach daze

CASSADAGA – Monday was tie-dye day at the Cassadaga Beach. Children brought shirts, towels, or even socks to tie-dye. Dyes of a variety of colors were mixed in buckets. The adults helped the students fold the items in a variety of ways, and secure the folds with rubber bands. The final product depended on how the item was dipped and what colors were used.

In addition to this technique, some children chose to free-dye the shirts by using meat basters to apply color in a more random fashion. Finally, by using dye filled squeeze bottles, Paige Burnett drew designs such as hearts and stars on some shirts for the children who then either free-dyed or tie-dyed the item.

Some parents were there to lend a hand to their younger children. Bruce VanValkenburg and his daughter Ruby Rose decided to change a white towel to one with a number of horizontal stripes of different colors. Ruby, 3, was happy with their creation.

Marie LeMay had fun looking over the different colors in the buckets and using a meat baster to create her free form design. Rhylee Burnett had her Aunt Paige paint her a large heart on the front of her shirt. She then added colors as she pleased.

Creations were then hung on the fence in the beach area to dry.

On Tuesday morning, the yearly pajama swim took place. Although it is not definite when the tradition started, Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony estimated 40 years. On pajama swim day, children are allowed to wear pajamas to swim lessons.

On Tuesday, some children chose not to wear pajamas, but others enjoyed the novelty. After lessons, breakfast was served.

This year Beach Director TammieAnn Wichlacz prepared pancakes for the swimmers.

Parents and waterfront staff directed the children into the beach building to pick up a plate with pancakes.

Two volunteer parents staffed a syrup station and handed out forks. The children then exited the building and found a place to eat in the beach area.

During these hot summer days, the beach in Cassadaga is a popular place. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday swimming lessons for the children are held. On Wednesday, local recreation programs throughout the area come to the beach.

About 76 children are participating in lessons. In the afternoon and early evening there is free swim and often special activities such as crafts or contests are offered. There is sand in which to play as well as playground equipment.

Wichlacz said, “It’s summer and I want the beach to be fun.”

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