Belly flops, burgers and brats at Cornwall’s beach barbecue

Mike Bischert taste-tests Dolan Family Hill Farm’s hot dogs on a crowded Hammond Beach.

Simon Markow

Belly flops, burgers and brats at Cornwall’s beach barbecue

CORNWALL — Hammond Beach was packed for the annual Cornwall Town Picnic Tuesday, June 25.

Threatening skies Saturday forced a rescheduling of the picnic, which was rewarded with pristine beach weather on Tuesday. Selectman Rocco Botto reported the water temperature was in the mid 70s at Cream Hill Lake and about 80 degrees on land.

Hosted by Park and Recreation, the picnic was a potluck with many dishes brought from the roughly 100 guests in attendance. A serendipitous 100 hot dogs were donated by Dolan Family Hill Farm and 66 burgers from Hurlburt Farm and Forestry.

Richie Dolan was on hand offering shuttle rides in his Polaris side-by-side from the road down to the beach and back. He said the vehicle was “all gassed up and serviced” before the party and about 90 minutes in he estimated he had made more than two dozen trips up and down.

Sweet tooths were satisfied by ice cream sundaes from Cornwall Agriculture Commission and a selection of desserts at the buffet table. A crowd favorite appeared to be the Oreo pie made by Alicia Russ.

The Oreo pie was a hit among guests of the Cornwall Town Picnic, June 25.Riley Klein

After grubbing up, many guests (mostly children) darted into the water. Older kids raced at the end of the dock while the younger ones played near the shore and in the wet sand. Town lifeguards kept a keen eye on swimmers in the lake.

First Selectman Gordon Ridgway made a splash by diving off the end of the dock. Ridgway said he frequents the beach and considers it “one of Cornwall’s treasures.”

He recalled the origins of Hammond Beach when it was donated to the town in the early 1990s. At the time Ridgway was a young selectman.

“A woman named Roxanna Hammond gave this to the town, three acres, and we built this all with volunteer labor including the beach houses,” he said. “It was a great effort and it’s a gift that is still giving.”

Park and Recreation Chair Michelle Shipp noted the Town Picnic is the first of several community events this summer.

“We’ve got July Fest” July 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. “and then we’ve got Taste of Cornwall” Aug. 10.

Melody Matsudaira kept a watchful eye on swimmers in Cream Hill Lake. Riley Klein

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