To see Ron Cummings decked out in 1800s attire, you would swear he traveled through time from another century. This was the effect he was aiming for when he chose his suit for this year’s Mayor’s Promenade.
“I’ve always been interested in art and history, and this costume has both,” said Cummings, who carried a puppet he made of gourds to represent General Tom Thumb, a little person who traveled with P.T. Barnum.
Each year, Cummings chooses a theme for his promenade costume, and this year’s ensemble was in honor of a stop the Barnum Traveling Museum made in Coshocton in the mid-1800s with Tom Thumb. Cummings dressed to represent his roustabout helper, he said.
“I’ve done almost all of the promenades. I think it works being part of the festival and Roscoe Village,” he said, referring to the 46th annual Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival that wrapped up Sunday.
This was the first year that the Mayor’s Promenade was part of the annual event. It was formally part of the Coshocton Canal Festival, but was merged with the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival after the Canal Festival disbanded earlier this year.
This year’s Mayor’s Promenade included about 25 participating locals in costumes, Coshocton Canal royalty that was crowned Saturday at the Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival, and visiting royalty. The participants started their walk at the Lake Park Pavilion and made their way down the towpath, stopping at Frances B. Montgomery Memorial Garden at the Roscoe Village Visitors’ Center for a recognition ceremony.
“I try to get myself into the era,” said Cummings, who gets his clothing ideas for 1800s clothing styles from books on historical textiles, the Ohio Historical Society and the Carnegie Museum. “I refurbish clothing, and like to play with different types of jackets. I think next year I’ll do a traditional workman’s jacket,” Cummings said.
Amanda Meiser, chairwoman of the Mayor’s Promenade, explained that years ago, the Canal Festival and promenade took place in Roscoe, so it’s a good fit. “It think it’s perfect to be back in Roscoe Village,” Meiser said. “So many of these traditions used to be set in Roscoe; it’s nice to be back home.”
Following activities at the Montgomery Garden, many of the participants also walked through Roscoe Village for visitors to see. “People are so excited to see the costumes. It’s just something that sets us apart from other festivals,” Meiser said.
Nancy Porteus, of West Lafayette, has been to all but two of the Mayor’s Promenades. As a seamstress, making matching costumes worn by each of her family members has become a tradition that started when her daughters were kids and wanted “everything the same.” For the promenade, it’s also about keeping 1800s history alive through dress.
“It reminds you of yesteryear,” Porteus said. “I wouldn’t want to dress like this every day, but with the mayor leading us down the towpath and leading us into Roscoe Village; it’s like stepping back in time.”
This year, nine members of the Porteus family wore yellow and black plaid 1850s style riding costumes with top hats, similar to dresses women would wear to ride side-saddle in the 19th century.
“I love the lace,” said Sophia Dotson, 11, granddaughter of Nancy Porteus. The next generation to carry on the promenade tradition, Sophia said that taking part in the event makes her feel special. “I like that the mayor gets to lead us, and I like that we get to dress up and get a lot of pictures,” she said.
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She's known for her curvaceous figure and gym honed body.
And Mel B proved to be picture perfect as she posed for a glamorous shoot this week in an array of elegant outfits.
The 40-year-old America's Got Talent judge showcased her killer silhouette in a skin tight black dress, looking younger than her years in the stunning images.
The former Spice Girl looked stunning as she dressed her athletic form in an usual black dress that featured long sleeves and two hanging panels.
Mel looked confident behind the camera's lens as she put her best assets on show during the high-profile shoot.
She added height to her attire with a pair of white Louboutins while displaying a hint of her toned legs in the knee length number.
Mel delicately framed her face with her hands as the camera focused on her flawless beauty.
She kept her raven locks swept back while wearing a chic side fringe that gave her overall look a high fashion touch.
Her make-up look was soft with luscious lashes, a shimmering smokey eye-shadow and glossy nude lip stick.
The former X Factor mentor flaunted her shiny red nail varnish and diamond wedding ring while almost smiling in the close up shot.
She changed her outfit several times during the shoot, as she showed off her figure in a number of different ways.
Later donning a satin top with matching trousers that featured a colourfully beaded trim, Mel posed with her head tilted back while balancing in a pair of black heeled sandals.
Keeping her look simple in block colours, the star looked as though she had taken inspiration from her former band mate and fashion designer Victoria Beckham, who is famous for her classic image.
The mother-of-three displayed her natural side in another snap taken from the shoot, as she leaned on a black stall with her silky pins on show.
Wearing her hair slick back and pure white varnish on her toes, Mel worked the camera as dressed in men's polo shirt.
Mel looked more like her former alter ego Scary Spice in a behind-the-scenes shot of her wearing a pair of leopard print leggings as she was seen giggling away with her two make up artists.
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One of the fringe benefits for having been a rebellious teenager was that while my life was rocky for a spell, I was rewarded with just that: my life.
In my case, that meant I wasn't going to be a nice Jewish girl married to a doctor. I was instead going to be writer, painter and rebel anti-caterer! Who um... helps other women (and men) marry a doctor!
Works for me.
I have been a wedding caterer for more than two decades, and one thing I can tell from the moment a couple walks in the door is whether they are asking me for the wedding of their dreams or the wedding of their parents' dreams.
In fact, the first question I ask every couple I meet is, "What is your dream wedding?"
Not your mom's, not your dad's, not your sister's, not your florist's, not your DJ's. What is YOUR dream wedding?
"I heard you could do multi-ethnic foods. I'm Swedish, and my groom's from Korea. We love the idea of food from both!"
This sounds like my kinda couple.
"Um ... well, I read that we should ask guests what they want to eat for dinner on the wedding invitations. ... We love beer and barbecue, but my mother feels it's not elegant enough."
This bride is about as close to her dream wedding as Pittsburgh is to China.
I celebrate a woman's right to choose... HOW SHE WANTS HER OWN WEDDING!!
I counseled the beer and barbecue bride to do the wedding toast with her favorite Brooklyn beer and to serve all-day barbecued brisket as one of her entrees. I also gently suggested that the whole taking orders in advance thing is, you know, HORRIBLE! That instead we could serve the food tableside so the guests could choose what they want to eat while it's right there steaming in front of them!
Her face went from sullen to radiant. "Beer for the toast!!"
The Swedish and Korean couple, by the way, got gravlax with radish kimchi.
It was super tasty, but not quite as tasty as the jerk chicken on latkes we made for a couple of grooms, one Jamaican, one Jewish. Those boys celebrated marriage equality with the YUM factor! Yeah, baby!
The next question I ask is, "What is your budget?" Then I do my best to make the two meet up.
But honeys, let's be realistic. If your budget is $30 per person, you are not going to have a filet mignon supper in a ballroom overlooking the East River. You are looking at corn chips and salsa in a Taco Bell overlooking 195.
Be up front about your budget! Why waste energy on a plan you can't afford?
Besides, you might be surprised by the creative ideas that can percolate while trying to make a low budget work. A bowl of pretty apples for a fall wedding instead of a floral table centerpiece, a tower of donuts instead of a wedding cake, a bar featuring beer, wine and two awesome signature drinks instead of a full bar.
One couple fell in love with a wedding venue that only held 160 for dinner when they were expecting 220 guests and were therefore considering renting a soul-less space perfect for a corporate Christmas party until I announced, "Forget a sit down dinner! Let's do a floating supper!!"
I did my first floating supper in the early '90s when I had to cater a party for 700 in a space that only held 500.
"Why don't we break down the dinner into miniature? We can pass it all on small plates or in Chinese food containers. Nothing will require a knife, and we only have to do half seating!" I announced, feeling as though I'd solved the problems in the Middle East.
Not only was it fabulous, but it saved a fortune in rentals for silverware, tables, chairs, linens and more. The couple in love with the gorgeous rustic venue with 40-foot-high barn ceilings got to have their wedding and save a nice chunk of money, too!
My favorite wedding rule to break is any rule that starts off with "Well, everybody says I have to ... " Peer pressure was a bad idea in high school, and it's a bad idea now!
The last and most important piece of my Jewish mama wedding advice: HAVE FUN!!
For crying out loud, this is your wedding, not your funeral!!!! But if you need a caterer for that ...
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