Annual MudFest celebrates Prattsville’s resiliency

PRATTSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday, hundreds will trudge through mud in Prattsville to celebrate getting through the destruction of Tropical Storm Irene.

“I evacuated my apartment at 7 a.m. that morning with my son and my cat and my important papers,” Stephanie Braswell said.

And then, Braswell did what everyone in Prattsville does best. She began to help other people escape the flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. Gran Gorge Fire Chief D.J. Speenburgh was right behind her.

mudfest

“We’ve been here every year ever since, helping them, supporting them,” he said.

That support turned into an annual MudFest.

“They have to climb up,” a mud fest organizer said. “It’s really thick, deep mud. They come down this slide to a pool of water.”

It’s a challenge but nothing those in Prattsville can’t handle.

Kicking off the two-day event was good food, great music and laughter. Four years later, Prattsville residents continue to celebrate all they’ve rebuilt.

“People are back in their homes,” Braswell said. “Dylan and I are in a home.”

And the town has more to be proud of.

“New landscaping; new lighting; new town green,” Braswell said.

“We’ve got two new bridges coming in,” Kevin Piccoli with the Prattsville Local Development Corp. said. “We’ve got a senior housing complex.”

But for the next two days, they won’t be hard at work raising money for new projects or helping neighbors rebuild. They will just have fun.

“To see everyone that lives here as well as comes to our town smile the whole entire day and play in the mud,” Brawell said.

“This is what being a small town in America is all about, right?” Piccoli said. “You get a little bit of a hardship but that’s okay. You just come back bigger and better than ever.”

The fun in Prattsville starts at noon on Saturday. There will be awards and cash prizes.

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