The Family Entertainment Award of Distinction recognizes businesses and organizations that provide phenomenal and innovative offerings to visitors and contribute to a “Storied Experience” for travelers coming to Dutchess. Join Dutchess Tourism in celebrating all the honorees at the 8th annual Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie. Read more about the event here.
We chatted with Lou Trapani, Artistic and Managing Director of The CENTER for Performing Arts, Kelly & Steven Cervino, owners of Kelly’s Creamery & Kelly’s Husband’s Truck, and Diana Bellissimo, owner of Lilymoore Farm to learn more about each finalist.
Lou Trapani, The CENTER for Performing Arts: That everyday people…bankers, wait staff, construction workers…have a passion to create theatre despite the heavy hourly demands. Shakespeare set the tone when he created The Mechanicals in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”…everyday laboring folk who create theatrical art at the end of their laboring day.
Kelly & Steven Cervino, Kelly’s Creamery & Kelly’s Husband’s Truck: The gratitude and jubilation that we see on the faces of our customers and community. People of all ages enjoying the Kelly’s experience is the culmination of what we set out to do. Nothing brings us more satisfaction than bringing friends and families together in a fun, relaxing atmosphere. It is also satisfying that the job opportunities we’ve created for the local kids provide them with the tools they need for their future endeavors.
Diana Bellissimo, Lilymoore Farms: I absolutely love being a farmer and sharing my adorable animals with customers. It makes my day to see the joy on people’s faces when they are around the animals.
Lou Trapani, The CENTER for Performing Arts: That you can do anything if you set your mind to it; that you can overcome anything if you are willing; that you can endure if you are willing to work hard.
Kelly & Steven Cervino, Kelly’s Creamery & Kelly’s Husband’s Truck: This past year taught us to make Kelly’s conducive and adaptable to unforeseen circumstances. By being a three-dimensional business, we were able to continue to provide a safe haven where families can come together and escape the doldrums of quarantine. We are extremely grateful to our team and their families, as we wouldn’t have gotten through this without them.
Diana Bellissimo, Lilymoore Farms: Always watch trends so that when you are thrown a curveball you will know what to do. With staff, it is about letting them shine - put people in positions where they excel.
Lou Trapani, The CENTER for Performing Arts: I sincerely hope that people will see our county as the peaceful refuge that it is; that they will choose the woods and streams and valleys and charming towns over the roar of the surf and the clatter of the beach town.
Kelly & Steven Cervino, Kelly’s Creamery & Kelly’s Husband’s Truck: Throughout this past year, we’ve seen an increased exodus from urban areas to rural Dutchess County. We hope that trend continues and that more people see the beauty and quality of life Dutchess County has to offer. Many of our customers have shared their stories of how we have become their go-to stop in their travels through Dutchess.
Diana Bellissimo, Lilymoore Farms: I loved meeting people from around the world. COVID-19 decreased that immensely. I hope that we can go back to being a global destination like we once were.