The Barge Celebrates 10 Years with Birthday Bash

The Barge Celebrates 10 Years with Birthday Bash

Tory Glerum

If you happen to be walking down Lebanon Street on Saturday and are suddenly hit with the sound of music and the enticing scent of freshly roasted java, do not be alarmed. Just follow your ears and nose and join the Barge Canal Coffee Company for The Birthday Bash, featuring free live performances, games and, of course, coffee.

The Birthday Bash is being held in honor of The Barge’s 10 year anniversary. The coffee house was started downtown in 1996 by Carin Mueller ’94 who proposed the idea to university administrators as an alternative social spot for students. Then-president Neil Grabois approved the suggestion, and the site on Lebanon Street that once served as a mercantile store for loading and unloading barges on the Chenango Canal became The Barge Canal Coffee Company, named to honor those responsible for the prosperous canal system. Since then, The Barge has established itself as a local venue for Colgate students, faculty and Hamilton residents alike. Manager Susan Pasachnik calls it the “big living room of the community.”

The celebration was purposely scheduled for Homecoming Weekend so that alumni can be a part of it. “It will be great for students to come back to,” Pasachnik said. “The Barge was the first thing Colgate brought downtown.”

If the weather permits, the Birthday Bash will take place outdoors. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, The Barge’s main provider, is bringing a roaster of its own to set up for public viewing and to generate the aroma of fresh coffee down Lebanon Street.

The day has many activities in store. “There will be games, giveaways and drink specials,” Pasachnik said. The big draw, however, is the ten-and-a-half hours of live music, performed by both Colgate students and other musicians, which will be open to the public free of charge.

The performances begin at 11:30 a.m and will go until 10 p.m. The first performer is John Rossbach, who will be playing traditional American folk music. From 1:30 to 2:30, Sound of Silver Chorus, a four-part female harmony, will be performing. (This group will also be doing a fundraiser with the Colgate 13 the following day.)

From 2:45 to 4:15, the Tired Hands String Band will be playing some old time Bluegrass music with a group of cloggers to accompany them.

The next few hours will present the opportunity for Colgate to show off our musically talented students. At 4:30, the featured Colgate band Johnny LeMasters and The Boys will take the stage and play a mix of blues, rock and funk. At 5:45, the coed a capella group The Dischords will grace the crowds with their voices and at 6:30 senior Sarah Poulette and sophomore Rachel Fowler will give an acoustic performance. Last, but certainly not least, renowned pianist Anita Homer will be performing from 8-10.

Pasachnik says that this musical event is the kickoff to the Barge’s Saturday Night Music Series, which runs through November 18 and will feature many more Colgate student performances and other well-known musicians. The Barge also holds open microphone nights on the first Wednesday of every month, and poetry readings known as “BARDS at the Barge” on the second Friday of every month.

The Barge opens every day at 7 a.m and closes at 11 p.m on Monday-Thursday, 1 a.m on Friday-Saturday, and 10 p.m. on Sunday. They offer fair trade and organic coffees, and are now using the eco-friendly cups that Green Mountain has recently introduced in order to reduce the amount of plastic used by almost a quarter million pounds. The Barge also offers a variety of food items and is now making more specialty blended drinks, such as the Java Frost. “We serve soups, bagels, and homemade pastries, and we are known for our famous chicken chili,” Pasachnik says. “But keep in mind, you are always allowed to bring food in.” In addition, students looking for a place to study can take advantage of the Barge’s free wireless service.

The Barge really does have a lot to offer. Stop by Saturday to help celebrate 10 memorable years of business and service with free live music, games and delicious drinks. Pasachnik says that the event is a way to say thank you. “We are showing our appreciation to Colgate and the community for years of support.”