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Clinton wedding, Rocky Horror and cow judging

Residents Gary Kiernan, right, and Laurie Bathrick, wear Bill and Hillary Clinton masks while walking in downtown Rhinebeck in upstate New York.
Residents Gary Kiernan, right, and Laurie Bathrick, wear Bill and Hillary Clinton masks while walking in downtown Rhinebeck in upstate New York.Mary Altaffer / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

If some of Chelsea Clinton's wedding guests want to make a weekend of it in Rhinebeck, there's a stage production of "The Rocky Horror Show" on the boards Saturday night and Sunday.

They won't even have to pack extra clothes.

"We encourage people to come in costume and interact with the cast," said Babette Fasolino of the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. "So if they want to come in their tuxedos, they are perfectly welcome."

There's also a cow-judging event at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, although formal wear might not be appropriate there.

"If they come over after a few drinks they might not know what they're stepping in," said Vicki Imperati, spokeswoman for the county fairgrounds in Rhinebeck. "Most of the spectators are the families of the 4-H kids who bring their cows in. But everyone's invited, and it's free!"

Rhinebeck, population 8,000, is a busy place on summer weekends — tourists and day-trippers are attracted to antiques and crafts outlets and Hudson River scenery — and the rumored Clinton wedding isn't shutting things down.

Chelsea Clinton, 30, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is expected to marry Marc Mezvinsky, 32, at a riverside estate in Rhinebeck on Saturday.

But state police Maj. Michael Kopy said Thursday that the influx of guests, reporters and curiosity seekers wouldn't come close to the crowds at the Dutchess County Fair.

Ballgames, yard sales, community theatricals and church services are proceeding as scheduled, and the roadside vegetable stands will be fully stocked in hopes that guests and gawkers will want to bring home some fresh squash or just-picked yellow daisies.

"Hopefully they'll stop here," said Leslie Lloyd at Lobotsky's Wonderland Farm Market & Nursery. "I think they will. We're on 308 on the way to the Taconic (Parkway)."

The Rev. LeRoy Ness also wouldn't mind if people stopped by his place, the Third Evangelical Lutheran Church, where a 50-child Bible school was in session this week.

"I won't say I expect a lot of people, because we hope that the folks who come to celebrate this wedding would see that as a religious event," Ness said.

"But some people like to attend a Sunday service and they're welcome here, of course," he added. "I'm sure we'll mention the wedding during our service."

Asked if he thought visitors might swell the weekly collection, the pastor said: "No, I don't expect that. I don't expect any big gifts. But I would accept anyone's charity."

Ness said he had heard nothing official about the wedding or any official warnings about streets being closed for security, but he said, "I will avoid driving on River Road," near the elegant Astor Courts where the two are expected to wed.

Fasolino said she was anticipating wedding traffic and had warned all the parents involved in a children's production of "Cinderella" to allow extra time before Saturday morning's performance.

She said drop-in attendees are welcome and not unusual — "We get a lot of weekenders, out-of-towners from the B and B's around here."

At the Cocoon Theatre, where kids 5 to 15 are doing "A Grimm Tale," the box office recording says: "Yes, we are aware that Chelsea and Marc are getting married the same evening. They planned their happily ever after on our opening night as a symbol of good luck."

Marguerite San Millen, president of the theater, said some of the children had heard President Barack Obama might come to the wedding and wondered if he would stop in to see their show.

"They wanted to know, 'Where would he sit? Should we put his name on an empty seat? What if he can't get in?'" she said.

Alas, the president said Wednesday that he isn't on the guest list.

The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is staging air shows Saturday and Sunday with ancient airplanes, including a gossamer-winged "national treasure" that dates to 1909, spokesman Don Fleming said. Patrons can take rides over the Hudson Valley in a 1929 biplane but shouldn't expect a view of the wedding, FAA no-fly zone or not.

"That would be in bad taste," Fleming said.

If the wedding or the Junior Holstein contest or a Sunday church service causes anyone to try some introspection, Rhinebeck also has that covered. At the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, there are workshops this weekend in "precision yoga," "psychoenergetic science" and "engaging your shadow."