Much, much more than a beauty queen

Goshen. Miss New York 2021 visits Goshen, extols the virtues of scholarship and community service.

| 28 Jul 2021 | 08:42

Sydney Parks, Miss New York 2021, visited Goshen on Tuesday, July 27, to understand why Goshen was recently named one of the 15 Best Small Towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine.

Parks lunched at Delancey’s with members of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Martin, the principal of Goshen High School, and Kiersten Swayne, a teacher and coach at the high school.

After lunch, Miss New York was welcomed by the Harness Racetrack staff and then toured the Historic Goshen Harness Racetrack.

No longer your mother’s beauty pageant

During her visit, Parks shared information about the Miss New York Organization and scholarship opportunities for young women.

Beauty pageants are not what they used to be. The Miss America Organization was known for the glitz and glamour of the annual stage competition. Today, the organization showcases what really makes young women successful, the swimsuit competition was removed and the competition changed to feature participant intelligence, talent and community service initiatives.

Instead of focusing on the single-day televised competition, the Miss America Organization focuses on the 364 days of service carried out by these community leaders. From the classroom to the courtroom, local, state and national candidates have earned their seat at the table and one by one are changing the world.

An invitation to return

Parks is a graduate of Columbia University. After graduation, Parks spent a year as a litigation legal assistant where she worked on antitrust filings, complex litigation, and pro bono matters. Scholarship funds helped Parks finance her education. In addition to being trilingual, she is an avid sports fan, athlete and coaches soccer for young girls.

Parks made such a positive impact during her visit that the Goshen Chamber of Commerce invited her back to deliver a keynote speech during the Women in Business event that the Goshen Chamber of Commerce is hosting on Oct. 13 at Thomas Bull Memorial Park.

For more information about Miss New York or about the upcoming Women in Business event, reach out to the Goshen Chamber of Commerce at 845-294-7741 of via email at

Goshen named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the best 15 small towns to visit in 2021
Here’s how the Smithsonian Magazine describe Goshen, N.Y.:
This summer, Goshen welcomes the opening of LEGOLAND New York, a combined theme park and resort where you can construct, climb, ride and splash, and then bed down in a LEGO-themed hotel. However, the town itself has a much larger history.
Goshen sits among the East Coast’s black dirt farming region, roughly 26,000 acres of extremely fertile soil left over from an ancient glacier lake. It’s also a part of New York’s scenic Hudson Valley and the seat of Orange County: an area ripe with rolling hills, orchards and farmland, not to mention one steeped in equine culture.
In fact, Goshen is known as the “Trotting Capital of the World.” The town’s historic half-mile harness racing track, opened in 1838, is the oldest active horse trotting track on the planet, as well as the oldest continuously operated horse racing track in the country. Informal horse races even took place along Goshen’s Main Street as early as the mid-1700s.
The local Harness Racing Museum offers a deep dive into local harness-racing history with tens-of-thousands of associated artifacts, including a vast collection of Currier and Ives trotting prints. Its Hall of Fame is a who’s who among the sport, including those like Artsplace, the fifth-leading money-winning pacing sire of all time, and racetrack designer Charles E. “Chuck” Coon, whose innovative ideas helped increase both safety and speed.
Goshen is home to a charming Main Street where you’ll find family-owned businesses like Joe Fix Its, a bicycle and ice skating shop that’s been a fixture since 1946. The downtown area also has ample spots to snack and eat, including the casual Howell’s Café, Café Yen (where cups of iced caramel macchiatos are the norm), and Catherine’s Restaurant, an American eatery that offers both a more formal white-cloth dining experience and a low-key, brick-walled pub. The Stagecoach Inn—a former 18th century stagecoach stop that’s been fully renovated into a five-star inn and tavern-style restaurant—is Goshen’s de facto place for special occasions.
Visitors and locals alike can pick up bottles of kombucha and homemade beef jerky at the weekly Goshen Farmers Market, Fridays late May through October, or set out on foot or bicycle along the Heritage Trail, an 18-mile rail-to-trail connecting various Orange County villages on the converted bed of the former Erie Railroad.
The other 15 small towns the Smithsonian Magazine recommended were: Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Council Grove, Kansas; Fayetteville, West Virginia; Manitou Springs, Colorado; Hatch, New Mexico; Nevada City, California; Bath, Maine; Brevard, North Carolina; Dyersville, Iowa; Ely, Minnesota; Wallace, Idaho; Charlevoix, Michigan; Natchez, Mississippi; Litchfield, Connecticut;