- Associated Press - Friday, July 30, 2010

RHINEBECK, N.Y. (AP) - 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.

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