Grand Opening of New Middletown, in Middletown, New York, on November 17, 2023

Shen Yun Collections Opens First Brick-and-Mortar Store in America

This speech was delivered by Shen Yun Collection Marketing Director Sammie Song at the Grand Opening of New Middletown, in Middletown, New York, on November 17, 2023. Shen Yun Collections is the anchor store at New Middletown department store.

Shen Yun Collection Marketing Director Sammie Song
Shen Yun Collections Marketing Director Sammie Song

Welcome everyone! Thank you for joining us on this historic day for Middletown.

Over a century ago, in the early 1900s, there once stood a popular department store called Tompkins. When we talk about the old Tompkins building, many people recall the famous clock that’s right in front of our building, and the grand staircase right behind me. Back in the day this staircase hosted Santa Claus and family photos, which became a special part of many childhood memories.

Shen Yun Collections is the anchor store at New Middletown department store.

Some people I spoke to remembered shopping here at the hat department, buying beautiful gloves from the women’s apparel, or getting a haircut at the salon. Downtown Middletown at that time was a busy shopping area. Our mission in opening New Middletown is to help bring back those sweet childhood memories to the community, and bring back the shopping tradition to how it used to be—in person at your local store, where you can reconnect with your community.

Shen Yun Collections is the anchor store at New Middletown department store.
Shen Yun Collections is the anchor store at New Middletown department store.

Today is the beginning of our journey together! Our New Middletown store was established by Shen Yun Collections. Based right here in Middletown, Shen Yun Collections was founded to keep the magic of Shen Yun performances alive in daily life through classic and meaningful designs. Our employees work and live here, and the company wanted to bring this magic of Shen Yun and traditional culture to the local community, and this is how New Middletown came about.


I would like to thank a few special people who have helped us bring New Middletown to life. First, thank you to Mayor Joe DeStefano, Maria Bruni, and the entire Mayor’s Office for guiding us every step of the way.

Grand Opening of New Middletown, in Middletown, New York, on November 17, 2023. L: OECD Director Maria Bruni, M: Miss NTD Cynthia Sun, R: Mayor Joe DeStefano
L: OECD Director Maria Bruni, M: Miss NTD Cynthia Sun, R: Mayor Joe DeStefano

I’d also like to thank the community for welcoming us here. While preparing for this grand opening, we received so much support from the local community. From the restaurants and local supermarkets nearby that let us put up posters on their storefront windows, to the local vendors like Dayes Coffee and Mon Tea that kindly sponsored us with our tea and coffee today. And of course, the local favorite Oak and Reed restaurant that provided us with the delicious food we are having.

Last but not least, a very big thank you to Pizza E Birra and planet wings—they actually made the live performance possible. How? Well, a lot of the performers you are seeing today are from Northern Academy of the Arts, in Middletown, and they agreed to perform for our grand opening under one condition—we had to get them the best pizza and wings in town! So we called Pizza E Birra and Planet Wings and they… delivered.

Grand Opening of New Middletown, in Middletown, New York, on November 17, 2023

So once again, thank you to all the sponsors and vendors today. Let’s give them a big round of applause!

We have some big plans, including bringing the Santa Claus tradition back, as well as creating some new traditions. We hope that you can be a part of them and we look forward to seeing you come back soon. Thank you.

Learn more about New Middletown here: NewMiddletown.com

Grand Opening of New Middletown, in Middletown, New York, on November 17, 2023

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