The Saugerties Garlic Festival is held every fall in this quaint town in Ulster County. It is a large festival that draws over 30,000 people and over 200 exhibitors and food vendors every year. The star of the festival of course is the food. Garlic is used in everything, and you can smell it everywhere! The garlic ice cream was surprisingly yummy. There are several live music acts going on at one time, and a children's play area.
This year, the Garlic Festival will be held on September 26-27, 2015. The festival is held on Saturday, September 26 from 10am-6pm, and on Sunday, September 27 from 10am-5pm. Admissions is $10, but discount is available if you buy your ticket beforehand. Don't miss this fun event!
Below are some photos taken at the festival in 2014. It was an unseasonably warm, beautiful day. The town of Saugerties is quite charming, and deserves a visit after the festival.
Circus Latinowill be at the Tarrytown Music Hall this weekend. It will be a multi-cultural arts events featuring Westchester Circus Arts and Jazz Forum Arts and a Brazilian Samba Band and an Ecuadorian band.
300 artists will fill the grounds of the Neo-Gothic Lyndhrust Estate in Sleepy Holow this weekend, for theFall Crafts at Lyndhurst. It runs from Friday September 18 to Sunday September 20.
The 20th Annual Taste of Rockland, hosted by the ARC of Rockland, will be held on September 21, 2015. It will highlight signature dishes from over 40 of the Rockland County's finest restaurants, plus fine wines and spirits.
Things to Do in the Mid Hudson Valley, September 18-20, 2015
On September 19, the 4th annual Hudson Valley Apple Festival is held in Germantown, in Columbia County. It will be a day of old fashioned family fun, including hayrides, wacky apple crate derby, wine and beer tasting, arts and crafts, car show, live music, and of course food and fireworks.
The St. Nicholas Fall Greek Festival in Newburgh will be held on September 18th, 19th and 20th. It will feature traditional Greek food, beer and wine, and pastries. Greek music and dancing, a Greek coffee shop, church tours, a Greek gift shop with handcrafts, and raffles are also offered.
The 25th Annual Taste of New Paltz will be held from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on September 19 at the Ulster County Fairgrounds, 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz.
This weekend, from September 18-20, is the Beacon Independent Film Festival. Features films, shorts, documentaries will be screened, with activities for both adults and children. The third annual Hudson River Craft Beer Festival is will be held on Saturday, September 19th at Riverfront Park in Beacon, New York. It includes 4-5 hours of beer sampling, food, live music, and more.
Saturday, September 19, the 20th East Fishkill Community Day will take place at the East Fishkill Recreation Park. On the same day, the Arlington Street Fair will take place in Poughkeepsie from noon-6pm. Inflatable rides, live entertainment, musical guests, and 100 – plus vendors. At Vassar College, The Vassar Haiti Project will hold its 15th annual sale of Haitian paintings and handcraft to benefit programs in Chermaitre—a mountain village in Haiti unreachable by road.
Vassar Haiti Project Art Sale Walk This Way Alone, Adrien Seide, 20 x 24
The Vassar Haiti Project (VHP), a student-run non-profit organization, is holding its 15th annual sale of Haitian paintings and handcraft, beginning Friday, September 18. Proceeds from the event support numerous programs in Chermaitre—a mountain village in Haiti unreachable by road.
In order to support sustainable development in Chermaitre, VHP sells Haitian art that we buy in our yearly trip to Haiti. We hold art sales every year to fundraise for our different projects in areas of Education, Health, Environment and Women.
Founded by Andrew Meade, director of international services at Vassar College, and his wife, Lila, VHP has raised more than $1,000,000 since 2001.
CCMPR(college center multi-purpose room), second floor of main building of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Hudson Valley Food Tours, a company that showcases how awesome the Hudson Valley is through culinary walking tours, was started in the Spring of 2015 by Jennifer Brizzi. We talked to Jennifer about her company and plans for food tours around the Hudson Valley.
So tell us a little about Hudson Valley Food Tours:
I started the company this spring, after many years of thinking of way to show visitors how awesome the Hudson Valley is, and that culinary walking tours would be a great way to do it.
While we’ve long been a breadbasket for New York City, the Hudson Valley is now earning a reputation for innovation and quality fresh local food, sustainably raised and grown. Although we’ve been welcoming visitors for centuries, the area is enjoying a renaissance for people from all over who are discovering the natural beauty, the bounty of our farms, the adventurous creations of our cheesemakers, charcuteriers, distillers/brewers/winemakers, and chefs, all making the best out of our bounty, along with the rich history and the charms of our unique towns.
I started Hudson Valley Food Tours because I wanted to help visitors get to know the culture of the area through their taste buds, and to have the opportunity to meet locals, especially the people who create the delicious samples that they get to taste on the tours. In full disclosure, culinary walking tours are not my own original idea. Although I think I’m good at scouting out good food wherever I travel, culinary-focused walking tours happen worldwide. So I’m not the first, by a long shot. But I felt the Hudson Valley was ripe for it, a win-win for visiting tasters and the producers of good foodstuffs as well.
I started with the Rhinebeck Village Culinary Crawl because Rhinebeck is where I’ve lived for 19 years and I’m most familiar with it. But I also think the concept would work well for several more Hudson Valley towns.
Tell us a little more about your tours. What can people expect on the tour?
People can expect an enjoyable, fun, laid-back stroll through town that gives them an insider’s view of what makes us tick, along with some fascinating history of the area. There is a lot of good food, too much, some say, but people have been very pleased with the offerings, as our TripAdvisor reviews attest. The maximum for each tour is ten people, and we offer private tours, too. Both locals and out-of-towners have joined our tours, and always have a great time.
Currently, Hudson Valley Food Tours offers a Rhinebeck Culinary Crawl on Sunday afternoons from 1 pm to about 3:30. We spend the first 45 minutes in the 21-year-old award-winning Farmers Market. We meet board members, farmers and artisan food producers, and taste the best bounty of the season.
For the remainder of the tour we meander around the village, with some history and lore from the tour guide. Tasting samples (currently) include expert artisan authentic Italian pizza, high-quality infused olive oils and vinegars, house-smoked and seasoned local meats, local beer tasting, a refreshing gorgeous composed salad, hand-dipped chocolates from a local chocolatier, and more.
Our next Rhinebeck Tours are on September 13 and 27, and October 4 and 18, 2015.
More tours are in the works. Some may begin this fall, and others not until spring. We’re planning tours in Beacon (Dutchess County), Hudson (Columbia County), the Poughkeepsie Waterfront & Main Street (Dutchess County). An introductory tour or two in Beacon or Hudson will start in the fall if we can get them going.
Once it gets too cold for outdoor strolling, tours will be on hiatus until Spring, when they’ll start up again early to mid-May. Private tours are welcome, with advance notice, and tour tickets make great gift certificates. We also have discounts for over 62, military, and culinary students.
We are also planning other tours. In early development are several others, possibly in Rensselaer, Ulster, Westchester, Orange and Rockland Counties, plus progressive dinners and mini-bus tours. We’re busy!
So tell us a little about yourself, and how did you develop your love for food, and for the Hudson Valley?
I love to claim to be local, since I was born in Poughkeepsie. But a year later my family moved to Vermont, where I grew up. I only returned by chance in 1996. So while not technically local, I‘ve been back here for 19 years. I lived in Red Hook for the first year or two, then Rhinecliff (a hamlet that is part of the town of Rhinebeck), and for the past four years in the town of Rhinebeck.
My mom was a researcher/librarian fascinated with all things food, and it rubbed off. In the 70s we ate globally, from lobster and snails to the southern fried chicken and greens of my parents’ Arkansas heritage. We ate from my dad’s huge organic garden, from health food stores, half a local cow in the freezer, etc. We ate sustainably raised meats before it was fashionable. We traveled in Europe and around the country, so I was exposed to a lot of different cuisines.
Early on I was fascinated with food. When I was nine, I cooked a Danish dinner from one of my mother’s cookbooks. In high school I wrote an article on Japanese food-- which I hadn’t yet tasted--that got an A+.
As for my love for the Hudson Valley... My parents were both artists, and who can look at the Hudson Valley and the Hudson River without appreciation for how gorgeous it is?
After a few rat-race years in New York City, I love how laid-back it is around here, how friendly the people, how rich the arts scene and the history, and how amazing the food. What’s not to love?
Is it fair to ask your what is your favorite place to eat? And what are your other favorites in the Hudson Valley?
Yes! Since forever, my fave has been Osaka in Rhinebeck. It’s too tiny to bring in a tour group, but wow, is the fish fresh! And the family who owns it are sweet as can be. I feel incredibly lucky to live in a town that has Osaka.
As far as other favorite places in the area, I love just strolling around Beacon, New Paltz, Hudson, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Saugerties and Woodstock.
Mills-Norrie State Park in Staatsburg is great, but the Hudson Valley is full of many, many places to explore and hike. I adore Poet’s Walk in Red Hook, and of course the Walkway Over the Hudson is a don’t-miss. Our many rail trails are great places to enjoy nature without traffic.
For farm-fresh produce, first seek out local farmstands and farmers markets. But you can also seek out Mother Earth’sStorehouse (in Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Saugerties), and Adams Fairacre Farms (in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Wappingers Falls and Newburgh).
A couple of my favorite foodie spots to visit are Montgomery Place Orchards farmstand in Red Hook and Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, but the list is endless.
Things to Do in Westchester and Rockland County September 11-13, 2015
Street fairs and carnivals are a plenty this weekend in the Lower Hudson Valley. One of the longest running one would be the Yorktown Grange Fair, Thursday September 10 - Sunday September 13, the only true Country Fair in Westchester County that started in 1923. The theme of the fair this year is "A Taste of the Farm". There will be live music, carnival rides, lots of food and drink tastings, and more.
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at New Rochelle will hold their annual Greek Festival from September 10-13, 2015. There will be rides and games, a flea market, live music, Greek food, and more.
On Saturday, September 12, the Yonkers River Fest will take place on the river front. The festival includes live music, carnival games, arts and crafts, international food vendors, classic cars, street performers, and more! The 10th annual Cortlandt Family Fun Daywill be held next to the Rec Center between 2pm-8pm, followed by fireworks. The Paramount Theater in Peekskill will host a free End of Summer Music Festival at noon. There will be an Oktoberfest Bier Garten in front of the theater, along with local food and craft vendors, and of course great local music.
The Bear Mountain Oktoberfest will start this weekend, and run until October at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Center. The Bicycle Sundays along the Bronx River Parkway will also resume this Sunday from 10am-2pm, and will take place throughout the Sundays in September.
In Ulster County, many towns are celebrating their community this weekend. Gardiner Day is this Saturday, September 12 from 11am-4:30pm. It will feature many vendors, live music, pony and hay rides, disc golf, and much more. Town of Olive Day will be on Saturday, September 12 at Davis Park in West Shokan. The 4th annual Friends of Kerhonkson Day is on September from 9am-3pm. There will be a 5k race, rubber duck ramble, and over 60 vendors. The New Paltz Family Fun Day will be held at Hurd's Farm.
Did you know that 40% of food is wasted in this country...yet it only takes 30% of the food to feed everyone in the nation? According to Poughkeepsie Plenty, ¼ of households in Poughkeepsie are food-insecure.
A new organization, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, was started over the summer of 2015 to help reduce food wastes in Poughkeepsie and the Dutchess County area. I recently talked to Siennah Yang, a student at Vassar College, who started the Poughkeepsie branch.
Can you tell us a little about Rescuing Leftover Cuisine?
Rescuing Leftover Cuisine was founded on July 3, 2013 in New York City. The two founders, Robert Lee and Louisa Chen, were both part of a university organization called Two Birds One Stone, which delivered leftover dining hall food on campus to homeless shelters.
After graduation, they started RLC, which takes leftover, unsellable, excess food from restaurants, farmers markets, wholesalers, and donate it to food pantries and soup kitchens in an effort to reduce food waste. RLC is entirely volunteer based, so all food is transported by volunteers.
The purpose of RLC is to make food rescue efforts easily replicable, and can be easily integrated as a small part of one's work/school schedule. Delivery can be made at very low cost (on average less than 10 cents per delivery).
How and when did you start the Poughkeepsie branch?
I was inspired by Tristram Stuart’s video called the Global Food Waste Scandal (see below) and got really interested in his project called Feeding the 5000. I reached out to him, and was put in touch with Robert from Rescuing Leftover Cuisines. Although I have never heard of the organization before, I was quickly sold on the idea of starting a Poughkeepsie branch.
I started working on RLC over the summer and it has been in operation for over 3 months. Food donors have already donated over 10200 pounds of food since June!
What kind of food are you looking for? Who can donate?
Food donors can choose to donate any type of food (cooked food, meat, veggies, canned food, ingredients, additives) at any time of the week, any schedule (regularly or on call) and at any amount. When food donors have food, they can email me a schedule for regular pick up, or they can call me whenever they have food.
All food donations are 50% tax deductible, are all protected by the Good Samaritan Law and the company's food agreement form for any food liability and safety concerns.
So far, I have food donors in Rhinebeck, Fishkill, Lagrange, Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, Beacon and Kingston.
Are you looking for volunteers? How can one help?
Yes! We have been growing so rapidly, I am looking for anyone and any organization that is interested in helping RLC. Volunteers can help in multiple ways:
Volunteers to help transport and deliver the food, or become an area coordinator and be responsible for all pick ups in the location. It is preferable for volunteers who want to transport food to have access to a car.
There is an immediate need for volunteers from Fishkill to pick up donations from Fishkill Farm once a week. We are opening a new branch in New Paltz soon and are looking for volunteers there as well.
Volunteers to help publicize the organization by posting on social media, writing blogs, posting flyers.
For those of you who visit the wonderful Dutchess Rail Trail, you may notice the Hopewell Depot museum at the Southern trailhead in Hopewell Junction.
The Hopewell Depot is a building from the original railroad, which was a major railroad hub of Dutchess County, and connected the town to Connecticut, Boston, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. The Hopewell Depot train station was built in 1873, but was unfortunately badly destroyed in a fire in 1986.
The Hopewell Depot museum you see nowadays was lovingly restored by the non-profit organization Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp, a group of passionate volunteers, over several years. The museum is open from spring to fall on Saturdays and Sundays 11am-4pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays 11am-3pm in the winter.
I visited the museum several weeks ago. When I entered the building, I was greeted by several friendly volunteers, who gave me a wonderful tour. Inside the museum, you will find great display and artifacts demonstrating the history and importance of the train station back then. You will also see a model showing the routes the trains used to service.
exhibits inside the museum
Crafts fair outside of the Hopewell Depot the day I visited. The next crafts fair is this Saturday, September 5, 2015 from 10am-3pm.
The Dutchess Rail Trail
The next project for the Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp is to recreate a switching tower with two permanent bathrooms, one for men and one for the ladies, and to expand its educational offerings. If you have walked the entire Dutchess Rail Trail, which is 13 miles long and will lead to to Ulster County via the Walkway over the Hudson, you will notice there are only porta potties!
The Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp. wants to recreate a switching tower that once stood across from the 1873 depot. Runners, walkers and cyclists will be able to find a bit of relief on the first floor and learn more about the region’s railroads on the second floor.
“The tower will have the first real restrooms on the rail trail for both trail users and visitors to the depot. It will also showcase the historical switch gear railroads used to manage their yards,” said Joe Sullivan, depot president.
The depot entertains about 1,000 visitors a year and many more pass by on the rail trail. Sullivan said its mission is to preserve and teach the area’s railroad history. “As part of our long term plan for the site, the tower will allow us to entertain field trips for students and interested groups which we cannot now do without restroom facilities,” he said. “Please join our campaign and help us achieve this next step for the Hopewell Depot.”
Below is a photo rendering showing the location of the planned tower. If you are interested in visiting the museum, please visit http://hopewelldepot.org/ for more information.
Labor Day weekend is coming up! With the hot temperature these days, it sure does not feel like school is starting and summer is ending in the Hudson Valley. Anyway, we hope you go out and enjoy the following events in the Hudson Valley this weekend:
Lower Hudson Valley Labor Day Weekend Events in Westchester
Labor Day is going to be Playland's Last Day of the Season. They will be having several events: the final fireworks on Friday September 4th; Special concert by the Village People on September 5th, Super Hero Day on Sunday, September 6th, and enjoy $15 Rides Admission all day from 12 noon - 10 p.m. on Monday, September 7th.
The Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow is going to celebrate Labor Day with a Cornucopia Festival from Saturday to Monday. There will be a mini corn maze, carnival games, English country dancing in the barn, cooking demonstrations, and more.
You will find the Arts on the Third Festival on Sunday, September 6 at Mount Vernon in Lower Westchester. There will be performances on several stages, showcasing local and mainstream artists in music, theatre, film, literature, dance, performance art, visual art and spoken word.
Mid Hudson Valley Labor Day Weekend Events
Going to the Stormville Flea Market has been a tradition for many in the Hudson Valley during holiday weekends. You can visit the large flea market on Saturday and Sunday, September 5 and 6. Visit our flea market guide to find other flea markets in the region.
On September 4 and 5, you can visit the Storm King Art Center, which is presenting The Tempest with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Enjoy the show and picnic at the beautiful grounds at Storm King.
The Village of Brewster Film Festival is this weekend, running from September 3-6. The festival will be held at different venues, and will include local films, cartoons, short films, and more.
The City of Newburgh will hold their Newburgh International Festival this weekend, September 4th to 7th at Gully's parking lot, along the riverfront. There will be vendors, a variety of international and local cuisine, carnival with rides and games, and live entertainment.
To celebrate Labor Day, the West Point Band will present a Music Under the Stars Concert on Sunday, September 6th at 7:30pm. The evening includes an outdoor pops concert, along with fireworks and cannon firing.
The Museum Village in Orange County is having their 40th annual Civil Wars Weekend. See representations of Federal and Confederate infantry, artillery and cavalry units and medical demonstrations.
Did you know Pine Island, New York in Orange County is known for their onions? Join the town for their annual onion eating contest on Sunday, September 6 at 4pm.
The Woodstock-New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair, which started in 1982, takes place eery Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz. This year, the fair will run from September 5-7, which has become "a destination" for the discerning collector of quality art and fine crafts.
Every September, the Hudson River Valley Ramble is an annual event series that celebrates the history, culture and natural resources of the Hudson Valley, as well as the amazing landscape, communities, and trails throughout the region. The first Hudson River Valley Ramble events are this weekend. Also, the New York Renaissance Faire will take place in Tuxedo until end of September.
Last Thursday, August 27, the Storm King Art Center held its free admissions day. It was a beautiful day, and I just want to share with you some photos of the beautiful grounds.
Located in New Windsor, New York, the Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor sculpture park on beautiful landscape. Even if you don't think you'll appreciate these giant modern art sculptures, you can still thoroughly enjoy the park by walking or biking on the grounds, sitting by the lakes, and picnicking while enjoying the views. The park is great for children to run around, and even adults who cannot walk too much - a tram is available to pick up and drop off visitors throughout the park.
If you drive to the park, there are very helpful guides at the entrance to direct you to where to park. If you are not driving, there are several public transportation options via NJ transit or coach buses directly to the park. You will receive a map and guide, so you do not need to worry about getting lost.
The Storm King Art Center is divided into 4 areas. I started at the South Fields area, which is the largest and contains many of large scale sculptures. You will see several well known sculptures by Mark Di Suvero, and one of my favorite, the Three Legged Buddha by Zhang Huan. The landscape in this area is beautiful. At the Southern side of the park is a beautiful lake, where you will find a giant canoe with a mermaid on it, painted by Roy Lichtenstein.
Check out the little guy enjoying the park
The Three Legged Buddha by Zhang Huan
The Mermaid by Roy Lichtenstein
Just North of the South Fields area, you will find the Museum Hill area, which includes the museum building. There are some smaller sculptures in that area. Currently there is a special exhibition, "Lynda Benglish: Water Sources", which is a centered around the outdoor water fountains. It will be on display through November.
From the Water Sources Exhibit by Lynda Benglis
Walking towards the Northern park of the Museum Hill area, you will be at a high vantage point. You can enjoy a great view of the sculpture and hills to the South. That area has some large sculptures as well, until you arrive at the North Woods area. True to its name, it is a wooded, shaded area that mostly contain smaller-scale sculptures.
Unfortunately I ran out of time, and have probably half the sculptures in the North Woods and Meadows area. But Storm King is not really a place for you to rush and see all the sculptures. There is a cafe in the North Woods area, and there are picnic tables throughout the park to make a relaxing and enjoyable day in nature.
Unfortunately, all the Storm King free admissions day are over. However, it is definitely worth visiting in the fall and enjoy the art along with the foliage. If you plan to visit:
Storm King Art Center
Opens April 1 to October 31 Hours: Wednesdays to Sundays, 10am-5:30pm opens 10am-8pm on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day. Opens Labor Day and Columbus Day 10am-5:30pm. Admissions is $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, $8 for ages 5-18 and students
The big event this weekend is the Dutchess County Fair, which has already started, and will run from August 25-30, 2015. The Dutchess County Fair is the second largest fair in New York State and the most popular one in the Hudson Valley, and is packed with rides and activities.
The New York Air Show is this weekend, August 29-30, at the Stewart Airport in New Windsor. You will get to see plenty of military aircraft and other civilian plans. Just two miles from the New York Air Show, the town of New Windsor is having their Community Day on Saturday, August 29.
On Saturday, August 29, it is Reenactment Day at Constitution Island at West Point. You can visit West Point, and take a boat ride to Constitution Island from West Point. There are also buses that will pick up passengers from the Cold Spring Metro North Station. It is also the Military Reenactment Day at the Boscobel House and Garden on Sunday August 30. Cannons will be fired, reenactments of three wars, and programs for kids and adults.
On Saturday, August 29, the Beacon Players will host their family friendly, 2nd annual "Concert in the Park" at Beacon Memorial Athletic Field. The event will have food, games, a 'Kiddie Korner' magical performances for kids, and of course plenty of musical performances.
On Sunday, August 30 it is the 40th anniversary of the Muscoot Farm. There will be games, hayrides, facepainting, crafts, and cake at the birthday party. The Muscoot Farmer's market will also be held at the same time.
The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is starting its Harvest Festival this Sunday, Aug 30, and will hold the Harvest Festival every Sunday in September. The Harvest Festival presents a unique blend of farmers market, artisan and crafters, live music, fresh food, special events, children’s activities, and education and historical programming.