Columbus Weekend Harvest Festival Hopping
Crisp apples, bright orange pumpkins, pressed cider, home baked pies, sugary cider donuts, and live bluegrass: if you can’t find a harvest festival near you this weekend, you must be hiding under your bed. Throughout the region cities, villages, and historic sites are sponsoring all manner of festivities, including at least two chili cook-offs, and, at one, a special walk for dogs.
The city of Hudson has chili plus panoramic river views at their fourth annual Hudson Valley Chili-Cook-Off and farm festival in the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park on Saturday. There will be an alpaca petting zoo courtesy of Spruce Ridge Farm of Old Chatham, and lots of local foods, including Red Barn Restaurant‘s famous “pork chop on a stick,” Block Factory tamales, homemade ice cream, and local wines and beers. Columbia County Bounty purposely scheduled the Cook-Off this year to coincide with Hudson’s ArtsWalk (see our Art page), which opens the night before, on Friday, October 9. Guitarist/singer Cathy Greer and her peerless Gentlemen of the Night promise to keep toes tapping.
Saturday, October 10, noon - 4 p.m.
Admission/free; $5 to judge the chili tasting
Also on Saturday, just down the road from Hudson in Clermont, a celebration brings together Clermont State Historic Site and the Town of Clermont for a day of fall festivities. This family-and-dog-friendly Quadricentennial event begins at noon at the Clermont Historic Site with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Grand Re-Opening of the Riverfront Trail, immediately followed by a Dog Walk & Talk led by Clermont Curator of Education, Kjirsten Gustavson. Clermont always manages to feed us educational activities in a way that goes down easily. For example, the Salmagundi Consort, musicians and historians of 18th-century living, will play music for English Country Dancing and give lessons in this easy-to-learn style of dance. Kids activities includes bobbing for apples, crafts, historic games, a no-hands donut-eating contest, and a traditional sack race. Those with slightly more grown-up tastes can listen to Steve Comer, a doctoral student in Anthropology and the only member of the Stockbridge-Muncie Mohican tribe living in the Tribe’s original homeland, speak on the history and culture of the Mohican tribe, and their encounter with Henry Hudson and the Half Moon in 1609. Erik Kiviat, Executive Director of Hudsonia Ltd., a nonprofit environmental research institute based in the Hudson Valley, will discuss the ecological history of the area. Peter Baker, David Clark, Ken Brockway and Jim Albrecht of Fulton’s Followers, shipbuilders, will present their working model of the Fulton/Livingston steam boat, a meticulously-crafted interactive model of the engine and working parts that will be on display throughout the event. (The model is a sneak-peek of the finished product to be exhibited at Clermont Visitor Center in 2010.) In addition, the Town of Clermont Civic and Historic District on Route 9 will have three buildings, one containing an exhibit, open for self-guided tours.
Clermont Riverfront Trail Restoration Celebration
1 Clermont Avenue, Germantown
Autumn in Austerlitz began in 1997 as a home grown festival to raise money for the Austerlitz Historical Society and the society’s ambitious project to create a living history museum, depicting life in the 1840s. On Sunday, October 11, Autumn in Austerlitz, at the Old Austerlitz Historic site features a rare opportunity to tour the Sauers-Kellogg house, an 18th-century Austerlitz original. For kids, there will be games from early America, pumpkin painting, and crayon art, then at 1 p.m., a parade, with drums, flags and songs sung around a 24-star American flag from the 1830’s. All children are welcome to join the parade, which starts at 1 p.m., and those who wish to are invited to don early-American costumes (a limited number of these are provided) and to bring their own drums and other marching instruments. Those without instruments may carry flags provided by the parade committee.
Among the other activities: a herding demonstration with Border Collies, which have been working farm dogs since Roman times, and a gaggle of geese; a petting zoo, features llamas, as well as Early American crafts and trades, including a blacksmith, a spinner, a basket maker, a weaver, a clocksmith, a maker of wooden bowls, a cabinet maker; and a maker of hooked rugs. There will be a quilt exhibit, and Marge Quinn, a perennial winner of quilting prizes at the Columbia County Fair in Chatham will be joined by the other expert quilters to demonstrate and give advice on their specialty.
There’s chili here too, just no contest, and also homemade soup, a variety of home-baked breads, a bake sale, popcorn, ice cream and hot dogs.
Autumn In Austerlitz
Route 22, Austerlitz
Sunday, October 11; 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: $6/adults and teens; free/11 and under.
Rain or shine
Salisbury, CT is, according to its website, a community of churches (Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, and “a Jewish Temple is located just over the line in New York”). On Columbus Day weekend most of the churches as well as the Salisbury Marketplace, the White Hart Inn, and the public library will be transformed into venues for a harvest festival that kicks off on Friday night with a preview of the used books that will be on sale throughout the weekend and a cocktail party to benefit the Scoville Memorial Library. There are so many activities ranging from blueberry pancake breakfasts to chamber concerts, chili- and scarecrow-making contests— it’s impossible to list more than a few, but if you are in the market for baked goods, “gentlemen’s experienced clothing,” haywagon rides, and a huge dose of small town American life at its most picturesque, just show up.
Friday, October 9
4 - 7 p.m.
Friends of Scoville Memorial Library Preview Book Sale & Cocktail Party
4 - 6:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Annual Lasagna Dinner
Saturday, October 10
Galliard Chamber Players Concert
Salisbury Congregational Church
Those seeking high-quality foodstuffs in a rustic setting with a lot less hubbub will find happiness this weekend in Ancramdale (estimated population 921), at their celebration of their own remarkable range of prepared food purveyors and farms—The Farmer’s Wife, Millerhurst Farm, Melissa Sorman, The Amazing Real Live Food Company, Herondale Farms, and Ronnybrook Farms, a kind of who’s who in the Locavore movement. And if that’s not enough to push your glamour button, consider this: The fashion designer Annie Walwyn-Jones, who lives and has a workroom right there will also be open for business that day.
Kitchen to Kitchen
Intersection of County Routes 3 & 8, Ancramdale, NY
Sunday, October 11, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.