Try Something Ewe: BGHV’s Baby Goat Weekend
By Amy Krzanik There are many reasons why you may be interested in Big Gay Hudson Valley’s Baby Goat Weekend at Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, New York: You never got to attend summer camp; you did attend summer camp and you loved it; you hated summer camp and you’re looking for a do-over; you want to snuggle baby animals; you’d like to own your own farm someday; you’ll do anything once. Any reason is a good one, but you’ll need to register soon if you want a bunk at the farm’s 4-season camp, because at last count, there were only 11 spots left.
From Saturday, March 10 to Sunday, March 11, BGHV’s new Upstate Gay Adventures is presenting its debut event — and it doesn’t use the term “adventure” loosely. Packed into your overnight stay is baby goat yoga, a hands-on tour and tasting of the Farm’s on-site cheese-making facility, evening entertainment from Trixie Starr and Farmer John, and a chance to interact with and care for the farm’s many animals (cows, sheep, pigs and more), and that includes bottle-feeding newborn goats.
“Baby goat weekend is designed to be an opportunity that people wouldn’t otherwise be able to have — helping to deliver the kids on a working farm,” says BGHV co-founder Stephan Hengst. “It’s the farm’s biggest kidding weekend, and they’re expecting between 50 and 100 babies to be born that weekend.”
You’ll no doubt work up an appetite at your new farmhand job, but luckily your excursion includes meals prepared by Sprout Creek’s own executive director, CIA-trained chef Mark Fredette. After a hard day’s work and a meal, you’ll want to kick back and relax with a live show by queer magician Mr. John and Hudson’s own Trixie Starr, who’ll host her own Match Game. If you can’t make it up to Poughkeepsie for the event, Hengst says not to worry because BGHV has more adventures planned for 2018, including at least two more events at Sprout Creek. The organization is also teaming up with the National Parks Service to plan an outing at the Vanderbilt mansion this summer.
Upcoming indoor events include dramatic chanteuse Varla Jean Merman’s “Wonder Merman” show on Saturday, May 5 at the Rosendale Theatre. For the fall and winter months, BGHV has plans for an Etta James trivia show with Michael Cunio and a 5-piece band at the Rosendale, its popular Hung with Care cabaret slated for Thanksgiving weekend, and a brand-new show in December with Big Red & The Boys, a performance troupe based out of Chicago made up of five gay men and buxom red-headed singer. BGHV, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has long served as an aggregator of info about LGBTQ+ community happings and gay-friendly local businesses. It also produces its own unique events.
As Hengst and his partner travel between Philadelphia, New York and Provincetown, they make it a point to take in shows and bring their favorite acts to the Hudson Valley. In an area like the Hudson Valley, says Hengst, there are some gay-friendly bars, but there hasn’t been a gay bar — a central gathering point — for some time. “It’s been a challenge to find your tribe,” he says, “so we created BGHV to give people an opportunity to gather and meet one another, and that may not necessarily be at a bar or nightclub.” It might be in a barn. Big Gay Hudson Valley's Upstate Gay Adventure: Baby Goat Weekend at Sprout Creek Farm 34 Lauer Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY Saturday, March 10 & Sunday, March 11
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