By Lisa Green
Photos courtesy Barbara Todd.
Last summer, my husband and I spent a few jam-packed days in Dutchess County, and its brevity notwithstanding, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable mini vacations I’ve ever had. Which is why, when the Artists Collective of Hyde Park (ACHP)and the Hyde Park Free Library announced the first-ever Hudson Valley Then and Now Festival
, I paid attention. And why I wanted to pass the information along to Rural Intelligence
readers. At the risk of sounding like the Dutchess County tourist bureau, there’s a lot to see and do, and this festival would make an excellent beginning to a weekend or day trip.
A celebration of the arts, the Hudson Valley Then and Now Festival July 13-16 will present a series of events reflecting the history and lifestyle of the Hudson Valley. The venture is spearheaded by the Artists’ Collective of Hyde Park
(a nonprofit organization of local artists dedicated to promoting the arts and artists in the Mid-Hudson Valley), along with the Hyde Park Free Library.
A grant from Dutchess Tourism
has allowed the groups to think bigger than their typical one-day events and fundraisers.
“Hyde Park is known for its history,” says Barbara Todd, a photographer and digital artist who’s on the board of the ACHP, citing the FDR Library and Vanderbilt Estate. “But Hyde Park isn’t just history; there’s a lot of art, and we’re looking at this festival as a way to bring people into the area.”
Singer-songwriters Eric Garrison and Liz St. Leger.
It’ll be a good start. The festival begins with a Thursday evening concert featuring accomplished Hudson Valley musicians. Friday’s activities include a Paint & Sip session, with the subject being a scene of the Vanderbilt Overlook at Hyde Park on the Hudson. On Saturday, there’ll be art and music all day, hosted by musician, author and DJ Myael Simpkins. An evening concert follows, with Kevin and Carol Becker and Rich Keyes, acoustic folk musicians. On Sunday, ACHP welcomes the public to a reception for its group show and a fusion dance performance. A community art contest is the festival wrapup. Throughout the weekend, the Hyde Park Free Library will be open to its exhibit of historical photos on loan from the FDR Estate.
Activities will toggle between the library’s annex building at 2 Main Street (at Route 9) in Hyde Park, and the Artists’ Collective at 4338 Albany Post Road (also Route 9, and just a few blocks south of the library). Many of the events are free.
And after the festival, or between events, you can do what we did last summer: tool up and down Route 9, visit the FDR home, library and museum,
indulge in a meal at the Culinary Institute of America,
stroll the Walkway Over the Hudson,
check out snazzy Rhinebeck,
attend a concert at Bard SummerScape
or the Spiegeltent,
and buy a fiberglass goat at one of the town’s antiques and collectibles shop. (Well, you don’t have to do that, but I couldn’t resist.)
Hudson Valley Then And Now Festival
Hyde Park, NY