Fairs and Gatherings

Fairs & Gatherings
Christmas Eve on the Green, Woodstock:Christmas is a very special time in Woodstock. For over 70 years, Santa Claus has made his arrival at the Village Green on Christmas Eve always by creative, yet sometimes dangerous, means of transportation. This jolly ole elf has been known to “drop in” around 5 p.m. — whether flying a hot air balloon, gripping a hand-glider, driving a VW bus, riding a live elephant, commanding a space ship or sporting a jet pack — and bestow candy and presents on the children. Each year Santa’s arrival is more spectacular and, as always, the mode of transportation is a well-kept secret. The community comes to life, as townspeople and visitors gather on the green to witness history. It’s a Christmas classic — warm, fun and always unpredictable.

Crafts at Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck:

The Crafts at Rhinebeck fair is held twice a year at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, showcasing over 300 artists and craftsmen.

Contact info: Dutchess County Agricultural Society, Inc., P.O. Box 389, Rhinebeck, NY 12572; (845) 876-4001; http://www.craftsatrhinebeck.com

Dutchess County Fair, Rhinebeck:

The annual fair held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds is the second largest agricultural fair in New York — it draws an estimated half-million people each year. In addition to showcasing livestock, vendors participate in displaying and selling crafts, baked goods, vegetables and more. Carnival rides and games, live music performances, workshops add to the enjoyment for the entire family. It is considered one of the best fairs of its kind in the Northeast.

Contact info: Dutchess County Agricultural Society, Inc., P.O. Box 389, Rhinebeck, NY 12572; (845) 876-4001; http://www.dutchessfair.com

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, Saugerties:

The festival was established in 1989 by Pat Reppert of Shale Hill Farm and Herb Gardens to promote the awareness, appreciation and health benefits of garlic. The 1-day event is held the last full weekend in September at the Cantine Field in Saugerties. In addition to exotic garlic foods – bread, chicken, chili, ice cream, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, pasta, pretzels, soup, steak sandwiches and more – the event features education and training workshops, hands-on activities and entertainment, including folk music, square dancing, theatrical performances and bands. The event is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Saugerties and all proceeds are donated back to the village in the form of scholarships, donations and community assistance programs.

Contact info: Kiwanis Club of Saugerties, P.O. Box 443, Saugerties, NY 12477; (845) 246-3090; http://www.hvgf.org

The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, Rhinebeck:

Sponsored by the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association, this annual festival is held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and is designed to promote the education and awareness of the wool industry. Demonstration tents, livestock barns, vendors, workshops and animals are added each year as attendance continues to grow. There’s an admission fee for adults; children are free.

Contact info: http://www.sheepandwool.com

Rhinebeck Antiques Fair, Rhinebeck:

The fair, held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, features more than 200 exhibitors of antiques. The fair celebrated its 30th year in 2006.

Contact info: Rhinebeck Antiques Fair, PO Box 838, Rhinebeck, NY 12572; (845) 876-1989; http://www.rhinebeckantiquesfair.com

Ulster County Fair:

The Ulster County Fair is one of the oldest continuing fairs in the country. After years of growth issues and venue changes, the Ulster County Agricultural Society voted in 1966 to move the fair to its current location, from Forsyth Park in Kingston to the Old County Home and Farm in New Paltz. The extra land afforded the committee the opportunity to add a horse show ring, cattle barn, sheep pavilion and a larger parking area. The fair is held over 6 days, usually in August. Parking is free. There’s an admission fee for adults and children over 4; children 4 and under are free.

Contact info: Ulster County Agricultural Society, Inc., P.O. Box 71, New Paltz, NY 12561; (845) 255-1380 or (845) 255-1707; http://www.ulstercountyfair.com
Woodstock Film Festival: Held annually, the Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, independent festival. Additionally, year-round activities, including monthly workshops and screenings, are held to promote awareness of the media. Events are held in Woodstock, Rhinebeck and Hunter, and as far away as Albany. Past festivals have been showcased on NBC’s “Today Show” and CNN’s Financial News, as well as several major newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and New York Times. Well-known actors/actresses, producers, directors and musicians are regularly — and sometimes unexpectedly — seen at this event, including Steve Buscemi, Peter Gabriel, Kevin Bacon, Kim Cattrell, Matt Dillon, Ethan Hawke, Bill Paxton, David Schwimmer, Morgan Freeman and many, many others.

Contact info: Woodstock Film Festival, Inc., 86 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY 12498; (845) 679-4265; http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com

Woodstock Halloween: Every Halloween, at 4:30 p.m., the main thoroughfare through town is closed, and hundreds of costumed kids, adults and yes, even animals, venture to town to trick-or-treat along Tinker Street. What is so delightful about this tradition is its authenticity. If you come by a witches’ circle, it’s likely authentic. The decorations in storefront windows were likely not bought at Wal-Mart. And the costumes are always dazzling. In 2004, the Woodstock Music Shop inaugurated a tradition of live music during parade time in front of the shop.

Woodstock-New Paltz Arts and Craft Fair:

The fair features over 300 artists and craftsmen. It takes place over Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and is held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds. Visitors can expect a wide range of crafts, artwork, supplies, specialty foods, live entertainment and a children’s center.

Contact info: Quail Hollow Events, PO Box 825, Woodstock, NY 12498; (845) 679-8087; www.quailhollow.com

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