Hudson Valley Festival Season Gets Underway
New York State’s Hudson River Val-ley festival season is in full swing in the 10 counties that make up New York State region. And whether travelers are looking for flowers and crafts, music or sports, river or mountain festivals, history or arts, no one knows how to celebrate spring like the people of the Hudson Valley.
The Irish actually kick off the music festival season May 29 and 30 at the Annual Irish Festival in East Durham. Three days of Ireland in America with musical entertainment and activities for all will be featured at the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural & Sports Centre in East Durham.www.east-durham.org
For those more attuned to the visual arts, more than 300 artists and crafts people will show their works May 29-31 at the annual Woodstock/New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair at the Ulster County Fairgrounds, New Paltz. Among the greatest in local crafts fairs, the artists represent one of the most diverse collections assembled on the east coast.
Historic homes take center stage with "Mind your Manors" a visit to two of Orange County’s charming manor houses: Brick House (845-457-4921) and Hill-Hold (845-291-2404) in Mont-gomery. On opening day, May 15, visitors will be treated to a special re-creation of the Battle of Minisink at the Farmer’s Museum, which adjoins Brick House. The Minisink battle is just the first of many scheduled for the spring in the historic Hudson Valley.
The Hudson River is the centerpiece of the annual Clearwater Festival on Father’s Day weekend. The Great Hud-son River Revival at Croton Point Park on June 19 and 20 features scores of performers on 5 stages for two days and will have visitors singing along and dancing under the tent in celebration of green living. Storytellers and puppets, river front activities and ethnic foods, a juried craft show, a Green Living trade show and expo, and a sail on the great sloop Clearwater are all on tap for the weekend.
The Old Songs Festival of Tradition-al Music and Dance, a family-friendly festival of folk, traditional, Celtic and world music and dance is on tap in June. The Altamont Fairgrounds is the site for the June 25 - 27 event, known for its relaxed atmosphere, interactive sessions and workshops, hands-on experience and participatory nature. In addition to three concerts there are 120 daytime workshops given by performers. Also featured are a juried craft show, food and instrument vendors, and a terrific children’s activity area.
On Friday, May 21, an Artist Walk in Hudson will help turn back the clock. In the 19th century this community was a major center of artist activity. An art historian will lead a tour of homes, studios, and artist haunts along the streets of Hudson and the surrounding area. The following day, Rooted in the Hudson River School, a collaborative symposium with the Thomas Cole Historic Site will be held in conjunction with their exhibition of works by R.A. Blakelock.
The historic restoration at Boscobel will be the center of attention on Saturday, June 12 at 7:30 am when the Tenth Annual Snapping Turtle Walk gets underway. National Audubon So-ciety staff will provide an educational program on one of Boscobel’s most fascinating natural events. In early-to-mid-June, female snapping turtles crawl up the steep bank from their habitat in Constitution Marsh to lay their eggs. Audubon staff will show live turtles from the marsh as part of the presentation and then lead people on a walk around the grounds to search for fe-male turtles. Reservations are required so visitors should call ahead to (845) 265-3638, Ext. 115.
The Civil War is next on the agenda and the Civil War Encampment at Lo-cust Grove, the Samuel Morse Historic Site in Poughkeepsie will offer a week-end of living history with the Hudson Valley Ladies Aid Society and the 150th New York Volunteer Infantry. Saturday & Sunday, May 22 and 23 visitors will experience life in a Civil War-era military camp, talk with soldiers and civilians, experience daily chores, drills and surprises, play child’s games, send tele-graph messages and witness a skirmish.
For more information on activities and events in the Hudson River Valley, contact sites directly or log on to www.TravelHudsonValley.org.