Fall festivals in the Hudson Valley

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:28

    Fall is a wonderful time to be out and about on weekends, and getting there is double the fun when you can take in the colorful foliage. Count on finding music, entertainment, vendors, food and fun at all of these events. New York Renaissance Faire There’s nothing like spending a day or two in Elizabethan England at the New York Renaissance Faire in Sterling Forest. Over 300 jugglers, jesters, minstrels, storytellers and magicians mix with the crowds, there’s a live chess match and knights charge past on steeds at the royal joust. Try your hand at axe throwing, sip sweet mead, and indulge in period crafts in the Tudor-style marketplace. There’s much to enjoy here on weekends through September. For more information, call 351-5174 or visit www.recfaire.com/ny. General Montgomery Day Back in the 20th century, the Village of Montgomery will bustle with fun on Saturday, Sept. 11 at General Montgomery Day. From the morning parade down Main Street to the evening fireworks display, there are activities for all ages. Vendors of all descriptions and an old-fashioned soap box derby make this one of the region’s most popular events. For more information call 457-9661 or visit www.montgomeryday.com. Monroe Cheese Festival Say cheese! On Saturday, Sept. 11, Monroe’s Mill Pond will once again serve as a backdrop for the annual Monroe Cheese Festival commemorating the invention of Liederkranz, Neuchatel and Velveeta in this very town. Taste a huge selection of cheeses while you listen to the live music, then root for your favorite contestant at the Monroe Idol competition. For more information call 469-4919 or visit www.monroecheesefestival.com. Pine Bush Harvest Festival A little further north, the Shawangunk Mountains provide the backdrop to the Pine Bush Harvest Festival. The day celebrates the hamlet’s rural heritage and the harvest from surrounding farms. You’ll find an array of arts, crafts, activities and entertainment surrounding the farmers market on Saturday, Sept. 18. For more information call 774-3439 or visit www.pinebushharvestfestival.i8.com. Cornwall Fall Festival That same day, take in more fall foliage with a drive over to the Cornwall Fall Festival. The village of Cornwall-on-Hudson merited a notation in Henry Hudson’s 1609 ship’s log when his boat anchored offshore in the Hudson River. Antique appraisals, a host of vendors, and an old time pie eating contest are just some of the special festivities up and down Main Street in this picturesque river village. For more information call 534-7826 or visit www.cornwallchamber.org. Oktoberfest After trips to Tudor England and small town America, visit Bear Mountain State Park’s famous Oktoberfest held every weekend from Saturday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Oct. 24. Sip an authentic German beer along with your bratwurst, then polka to the fabulous oompah bands. Walk the kids over to the trailside zoo and carousel while you enjoy the views of the Hudson River. For more information call 786-2731 or visit www.palisadesparksconservancy.org. Walden Harvest Festival Back to the states, fall colors and the hometown atmosphere of a historic mill town on the Wallkill River will brighten your weekend at the Walden Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 2. This fun-filled day of activities, many vendors, food, and live entertainment is a tribute to the bountiful local harvest. For more information call 778-2177 or visit www.villageofwalden.org. Applefest One of the area’s largest fall events is Warwick’s Applefest held on Sunday, Oct. 3. Drawing a huge audience, this event features more than 250 craft and food vendors, each with its own apple product. The village is surrounded by eight pick-your-own apple orchards and numerous farm stands. For more information call 987-8300 or visit www.warwickapplefest.com. Sugar Loaf Fall Festival Just down the road, Sugar Loaf Art and Craft Village is a year round community of artisans with shops housed in buildings dating back to the 18th century. On Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 9 through 11), fall foliage will be at its peak for the annual Sugar Loaf Fall Festival. This three-day celebration hosts an array of visiting vendors complementing the selection of handmade goods for which Sugar Loaf craftspeople are famous. The shops, of course, are open, and music and entertainment fill the streets. For more information call 469-1830 or visit www.sugarloafnewyork.com. Pumpkin Festival To round out this beautiful season, pumpkin-rolling, pumpkin picking, hay rides, and an art auction are at Hill-Hold’s Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. Located in rural Campbell Hall, this historic working farm with a 1769 stone farmhouse you can visit is the perfect setting for a family day in the country. For more information call 615-3833 or visit www.hillholdandbrickhouse.org. For more fall events, lodging and attractions visit www.OrangeTourism.org or call 615-3860 to request a free Orange County Travel Guide.