Summer events celebrate the Hudson Valley

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:23

Vacation for a day (or a weekend) at a sunny summer event in the Hudson Valley. Sparkling lights, the scent of popcorn and the sounds of music from stages and bandstands attract thousands to parks and fairgrounds for getaways full of fun. Here’s a sampling: Peekskill Celebration Roll on down to Riverfront Green Park in Peekskill on Aug. 6 for one of the largest festivals in the valley, the Peekskill Celebration. This waterfront event showcases the colorful maritime heritage that Peekskill shares with the Hudson River. Family entertainment, food and colorful Dragon Boat Races are capped by a fireworks display. Hudson Harbor Fest Paddle upriver to the Hudson Harbor Fest where live concerts play at the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park in Hudson on Aug. 7, 21, 28. The Hudson River provides the scenery for a wide variety of artists from as far away as Iceland and Japan as well as popular groups from the Hudson Valley and Manhattan. Spend a midsummer evening listening to eclectic selections of rock, folk, popular and honky-tonk music while you dance the night away. Bear Mountain Native American Festival Further south at Harriman State Park on Aug. 7 and 8, the scenic Ramapo Mountains are the backdrop for the Bear Mountain Native American Festival. Drumbeats herald the performances of Native American song and dance as you wander through stands of traditional crafts, jewelry and food. Daniel Nimham Intertribal Pow Wow If you can’t get to Bear Mountain, then come to the Daniel Nimham Intertribal Pow Wow on Aug. 21 and 22 in Carmel. It’s an intertribal exposition of singers and dancers with displays of Native American culture, arts, and vendors with tasty food and drink. New York Renaissance Faire Travel to a different culture when you visit the New York Renaissance Faire in Sterling Forest. Spend a day with a knight every Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 7 through Sept. 26. It’s a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England complete with 16th century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music and dance. German Alps Festival A lively time can also be found at the German Alps Festival in Hunter on Aug. 14 and 15. Featuring entertainers directly from Germany and the best German American bands in the country, this fun-filled weekend has been entertaining families for over 25 years. And don’t forget the beer. Altamont Fair Old-fashioned country fairs are American as apple pie, and the Altamont Fair combines all the elements of that family entertainment Aug. 17 through the 22. Bring the kids to the petting zoo and take them on the rides at the carnival. There’s a live demolition derby, an extreme motorcycle thrill show, and what would a country fair be without 4H exhibits? Dutchess County Fair Blue ribbon farm animals and agricultural displays can also be found at the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, Aug. 24 through the 29. Watch the sun set and the lights twinkle from atop the ferris wheel, overlooking 160 acres of gardens and attractions. The midway is a maze of carnival rides and games. Five buildings contain everything from arts and crafts to a display of local snakes and wild animals, and there are over 100 vendors for favorites like cotton candy and funnel cakes. Taste of Sand Lake A whole different set of flavors can be found at the Taste of Sand Lake in Averill Park on Aug. 19. It’s a celebration of arts and community set in a restored historic 1835 church. Sample the local cuisine while you listen to notable regional musicians. Hudson Valley Ribfest Nothing says summer like something from the grill and the Hudson Valley Ribfest in New Paltz will satisfy those taste buds on Aug. 21 and 22. It’s a BBQ extravaganza with both local and national rib vendors as well as an array of international cuisine. Grilling demonstrations occur both days, and it’s a place to stock up on rubs, sauces, grills and barbecue tools. Note : Regional information can be obtained from any of the county tourism offices, the Hudson Valley Tourism Web site,, or by calling 615-3860.