6 Annual Events You Need to Check out in the Hudson Valley

A relatively short drive from New York City, Minnewaska Lodge is a holistic retreat surrounded by 25,000 acres of preserved wilderness, including the Shawangunk Mountains, the Mohonk Preserve, and Minnewaska State Park. Guests can hike these areas and enjoy free weekend activities or venture past these boundaries to take in the beauty of the Hudson Valley and explore its many attractions. Depending on the time of their stay, Minnewaska Lodge visitors can also check out one of the following annual festivals.

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival

Launched in 2001, the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival takes place at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York, and highlights some of the best wines, craft beers, ciders, and food in the region. InStyle magazine named it one of the “18 Best Wine Festivals across America” in 2017. The event is typically held in September.

In addition to tasting the diverse selection of food and drink, festival attendees can also interact with winemakers, join wine seminars, and watch cooking demonstrations led by award-winning chefs. Some of the chefs that have hosted these sessions in the past have been featured on TV programs like Hell’s Kitchen, Chopped, and Iron Chef. There’re also dozens of on-site market vendors.

Woodstock Film Festival

Held annually in the fall in Woodstock, New York, the Woodstock Film Festival celebrates independent cinema and provides mentoring and educational programming to aspiring filmmakers and artists. It hosts events such as the Summer Youth Film Lab, a Screenwriting Seminar, and the Virtual Masterclass Series.

The multi-day film festival, meanwhile, has been taking place every year for more than two decades and has featured well-known films such as The Imitation Game, Lars and the Real Girl, Up in the Air, and Peace, Love & Misunderstanding. It has also shown documentaries including Man on Wire, Ray Charles America, and God Loves Uganda. Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Paul Rudd, Natalie Portman, and Darren Aronofsky are among the notable filmmakers and actors who have attended the festival.

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival is another popular food festival in the region that is, as the name suggests, heavily focused on dishes involving garlic. Held every year at Cantine Field in Saugerties, New York, the event was created in 1989 by Pat Reppert of Shale Hill Farm and Herb Gardens as a promotional event for her business.

The Kiwanis Club of Saugerties has hosted the event since 1992. More than 5,000 people attended the event in 1992 and attendance has since grown steadily. More than 53,000 people attended the two-day Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in 2007.

In addition to highlighting dozens of regional food vendors, the event features chefs and garlic farmers who host lectures on topics of their expertise. There’s also live music as well as games and attractions for children.

Sunflower Extravaganza Festival at Kelder’s Farm

The fourth annual Sunflower Extravaganza Festival at Kelder’s Farm took place in August 2021 and featured thousands of sunflowers varying in size and color. Attendees can walk through the field at Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson and revel in the beauty of the sunflowers or take Instagram-worthy snapshots to show their friends. Other attractions include the world’s largest garden gnome, combine slides, mini-golf, and a petting farm. Guests can also pay to pick their own sunflowers or fruits and vegetables.

Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival

The 30th annual Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival is slated for September 3-5, 2021, at Tymor Park in Union Vale. The annual event is much more than just a hot air balloon festival, however. There are fireworks at the end of each night as well as live music, helicopter rides, family activities, and food trucks. The 2020 event took place in July at Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck.

Rosendale International Pickle Festival

The Rosendale International Pickle Festival started in 1997 as a Japanese dinner party and has since become an annual event that attracts more than 5,000 people. Rosendale town historian and garden center owner Bill Brooks and his wife, Cathy, host the dinner party as a gesture to their friend Eri Yamaguchi, who sought to recreate the traditional tsukemono (pickled vegetables and fruits that sometimes include seaweed and other seafood) of her native country of Japan. Popular tsukemono variations include shiozuke (salt), nukazuke (rice bran), shoyuzuke (soy sauce), and misozuke (miso).

Today, the festival features more than 100 vendors who sell pickle products and other food as well as crafts, clothes, and jewelry. There’s also the popular Pickle Triathlon, which includes a pickle toss, pickle juice drinking contest, and pickle eating contest. The highlight, however, is the home pickling contest, which features the following categories: Dill Pickles, Dilly Beans, Pickled Fruit, Sweet Pickles, Pickled Vegetables, Pickled Root Vegetables, and Best of Show. The 24th annual Rosendale International Pickle Festival is scheduled for November 21, 2021.

Published by willobeid

An executive in the real estate development and investment industry, Will Obeid has led Arcade Capital LLC as principal for the last six years.

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