Hardscrabble Day in Red Hook this Saturday and Mayor of Mas’ha, West Bank, to visit Red Hook

Red Hook’s yearlong Bicentennial celebration will end with a bang on Saturday, September 22 with its annual Hardscrabble Day festival. There’ll be a flea market, Scrabble competitions, fireworks, food and a Bicentennial Puppet Parade, open to anyone: Pick up your puppet and call (845) 758-1920 to participate.

The grand finale will be a performance by the Tubes, who originated in San Francisco in the 1970s and were renowned for their elaborate, outrageous stage spectacles. The Tubes’ first album, The Tubes, was produced by Al Kooper; you may recall their 1970s hit “White Punks on Dope,” which was later covered by Motley Crüe and Nina Hagen. The Tubes continue to perform across the US and Europe.

The Puppet Parade begins at 4 p.m., and the outdoor stage will feature music by local bands all day long, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Is and Big Shoe will hit the stage at 6 p.m., followed by the Tubes. Admission to all events is free.


For more information on Red Hook’s all-day Hardscrabble Celebration, starting at 10 a.m. on September 22, contact the Red Hook Chamber of Commerce at (845) 758-0824 or e-mail info@redhookchamber.org; you can also visit www.hardscrabbleday.org.


Nidal Amer, the mayor of Mas’ha, a village in the West Bank, will be coming to Red Hook to take part in Hardscrabble Day and other activities as part of the Sister Cities International Program. This will be Amer’s first visit to the US. While here, he will tour Bard College, attend a football game at Red Hook High School, visit Red Hook Public Library (sister library to the Children’s Library of Mas’ha), review the Hardscrabble Parade and attend a Thanksgiving-themed dinner. He will also visit New York City and Washington, DC.

Red Hook and Mas’ha became Sister Cities in 2011, after a relationship was established by Bard students taking part in the Bard Palestinian Youth Initiative (BPYI). In 2010, BPYI built a children’s library in Mas’ha, the first of its kind on the West Bank.

The following year, the organization returned to build a playground and to help the children of Mas’ha create a collaborative mural with the children of Red Hook. Both villages completed murals on canvas around the themes of family, community and land. In the fall of 2011, a reception was held to view both murals during a Red Hook Town Board meeting, when supervisor Sue Crane also accepted a plaque commemorating the Sister City relationship.

Red Hook is currently in the process of formalizing an additional Sister City relationship with Kfar Tvor, a village in Israel that sits at the foot of Mount Tabor. It boasts a marzipan museum and many active farms, as well as a vineyard. Representatives from BPYI, the Red Hook Central School District and the Red Hook Public Library are working to develop a collaborative project to launch the new relationship with Kfar Tvor.

For more information about the Sister Cities project among these three communities, contact Paul Marienthal, director of Bard College’s Trustee Leader Scholar Program, at (845) 758-7056.