Festival on Oct. 7 caps off Local Food Week in New Paltz

People making the Oct. 7 “Eat in the Street” festival on Church Street happen are members of the Students for Sustainable Agriculture, the Local Food Week Committee and the Village Shade Tree Commission. Pictured are: Rebecca Berlin, Melanie Glenn, Carly Landau, Derek Lizza, Caitlin O’Donnell, Jason Rosenberg, Joe Ruotolo and New Paltz Village Board Trustee Ariana Basco. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

New Paltz is gearing up for its first annual “Eat in the Street” week that will culminate with a foodie festival on Church Street on Oct. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The festival will include a plethora of local restaurants, food vendors, farm markets and food providers. There will also be live music, including the bands YardSale, the Humble Boys and the Misfit Toys.

The Village Board approved the closing of Church Street so that the festival could take place in and along the street.

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Eat in the Street local food week was the brainchild of village trustee Ariana Basco, who is being aided by two SUNY-New Paltz interns: seniors Derek Lizza and Melanie Glenn. “The whole idea behind Eat in the Street is to raise awareness about how many wonderful local restaurants, farm markets and food providers we have that utilize or grow locally produced food,” said Glenn. “It’s a way to say ‘thank you’ to them, but also to show people that we have so much food right here in our backyard. Not only does eating or purchasing local food help strengthen our local economy, but it also lessens our global footprint. The farther away the food you eat is produced, often the less nutritional value it has; and the cost of shipping, packaging and transporting it takes a toll on our ecological footprint. And we have it all right here!”

The festival, which will also have recycling bins and local organization tabling, will have a panel that judges and awards “Local Food Leaders.” “Basically, we chose our vendors based on a 25-mile radius. And they have to produce at least one thing that they sell,” Glenn said. “We will have tons of fresh produce and vegetables, as well as frozen meat and other packaged items people can purchase and take home that are all local and fresh.”

“I spearheaded this event, but I’m so thankful to have two amazing interns that have put so much work into this,” said Basco. “It’s going to be a great event.”

For more information, go to the Facebook page “Eat in the Street” or e-mail nplocalfoodweek@gmail.com.