Kids’ Almanac (October 10-17)

Catch Rita’s Ice in Hyde Park before season ends

I sure enjoy fall, but I don’t like saying goodbye to my favorite frozen confection establishments like Rita’s Ice in Hyde Park. Did you know that Rita’s makes the ices right on site? That the most popular flavor is Mango Ice? I gave it a try, and I loved it, so now that’s a new flavor in my rotation.

The first time I ever went, I was absolutely shocked that Rita’s makes a slushy style of ice. I mistakenly thought that all ice desserts were hard as hockey pucks. I was so wrong, and I was hooked instantly on Rita’s. I like being able to buy Rita’s delicious soft ice – sometimes with a chocolate chip add-in – and my kids love doing blends with the amazing frozen custard. Rita’s encourages everyone who comes to the window to taste a sample. What’s your favorite flavor?

And since Rita’s closes for the season on October 14, there are some great specials and discounts right now. As you plan ahead for your events next spring and summer, Rita’s can help you with supplying its ice on-site as well! Rita’s is located at 864 Violet Avenue in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 233-5371 or visit



Teen visions onscreen

As soon as I walk into the Youth Films screening at the Woodstock Film Festival, I’m aware of the buoyant energy, the cheerful chatter, and the friendly exchanges among the youth directors or proud parents unfolding around me. It’s a completely different vibe from the other screenings I attend at WFF, and I love it all.

Whether you are currently raising a teen, been there/done that, are looking forward to the experience or were simply a teen once yourself, I highly recommend attending the Youth Films event at WFF. The works are power-packed with such smooth intelligence, quirky creativity and profound thoughts, all in just a few minutes.

I am so curious about what these teens have to say in their films; but why am I also a little nervous? Some anxiety may be bubbling up because I’m concerned about being on the receiving end of their anger about the world that they’re inheriting from my generation. What if they think of profound questions that I’ve never considered before? Or if I can’t answer or solve them, would they think less of me?

But the excellent energy in the room draws me back to why I’m here in the first place: to bear witness. To hear and see their stories and messages. To get into their heads a little bit.

Eighteen-year-old Rhinebeck native David Britton’s film Madeshwara is a whimsical music video for the band the Sifters. The main character frees his cat from the evil king: a nod to the original Indian story in which Lord Sri Mahadeshwara rescued the saints from the evil king Shravana. The music has a great flow, and the video is engaging as the chase continues through a variety of scenes.

Britton is a freshman at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for Film and Television, and his hobbies are playing music and running. You can watch the video at For more information about the Sifters, visit or at To learn more about the Woodstock Film Festival, visit More on other local youth filmmakers in upcoming Kids’ Almanac columns!


Halloween coloring contest

Calling all kids! Ulster Publishing just announced a new Halloween coloring contest! Get your pictures in by 3 p.m. on October 24 to the Ulster Publishing office by mail at PO Box 3329, Kingston, New York 12402, or drop off at 322 Wall Street in Kingston; or drop off at the Hudson Valley Mall Customer Service Desk.

The contest is open to children age 12 or under, and the submissions will be displayed in the Mall before Halloween. Winners from each age category will receive a $25 Hudson Valley Mall gift card: ages 1 to 3 years; 4 to 6 years; 7 to 9 years; and 10 to 12 years. For the contest picture or for more information, pick up a print copy of Ulster Publishing’s Almanac Weekly.


Erica Chase-Salerno wonders what the fox says. She and her husband Mike live in New Paltz with their two kits: the inspirations behind She can be reached at