Thousands of visitors are expected to converge at the Ulster County Fairgrounds on Libertyville Road this Sunday, September 14 for the 24th annual Taste of New Paltz from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. “It’s really just a wonderful afternoon in New Paltz and a whole lot of fun,” says Paty Lott, who runs the Gray Owl Gallery in New Paltz and is co-chair of the event put on each year by the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The fairgrounds are such a spectacular place to enjoy a great meal in a beautiful setting with live music.”
And as the name of the event implies, that meal is enjoyed in a leisurely fashion throughout the day across the fairgrounds, with generously sized portions of specialties from local restaurants served up for $2-$3 a “taste.” It’s a unique opportunity to not only savor a variety of flavors over the course of an afternoon, but a chance to sample something one might have seen on the menu of a local restaurant before but bypassed in favor of ordering an old favorite. At such a nominal cost for each “taste,” it’s a great way to see if that item is something you’ll want to try the next time you go out to eat at that venue.
Local wineries, cideries and craft brewers will be on hand offering tastes of their products, too. But while they and the restaurants are offering their best fare for adult palates, they’re aware that there are little mouths to feed, too, says Lott. “The term “family-friendly” gets used a lot these days, but we encourage people to bring their kids with them.” The vendors will offer plenty of taste treats that kids will enjoy, she says — hot dogs from Noshi’s Coney Island, for just one — and there will be lots of activities for them, as well, in the kids’ activity tent. In a way, Lott adds, it’s like the perfect family picnic.
Admission to the event is free for kids under age 12, with adults paying $10 at the gate. With the price of admission comes an entry into the “Great Giveaway,” with prizes donated by the businesses participating in the event’s Business Expo area along with vendors in the Country Store, the Health and Wellness tent and the Arts and Crafts tent. More than 50 items from gift certificates to products are given away. Master of Ceremonies Carl Welden will announce the winners of the raffle from the Main Stage at 4:30 p.m.
The event goes off rain or shine, and there is tented seating available along with picnic tables. Live music will be provided by the Dylan Doyle Band and The Jukebox Revolution. Participating vendors include Brimstone Hill Winery, Yankee Folly Cidery, Robibero Family Vineyards, Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery, Tuthilltown Spirits and the newly revamped Tuthilltown Restaurant at the Mill, Jamaica Choice, Jordan’s Bistro & Pizzeria, Moxie Cup, Madava Farms-Crown Maple Syrup farmers market, Cheesecake Heaven, Asian Fusion, La Cabanita Mexican Restaurant, P&G’s Restaurant, Neko Sushi and many more.
The Country Store will be a big part of the event, too, with product samples available there as well, and the Business Expo tent will showcase a range of local businesses and services. The Health and Wellness tent will feature local fitness clubs, massage therapists, nutritionists and more, and there will be plenty of craft vendors on hand along with an Antiques area.
With all of that plus the food, beverages, raffles and live music, says Lott, “You can really get a whole experience in just one afternoon.”