A mainstay of Rosendale’s claim to the title of Festival Town, the International Pickle Festival returns to the Recreation Center on Route 32 this Sunday. More than 100 vendors of all things pickled will be on hand, along with the usual eclectic selection of sprightly entertainment, silly contests and more serious opportunities to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
But for longtime attendees and vendors, this year’s gathering will have something of a bittersweet flavor – or perhaps in this instance we should say “sweet-and-sour” – because it may be the last Pickle Festival where co-founders Bill and Cathy Brooks are in charge. “Next year the Chamber of Commerce will be taking on a bigger part. After 17 years, we’re starting to be thinking of turning over the reins,” says Bill, who wants to devote more time to creating a mini-museum of Rosendale history at the town’s new Rondout Municipal Center.
As usual, the Festival will offer a bewildering array of choices of yummy pickled things to try and buy. Picklefest co-founder/oshinko expert Eri Yamaguchi, The Jamlady Cookbook and Pickles to Relish author Beverly Schoonmaker Alfeld, and Restaurant Patrick chef/owner Patrick Wilson will be the judging panel for the picklemaking competitions, and attendees can vie in the pickle-eating, pickle-juice-drinking and pickle-slice-tossing contests. Live music and entertainment will provided by a one-man band, Amadou Diallo’s Senegalese drumming ensemble, the Rosendale Improvement Association Brass Band and Social Club, the New Paltz Karate Academy and a Rosendale-based group of “semi-pro” hula-hoopers.
The Pickle Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday, November 23. Admission costs only $3 per person or $5 per family, and parking at the Rec Center is free. Proceeds benefit a variety of local charities, including the Rosendale Youth Center, the Rosendale Food Pantry, a Rondout Valley High School scholarship fund, the replacement of Rosendale’s Town Pool and renovation of the Rosendale Theatre. For more information, call (845) 658-9649 or visit www.facebook.com/rosendalepicklefestival.
17th annual International Pickle Festival, Sunday, November 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $5/$3, Rosendale Recreation Center, 1055 Route 32, Rosendale; (845) 658-9649, www.facebook.com/rosendalepicklefestival.