WinterFest is held on the Rail Trail in Highland (with photo gallery)

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Photos by Lauren Thomas


Highland’s annual WinterFest celebration returned last Saturday, January 10, and it offered plenty of reasons to get out and brave the cold.

More than 20 local eateries brought their slowcookers to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Pavilion at 101 New Paltz Road to serve two-ounce cups of chili for 50 cents each. The tasting was done “blind,” with even the volunteers dishing out the samples in the dark about whose chili they were serving. That’s because tasters were invited to vote for their favorite out of the many varieties available, which included mild, spicy and vegetarian options.

Restaurants from Highland, New Paltz and other nearby areas participated in the competition. First place honors went to On a Roll Deli, second place River Station and third place The Would.


WinterFest also offered scenic tractor-pulled hay wagon rides up and down the Rail Trail — courtesy of Dave DuBois of DuBois Farms — a fire pit to roast marshmallows over, a kids’ activity tent sponsored by Lowe’s and a “Chainsaw Expo,” which featured wood carving demonstrations.