The New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce has put a number of new things into play for this year’s Taste of New Paltz event, Saturday, Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ulster Country Fairgrounds. There’s that Saturday event day, to start with; historically it’s been a Sunday affair, so organizers are making sure that regular attendees know to anticipate that change. Other new things include a WiFi hotspot and selfie station, a “rare beer” experience for an additional fee and a dedicated event website at www.tasteofnewpaltz.com. Visitors are invited to Tweet from the festival at #Taste25 and for the first time, the “tastes” will be purchased with cash (or credit card if the vendor allows) rather than tickets.
Admission to the 25th annual Taste of New Paltz costs $7 with advance purchase online by September 16 and $10 on the day of the event. Kids age 12 and under are admitted free and there is ample free parking.
Primarily showcasing local food and beverages, the event offers visitors the opportunity to sample “tastes” of what area restaurants, caterers, farm markets, distilleries, breweries and wineries have to offer. The samples of local fare cost $2 and $3. But in addition to being a fun way to eat through the afternoon tapas-style, it’s a great way to sample the cuisine of a local restaurant to perhaps discover a new place to dine out.
Participating purveyors of food and drink include Deli-cioso Deli, Diego’s Taqueria, Brotherly Grub BBQ, Village Pizza, P&G’s Restaurant, McGillicuddy’s Restaurant, Hurds Family Farm, Henry’s at the Farm Restaurant, Frida’s Bakery, Mohonk Mountain House, Tantillo’s Farm Market, Hurds Family Farm, Gadaleto’s Seafood Market, Neko Sushi, Jamaica Choice Caribbean Cuisine, Main Street Bistro, Moxie Cup, La Cabanita authentic Mexican, Tuthill House at the Mill restaurant, Whitecliff Winery, Robibero Family Vineyards and Tuthilltown Spirits.
The new “Rare Beer Experience” will be offered at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at a cost of $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. A commemorative pint glass is included in the price as is a complementary cheese pairing. Participating breweries include Allagash Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Co., St. Bernardus, Sixpoint Brewery, Sierra Nevada, Schneider Weisse, Hitachino Nest and Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits.
Also new at the event will be a fashion show scheduled for 2 p.m., highlighting women’s wear from at least three of New Paltz’s village boutiques — Handmade & More, Rambling Rose and Cocoon — in order to showcase another aspect of what New Paltz businesses have to offer.
“I’m going to try to get as many stores as want to, to participate,” says Melinda Minervini, owner of Handmade & More. “The models will be customers or friends of the shop-owners and their staff. The focus of Taste of New Paltz is on the restaurants, but the Chamber really does want to give people a taste of something else going on in our town. The concept, really, is to try to represent the different shopping venues for women there are and show that there are a lot of different options.”
The main stage will feature live music from The Blue Sky Duo (Joe DeAngelis and Hank Vanderbeck) from 11 a.m. to noon, performing ‘60s covers and classic blues and country, and the Darrick Kenny Band from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m., a three-generation family band on guitar, bass and drums. After the 2 p.m. fashion show, live music picks up again with The Pleasers from 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m., playing soul music favorites; and Soulia & The Sultans will close things out from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering “swanky night club tunes for the retrograde” audience.
An expanded kids’ expo will feature three-legged races, a water balloon toss and a hula-hoop contest. The Highland Public Library will offer storytelling and New Paltz Golf Course will bring FootGolf to the festival; the new sport is a unique blend of soccer and golf. Kids can bob for apples with Hurds Family Farm and Stewart’s Shops will have ice cream cones for $2. There will be prizes along with tunes from DJ Mike and volunteers from the SUNY New Paltz athletic teams running the games. There will also be face painting and a child ID program.
There will be demonstrations in the Health and Wellness Expo, with local fitness clubs, massage therapists, nutritionists and more represented. SUNY New Paltz will have a booth demonstrating its 3D printing and the Country Store will return as well along with the popular Business Expo.
The festival happens rain or shine.
Taste of New Paltz, Saturday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., $7 advance, $10 day of, kids under 12 free, food samples $2 and $3, free parking, Ulster County Fairgrounds, 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz; (845) 255-0243, www.tasteofnewpaltz.com.