It was Eleanor Roosevelt’s delight to invite people around for an outdoor repast – whether it was close friends and relatives or the British royal couple. The Roosevelts simply loved to serve their distinguished guests roasted hot dogs. Now, thanks to the National Park Service, along with support from the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, locals can join in the fun. The firepit at Val-Kill has been restored, and just in time for the annual Val-Kill Picnic and Square Dance, to be held this Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Bring a blanket to spread out on the lawn and imagine that it’s 1939 again.
Your advanced registration ticket for $20 ($5 for kids) includes great Hudson Valley food, beer, dancing and music. The Lightning Rods will provide a blend of old-timey bluegrass, Western swing and Celtic music for an unusual square dancing experience. Known for their high-voltage, low-volume acoustic roots music with a steady beat for dancing and listening, the group includes Ed Lowman Fiddle on guitar and vocals, Tom Wadsworth, also on guitar and vocals, Geoff Harden on bass and vocals and Colin McCoy on fiddle, banjo and both the singing saw and the singing voice.
The Eleanor Roosevelt-Val-Kill Partnership is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit in partnership with the National Park Service’s Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, and is dedicated to assuring that visitors to Val-Kill are reminded of Mrs. Roosevelt’s courageous leadership and generous hospitality. Come picnic and dance on the home grounds of one of America’s most beloved first ladies.
Val-Kill Picnic & Square Dance, Saturday, September 17, 1-5 p.m., $20/$5, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, 56 Valkill Park Road, Hyde Park; (845) 229-9115, www.nps.gov/elro/planyourvisit/hours.htm.