The Rosendale International Pickle Festival makes its 21st appearance this Sunday, November 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Rosendale Recreation Center. It was founded by local barber/garden center proprietor/town historian Bill Brooks, his wife Cathy and their friend Eri Yamaguchi, who missed the traditional tsukemono of her homeland. What started out as a Japanese dinner party for 200 soon turned into a celebration of all things pickled that attracted about 1,000 people the first year, and by now, 5,000 or more annually. From the beginning, it has also been a fundraiser that benefits different community projects each year.
A highlight of the Pickle Festival is always the county-fair-style competition for home-fermented concoctions. Eligible categories in the Home Pickling Contest include Dill Pickles, Sweet Pickles, Dilly Beans, Pickled Fruit, Pickled Root Vegetables, Pickled Vegetables and Best of Show. Competitors may submit up to three entries in any combination of categories. Drop off two labeled jars of the same item for each entry (one for display, one for judging) at the Rec Center by 11:45 a.m. on the day of the Festival. Judging begins at noon.
It’s also a fun gathering for those more interested in tasting pickle products than in creating them. Some 100 vendors setting up shop both inside the Rec Center and in and around the large tent outside will offer pickled and other prepared foods, crafts and packaged gourmet products. There’s live music, and late in the afternoon, the Pickle Triathlon gets underway with a Pickle-Eating Contest, a Pickle-Juice-Drinking Contest and a Pickle-Tossing Contest.
Admission to the Rosendale International Pickle Festival costs $5 per adult; kids get in free. The Rosendale Community Center is located at 1055 Route 32, just south of its intersection with Route 213. Parking is limited; shuttle service to the Rec Center is available from the former Tillson School on Gristmill Road and from the Creek Locks Road ballfield. To find out more, visit https://bit.ly/2PTuLZw.