When Lucia Civile, who runs the brand strategy and design firm LACE Photo Media with her sister Alicia, took over and rebranded the Gardiner Association of Businesses a couple of years back, she realized that the town needed a shot in the arm in the form of an annual street festival spotlighting the local maker community. And the sisters wanted the event to benefit a local charity. The result is their “walk for a cause” called the Craft Market Walk, a mile-long stretch of curated vendors, live entertainment and activities that will have its third annual outing this coming Saturday, June 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The route for the Craft Market Walk begins at the Gardiner Library in the hamlet and follows the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail north to the Yard Owl Craft Brewery, located in the industrial park off Steve’s Lane. Lucia was inspired by the many hours that she and her siblings had spent at the library while growing up in Gardiner, first at its cramped original location in Station Square and more recently at the expansive new library building on Farmers’ Turnpike. She recalled the ingenious way that library staff, board and volunteers had economized on moving costs by organizing a “book brigade,” literally passing its book inventory hand-over-hand from the old building to the new one a couple of blocks away.
“The library gives so much to the community, puts on so many free events,” she says. “We wanted to bring visibility to the library, and to the makers and to the town that we grew up in. Downtown Gardiner is a place that many people just drive through. We wanted to show people the beauty of the area and the talent in the community.”
About 80 craft vendors, hawking such products as “handmade jewelry, vintage furniture, all-natural skincare, herbal remedies, farmhouse pottery, upcycled clothing, small-batch spirits, craft beer [and] local wine,” will participate in this year’s Walk, “some of them premiering,” Civile notes. “We don’t allow any MLMs [multilevel marketing]. They’re all selling things they make themselves — from all over the Hudson Valley, but a large portion are from Gardiner.”
The shopping opportunities will be clustered in three main areas: on the library grounds, in Station Square (opposite Pasquale’s Pizzeria on Main Street) and at Yard Owl. “There will be music acts all along the way as well,” says Civile. “Each site will feature music specially picked for that location.” The library has recently built an outdoor music stage to support such events, she notes.
The Craft Market Walk is designed to be both family- and pet-friendly, according to Civile. “Sunflower Studios will have a big setup at the library. There will be kids’ activities and a henna artist. At 3 p.m., Fighting Spirit Karate will give a karate demonstration at the Yard Owl. And Stone Wave Yoga will be hosting a party afterwards, at 5:30, with games and music, community and yoga.” Attendees are encouraged to bring along their pets (leashed, of course) for the walk, and numerous vendors will be supplying drinking water for dogs as well as people. A free sunscreen station will also be set up.
The Craft Market Walk route is a mile out and a mile back. Free parking opportunities are ample at both ends as well as on-street in the hamlet. Taxi service will be available for those who can’t manage the round-trip walk, but Civile notes that the Rail Trail makes for a nice, level, leisurely stroll. “The Walk has another layer: It brings visibility to the Rail Trail as well…We had more than 3,000 people show up the first year, spread out over a mile over six to eight hours — so many people walking and riding their bikes. It was so fun to see the trail utilized the way it’s meant to be.”
At first the Civile sisters tried choosing a different local charity each year for the funds raised by renting vendor spots along the route and from raffle ticket sales, but this year they think they’ve found their permanent beneficiary. They’re endowing a scholarship fund with the Ulster Community College Foundation, to which the Foundation will commit some of its own funds each year once donors have contributed a minimum of $1,000 annually for 25 years. “This will provide a scholarship at SUNY Ulster for anyone in the arts. When my sister and I were in school, there was not a lot to choose from in the way of scholarships. We’d like to do it year after year.” This year’s fundraising goal is $3,000, and donations can be made online at https://visitgardinerny.com/why-we-walk-2019.
Gardiner Library vendors
Bracelets Under The Gunks, Annie’s Sweets, It’s A Trap Lando,Flamin’ Flo’s Flickers, Humming Bird Hollow, B. Moore for the Birds, Doc Schwarz Wine Jelly, Soul Whispers Art, Frontier Baskets, Living Word Decor, Goodwill Church, Sound and Vision Music Collective Live Music, Tipsy Turtle Henna, Sunflower Art Studios.
Station square vendors
Cliffhound, GOST, Teller Hill, Marysa Sacerdote Jewelry, Minky and Sweet, Uptown Attic, Heart and Arrow Handcrafted, Drifted Creations, Emy Desserts, Vegan Wines, Bloc Art, Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils, A Cake Well Dunn, Adina Marguerite Creative, Cheyenne Mallo Pottery, Drifted Creations, Itsy Bitsy Thunderpaw, Three Wags, Violet and Blue, Olde York Farm, Maki Crafts, T-Cult, Freefall Sangria, They’re GOURDgeous, Pine Spirit Woolworks, Bella Woodwork Designs, Shoshona Snow, Tuthilltown Spirits, Donna Lynn Creations, Sacred Herbs, Kettleborough Cider, Made with Love Skincare, SunCommon Table Sponsor, Matt Booth Live Music, Shlomo Franklin Live Music.
Rail Trail vendors
Pura Vida Kettlecorn, Java Blue Coffee, Whiskey Business, Pixie Floss, Yoga Wellness BodyWork.
Yard Owl Brewery vendors
Woodside Blue Preserves, Totie Totes, Whole Clarity, Metals and Pieces, Sarah LaSpada Jewelry, Small Paws Farm, High Falls Extracts, Handmade by Barbara, Miracles Day Spa, High Gear Jewelry, Beacon Candle Company, Nubi Binu, Hudson Craft Co. Local Artisan Bakery, Sara Golden Jewelry, Preusser Ceramics, Farm Body Skincare, Immune Schein, Matthew Silverman, Wells Fargo Table Sponsor, World’s Coolest Rain Gauge, Carps Custom Creations, NYSSF, Fighting Spirit, Kevin Kennedy Live Music, Sheila Dee and the Dazzlers Live Music.
Admission to the 2019 Gardiner Craft Market Walk is free. Don’t forget to bring along a reusable shopping bag or two! To learn more, including the full list of vendors, visit https://visitgardinerny.com/event.