Meadowlark: A Hudson Valley Music Festival
Friday-Sunday, Sept. 8-10
Stone Ridge Orchard, 3012 Route 213, Stone Ridge
Described as a curated three-day celebration of American roots and independent music, this year’s Meadowlark lineup will blend storied names in Americana, indie rock and experimental music – including legendary bluesman Chris Smither – with a roster of local and emerging artists, within a secluded and intimate setting. What they all have in common is a creative spirit that pushes the boundaries of traditional and independent music. A portion of event proceeds will be donated to causes that support local farmers in the Hudson Valley region and nationally.
The festivities begin on Friday, September 8 at 5 p.m. with a VIP dinner and cider-tasting under the fabled 400-year-old oak tree in the middle of Stone Ridge Orchard. The music, dubbed Meadowlark after Dark, will include Lizzie No, Beccs, Cloudbelly and others to be announced.
On Saturday, the music gets underway at 1 p.m. and running until 9:30 p.m. Performers will be Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Jolie Holland, Chris Staples, Babehoven, Kaia Kater and an unidentified “special guest.” (Locals who know which publicity-averse, very famous female singer who often supports good causes happens to live in Stone Ridge might venture a guess.) Some limited overnight camping will be available. Sunday’s lineup, from 1 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., includes DeVotchKa, Kacy & Clayton, Chris Smither and Quintron & Miss Pussycat. Meadowlark will also feature performers from the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and video art by Preston Spurlock.
Ticket prices as of press time ranged from $100 for single-day entry to $520 for VIP all-access for the full three-day weekend. Camping access costs extra.
Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 9 & 10
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6550 Springbrook Avenue, Rhinebeck
Hundreds of wines from New York wineries, more than 100 gourmet specialty foods, lifestyle vendors and food sampling from some of the region’s best restaurants plus live entertainment are the attractions at the 23rd annual Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival. Visitors can learn about wine and food from the event’s many cooking demonstrations and food and wine seminars throughout the weekend, and also enjoy the opportunity to meet and speak to vintners from some of the state’s best wineries.
The Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. on Saturday, 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $50 ($99 VIP) per day, $90 for the full weekend. These include a tasting glass and all the wine/beer/cider/spirits sampling. VIP tickets add early entry to the festival, access to the VIP tent with free refreshments, and a gift bag. Designated drivers get in for $25 per day, $45 for the weekend.
Friday-Sunday, Sept. 15-17
Various venues, Kingston & Catskill
This weekend-long festival celebrating indie rock was initially conceived as a party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Kingston micro-indie label Dromedary Records, including a number of longtime Dromedary performers. The lineup from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday at Tubby’s in Kingston includes Yung Wu and Speed the Plough.
On Saturday from 1 to 11 p.m., at the Avalon and Left-Bank Ciders in Catskill, the bands will be Antietam, Sleepyhead, Flower, Cathedral Ceilings, Joy Cleaner, Sad Nemad, Guy Capecelatro III with Carrie Bradley, French, Nick Berry and Civic Mimic.
Sunday’s bands, playing from 1 to 11 p.m. at the Avalon and Spike’s Record Rack in Catskill, include Lotion, Monsterland, the Mommyheads, Jenny Toomey & Friends, Stuyvesant, Overheard and Dipper, plus a reading from Bela Koe-Krompecher.
Ticket prices are $25 for Friday night’s events and $60 for Saturday and Sunday combined. A VIP pass available for $70 includes a Dromedary sampler CD and a $10 donation to local food banks. Visit the website for ticket links and more information about the performers.
Grape Stomping Festival
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 23-24 & Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Robibero Winery, 714 Albany Post Road, New Paltz
Admit it: You’ve always wanted to try your hand – errr, feet – at stomping grapes to extract the juice, in the old-fashioned way of making wine. Robibero Winery gives you the chance to make that wish come true at its Grape Stomping Festival. Attendees are asked to bring blankets or chairs to use on the lawn and a towel to dry your feet. (Douglas Adams would approve.)
Tickets cost $25 in advance, $35 on the day of the event. That price entitles you to participate in the grape-stomping, plus a wine-tasting or one glass of wine or sangría. Kids under 12 stomp for free, and for $15 non-drinkers can purchase a ticket for the grape-stomping only.
This event also features live music from 2 to 5 p.m. Caramel apple sangría available by the glass, wine-tasting, wine by the glass or bottle, New York State craft beer and cocktails, wood-fired pizza, lawn games, and a bonfire. It goes on rain or shine.
Saugerties Fall Fest
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 23-24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
236 Market Street, Saugerties
The Saugerties Senior Center welcomes in the autumn with a free indoor market featuring 30 different categories of vendors. There will be hayrides, live music, an apple-pie contest, farmstands, raffles to support the Andrew Mullen Scholarship Program, a photo booth, apple cider, doughnuts, facepainting, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, candles, and more.
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 23-24
Arrowood Farms, 236 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord
The Woodsist Festival returns to Arrowood, with a lineup that showcases the largest number of artists to perform at the festival to date, while ticket prices will reportedly remain the same as in past years (not yet listed on the website, though). This year’s festival features Kevin Morby, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Avery Tare, Woods, Cass McCombs, Bombino, Natural Information Society, Scientist, M. J. Lenderman, Water from Your Eyes, Alabaster DePlume, Taper’s Choice, Daniel Higgs, Tyvek, Anna St. Louis, Aquarium Drunkard DJs, and Tubby’s DJs. Check the website for details as the event date draws nearer.
Woodstock Film Festival
Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 27-Oct. 1
Various venues in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, Rosendale, Rhinebeck
Tickets for in-person and virtual events, as well as festival passes, are for sale now online and at the box office. It’s always a don’t-miss event, so keep checking the website for announcements.
Gardiner Day 2023
Saturday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
George Majestic Memorial Park, Gardiner
You don’t need to be a Gardinerite to feel welcome at this low-key, family-friendly annual street festival, though it’s organized by locals for locals, with every single activity free of charge. Gardiner Day’s motto is “Celebrating Family, Fun and Friends,” and that’s about what happens, with live local bands, dance and karate demonstrations, games and vendors. Some years there are even free pony rides or a petting zoo. For a genuine experience of small-town homeyness, just show up.
Handcrafted Octoberfest at Rhinebeck
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6550 Springbrook Avenue, Rhinebeck
This family harvest celebration is an open-air event honors that harvest time and slips in a few Germanic traditions, but is centered around the concept of handmade. And there’s something for every generation, taste and tastebud, from the Hudson Valley’s best craft beer, wine and spirits to one-of-a-kind goods by the nation’s finest makers and artisans to seasonal grub, live musical performances and expert-led harvest activities.
The festival offers a carefully curated collection of handmade goods in more than ten media categories, complemented by a diverse selection of autumnal extras: fine-art pumpkin-carving by a nationally acclaimed master of the niche craft, one of the state’s largest pumpkins (likely weighing in over 1700 pounds), an educational petting zoo and animal show, family lawn games, carriage rides, craft demonstrations (fiber-spinning, woodworking and more), a drop-off children’s craft tent (with programming and creative free play). You can even go to the Quail Hollow website and register for a needle-felting or paper-quilling workshop led by Hudson Valley Atelier.
The hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 30 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Full-weekend tickets cost $13 at the gate, $10.50 in advance for adults, $11/$8.50 for seniors, $6/$4.50 for children aged 6 to 16.
Hudson Valley Garlic Festival
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cantine Memorial Complex, Saugerties
Long before Saugerties became a hot destination for equestrians, its claim to fame was being the nerve center of garlic cuisine for the East Coast. The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival has been around since 1989, and it draws tens of thousands to Cantine Field every autumn to pay homage to the Stinking Rose.
You can buy braids of garlic of every conceivable variety and sample every imaginable garlic-flavored food (including ice cream). Culinary talks and demonstrations are also an integral part of the two-day event. There are hundreds of vendors, live music all day long, and, for some inexplicable reason often a Morris dance performance. (Not that I’m complaining; we don’t get many of those around here.)
Daily admission at the gate costs $15 for attendees aged 13 and up. Tickets purchased online in advance cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and must be printed out. Only paper copies will be accepted at the gate.