orange-county-tourism-2.JPGFood, Festivals and Football are Flourishing Hudson Valley, N.Y.  -  Welcome to September's warm festive days of outdoor fun and cool nights with cricket songs to lull you to sleep. The apple trees are ripe for picking and every color of the rainbow beams from the tables at the farmers markets laden with fresh fruits and vegetables. It's no wonder so many fabulous Orange County happenings are planned for this special time of year. So pack a sweater and a camera. Bring your comfy shoes and your appetite. Reap our harvest of great events and attractions just an hour north of Manhattan.    Even the stars in Orange County's night sky seem brighter in September. Bask in their glow on September 2nd at the Trophy Point Amphitheater when the West Point Band's "Music Under the Stars" series lights up the night with a fireworks display and cannon salute. A Retreat Ceremony opens this free event at 6pm followed by performances from the Jazz Knights and the Concert Band. Arrive early with your blanket and picnic basket and settle in for a perfect musical evening on the Hudson. It's fair weather for one of the Hudson Valley's most popular festivals, the New York Renaissance Faire at Sterling Forest in Tuxedo, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Let jugglers, jesters, minstrels and magicians transport you back 300 years to Elizabethan England. Cheer for jousting knights, curtsey to the Queen, shop the Tudor-style marketplace and feast on delectables every weekend and Labor Day until September 23rd.  By mid-September, the temperature will be just right for dancing some polka at the Oktoberfest. The aroma of delicious German fare and the happy sounds of the oompah bands fill the air at Bear Mountain State Park on weekends from September 15th through October 28th. Prost ein toast! Who said history isn't fun? When you say "cheese" in the Village of Monroe on September 8th, you may or may not be posed in front of a camera. You'll be celebrating the history of cheese-making in the birth place of Liederkranz and Velveeta cheese at the annual Monroe Cheese Festival. Enjoy vendors and live entertainment as you stroll the picturesque Mill Pond Parkway, the original site of the Monroe Cheese Company. Also paying historic tribute that day is General Montgomery Day, happening in the namesake village of this patriot of the American Revolutionary War. An 8K race, a  terrific parade, a soap box derby, lots of street vendors and an evening of fireworks will keep you busy all day. The following week, on September 15th and 16th, the historic county seat of Goshen pays homage to one of its native sons at the Willie "The Lion" Smith Jazz Festival. Multiple venues around the Village will feature performances in honor of this jazz pioneer recognized as one of the fathers of the stride piano style. The quaint village of Cornwall-on-Hudson will be bustling with excitement on September 22nd when they host the Orange County Volunteer Firemen's Association Parade at 2pm. Live music, special events and a grand fireworks finale will round out the day. After the parade, take a quick jaunt to Highland Mills for a celebration of the grape harvest. Palaia Vineyards' Grape Stomp Festival and Lucy Look-Alike Contest will tickle both your funny bone and your taste buds. The grounds surrounding the 200-year old barn and historic homestead with 10 acres of vineyards will be hopping with vendors, live music, and an assortment of Lucys stomping to win the grand prize, a case of wine. Bring a blanket or chair and, of course, your red haired wig. Good luck!  Nothing says fall like football and there's no more scenic place for a pre-game tailgating feast than West Point. Where else are you likely to see the game ball delivered by a paratrooper dropping in by parachute? The country's oldest military academy provides a unique football experience.  Reserve tickets to see the Black Knights in action at one of the 7 home games being played in beautiful Michie Stadium. They kick off against Northern Illinois on September 15th.  Ease yourself into a fabulous fall. Find a complete list of attractions, lodging, and events at For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide call 800-762-8687, or email Orange County Tourism is headquarters for tourism in the county and is part of the I LOVE NEW YORK program. Resources: Music Under the Stars, West Point. 845-938-2617, The New York Renaissance Faire, Tuxedo. 845-351-5171,   Oktoberfest, Bear Mountain. 845-786-2731, Monroe Cheese Festival, Monroe.  845-774-1727, General Montgomery Day, Montgomery. 845-457-9661, Willie "The Lion" Smith Jazz Festival, Goshen. 845-294-4188. Fireman's Parade, Cornwall-on-Hudson.  845-494-5033. Palaia Vineyards, Highland Mills.  845-928-5384, Army Football, West Point.  845-446-4996,


Contact: Mary Ann McCarthy (845) 615-3860