Astonishing trivia unveiled at Hudson Valley springtime happenings
Hudson Valley, NY – Orange County spring happenings will do more than put an end to your cabin fever. They’ll amaze and amuse you. They’ll fill your April calendar with such fun and astonishing facts that when you tell your friends and family about them, they’ll be anticipating the words “April Fools” to follow. Why not show the whole gang a good time and bring them along to see for themselves? Seeing is believing. Just think of the interesting conversations you’ll have on the ride home.
Ready for a myth buster? The Motorcyclepedia Museum is not just for bikers! Attend the “Indoor Motorcycle Parts and Accessories Swap Meet” happening on Sunday, April 6th and your admission will include a close-up look at the 500 collectible motorcycles on display as well as all the incredible exhibits. The world's smallest operating motorcycle is sitting in a showcase on a half-sheet of paper towel! Its builder even returns from time-to-time to ride it for awe-struck spectators. Glimpse the oldest running motorcycle in North America. This 1897 De Dion-Bouton trike is on the museum floor year round, unless it’s being started up in the parking lot next to the 1907 Hudson & Delaware Line boxcar. Did legendary bike builder “Indian Larry” really lie on a bed of nails while someone walked on his chest? See it on display right next to one of his prized Knuckleheads. Loads of photographs, posters, and memorabilia entertain and enlighten everyone who visits this spacious venue open Friday through Sunday year round.
No more horsing around! That’s exactly what some forward thinkers must have said when they decided to have the first auto race on the “Harry Clay Oval” in Middletown in 1919. Built as a horse track in 1857, today it’s the Orange County Fair Speedway, the oldest continuously operating dirt track in the United States. In 1924, Joe Coates (manufacturer of the 1908 Coates-Goshen automobile), lined the track with clay from a Goshen pond that hardened to the perfect consistency. Now racing cars challenge each other on the hard clay every Saturday night from April through mid-September. Feel the excitement when you take a seat in the stands at the ‘Hard Clay Open’ $30,000-Plus Spectacular on Sunday, April 6th. The Regular Season Opener happens on Saturday, April 12th.
Mold-blowing! That’s not a typo, it’s a glass blowing technique. But mind-blowing is a better term for what you’ll experience at the Special Glass Blowing Demos and Factory Tour at Gillinder Glass Factory on Saturday, April 12th from 10 to 3. Prepare to be bedazzled by artful glass blowers creating unique glass treasures before your eyes. Founded in 1876 in Philadelphia, this operation moved to the beautiful Delaware River city of Port Jervis in 1912. Still family-run after 6 generations, tours take you through the place that manufactures approximately 50% of all airport runway lights in the United States. They also make specialty glass products used on aircraft including Black Hawk Helicopters and the mammoth C-5A Galaxy Transports you might spy landing nearby at Stewart International Airport. Don’t miss this chance to see the guest glass artists. Although they won’t make another appearance until October 18th, glass working demonstrations and guided factory tours are available most weekdays at 10:15, 12:30 and 1:30, and the gift store is open 7 days a week.
Can you say Shawangunk? If you answered with a 3-syllable word that rhymes with bunk, the native Lenape Indians would probably agree. The current local pronunciation is SHAUN-gum. It’s tricky! One thing’s for sure, the 14 wineries on the Shawangunk Wine Trail will be happy to host you no matter how you say it. The trail not only spans two counties, it spans the globe at special events like Pasta Primo Vino on April 12th and 13th. Tickets to this self-guided tour through the Hudson Valley offer a sample of different delicious pasta dishes and handcrafted regional wines at each winery. Drink in the ambiance at the country’s oldest continuously operating winery, the site of America’s oldest vineyards, a 200-year old barn winery (just up the road from Woodbury Common Premium Outlets), and other remarkable one-of-a-kind venues. Designated drivers and weekend accommodations at one of Orange County’s premier hotels or cozy B&Bs are highly recommended for this culinary adventure, and that’s no joke!
Why limit yourself to earthly fun? Beam yourself up for an out-of-this-world adventure at the Pine Bush UFO Fair on Saturday, April 26th. All day festivities in the “UFO Capitol of the East” include live music, games, street performances, lectures, car show, crafts and food leading up to the famous Alien and UFO themed parade at 3pm. It’s a hoot! There’ll be plenty of opportunities to chat with the locals about their close encounters, but you can get a head start by clicking on the Haunted History Trail pages that open on the www.OrangeTourism.org web site. Stay until dark to catch Air Pirates Radio Theater’s live performance of “War of the Worlds Pine Bush Style,” and perhaps you’ll notice some unusual lights in the sky shining down on Pine Bush.
Here’s a riddle. How many stops are needed to visit all of the following attractions: a Native American ceremonial ground, a frontier trading post, a Revolutionary War activity hub, a historic paper mill, and a home occupied by early 20th century civil rights activists? One! All are part of the history of Gomez Mill House, best known as the oldest Jewish dwelling in North America and the oldest residence in Orange County. No, the walls can’t talk, but this house, celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2014, has stories to tell! Opening day is Sunday, April 27th. Be one of the first to take a guided tour this season. Open Wednesday through Sunday until November 9th, the site offers guided tours at 10:30am, 1:15pm or 2:45pm. Check their web site for a schedule of special Sunday afternoon guest lectures.
Orange County Tourism’s April calendar is full of surprises! Find a comprehensive list of attractions, lodging, and events at www.OrangeTourism.org. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free subscription to our colorful weekly events E-Blasts. Like us on Facebook for daily reminders of fun happenings. Orange County Tourism is headquarters for tourism in the county and is part of the I LOVE NY program.
• Indoor Swap Meet, Motorcyclepedia Museum, Newburgh. 845-569-9065, www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org
• Hard Clay Open, Middletown. 845-342-2573, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net
• Glass Blowing Demonstrations & Tours, Port Jervis. 845-856-5375. www.gillinderglassstore.com
• Pasta Primo Vino, Shawangunk Wine Trail. 845-256-8456, www.gunkswine.com
• Pine Bush UFO Fair, Village of Pine Bush. 845-744-8230, www.ufofair.com
• Opening Day Gomez Mill House Tours, Marlboro. 845-236-3126, www.gomez.org
Mary Ann McCarthy