Orange County, N.Y. - Pay special attention to your surroundings during your next Orange County, NY excursion. Amid the astounding Hudson Valley views, you just might glimpse a ghostly orb or flying saucer, or catch the spray of fairy dust. Come all ye curiosity seekers, night sky watchers, swashbuckling pirates, enchanting fairies, believers and non-believers! Just one-hour north of New York City, an out-of-this-world adventure awaits.
Come dressed in your Renaissance, fantasy, or fun best to the family-oriented rite of spring, Brid's Closet Beltane Festival at Palaia Winery on April 30th. Embrace the natural and the supernatural with Maypole dancing and magical chanting in the midst of mountains, music, and mead. Over 50 vendors, food, and live music are the festive backdrop for workshops on everything from magic to tarot to earth healing energy. Bring the kids. If they're under 12, admission is free!
Rub elbows with space creatures, aliens, and Star Wars Storm Troopers at the Pine Bush UFO Fair on Saturday, May 21st, when the quaint hamlet of Pine Bush celebrates its reputation as the "UFO Capital of the East." Some attribute the sightings and strange happenings reported there to magnetic forces in the bordering Shawangunk Mountain Ridge. Ask the locals all about it at this day of fun celebrated with music, family-friendly activities, street performances and vendors, topped off with a crazy-fun parade you'll never forget. Serious sky watchers can sit in on special lectures and programs given by those who have experienced the extraterrestrial.
UFO sightings aren't the only thing that has landed Pine Bush on the Haunted History Trail of New York State. More paranormal activity can be found at the beautiful Pine Bush House Bed and Breakfast. Both staff and guests have encountered the friendly spirits hanging around this elegant 1905 Victorian home. Schedule a Ghost Tour or Psychic Reading to coincide with your stay. It's also a very convenient base for UFO hunters. The innkeeper can fill you in on the best places for an encounter.
New York State's largest living history museum, Museum Village, also transports visitors to the paranormal world during evening Ghost Tours with a Psychic Medium. Is it the vast collection of 19th century artifacts and historical buildings that makes this place so attractive to the spirits? Even the founder of this fabulous venue continues to make frequent visits though he died in 1976. Perhaps you'll meet him or receive messages channeled through the psychic from others who were closer to you in life. See what happens when you book one of the tours on April 29th, May 13th, and June 10th.
Bring the kids back to Museum Village for the world of make-believe. Fairy/Pirate Day on May 21st fills the village green with whimsical delights from 10 to 4. Little buccaneers can walk the plank and hunt for treasure while young fairies earn their honorary wings at the Fairy Flying Academy. Toast this magical day with Pirate Grog or Fairy Tea at the Pixie Pub. Don't forget your costumes for this special photo op! Reservations are highly recommended.
Arrrrgh! Pirates of all shapes and sizes can sink their imaginations into salty sea adventures on the Tall Ship Kalmar Nyckel, when it sails up the Hudson to dock at the Newburgh Waterfront. Tickets are available now for guided deck tours, day sails, and pirate sails on this replica 17th century Dutch merchant vessel from August 5th through 7th. On the pirate sail, hear tales from the crew, raise the Jolly Roger, and seek out the treasure at the end of a scavenger hunt. This is the summer for a festive experience on the high seas!
More swashbuckling family adventures abound at the New York Renaissance Faire where fantasy always rules. A trip back to Elizabethan England will capture your imagination any weekend you visit this merry setting of 16th century games, rides, arts, crafts, foods, music and dance from August 6th through October 2nd. In addition to Pirate Weekend, September 10-11, celebrate Celtic Weekend, Masquerade Weekend, and even Barbarian Day. There's something special happening every weekend.
Make your adventure a weekend getaway. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging, and events can be found at www.OrangeTourism.org. Call 845-615-3860 for a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide. County Tourism is the county's official tourism headquarters and a participant in I LOVE NY.
• Brid's Closet Beltane Festival, Highland Mills. www.facebook.com/Brids Closet, 845-458- 8726
• Pine Bush UFO Fair and Parade, www.pinebushufofair.com, 845-744-8230
• Pine Bush House Ghost Tours & Psychic Readings, www.pinebushhouse.com, 845-744-3641
• Museum Village Ghost Tours, Monroe. www.museumvillage.org, 845-782-8248 ext. 1
• Fairy Pirate Day at Museum Village, Monroe. www.museumvillage.org, 845-782-8248 ext. 1
• Tall Ship Kalymar Nyckel, Newburgh Waterfront. www.kalmarnyckel.org, 302-429-7447
• New York Renaissance Faire, Sterling Forest. www.renfair.com/ny, 845-351-5171
For more information, contact:
Mary Ann McCarthy, Orange County Tourism