Stay in town when the tents come down!
Orange County, N.Y. (May 2017) – From spring through fall, the Hudson Valley is filled with fantastic festivals, each with its own personality and many with special background stories. A festival’s name may hold a clue, but a getaway to the place where the festival happens lets you experience what inspired the festival in the first place. An overnight stay before or after the festivities allows time to gain insight through local lodging, cuisine, and special attractions. Have a fun, relaxing getaway and get the whole picture. Orange County is a convenient drive from the New York metropolitan area, so plan to stay a while for your best festival experiences yet! Here are a few upcoming “getaway-worthy” festivals:
The Sugar Loaf Spring Festival is a 3-day festival held annually over Memorial Day Weekend. What better place for a huge arts and crafts event than in a “community of craftsmen” founded circa 1749? Wander through the visiting artisan vendors’ tents and browse the unique items in the studios, craft shops, and galleries housed in original barns and buildings dating back to the 1700s and 1800s. Gaze at stately Sugar Loaf Mountain and ponder what drew the early craftsmen to settle in its shadow at this spot along King’s Highway. A jaunt around the area surrounding Sugar Loaf Art & Crafts Village will reward you with more scenic views of orchards, vineyards and rolling horse farms. Hambletonian, the famous granddaddy of all Standardbreds, was born here. There’ll be a beer tent at the festival, but a very short drive will have you at the doorstep of artisan wineries, cideries and craft brewers. A few days of “sugar-loafing” just might bring out your creative side.
What inspired the name of the Newburgh Illuminated festival? It was Thomas Edison who lived and worked in Newburgh, making it the second municipality in New York to receive electricity in 1884. The generating plant he built is still in operation. This huge June 3rd, festival with over 25 bands and more than 80 vendors shines the spotlight on the burgeoning arts and cultural scene in this Hudson River city, known for its huge concentration of historically and architecturally significant buildings. Have fun throwing colored powders at the event’s lighthearted colorfest. Catch dance performances on The Ritz Performing Stage, adjacent to the theater where Lucille Ball made her stage debut. Visit the art gallery tent and neighborhood galleries. Catch live music around every bend as you shop the vendors' booths and scout out your favorite ethnic dishes. The festival runs from noon to 10pm, but there’s plenty of time to explore the historic district including Washington’s Headquarters, the home where George and Martha Washington lived (our nation’s first public historic site), see hundreds of antique and collectible motorcycles on display at the Motorcyclepedia Museum, take a narrated sightseeing cruise at the historic waterfront, visit the Newburgh Brewing Company’s spacious Tap Room and so much more. Find a hotel through Orange County Tourism’s lodging reservation system at www.orangetourism.org and get ready for a brilliant festival getaway.
From the title, it may seem that Cornwall-on-Hudson Riverfest, also happening on June 3rd, simply celebrates the Hudson River, but spend some time at this annual first-Saturday-in-June festival and you’ll understand why the scenic Hudson Highlands location led to it becoming a retreat for healthy mind, body and spirit long ago. Park your car at the Cornwall Middle School and start relaxing. A free shuttle bus will take you to and from the festivities. Be sure to bring a blanket or chair to take advantage of a full day of music and entertainment right next to the river. A multitude of children’s activities and a craft and food fair complete this free family-fun day. From 11am to 5pm, kick back and watch the boats and birds go by, or dip a paddle in the Hudson during a kayak demonstration with Storm King Adventure Tours. From your landing on the lawn, you can picture Henry Hudson’s “Half Moon” which anchored right in this wide bay in 1609. At festival closing time, get cozy at one of Cornwall’s fine Bed & Breakfasts. Explore the village’s abundance of great restaurants and historic buildings, some dating back to Colonial times. Breathe in more fresh air and discover more breathtaking scenery at Storm King Art Center and the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum. Take a hike through Storm King State Park or Black Rock Forest. Spend a few days here and rejuvenate.
America’s first pastime, harness racing, weaves a thread through Goshen’s Great American Weekend. In fact, Grand Circuit Harness Racing happens at the Goshen Historic Track both days of the free July 1st and 2nd festival that fills the adjacent historic village green with over 150 craft and food vendors, antique exhibits, live entertainment, and children’s rides. Stick around town to watch more races on July 3rd and 4th. Enjoy free admission to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame where you’ll experience an exciting 3-D simulated sulky ride. Take a self-guided walking tour of the historic village to discover where Noah Webster taught school, where jazz-great stride pianist Willie the Lion Smith was born, and Ulysses S. Grant watched the trotters race back in 1873. Visit the Orange County Distillery, a black dirt farm and distillery on the outskirts of town, where the vegetables are distilled into vodka, gin, bourbon and whiskey available for tasting and purchase. Dine at unique restaurants housed in properties dating back to the 1700’s. Relax and lodge at the elegantly refurbished 1747 Stagecoach Inn right in the heart of Goshen. If you love tradition and the red, white and blue, this festival getaway’s for you.
Getaway to fun festivals in Orange County, New York! Find a comprehensive list of attractions, lodging, and events at www.OrangeTourism.org. Request a free subscription to our colorful weekly events E-Blasts or a copy of our free travel guide by emailing Tourism@OrangeCountyGov.com or call 845-615-3860. 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.
Photo: Cornwall-on-Hudson Riverfest
¨ Sugar Loaf Spring Festival, Sugar Loaf Art & Crafts Village, Chester. 10am-5pm, May 27-28-29. 845-610-3968, www.sugarloafnewyork.com
¨ Newburgh Illuminated, Newburgh.10am-11pm, June 3. www.newburghilluminatedfestival.com
¨ Cornwall-on-Hudson RiverFest, Cornwall-on-Hudson. 11am-5pm, June 3. 845-534-4200, www.river-fest.com
¨ Great American Weekend, Goshen. 9am-5pm, July 1-2. 845-294-7741, www.goshennychamber.com
Contact: Mary Ann McCarthy
Orange County Tourism