Every last weekend in September, Kelder’s Farm in Accord hosts the Jennie Bell Pie Festival in honor of the mother of Gordon Bell of Bell’s Tree Farm in Accord, who was well known for her home-baked pies. Chomsky, the farm’s giant gnome, greets the 2,500 visitors to the end-of-September festival. New to this year’s event was a Battle of the Bands contest, but the local vendors, amusement park rides, talent show, live music, firework display, and signature pie contest held true to the festival’s traditions. Local bakers, using local ingredients, plan their pies days in advance, and the judging criteria includes appearance, flavor, and, crust in both a local and children’s division.
Ride the Ridge Bike Challenge
Named one of the nation’s top 10 road cycling events by Bicycling magazine, the Ride the Ridge Bike Challenge returned to Stone Ridge for its 6th year this June. Riders are invited to take on one of four routes: the 50-mile Shawangunk Ridge ride, the 30-mile Countryside Ride, the 11-mile Bud Clarke Memorial Ride, or the 5-mile Family Ride. The event is not a race, but a personal challenge. Riders are supported by vehicles carrying water, first aid, and if need be, a ride back to the home base. The cycling event benefits the Performing Arts Center at the High Meadow School. Registration is $35 for adults and $15 for children under the age of 13.
Stone Ridge Library Fair
The Stone Ridge Library Fair celebrated its 66th year this June. A cherished local event, the fair features live entertainment, local authors, food, and, of course, books. The book tent offers thousands of books that have been donated throughout the year at bargain prices. The plant tent is full of local flowers and plants, including donations from local farms, like Sanderskill and Kelder’s, as well as community member’s home gardens. Local restaurants, including Aroma Thyme Bistro and Red Brick Tavern, donated soups, and local musicians, like the Shoe String Band, provided entertainment for the day. A BBQ and silent auction for local artisan products continued through drizzle to provide a fun day of edutainment for all.
RVGA Barn Dance
The Rondout Valley Grower Association hosted its 10th annual Barn Dance and local food barbecue at Kelder’s Farm this July. Caller-fiddler Liz Slade and the Shoe String Band performed and provided dance instruction. Dr. Romo and friends provided Cajun music during dinner, which featured locally grown products from an array of local vendors. Children’s activities included hay rides, edible minigolf, a petting zoo, and a meadow maze.
Wild Blueberry and Huckleberry Festival
Every August, Ellenville celebrates the region’s wild summer fruits with a festival sponsored by the Ellenville Chamber of Commerce. The day kicks off with a blueberry pancake breakfast hosted by Pioneer Engine Co. 1 at Norbury Hall. Then, put your best fruit forward at the blueberry pie judging contest. This year’s festival featured live music on two stages from the Carl Richards Band, Mailbox 06, Bob Lusk, and Mark Fried. Over 200 vendors from local businesses and organizations come out for the event, and kids can enjoy face painting, rock wall climbing, Macaroni the Clown, and the world’s tallest pinball machine.