The annual festival began in 1989 as a simple harvest celebration to support the Warwick Valley Community Center. Now, Applefest attracts up to 35,000 people each October, and it was selected as one of the top 10 festivals in the American Bus Association’s “Top 100 Events in North America.” It also won the 2010 and 2011 Times Herald-Record “Best of the Year” competition for the family event category. Over 240 juried crafters, dozens of food vendors, and over 50 local nonprofit exhibitors come together in the village’s streets and parks to celebrate the region’s agricultural bounty. The festival also features music and entertainment on several stages, a children’s carnival, farmers’ market, and an apple pie baking contest (with slices for sale).
Hudson Valley Jazz Festival
Jazz drummer Steve Rubin created the four-day jazz festival in 2010, and it has been met with such success that the Warwick event is expanding into other areas of the Hudson Valley next year. This year, performances were held throughout the town, including outdoor venues in the village, the Iron Forge Inn, and culminating in a grand finale at the Sugar Loaf Center for Performing Arts. Acts included the Gabriele Tranchina Quintet with Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria on drums and award-winning pianist Arturo O’Farrill. The 2013 festival will present its first Jazz Camp, which will highlight local up and coming artists and music educators in the community.
Warwick Summer Arts Festival
Locations around the Town of Warwick, including parks, storefronts, and farms, host music, theater, dance, and film for the performing arts festival held each July. As a way to bridge the artists and the audience, the festival offers workshops and presentations to get the community involved, including commissioned performances in the annual art parade. This year’s July event featured a performance at Scheuermann Farm & Greenhouses by Brazilian-roots group Matuto; the 12-piece band Zongo Junction, who blends West African rhythms with funk, jazz, and soul; and Ilusha Tsinadze’s Deda Ena, performing contemporary beats influenced by the ancient folk traditions of Ilusha’s native country, Georgia.
Taste of Warwick
The Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce presents the annual celebration of the community’s restaurants, chefs, farms, and wineries. This year’s 19th annual September event featured just under 30 participants, including Jean-Claude’s Patisserie and Dessert Cafe, Iron Forge Inn, Noble Pies, Harvest Grill and Brew Pub, Conscious Fork, Grappa Ristorante, Eddie’s Roadhouse, Landmark Inn, Black Dirt Gourmet at Rogowski Farm, and Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery, where the event was held. All of the dishes featured locally sourced ingredients from the farms of the Warwick Valley, and food and wine tastings were held in a candle-lit tent on the winery and distillery grounds with music by the E’Lissa Jones Trio.
Black Dirt Feast
Each year, a group of regional chefs are chosen to prepare a five-course meal to be held on the lawn of Scheuermann Farm and Greenhouses in the heart of the Black Dirt Region of Pine Island. This year’s August celebration of farm-to-table local cuisine featured entertainment by the Chamber Strings Orchestra and the Jon Werking Trio. The feast featured hors d’oeuvres from the Catering House of Ed Fava, including Hudson Valley duck pâté on baguette rounds and asparagus mousse in petite phyllo cups. Entrée choices included sunflower seed crusted tilapia by Heather Kurosz of Black Dirt Gourmet and braised lamb osso bucco by Kevin May from Copper Bottom Restaurant. An assortment of mini desserts with seasonal ingredients included sweet corn cake with blueberry and lavender compote and zucchini whoopie pie with cream cheese frosting from Eat Sweets .