August 6. Grab a chair in the fields of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project Fields for their second annual farm dinner. Enjoy a five-course meal, with produce direct from the field, prepared by Sara Lukasiewicz of Red Devon in Bangall. Cheese, donated by Sprout Creek Farm and Coach Farm, will be passed out with heirloom tomato bruschetta during the first hour of the event. Salads, including cucumber cantaloupe with mint and Coach Farm’s aged goat cheese in a summer herb vinaigrette, will get your ready for the main entrees, served family style. Try the marinated and grilled sirloin from Meadowview Farms with peppers and onions. Leave room for the sautéed green zucchini and yellow squash, with basil and heirloom tomatoes. Dessert will be just as local: Hudson Valley whipped cream on lemon polenta cake, donated by Wild Hive. Although full-bellies at the dinner are a-must, one of its main mission is to improve the access of locally grown and healthier foods for Poughkeepsie’s education and food justice programs. 4-8pm. Poughkeepsie Farm Project Fields. $155. (845) 473-1415; www.farmproject.org.
Hudson Valley RibFest
August 20 and 21. Organized by the Highland Rotary Club, the 2011 Hudson Valley RibFest celebrates its seventh year for two days of rib-loving paradise with a food festival and a BBQ contest. Want to be the Grand Champion of RibFest? This year, 70 teams will cook ribs to compete for the title and $11,000 in prize money. New England Barbecue Society and Kansas City Barbeque Society will each have their own contests, where winners can advance to the national finals in Kansas City. The food festival portion can be enjoyed by the whole family, with plenty to choose from including hot dogs, roasted sweet corn, fudge, and jerk shrimp. Entertainment includes live music, a cooking demonstration, and a children’s area with games and a climbing wall. Saturday, 11am-10pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm, at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz. $4 presale at Hannaford Supermarket; $5 gate; children 12 and under free. (845) 306-4381; www.hudsonvalleyribfest.org.
Wild Blueberry & Huckleberry Festival
August 13. The Ellenville/Wawarsing Chamber of Commerce presents an all-day berry extravaganza. The day begins with a blueberry pancake breakfast until 11am and then a blueberry bake sale. Save your appetite for the blueberry pie judging contest at noon, where Marc Fried, one of the founders of the festival, will be a judge. Over 200 vendors and businesses, like Family of Ellenville and Huckleberry Hats, will be there in between bites. Award-winning restaurant Aroma Thyme Bistro will have banana whip with blueberries and blueberry crisp. Plus, there’s children’s entertainment, including Pickles the Clown and live music on two stages featuring Bob Lusk, The Carl Richards Band, and more. Rain or shine. 9am-4pm on Canal Street and Liberty Square, Ellenville. (845) 647-4620.
Wine Festival at Bethel Woods
August 28. Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley wineries share their specialties at this annual tasty festival overlooking the beauty of Bethel Woods. The more than 15 wineries include New Paltz’s Adair Vineyards, Wurtsboro’s BashaKill Vineyards, and Dundee’s Fulkerson Winery, all offering bottles for sampling and sale. Attendees can also try a sample of wine from the vine. Check out specialty foods and craft vendors from Ballards Honey and Dutch Desserts to Sisteria Designs and Catmaid Wearable Art. Live music and two short wine seminars explaining colors, aromas, and more will be featured throughout the day. 11am-4pm at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Rain or shine. $10 tasting fee with complementary wine glass; $5 general admission, designated drivers. After the wine fest, jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli and vocalist Jessica Molaskey will perform with the New York Pops at 7pm. $18.50-$78 for NY Pops. (800) 745-3000; www.bethelwoodscenter.org.