What to do this weekend: Columbus Day edition

Photo of a woolly bear caterpillar by Roban Kramer, via Flickr.

When you see these little brown-and-black fuzzy caterpillars everywhere, that means it's right around Columbus Day in the Catskills. Aside from Memorial Day and Labor Day, this is one of the biggest holidays up here -- something about foliage and the crisp smell of woodsmoke just brings people running. (It also means that if your heat isn't on, your woodstove is probably already roaring.)

There's more things to do this weekend than any one person could possibly fit in. We have a full list in our calendar listings for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But to help you narrow things down, we've picked a few of our favorites below. 

The O+ Festival kicks off in Kingston today. It's based on the idea that starving artists need healthcare and doctors and dentists are willing to pay for art in medical services. We interviewed the dentist who started it all last week. Lots of live music, art, performance, and a health services fair for one $25 wristband. Friday through Sunday, Uptown Kingston, Ulster County.  

"A Clearing in the Woods," a play staged in -- yes -- a real clearing in the woods, in playing Palenville this weekend only. The show was written by Arthur Laurents, the man who penned West Side Story, and it's rumored that the great man, now in his nineties, might be in attendance himself for one of the performances. The actors are a far-flung group from Paris, London, and New York, and the set is a barn and the woods that surround it. The play is about a women who "meets herself at various stages in her life in a cottage in the woods," says director Lisa Milinazzo, and the "audience sits under a tent, where they can see people coming from the trees." 8pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Catskill Mountain Lodge, Palenville, Greene County.

Lark in the Park, the annual weeklong celebration of outdoors activities in the Catskills, has a bunch of neat hikes on tap. Friday through Sunday, various locations.

The Cha Cha Hut, a fantastic barbecue joint that tragically burned down earlier this year, is rising from the ashes this Saturday at its new location in the town of Andes. On Saturday only, the brisket and pulled pork become available at noon and will be around until they sell out. The following week, the Hut plans to re-open fully, with regular hours and a few new recipes. Staring at noon on Saturday, in the back of Hogan's on Main Street, Andes, Delaware County.

The Taste of the Catskills festival will showcase local food, beer and wine all weekend at Maple Shade Farm outside of Delhi, as well as a bocce tournament. All day Saturday and Sunday, Delhi, Delaware County.

Get your literary Belgium fix at the Hobart Book Village during Belgium Day. Saturday, Hobart, Delaware County.

See if you can sweet-talk someone into giving you a taste of real, unpasterized cider at the Apple Harvest Festival. Saturday and Sunday, Cairo, Greene County.

We've already mentioned the Fleischmanns First House Tours (11am to 3pm Sunday, Fleischmanns, Delaware County) and Ambrosia Parsley's concert at the Mystery Spot (1pm Sunday, Phoenicia, Ulster County) in stories recently. Both make for fun Sunday activities.

There's much, much more. See it all in our Catskill events calendar. And have fun this weekend.