Prattsville's MudFest is back, dirtier than ever

Prattsville is the new Woodstock. Above: A scene from the first MudFest, held August 25-26, 2012. Photo from MudFest's Facebook page.

We will pick up the pieces 
Shattered of memories on the ground
We don't know how to give up
Hell yes we're going to rebuild our town
  - Thirteen for Life, "You Gotta Love This Town"

This Friday and Saturday, everybody’s invited to get down and dirty in Prattsville, as the town celebrates its second annual MudFest: proof positive that from catastrophe can come sheer awesome.

What befell Prattsville during the floods unleashed by Hurricane Irene might have been a death blow to some communities. For those who weren’t around, the town’s Main Street was pretty much flattened by crashing water that, at its peak, was equal in force to Niagara Falls. In its wake, the flood left Prattsville swamped in a thick layer of mud and debris. Drying off and clearing up took some doing. But it soon became obvious to observers that the town’s resurgence would be not just as good, but better than ever.

And so, last summer, MudFest was born: a celebration of community spirit that offers some rare opportunities to unleash your inner kid. This weekend, MudFest returns in all its gloopy glory. There will be mud volleyball, mud tug-o-war, and a mud slip-n-slide. Beth’s Café will be flipping Mud Pancakes, and the Prattsville Diner’s got your Dirt Dessert and Mud Fudge. Over at the Tavern they’ll be serving -- wait for it -- hurricane drinks.

All that comes along with artisans and crafters, live music, hayrides, kids’ activities, exhibits and performances at the Art Center -- all the flavors of delight one expects of a Catskill town’s special day, with extra helpings of exuberance and gratitude and good clean mud.

MudFest starts on Friday with exhibits at the Zadock Pratt Museum and the Prattsville Art Center, a wine and spirits tasting at Catskill Mountain Wine and Liquor, theatre at the church, the Blessing of the Water at 5pm, and a barbecue and fireworks. The mud-related activities and much, much more are happening on Saturday: The artisan fair, silent auction and other activites that don’t call for mud will be happening on the Town Green, while the Water Treatment Center will be transformed into a joyous Mudville.

MudFest. Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24. Several venues throughout Prattsville. For more information and a complete schedule, see MudFest’s Facebook page.