This weekend: Columbus Day in the Catskills


Above: A skeleton puppet dances at O+ Festival in Kingston in 2012. Photo by Julia Reischel.

The idea of celebrating the discovery of an inhabited continent may have lost a good bit of its luster, but a three-day-weekend at autumn’s glorious peak is a gift nonetheless. It is boots and sweaters, pumpkins and cider, live music outdoors and lots of amazing food. It’s laughing with the neighbors before hibernation sets in. And we’ve got your five-county guide to Columbus Day in the Catskills.


Downsville’s Lions Club holds their annual Maple Leaf Festival on Saturday, Oct. 8, with vendors lining Main Street from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

Yellow Fine Arts, a group of Catskills-based artists, is holding an opening reception on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Commons in Margaretville.

Also in Margaretville, all of Main Street celebrates autumn with a First Friday Fall Festival starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7. Live music, a costume parade, scarecrow-making and lots more. 

In Arkville, Fred Woller’s impressionistic cycling paintings are on display at the Catskill Recreation Center this month. Celebrate the artist at a reception on Friday, Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m.

Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury will host its annual Plattepalooza on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Loads of vendors and kids’ fun, country music (Whiskey Cross is back by popular demand), BBQ and foliage viewing from the chairlift; do some mountain biking or geocaching and then restore yourself with s’mores by the firepit.

At the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton, they’ll be celebrating for a cause: the annual Harvest Festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. brings together around 100 crafters and artisans (early holiday finds, anyone?) and your $2 admission benefits the American Cancer Society,

Every year there’s more to celebrate at Taste of the Catskills as farmers, small batch foodcrafters, brewers and chefs come together to shine at Maple Shade Farm in Delhi. There’s a full schedule of educational workshops and kids’ play (where else can your kid chuck rubber chickens?) on both Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday night is the Harvest Dinner (and bonfire, should the weather cooperate.)

On Saturday Oct. 8 starting at 7 p.m., come out to the Walton Theatre for the 13th Annual Night of Entertainment, an evening of performances from the Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble, the Roundhouse Rockers, Betwixt Bothered and Bewildered and After Midnight. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free, and you might win a $1,000 raffle prize.

Come join the good folk of the foothills on the Delaware as Deposit celebrates its annual Oktoberfest with family and community fun: Crafts, vendors, music, and good eats. (Don’t mis the Harvest Pie Fest!) Happening on Sunday, Oct. 9 starting at 9:30 a.m.

Something about mountain air and fiddle music just can’t be topped. Sunday, Oct. 9 is the eagerly-awaited date of Fiddlers! 23 at the Roxbury Arts Center, happening from noon until 7 p.m. World class fiddlers from Quebec to Appalachia will play their hearts out for your listening and dancing pleasure.


This is the time of year to make great outdoor memories, and Lark in the Park has a treat for us: Hikefest at the Mountaintop Historical Society campus in Haines Falls. Stepping off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 will be your choice of two longish and challenging rambles, one to Hurricane Ledge and the other to Poet’s Ledge. Two slightly more moderate hikes and a downright easy stroll leave at 9 a.m.; everybody gets back together for a cookout lunch. 

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the 115-year-old wooden warehouse at Catskill Point will be transformed into a modern-day dance venue for two performances, at 2 p.m. and at 5 p.m., as the world-class performers of the Hudson Valley Dance Festival leap and twirl and dance their hearts out for the fight against AIDS.

Cairo will fill with happy folk, vendors, eats and drinks and fun for the kiddos on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. for the town’s Apple Harvest Festival.

From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday Oct. 9, Windham will be hopping with “crafts, delicious foods, kid activities, live music, and street performers, magicians, balloon animals, pumpkin painting and more” as the town celebrates the 22nd Annual Autumn Affair.

Come get an early blast of jack-o-lantern pleasure in Tannersville at the Great Pumpkin Walk and Lighting on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Bring your best carved pumpkin and candle to Go Greene Car Wash/Sunoco 6360 Rt 23A, Tannersville and enter to win for the scariest, funniest, craziest or most creative pumpkin. Registration will be held from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m., lighting happens at 7:30 p.m., and prizes are awarded at 8 p.m.


Step into Revolutionary War history with the expert, passionate historians clad in period garb giving tours of the Cobleskill Battlefield on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. They’ll be hosting tours of the village of Middleburgh on Sunday, Oct. 9 at noon, too.

Local artists and crafters will gather at Wellington Herbs and Spices in Schoharie on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for the first annual Artisan and Craft Show, which sounds like the perfect way to get in some early gifting fun and to celebrate the harvest at the same time.


This year’s Troutoberfest, held in Roscoe all day long on Saturday Oct. 8th and Sunday Oct. 9th, will include guest fly-tiers, presentations, free beginner fly fishing classes, fly tying classes and on-the-water instruction, and more. 

Dress as a bee and help put Narrowsburg in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most people to do so at one time at the Honeybee Fest, a rich sweet medley of bee lore, bee yummies and bee fun. There will be “Bee Movies” at the theatre, bee arts for all ages, bee yoga and mead tasting. Bee there on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Come to Barryville’s Pumpkin Fest and celebrate all things cucurbita maxima. The iconic squash of October will be the star of a pumpkin bake-off and a contest for best-decorated; there will be pie eating, scarecrow crafting and a costume contest, along with four live bands. Happening from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Jeffersonville exults in its Swiss and German heritage during Founders Day Oktoberfest, when six local restaurants become delectable outdoor front-row seating on a decorated Main Street full of live music and laughter. There’s a build-your-own-boat race, lots of parading, and everything from felting projects to bungee trampolines. Happening both Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Pop-up galleries and exhibits will dominate Callicoon all weekend as part of Artwalk, and on Saturday, Oct. 8, Callicoon Creek Park will be bursting with live, in-your-face art in action: pottery, sculpting, boat-building demos and bunches more fun, much of it interactive, beginning at noon and ending with a fire dance just before 8 p.m.


Kingston has a jammed and jammin’ dance card all weekend long:

Starting on Friday, Oct. 7 and going on through Sunday, Oct. 9 is the seventh annual O+ Festival, an explosion of avant-garde music, art and wellness. Sixty bands and 30 artists fill uptown Kingston with light and sound. The kickoff, with a New Orleans-style parade, happens Friday at 5:30 p.m., but numerous uptown venues are booked solid from Friday morning through Sunday night. 

Down on the waterfront on Sunday, come help celebrate the 9th Annual Italian Festival with food, drink, vendors, music and family good times. Meet the reigning Miss Italy N.Y. and the Italian American Foundation’s Signora and Signore of the Year. The fun starts at 11 a.m. and goes on until 7 p.m.

Also on Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., you can delight the little ones at Forsyth Nature Center’s Fall Festival, which features live music, a variety of children’s games, wagon rides, bounce houses, vendors, raffles, and, of course, the resident animals at Forsyth Nature Center. (Recent additions: Franklin, a young steer, and new goats Cliff and Norm.)

Up at Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, it’s time for the Annual Fall Festival--foliage skyrides, live music, yummy German food and beverages and rare deals on lift tickets you’ll be glad you grabbed when the snow hits. Happening Saturday and Sunday Oct. 8 and 9, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

The Woodstock Land Conservancy will host an 18th Century Autumn Festival at Longyear Farm on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  There will be meat smoking, cider-pressing and hearthside cooking demos; try your hand at dipping candles, making cornhusk dolls and dried apple wreaths. The Third Ulster Militia will be demonstrating 18th century camp life. It’s free for kids and seniors.

All hail the Mum Queen and her Court! Seamon Park in Saugerties gets colorful on Sunday, Oct. 9 with its 51st Annual Mum Festival, starring thousands of flowers and many wonderful humans. The fun is on from noon until 5 p.m.

Anyone for dancin’ in the street? It’s Block Party time in Pine Hill on Sunday, Oct. 9, when the Community Center hosts reps from Keegan Ales, Catskill Brewery and Union Grove Distillery along with live music from noon until 4 p.m.

Also on Sunday, Oct. 9, the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper will host its 2016 Fall Gala, an evening of delicious local fare, drinks, music, an auction and  entertainment that includes native American drummers. 

Join Neetopk Keetopk (“my friends, your friends”) for an Indigenous Peoples Day Gathering in solidarity with Standing Rock at the Center for Symbolic Studies in New Paltz. Ceremonial fire will be lit at 1 p.m. and observances will include building a medicine Wheel and honoring each of the four directions with song and drum. Bring something yummy for the pot luck.