Upcoming Events in Olive

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Life Map Collage Workshop, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 5:00 p.m.

Create Your Own Life Map. Each person will use collage and mixed media to map out his or her personal journey in life. The workshop is limited to 12 participants, please call the Olive Free Library to reserve your spot.  (845) 657-2482. There is a $5 materials fee for this workshop.

Melanie Hall is an illustrator and painter living in the Catskill mountains.
She says, "The focus of my art is not just the outside appearance of people, animals, and places, but also a a perception of inner life, a depiction of the joy of existence."

Melanie has illustrated over 25 children's books and has received numerous awards including the Parents' Choice Award for an outstanding picture book.
Melanie is currently teaching children's book illustration to graduate students at Marywood University's MFA program in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Olive Free Library is located at 4033 Route 28A in West Shokan, NY.

Olive Day 2015


The 42nd Annual Olive Day will be held on Saturday, September 12th from 9:00 am to 6:00pm at Davis Park in West Shokan, Come enjoy a fun day for the entire family. Food, games, children's events, arts and craft vendors. This years theme is “ Family and Farms” and we will feature local farm produce and products.

There will be live music and dancing featuring the local bands;  Ben Rounds, The Pontiacs and the Spillway Band.  There will also be a car show with trophies for best in show 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The main event for children will be a performance of “The Rejuvenary River Circus” by the Arm of the Sea Theatre sponsored by the Olive Free Library.

Admission is free. Food and beverages available for purchase. 

Ukrainian Art Exhibit

The Ukrainian Art Exhibit in Jewett Center opens on Sunday, 5 July 2015, at approximately 1:00 p.m.

The exhibit, located in the Parish Hall (or "Grazhda") at the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church on route 23A (five miles west of Hunter). It's open during July and August every Friday, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The best time to visit is when the Sunday Buffet is open during July and August every Sunday after Mass, up until 2:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 a.m. Click here to view the works featured in 2014.

Olive Day

Olive Day – Saturday, September 6th


The 41st annual Olive Day will be held on Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 9am to 6pm at Davis Park in West Shokan.  Ben Rounds, The Pontiacs, and The Spillway Band will provide music for this free event.  The Kent Reeves/Jason Jones Memorial 5K Run will commence at 10am with signup at 9am.  There will be plenty of activities for the family such as an egg toss, The Wayfinder Experience, a sack race, the Boy Scout dunking booth, a hula hoop contest, a penny social, as well as the popular Frog Jumping contest at 10am. There will be a custom car show, pony rides and various concessions with food and drinks available. Come join us for family fun!

New York Invasive Species Awareness Week

The mission of New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species to h elp stop their spread by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state and encouraging them to take action. Please join in the fun and help out with the effort!  Activities of all kinds take place July 6th- July 12th. Check out nyis.info and click on the logo for more information!

Antique Farmhouse, Dead-end Road, long driveway, Olivebridge

Beautifully restored 19th-century farmhouse on almost eight acres of woods and meadow in Olivebrige, NY, within Catskills Park, two hours from Manhattan. Sited at the end of a long driveway on a quiet dead-end road (unusual for an old farmhouse). High Falls, Stone Ridge, and other small towns with charming shops, farm stands, antiquing, and good restaurants short drive away. Beamed ceilings, wide-board floors, two fireplaces, four bedrooms, two full baths, eat-in-kitchen. More:


$399,000. For sale by owner, no seller’s brokers please.

(212) 463-7664

  Read more


Olivebridge United Methodist Church will be hosting their Annual Chicken BBQ on Saturday, July 12th from 4:00pm until 6:30pm.  Pricing is $12 per person - $10 for Seniors and children under 12.  Meal includes, 1/2 chicken, baked potato, corn, salad, drink and homemade desserts.  To Go is available.  Location is 5147 State Route 213, Olivebridge, NY 12461.  Contact Diana for reservations/questions at 845-657-8775 or [email protected]

Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit, Sunday, February 2, 3:00 p.m.

A reading from two recently published books: Hands at Work: A Mother Daughter Creation. Poetry by Valerie Linet integrated with artwork by artist Lois Linet. Artwork from the book will be on exhibit for the reading.

Kasey Jueds will also read poems from her new prize-winning book of poetry titled, Keeper. Published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poem Claim from this book was recently featured on The Writer's Almanac and read by Garrison Keillor.

Olive Free Library is located at 4033 Route 28A, West Shokan, NY.

Holiday Fair at Olive Free Library

Saturday December 7th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday Fair. Children's story hour with author/illustrator Iza Trapani, crafts, piano music, caroling, local & handmade craft fair, lunch and bake sale!

Olive Free Library 4033 Route 28A West Shokan

Save the Date, 4th Annual Ashokan Watershed Conference, April 27th at the Ashokan Center


The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program's 4th Annual Watershed Conference to be held at the Ashokan Center on Saturday April 27th.  

Registration material will soon be available at www.ashokanstreams.org

Olive First Aid is looking for your help

Registration open for Lifespring lifelong learning for adults age 55+

Planet Earth: Geology of the World, The Art of Memoir, and Geneology 101 are three of thirteen six-week courses offered by Lifespring, the Saugerties-based lifelong learning program for persons age 55 and over this spring. Registration is open now for current and new members. For a complete listing of courses and more information about Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community go to www.lifespringsaugerties.com or call 845 246-2800 ext. 452 to request a catalog. Registration forms must be postmarked by Feb. 28. Classes will run from Apr. 17 to May 22. Cost for this semester only is $40. Classes are held at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Glasco Turnpike in Saugerties. This facility is accessible to persons with disabilities.

This weekend: Hudson Valley Hullabaloo plus four other Catskills craft fairs

Above: The 2014 Hudson Valley Hullabaloo. Photo via the HV Hullabaloo's Facebook page

The holiday craft season is heating up. This weekend, 65 vendors will flock to the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo in Kingston, and more will appear at markets and bazaars in three other counties. Here's where to shop local for the holidays during the weekend of Nov. 21 and 22.


Fresh-baked pies, locally-raised meats, Catskills-made spirits and wines and much more will be for sale at the Greater Stamford Area Chamber of Commerce (GSACC) Holiday Pop-Up Farmers’ Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 in Stamford. The market has become an annual tradition, and over a dozen vendors will be there to provide a shopping bonanza just before Thanksgiving.   Read more

This weekend: Where to buy Catskills-made gifts

Above: "Stuyvesant Square Park," a photograph by Tom Sardo, one of many artists featured in Salon 2015 and Handmade Holidays, an arts and crafts sale run by the Greene County Council on the Arts, opening this weekend.

Makers, crafters and artisans across the region are gathering at holiday bazaars throughout the Catskills, showcasing locally-made crafts, fine arts and food products that all make great gifts. Here's where to shop local for the holidays during the weekend of Nov. 14 and 15.


New book describes the "color, charm and lunacy" of the Catskills

Above: The Flager in South Fallsburg in the 1950s Catskills. Image from 1950s Unlimited via Flickr.

To the wider world, the Catskills mean just one thing: The Borscht Belt, with its famous Jewish resorts that inspired the movie “Dirty Dancing.”

But Grossinger’s, Kutsher’s and the Concord only take up about two-and-a-half chapters of “The Catskills: Its History and How it Changed America,” a new book released by Knopf on Oct. 27.

That surprised even its author, veteran entertainment journalist and writer Stephen Silverman.

Left: Stephen Silverman. Photo via the Catskill Mountain Foundation.

Telling the story of the Catskills required five years of research and 450 pages. It’s the longest book Silverman had ever written.

“This is 150,000 words,” Silverman said. “You’re talking to somebody who is used to writing 200 words for People Magazine.”

By heft alone, it’s a coffee-table book—a big, glossy hardcover brick stuffed with four centuries of Catskills lore.

It's lavishly illustrated and intended for a mainstream audience that is once again rediscovering the region. (As the book shows, the Catskills have been discovered and re-discovered roughly every 50 years since the 17th century.) 

There’s the well-known history, like the story of how Jennie Grossinger created a world-famous Jewish resort out of her family’s Sullivan County boardinghouse. There are quick biographical sketches of the lives of must-mention 19th-century celebrities Jay Gould and John Burroughs. And there’s a snappy account of how Washington Irving wrote the legend of Rip Van Winkle.

But the best parts mine a rich vein of more obscure Catskills stories.

Promenading tourists find a gangster stabbed to death and strapped to a slot machine floating in Sullivan County’s Swan Lake in 1937.

Father Divine, the charismatic leader of the integrated Universal Peace Mission Movement, brings thousands of followers Ulster County in the 1930s.

Mark Carr, an enterprising farmer, invents the idea of commercial Christmas tree sales in America.

At Casa Susanna, a 1950s retreat in Jewett, a small colony of cross-dressers learn how to apply makeup and walk properly in a pair of pumps. 

“Illegal liquor. Religious cults. Gangsters. Left-wing children being raised on communist work songs," Silverman said. "You had restricted hotels that had signs that read, “No dogs and no Jews,” and then you had Jews. Murders took place. Religious salvation took place. There was the bluestone mining and leather tanning. It was a lively place.”

  Read more

Catskills election night reporting 2015

The polls are closed across the Catskills, and we're following the returns as they come in using our Storify widget, below.

You can stalk your own results right along with us. Raw election results are being posted on the board of election websites for Delaware CountyGreene CountySchoharie CountySullivan County and Ulster County.  Read more

How to spend Halloween in the Catskills

Above: One of the many creepy scenes at Night Terrors Haunted Farm in Schoharie. 

Halloween is this Saturday, Oct. 31, and the Catskills are celebrating with costume bashes, trick-or-treat events, zombies, witches and more. Here’s our five county guide to the best spooky events of the weekend.


In Andes, the annual Harvest Moon Ball is a Halloween tradition featuring a potluck, costume-contest and kid-friendly dance party that takes over the back room of the Andes Hotel every year. Saturday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.

O’Neill’s Shire Pub in Delhi is hosting its Spook-Tacular Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. They’ll have DJ Pat hosting a costume contest with prizes for scariest, sexiest, best Couple, and funniest costumes.  Read more

Coders come to camp at Catskills tech conference

Above: Dennis Crowley, a founder of Foursquare, speaks at the Catskills Conf on Saturday, Oct. 24. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Luminaries in the tech world, including the founder of Foursquare and the managing director of Etsy, wore sweatshirts and flannel in the Catskills over the weekend to talk startups and coding while learning about blacksmithing, foraging, square dancing and butchery.

About 100 coders and techies, many from New York City, gathered around campfires and slept in bunkhouses during Catskills Conf, a new three-day conference held at the Ashokan Center in the Ulster County hamlet of Olivebridge on the weekend of Oct. 23 through 25.

The talks were aimed at a global tech community of makers and coders. Some were inspiring: Crowley, the Foursquare founder, talked candidly about failure--and how to survive it--during his talk on Saturday, Oct. 24.  Read more

See video

Cuomo mounts a motorcycle to announce $5 million Catskills tourism campaign

Above: Gov. Andrew Cuomo riding a motorcycle through the Catskills. Photo via the governor's press office, via Flickr.

Riding on a motorcycle in a leather jacket through the peak of the Catskills fall colors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo led a procession of bikers around the Ashokan Reservoir to a private luncheon at the Catskill Interpretive Center in the Ulster County hamlet of Mount Tremper on Friday, Oct. 23. 

Earlier today, Cuomo announced that he was launching a $5 million I LOVE NY marketing plan for the Catskills region, a 2016 "Catskills Challenge" and a "Ride the Catskills" tourism website.

The new website, which contains motorcycling and biking itineraries for Catskills visitors, is a sub-section of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's website.  Read more

See video

How to spend Columbus Day weekend in the Catskills

Above: Sugar maples. Photo by DeirdreLovesTrees, submitted to the Watershed Post Flickr pool.

This is it: The peak of fall. Columbus Day Weekend is the biggest weekend of the year in the Catskills, the time when the leaves peak in glorious colors and the fullness of harvest sets in. Come out and paint a pumpkin, crunch a crisp apple and savor the last live outdoor music of 2015. Here’s our guide to what’s up where from Friday, Oct. 9 to Monday, Oct. 12. 


It’ll be a farm-fresh feast at Sunday’s Octoberfest Pig Roast at Heather Ridge Farm in Preston Hollow. If you’ve never tasted an Ossabaw Island heritage breed pig, you have no idea what roast pork can taste like; they’ll be roasting a whole one and serving it up with authentic German-style sides like spaetzli and sweet and sour red cabbage. Plus, you can meet a newborn alpaca. Sunday, October 11, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. 


Lark in the Park hosts dozens of guided Catskills excursions

Above: A child's-eye view of the Catskills, taken on Aug. 17, 2013 at Hunter Mountain by Andrea Byrne.

The annual Lark in the Park kicks off this weekend on Saturday, Oct. 3 and runs for a week through Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 12. This annual celebration originated in 2004 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Catskill Park, and is an opportunity to immerse yourself in all things Catskills.

The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the Catskill Mountain Club and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference throw a 10-day party for the Catskills at the peak of the glorious autumn foliage season, a time that many feel is the best time of year: no heat, humidity or bugs.

Above: Portage at Colgate Lake in Greene County. Photo by Karl Anshanslin.   Read more

Minor flooding across the Catskills, with more rain coming

Above: Flooding on Wittenberg Road in Woodstock around noon on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Photo by Benjamin Fenton.

Over six inches of rain have fallen in the past day in the high peaks region of the Catskills, causing minor flooding in streams in Greene and Ulster counties on Wednesday, Sept. 30. 

Schools in the Greene County town of Catskill closed early today, and flooding closed roads in Saugerties and in other locations in Ulster County, including Wittenberg Road in the town of Woodstock near Shultis Farm Road (see above). The Esopus Creek in Mount Marion crested at 21 feet around 1 p.m., a foot below the level where it begins flooding homes, according to measurements from its stream gauge.

Above: High water in the Plattekill Creek in Saugerties. Video by Brian Hubert of the Daily Freeman. 

Minor flooding occurred in many locations throughout the Greene County town of Hunter, which got the most rainfall--about six inches--today, according to John Farrell, the town of Hunter's highway superintendent. 

Above: A map of inches of rain that fell in the Catskills in the past 24 hours, from the National Weather Service. The most rain--more than six inches--fell in Greene County. 

"We had a couple very localized flooding incidents due to debris in the streambeds all over the mountaintop," Farrell said. "A lot of the tributaries. We got a lot of rain up there."

Hunter's highway team managed to clear debris fast enough to avoid closing any roads in the town, Farrell said. The flooding peaked in the town around 11 a.m.

Rainfall in other locations around the region was less severe, and other locations in the Catskills that are normally prone to flooding have escaped problems so far.  Read more

Olive Letters