Thanksgiving in the Catskills

Photo by icoNYca, via Flickr. 

As the fourth Thursday in November rolls around, we gather in a spirit of gratitude for our mountain peaks and sparkling creeks, our deer and raptors and black bear, and for each other. Here are some places to feast among neighbors in the Catskills this Thanksgiving Day. Unless otherwise specified, all events are taking place on Thursday, Nov. 26.


The Interfaith Council is inviting everyone in the greater Margaretville community to its 5th annual free Thanksgiving dinner, taking place from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the Margaretville United Methodist Church. All are welcome and take-outs are available.  Read more

Delaware County passes bed tax

Above: Maureen Wacha of Walton, a motel owner, spoke against the Delaware County bed tax at a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Photo by Robert Cairns.

Those who pay for overnight stays at hotels, motels and other lodging establishments in Delaware County will soon pay two percent more.

The Delaware County Board of Supervisors, at a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24, approved a hotel and motel occupancy tax that will also apply to bed-and-breakfast establishments and rentals of vacation homes.

Proponents of the bed tax law say that the tax will raise $192,000 per year to augment the county's tourism promotion efforts. Currently, the county spends $95,000 annually through its tourism promotion agency, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

Under the provisions of the law, the tax’s proceeds are dedicated to tourism and will not go into the county's general fund.  Read more

Wednesday Night’s Show: Catskill Critter Quiz

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesdays 6PM – 7PM
WIOX ROXBURY 91.3FM or www.wioxradio.org

For Wednesday night’s show we’ll be having a Catskill Critter Quiz to test our knowledge of critter life in the Catskill Mountains. Leading the quiz will be Paul Misko. Paul is the founder of the Catskill 4000 Club. He grew up hiking & fishing in & around Woodland Valley near Phoenicia. His knowledge about forest history is as extensive as the woods growing there. He has been on FROM THE FOREST on numerous occasions to talk about local history, hiking, & one of his favorite naturalists – John Burroughs. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online @ www.wioxradio.org.

As I write this, we stand on the eve of Gun Season for Big Game. It’s nice to see family and friends gathering for the weekend’s big event. Hunting is more than the pursuit of deer. It’s another excuse to get together. Good luck, both in the field and back at camp.

May the forest be with you,
Ryan Trapani
Education Forester
Catskill Forest Association  Read more

Holiday PopUp Market - Shop Local

November 28, 2015 - 10:00am

A Holiday PopUp Market will take place this Saturday November 28 from 10 - 5 in the Historic Bussy Building at 743 Main Street in Margaretville, in the former furniture store next to the NBT Bank parking lot. Shop Local with vendors offering locally made gifts and farm products. There will be free hot mulled cider and cookies!

Volunteers Wanted For 2016 Festival in Fleischmanns

The November FAB meeting (scheduled for this Thursday, November 19th) will focus solely on THE GREAT CATSKILL MOUNTAIN BBQ FEST, a FAB event scheduled for August 2016 in Fleischmanns Park. This is a HUGE event and we are now forming committees. We are in need of several committee chairman, volunteers to work on each committee and a host of volunteers for the day of the event.

We have a great competition/festival planned, but FAB NEEDS YOU in order to make it happen!!

Let’s get Fleischmanns back on the map as a destination for Summer 2016 with a fantastic Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned BBQ competition/festival! Please JOIN US Thursday and let us know where you can help. (If you would like to be involved but cannot make the meeting, please email me.)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to Thanksgiving, the November FAB meeting has been moved up a week, to this coming Thursday:

Thursday, November 19th
5:30 pm
Skene Memorial Library

FAB supports your business – please come out and support FAB!  Read more

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

Annual Community Food Pantry Promotion

Help replenish our local food pantries. With your donation of nonperishable goods during the months of November and December MTC will waive your upgrade charge. Eligible services include: cable TV, high speed internet and phone services. For more information or to schedule your upgrade please call our office at 845-586-3311.

Regular monthly fees and some restrictions apply.

Supervisors: Delaware County bed tax is back, budget is up

Above: Colchester Supervisor Art Merrill, left, and Davenport Supervisor Dennis Valente, both opponents of the proposed Delaware County bed tax, conferred during Wednesday's meeting of the board of Supervisors. Photo by Robert Cairns. 

A new version of a proposed Delaware County tax on hotel and motel occupancy was introduced at the Wednesday, Nov. 10 meeting of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors.

An earlier version of the local law to authorize the two percent tax on overnight stays at lodging establishments was withdrawn last month after supervisors agreed with critics that it unfairly placed the tax on establishments that are already subject to sales tax while allowing casual rentals of rooms and homes to go tax-free.

The new version of the law makes such casual rentals subject to the bed tax by removing language that specified that only establishments that provide maid service or other amenities are taxable.

The change is designed to make the law applicable to rooms booked through services such as AirBnB or advertised on classified ad sites like Craigslist.  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.


Tonight’s Show: Meet Ray Derman – Youth in Conservation

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesdays 6PM – 7PM
WIOX ROXBURY 91.3FM or www.wioxradio.org

From the Forest will be interviewing Ray Derman. Ray is a teenager from New Jersey, but his family owns property in Damascus, PA. His father (Ray) & his grandfather (also Ray) have been hunting in the Catskills (west of the Delaware River) for multi-generations. We’ll ask Ray about how he fits into the Derman property & its overall conservation. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online @ www.wioxradio.org to learn more.

Last night in the tree stand I watched a lone doe browse on the multi-flora rose I cut back to the ground last week in order to clear another tree-stand. Well, that answers that question. Deer do eat the berries (and perhaps twigs where there are fewer thorns) on this thorny plant. Just wish I chose that stand to sit in; playing musical chairs with the deer again.

May the forest be with you,
Ryan Trapani
Education Forester
Catskill Forest Association  Read more

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