Battenkill Valley Blog

HarvestFest In Salem - A Uniquely Great Time!

Tickets are already on sale and going fast for Salem's second annual HarvestFest, Saturday September 12 at Salem Art Works. It's a celebration of the end of the growing season that's an eye-popping mix of local food, music, arts and crafts and activities for the entire family.  It begins with a marketplace at 10am, continues with a "Farm to Fork" dinner at 6pm and concludes with a music festival.

The HarvestFest Marketplace is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and there will be many opportunities to sample the summer's bounty, with local produce and homemade goodies for sale. The natural beauty of southern Washington County has drawn a variety of creative people to the area, and HarvestFest will also showcase the talented residents who live here, with locally made arts and crafts for sale. Visitors can also walk through Salem Art Works' sculpture park and galleries.

HarvestFest concludes with a "Farm to Fork" dinner made from locally grown food that begins at 6:00 pm and features the music of three local bands, BlueGrassic Park, Dirty Old Strings and Moe Harrington and the White Chapel Band. Eat and dance to great local music until 10:00 pm. Beer and wine available for purchase.

BlueGrassic Park of Vermont features singer/songwriter Tim Blair, one of the area's extraordinary mandolin players. Playing with Blair is Loan Garcia, a guitarist and mandolinist who plays with the very popular Twiddle band out of central Vermont; bass player Scott Greene, son of the famous Smokey Greene; and versatile country and bluegrass performer Fred Lantz. Special guests include two musicians from the Atkinson Family Bluegrass Band, a well known festival band from the western Adirondacks: Chad Darou, an accomplished banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro and bass player who has played with bluegrass pioneers such as Frank Wakefield and Bill Keith; and songwriter Liza Atkinson, a singer of amazing power and energy.

Dirty Old Strings, an acoustic trio from Cambridge, performs an energetic mix of contemporary and traditional bluegrass, swing and folk with a playful air and occasional sardonic humor. Members of the band include Deena Chappell (mandolin), formerly of Nathan & Deena, Dave Cuite (stand-up bass) who also plays with the Rachel Cuite Trio, and David Lawlor (guitar), a former member of BlueGrassic Park.

Moe Harrington has been performing bluegrass and old time country music for over 60 years. He leads his band on guitar and vocals, backed by Mert Snow, Fred Lantz and Randy Gates. For old-fashioned down-home entertainment, his band can't be beat.

Admission to the day time activities is free. Dinner is $20 for adults; $6 for children under 12; and free for children under 5. Tickets for music only starting at 8:00 pm are $10. Tickets for the dinner are available at area businesses or can be purchased at farmers markets throughout southern Washington County. All activities are held at Salem Art Works on 19 Cary Lane, off West Broadway in Salem. For information call Salem Art Works at (518) 854-7674 or visit

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Al Budde

40 minutes East of Saratoga and a world away; the Battenkill Valley is a Cornucopia of Cool. No Interstates. No noise. No hurry. Called "The Tuscany of New York", the region abounds in farm-crafted cheeses, creameries, heirloom vegetables and specialty meats you can buy right off the farm. Art galleries that will amaze you. Scenery that will inspire you. And through it all runs the Battenkill River, an astonishingly clear and gentle water playground that also happens to be the toughest trout fishery in the U.S.A Like touring? There's a reason the largest pro-am bike race in America happens here. And don't get me started on the Revolutionary war history, or the “you won't believe what I found: antiques and shops.

AL BUDDE has a lot of interests in fly fishing, playwriting, canoeing (and tubing), history, shopping, dining, friendships and he counts himself among the fortunate few who have found a place where all of those things collide: The Battenkill Valley. He knows (almost) everyone here, and will be your personal guide to all of those hidden places, activities, sights and scenery it would take you years to discover on your own. Discover the Battenkill Valley. Have fun. Make new discoveries. Renew your soul. And start here!


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