Westport, N.Y. -- Two hikes, more than thirty agricultural vendors, two bands, local breweries and wineries, food trucks, farm demonstrations, featured speakers, and plenty of tasty food will all be available at the first Adirondack Harvest Festival on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17, at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport.
It all begins on Friday at 5:00 p.m. with the Harvest Moon Hike. Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has organized a 4-mile hike along the DaCy Meadow Farm Trail to view the full harvest moon rising over Lake Champlain. The hike loops down Ledge Hill Rd. and ends at the Fairgrounds where hikers can join others for Papa Duke’s Barbecue and a free concert by Taylor Haskins and “The Green Empire” band.
Saturday features a full day of festivities starting at noon with a huge region-wide farmers market and farm demonstrations at the Fairgrounds; and with a Champlain Area Trails’ Ferry-to-Fairgrounds Harvest Fest hike from Essex to Westport. The 13-mile hike offers scenic views of the Champlain Valley’s beautiful farmland and forests and concludes in the Fairgrounds, where hikers can join the festivities taking place throughout the afternoon and evening.
“The hike is part of the ongoing promotion of town-to-town hiking in the Champlain Valley,” said CATS executive director, Chris Maron. “We encourage people to enjoy the hike which will feature three oases with refreshments. Or people can simply come to the Fairgrounds for the regional farmers’ market, to sample food and drink from local food trucks and brewers, enjoy the live music, and learn how to make sausages with Mace Chasm or ricotta cheese with Sugar House Creamery.”
“We’re really pleased to have such strong participation in the first year of this event,” said organizer Nancy Page of Westport. “Among the day’s highlights, Ben Stechschulte, who filmed ‘Small Farm Rising,’ will show his movie and discuss progress in local farming since the five years it was filmed. Then Mark Kimball, owner of Essex Farm, the area’s first ‘community-supported-farm,’ will introduce a get-together to sample local foods and exchange stories about the new farming culture in New York’s Champlain Valley, followed by a mixer hosted by the Adirondack Farmers Coalition.”
The enticing aromas emanating from Dubb’s Barbecue will draw people to his celebrated pig roast featuring organic pigs from Echo Farm, which can be enjoyed with tasty beer from local breweries. Then, the music begins when the sweet harmonies and hot rhythms of Saranac Lake’s Crackin’ Foxy band fill the air.
Entry to the Harvest Festival is free. There is a fee for the hikes, and food and drinks will be sold directly by the vendors. To preregister for the hikes go to the CATS website ChamplainAreaTrails.com or call 518-962-2287. For more information, go to www.adkharvestfest.com.