Margaretville Cauliflower Fest features down home fun Saturday

Jumping frogs, rumbling tractors, a barrel train and a mystifying magical performance will add to the fun at the Sixth Annual Margaretville Cauliflower Festival Saturday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the village park. The event is free and is held rain or shine. It is sponsored by the Greater Margaretville Chamber of Commerce.
New this year is a tractor parade that will form at Lauren Davis’ farm adjacent to the village park. At 11:45 a.m. these workhorses of the fields will be driven around the festival perimeter and afterwards will be parked for folks to get an up-close look.
About a dozen tractors will roll through the park, led by Grand Marshall Leonard Utter, a former Millbrook farmer and current Middletown Town Supervisor. Come see some classics: John Deere, Massey-Ferguson, Oliver, Farmall and more. Some are antiques, restored to a luster they probably never knew in their own muddy barnyards. Others, not yet retired, will have to get back to work after their owners pause for some cauliflower soup.
Performing in the magic tent twice during the day will be magician Arthur Martello. He has been a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians (Order of Merlin) for the past 35 years.
A speech pathologist, teacher, and administrator, Martello worked for many years at a school for the deaf and lectured at three colleges before retiring to move full time to the Halcottsville log cabin that he built in 1972. Since 2000 he has served as Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education for Margaretville Central School. Martello is much in demand for his amazing feats of magic and sleight of hand.
Once again the Catskill Mountain Antique Engine and Machinery Club will give rides to children aboard their adorable and very popular Barrel Train. This five-car train pulled by a garden tractor is made up of carefully cut 55-gallon drums painted in signature colors of classic tractor brands. Built by Mark Wilbur and Tony Hunt, the train is run by club volunteers. Riders are not charged a fee, but donations are accepted. The club gives the proceeds to local charities at year’s end.
There will also be horse drawn surrey rides around the park.
Kids will be delighted by close encounters with Jason’s frogs, bugs and animals. Pee Wee the frog, Tickles the hedgehog, Spike the bearded dragon and assorted other creatures will exhibit their distinctive personalities while being ferried in a wagon about the festival grounds.
Larger critters will be featured at the Strich family’s petting zoo, where you may get to stroke goats, donkeys and bunnies. They will also give pony rides, accepting donations for the care of the rescued animals sheltered at their Woodchuck Springs’ farm in Halcottsville.
For some quieter fun, head for the activities tent where youngsters can color, create and play under the watchful, enthusiastic eye of Kids in the Katskills and Roxbury Arts Group volunteers.