Outdoor festival set for Aug 24 - 26

Margaretville — Come out here! On the weekend of August 24, 25 and 26 when a celebration of fun, adventure and education will be featured at the Central Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Festival sponsored by the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Annual Street Fair).

The activities will include stargazing of Friday evening at the great lawn behind the Delaware & Ulster Railroad along Route 28 in Arkville. Starting at 7:30 p.m., bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy waiting for the dark night sky to descend upon us with songs and storytelling brought to you by James Krueger and Craig Appolito who will entertain.

Come to the dark
As the sky darkens Professor Jason Smolinski, from SUNY Oneonta’s Astronomy Department will begin a tour featuring highlights of the summer/autumn sky. Learn about the mythological origins of some of the constellations and look through telescopes to see a handful of summer deep sky objects – star clusters and nebulae.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Main Street Margaretville and the Binnekill parking area the festival continues with a full day of adventures. Climb a rock wall! Or try your hand at kayaking along the East Branch of the Delaware stream, challenge yourself on the ropes course or zip line offered by Catskill Outback Adventures and Tours. Visit with regional organizations where you will learn about the amazing opportunities to enjoy activities in the Catskill Park, along the pristine streams and now non-motorized boating in the reservoirs. Meet with licensed guides, browse outfitters outdoor sales, listen to a seminar about backpacking in the Catskill Park and other newly opened lands, pick up information about the NYSDEC fishing program and so much more.

The festival will have lots of things for kids to do. Find the Canookie table and have a tasty treat, thanks to The Flour Patch, create your own critters and other fun art activities at the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce’s Kids’ Art Tent, visit the E-Center on Main Street where the Town of Middletown Historical Society will have on display its Historic Outdoor Recreation Exhibit to enjoy.

Stream work
Learn how streams change on their own by visiting the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation Stream Table and learn what stream dynamics means to you. WIOX Community Radio will be broadcasting live so stop by and say hello. The Catskill Mountain Boys will perform in the entertainment tent and children will have fun seeing balloon sculptures and magic tricks just for them by not one but two visiting performers. Amie Brockway will lead the Open Eye Theater in a short version of the original play “Pepacton” with area performers on stage to round out the day.

There will be many of your favorite vendors from the street fair and shops will have doors open to welcome you in. Lots of food will be available from the Middletown Democratic Club with their famous chicken barbecue, lots of cold lemonade, fruit smoothies, hot dogs and ice cream. Steve has scheduled a wine tasting once again at the Margaretville Liquor Store and Summerfields is planning on having lots of food and music. Local cafes and restaurants will be open for your dining pleasures so be sure to plan on spending the day.

The great outdoors beckons and on Sunday there will be a series of events and activities to get you into the out-of-doors. The Catskill Mountain Club will be paddling the Pepacton, Catskill Outback Adventure and Tours have scheduled two fly fishing field trips, the Catskill Mountain Cycling Club will offer a cycle the Pepacton - a 25-mile ride to the Shavertown Bridge and back, Belleayre Mountain has a workshop planned at the Belleayre Beach to make walking sticks and the Catskill Center and NY/NJ Trail Conference will participate in a hike to the Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower to mark its 125th anniversary as the site of the first fire tower in New York.

Authors to speak
Following the hike, return to the Catskill Center from 3 p.m. when Marty Podskoch, author of Fire Towers of the Catskills, Diane Galusha author of Civilian Conservation Corps in the Catskills” and Dave and Carol White author of Catskill Day Hikes will speak and sign books. Jeff Senterman, the NY-NJ Trail Conference’s Catskill Region Program Coordinator will host the event and speak of the Trail Conference’s stewardship efforts in the Catskills.

For additional information contact Carol O’Beirne at 586-3300 or carol@centralcatskills.com. Visit www.centralcatskillsgreatoutdoors.org for more details including specific times and fees.