18th annual Cauliflower Festival Sept. 24


The 18th Cauliflower Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 to 4 in Margaretville’s Village Park, sponsored by the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce.

Pure Catskills, the Catskill Forest Association and the Historical Society of Middletown will be key components of the family-friendly festival which also features many community organizations, vendors and artisans. 

Food – from barbecue and cauliflower specialties, to take-home produce – will top the festival ‘menu.’

Performing from noon to 3 will be a festival favorite, blues guitarist and vocalist Mike Hermann.

In the CFA Tent of Knowledge, Dr. Michael Kudish, noted Catskills’ forest historian, will speak at 12:30 on “Sawmills, piano bars, log roads, sugar maple distribution, and first growth forest.” At 1:30, the NYS DEC’s Bryan Ellis will discuss “Forest carbon and the impacts of climate change on New York forests,” followed at 2:30 by Lindsay Baxter of Cornell University on “Lyme and other tick-borne diseases of the Northeast.”

Agricultural and community history exhibits will be found in the HSM History Tent. This year’s display will focus on farm-based boarding houses.

At 1:30 p.m., folklorist Ginny Scheer will lead a conversation on that topic with several individuals whose families either operated or visited these once ubiquitous tourist havens. HSM will share photos and artifacts from the cauliflower growing industry which flourished in the Catskills from the 1890s through the 1950s.

The Catskills Conquest Endurance Run for vintage automobiles will again make the Cauliflower Festival a stop on their route from Mt. Tremper along the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway. The run commemorates a 1903 test of endurance among early car makers and drivers who traversed the Catskills along what is now NYS Route 28. Cars are due to arrive around 11 a.m.

Master Terry Bergmann, owner and fifth degree blackbelt of award-winning Pak’s Karate of Margaretville and her students will demonstrate martial arts techniques and forms during the day.

Catskill Mountain Quilters will demonstrate the time-honored craft of hand quilting. Bloom fabric store and quilt retreat on Main Street will stage a complementary display of quilts in an invitational exhibit at Binnekill Park, a short walk from the festival grounds. More shops and eateries can also be found along Main Street.

An van from Health Alliance/Westchester Medical Center will bring Margaretville Hospital representatives to speak with visitors about services offered.

The Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District will have its stream table set up to demonstrate flooding as well as stream management and mitigation scenarios.

Other area organizations scheduled to be at the festival are John Burroughs’ Woodchuck Lodge, the Catskill Watershed Corp., the Catskill Water Discovery Center, Open Eye Theater, Margaretville Rotary Club, Catskill Mountain Recreation Center, Kaatscast, Middletown Democrats and Republicans, Catskill Mountain Christian Center, Literacy Volunteers of Otsego and Delaware and Fleischmanns First.

Purchase maple syrup, spirits, farm made cheeses, honey, wine, apple products, aromatherapy products and more from Pure Catskills producers. The Catskill Community Support Association will offer packaged ice cream treats to benefit Arkville Head Start.

John Todd will bring his barbecue prowess to the festival, the popular LaRuta del Sol will supply Puerto Rican specialties, and Bella Chow will offer cauliflower with a twist (tacos, ‘wings’ and more!) under the pavilion. Of course there will be fresh cauliflower to purchase.

Businesses ranging from banks to book purveyors will set up shop, as will craftspeople making jewelry, wood furnishings and clothing. From green energy purveyors to craft distillers, rock and mineral sellers to soap makers, regional podcasts to online publications, there will be lots to learn about and to explore.