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Nancy Kriz

Focus Media

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Looking for unique day or weekend trips close to home? Be sure to mark the calendar now to experience exciting upcoming events and activities in Orange County, N.Y.

UFOs are a widespread phenomenon, especially in Pine Bush N.Y. where a large number of UFO sightings were reported during the 1980s and 90s. This earned the hamlet designation as the UFO Capital of the East Coast. For the fifth consecutive year, Pine Bush residents will celebrate that distinction with alien-themed activities on Saturday, May 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fifth annual UFO Festival and Parade.

 Enjoy all-day family-friendly festivities including live music at an acoustic and rock venue, great games and attractions, a huge assortment of delicious food, special children’s activities, an Eye Spy Alien Game, craft vendors, UFO novelties, live characters, street performances, and the Star Wars 501st Legion Storm Troopers.

Scheduled speakers and authors will present lectures on Pine Bush and its UFO history, while local residents will present tales of their experiences. The infamous alien and UFO-themed parade will march through town. There will be a documentary film screening, “In the Night Sky: I Recall a UFO,” at the Town of Crawford Government Center (Rain date is May 17). To learn more, call 845-744-8230 or visit

Those looking for a more classic festival atmosphere should experience Cornwall-on-Hudson’s RiverFest 2015, which takes place Saturday, June 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The daylong event features children’s activities, music, creative crafts, a delicious food fair in tents, and a stage along the river. Rent a kayak and enjoy the magnificence of the Hudson River while gazing at the late spring countryside. Bring a blanket or chair. To learn more, call 845-534-4200 or visit

Be part of the City of Newburgh’s 150th anniversary celebration this year and attend the Newburgh Illuminated Festival along Liberty Street and Broadway on Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The festival highlights all the things that make Newburgh the charming, culturally diverse city that it is.

Newburgh is one of the first cities – second only to New York City – to be “electrified” or “illuminated” with the opening of Thomas Edison’s first power plant in 1884 and that became the inspiration for the festival’s name. The festival clearly “lights up” what makes Newburgh so unique and special in the Hudson Valley region.

In addition to food representing all nationalities, Newburgh and Hudson Valley vendors will offer locally-sourced and handmade goods. Enjoy music all day on multiple stages, pop-up art shows, child and family-friendly events, and a trolley tour of historic Newburgh. To learn more, visit

Everyone is a little Irish at the Celtic Festival at Palaia Vineyards in Highland Mills ON Saturday, June 20 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Palaia Vineyards. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than to admire the green views of the Schunnemunk Mountains and vineyards? Watch the Pipers’ grand entrance at noon, followed by Rose of Tralee Irish step dancers. Then, enjoy all day music – including the Celtic Cross Band at 4 p.m. – and vendors selling all kids of items. There’s also a Kids Corner, wagon rides in the vineyard, food, beer, wine and of course, mead. Palaia is one of the only regional wineries making mead, so attendees are in for a big treat! Bring a chair or blanket. While there’s a nominal admission fee, kids under 13 are free. To learn more, call 845-928-5384 or visit

Attention all wenches, wizards, minstrels and knights! The New York Renaissance Festival takes center stage at Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park starting Saturday, Aug. 1 and running through Sunday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 Discover the magnificence of 16th century England brought to life at the former Sterling Forest Gardens. Marvel at 300 costumed characters, dancers, strolling minstrels and storytellers in a Tudor style marketplace of period crafts and games. Eat and drink, watch a horseback joust, or be part of a living chessboard and more. For admission fee information, call 845-351-5171 or visit

“All that jazz” takes on new meaning at the Hudson Valley Jazz Festival, which will happen at various locations through the region, beginning Thursday, Aug. 27 and running through Sunday, Aug. 30.

This year’s festival includes a wider variety of music, collaboration with other music organizations, and art interactive shows including dance. To learn more, visit

Festival fun isn’t complete without a visit to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, one of the largest outlet centers in the world. For more information, call 845-928-4000 or visit

Remember to visit Orange County Tourism’s Facebook page, Orange County Tourism NY. It’s your guide to up-to-the minute postings of area events and activities, great times, memorable experiences and a great reminder why Orange County is such a great place to visit!

About Orange County Tourism

Orange County Tourism, based in Goshen, N.Y., is the county’s tourism headquarters and a participant in the I LOVE NYprogram. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging and events can be found at For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide, call 800-762-8687.



Maralyn D. Hill, M.Ed.,  The Epicurean Explorer

Executive Editor,

Luxe Beat Magazine Digital Editions now online at

Freelance Lifestyle Journalist

Member: International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)

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Member: Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)

ment’or – Inspiring Culinary Excellence

Blogs: Where and What in the World & Success with Writing

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