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On the Bright Side

September 24, 2013

Event to highlight local farm history

A celebration of agriculture’s past, present and future will take center stage at the Margaretville village park Saturday.

The 10th annual Cauliflower Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most of the activities are free, but some of the children’s events have a nominal fee to defray costs, according to a media release from the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the festival.

Cauliflower was an important crop in the area, said Diane Galusha, president of the Middletown Historical Society. She is coordinating the group’s history tent, which will include an exhibit on the cauliflower industry and a display of farm history.

Galusha said the day isn’t only intended as a reflection of the cauliflower history, which began in the area in the 1890s and but ended in the 1990s for various reasons. It’s also to pay homage to the family farms that continue in the area.

“We’re glad to see young farmers putting land back into production,” including value-added projects, she said. “It’s a hopeful sign.”

“We want to keep the history alive,” said Carol O’Beirne, the chamber’s executive director. “This is a celebration of our agricultural history.”

A number of activities are planned, according to a media release. Live music will be performed from noon to 4 p.m. At noon and 2 p.m., Jason Starr will share songs and ballads from such artists as Woody Guthrie to Pete Seeger. At 1 p.m., the Catskill Mountain Boys will perform a set of blues and folk. The latter, working with guest caller John Jacobson, will lead new and experienced square dancers under the pavilion at 3 p.m.

At 11:30 a.m., a tractor parade will go down Main Street and circle the park. At 2:30 p.m., hay-baling demonstrations will be held at the nearby Davis farm. During the day, the farm will offer tractor-drawn hay rides along the East Branch of the Delaware River.

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