The Daily Star
---- — The “Whoop-De-Doo” will return to the New Kingston Valley on Sunday at Blue Deer Center in Margaretville, just down the road from the original location.
According to a media release, the New Kingston Whoop-De-Doo was a festival that ran from 1969 to 1976. The original event was described as “a celebration of food, fun and folkways.” The three-day festival featured Friday night square dancing in the street, a Saturday street fair and Sunday musical/theatrical performances. In 1976, it drew 4,000 people.
Since this is the first year of the return of the Whoop-De-Doo, the event has been condensed into a one-day family celebration. The event will combine traditional festival offerings such as live music, concessions and children’s activities with demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts.
The day’s events will begin at noon, with a greeting from Blue Deer Center Founder Eliot Cowan. Dr. William Birns will present a history of the Whoop-De-Doo at 12:30. Performances will begin at 1 p.m. with Pamela West of “Ms. Pam’s Jamboree” on WIOX Radio, followed by drummer Marcel Smith performing “Landscapes of the Bardo” at 2:45 p.m. A family drum circle will begin at 3:30, and at 4:15, “Storey” Laurie McIntosh will perform stories and songs appropriate for children. The Catskill Mountain Boys will play live music for square dancing starting at 6 p.m.
The folkways of the Catskills and beyond will be on display as artisans and craftspeople demonstrate leatherworking, water dowsing, stone knapping, yogurt-, candle- and soap-making, stone carving, alpaca yarn spinning, Huichol art, mushroom crafts and wool felting. A seed exchange will also be set up, where those in attendance can share seeds from their gardens. Vendors will offer face painting and local crafts. There will also be a slide show presentation on golden eagles by Peg and Mike DeBenedetto. Food will be served from 3 to 6 p.m., including a natural chicken barbecue and Latin street food.
Children will be admitted free, where activities will include train rides, an art table and children’s music. Admission will be $5 for teens and $10 for adults, with senior citizens admitted free. The event is sponsored in part by a grant from the O’Connor Foundation.
The Blue Deer Center, a nonprofit organization devoted to traditions of healing, ritual and retreat, is at 1155 County Route 6 in Margaretville. For more information, call (845) 586-3225 or visit www.bluedeer.org.