Steppin’ Out With Almost Too Much To Do

A busy hive of activities in Philipstown, Beacon and nearby this weekend

By Alison Rooney

Manhattan has nothing on us! This weekend is one of those overstuffed, bursting-at-the-seams extravaganzas that Philipstown, Beacon and their surrounds seem to spontaneously combust into a few times a year.

The assortment of activities, some taking place just once a year, others part of this area’s constant panorama, reflect why so many people come to visit and why others choose to make it their home. From canoeing to crafts fairs, rock ‘n’ roll to Rachmaninoff, outdoor movies, wine tastings, free museum and site admissions, it’s a pretty difficult couple of days in terms of surrendering to summer’s dozy indolence.

Here is a rundown of a number of this Friday to Sunday’s highlights.  More details for some can be found in our calendar listings. Some events require reservations and/or may already be sold out, therefore you should check directly with venues and organizers.

DFL book and media sale Photo courtesy of DFL Library

DFL book and media sale
Photo courtesy of DFL Library

At 6 p.m. Friday the Desmond-Fish Library will un-barricade their doors and wait for the stampede of Friends of DFL members eager to be the first to dive into their annual book sale, which lasts until 8:30 that night. (Handily, one is able to join the Friends group on the spot.) The sale continues over the weekend, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and then on into the week ahead.

One might prepare for the challenges of sifting through multiple tables of books and other media by a bit of wine tasting at Artisan Wine at 4 p.m. Friday, (also 3 p.m. Saturday), or closer to the library, at Garrison’s Landing where Antipodean Books hosts an evening of wine and cheese from 5 to 8 p.m. and unveiling ceremony of the new Hudson Highlands Map on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Just a few doors down from Antipodean, the Garrison Art Center’s Annual Fine Crafts Fair spills over Garrison’s Landing onto the green banks of the river with handmade traditional and alternative crafts vendors, food and music on Saturday and Sunday. Hear the Edukated Fleas on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tiki Daddy on Sunday, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The fair itself is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

It’s high season for local sites and museums. Manitoga offers its house and landscape tour Saturday and Sunday at both 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., while Storm King’s tour at 2 p.m. features the highlights of its outdoor sculpture collection. Or, there is free admission to Boscobel’s lovely grounds (there is a fee for the tour of the mansion, however) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dia is free for Beacon residents on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Further afield, but easy to get to via train to save a drive, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, 75 North Water St., Poughkeepsie, is offering free admission for kids on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. It’s Garden Conservancy Open Day at Stonecrop Gardens on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Tea In The Garden served between noon and 4 p.m., with free admission to visitors with a Garden Conservancy Open Days pass.

If you fancy getting out on the water, there is a public sail on the Woody Guthrie at 6 p.m. on Friday night, departing from the Beacon Sloop Club at 2 Red Flynn Drive. Boat tours to Bannerman Island depart Beacon dock at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Constitution Marsh is hosting an interpretive public canoe program from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, focusing on the near-shore environments of the tidal Hudson River, especially the natural history of Constitution Marsh and the surrounding Hudson Highlands. Audubon naturalists lead paddlers through winding channels lined with tall, elegant marsh grasses, searching for hidden wildlife.

Back on land, hikers might be interested in a two-hour Storm King hike, leaving at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday from the 9W parking area at Cornwall-on-Hudson. More details on

Film Society logoMusic, movies or theater? Take your pick or mix and match. The Cold Spring Film Society is hoping for weather similar to their last screening night for an outdoor screening of the adrenaline-inducing ‘70s police thriller The French Connection on Saturday evening. It will be preceded by a selection of family shorts for the very short people in your family (kids, that is), with the shorts beginning at around 7:45 p.m. and enough of a breather in between to spirit them back home and return to Dockside for more adult fare.

Charlie Faye

Charlie Faye

Not all that far from the bright lights of Broadway is the Depot Theatre, which on Saturday night at 8 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. presents five talented local women, amongst them Broadway and National Tour veterans, in Come to the Cabaret, serving up show tunes and cabaret standards. Cello and piano, in the capable hands of Julia Bruskin and Aaron Wunsch, will create the sounds emanating from the Chapel Restoration on Sunday at 4 p.m. in a free concert, which will feature a Rachmaninoff sonata, Bach’s Gamba Sonata in G Major, and Lukas Foss’s Capriccio.

At the conclusion, those who enjoy diverse genres of music can stroll over to the bandstand area to hear Charlie Faye, in a free Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Waterfront Music Series concert, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Press notes describe her (yes, she’s a her) as having “…a band that rocks, an attitude that tips its hat to country, and a heart that sings the blues. Her gritty, powerful vocals tend to wow anyone who’s only seen the petite singer in passing.” The rain location is The Living Room, 103 Main St., Cold Spring.

Theater is center stage, as it is all summer long, at Boscobel, where Hudson Valley Shakespeare’s trio of repertory each gets an outing over the course of the weekend: The Three Musketeers on Friday at

8 p.m., King Lear on Saturday at 8 p.m. and All’s Well That End’s Well on Sunday at 7 p.m. Be sure to picnic beforehand. Meanwhile, one of the HVSF’s favorite actors, Jason O’Connell, uses his night off on Friday to bring his own one-man show, The Dork Knight, to the Depot Theatre on Friday at 8 p.m. as part of the In Process series.

Rounding things out is the Nimham Pow Wow, which takes place over the course of two days, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park, 200 Gipsy Trail Road (off of 301) in Carmel. The event is an “intertribal pow wow to honor the memory of a forgotten hero, father Daniel Nimham and son, Abraham, and the Wappinger Indians of the Hudson Valley who gave their lives for liberty during the American Revolution.” Amongst the Pow Wow’s events are storytelling, inter-tribal dancing, children’s dances, a birds of prey demonstration, and pony rides.

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