Hudson Valley Turns Up for Taste of New Paltz

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. The clouds departed from the previous day's relentless rain and made room for a great day as flocks of people headed to the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz for the 24th Taste of New Paltz.  The event was organized by the New Paltz Chamber of Commerce and assisted by numerous individuals and corporate sponsors.  Further support was provided by members of the HYPE and various student groups from SUNY New Paltz.

Professional Photo by Caylena Cahill

The main attraction was all of the food choices to sample during the day.  There were big lines at La Cabanita Mexican Restaurant and Mohonk Mountain House.  Other local restaurants included Asian Fusion, Tuttlehouse, Jordan's Pizzeria, and Moxie Cup.  Since most of the cooking was done off-site, there were periods when the vendors were out of stock and had to wait for reinforcements to arrive.  Lots of happy people were able to sample great food from around the region at reasonable prices.  There was an area set aside for enjoying adult beverages as well, often referred to as the Beer Garden, but there was a large assortment of wines as well from several wineries. 

Some of the resort vendors showed off their hospitality options by giving away chances for spa weekends and resort weekends.  Mohonk Mountain House, the Hampton Inn, and Thayer Hotel were among the resorts looking to attract clients to their services. 

Professional Photos by Caylena Cahill

In addition to the many food options, many craft vendors lined the fairgrounds looking to sell their merchandise.  New Paltz Karate Academy had a booth set up for demonstrations.  There was a car show set up on one side.  Live bands entertained the audience during the course of the day.  In the building at the back of the fairgrounds several banks and other local businesses including Novellas were showing people what they have to offer.

Under the kid tent, several activities were available for the younger members of the community.  There was a child ID program where kids had their pictures taken as well as height and weight just in case that information is needed in the future.  There were Science activities provided by Palladium Science Academy and face painting.  There were also coloring books and crayons available in the tent.  Hundreds of kids worked their way through the tent during the day.  Among the youth groups in attendance were members of the Girl Scouts from Milton.  Cub Scout Pack 272 helped staff a booth to raise money for the March of Dimes. 

staff by the recycling bins for an eco-friendly event by George Ruger

Over the course of the day the fairgrounds were kept in very good shape free of garbage thanks to a dedicated group of students and several waste receptacles.  The student volunteers helped to keep the waste materials separated into categories- trash for the landfill, compost materials, paper and cardboard for recycling, and a bin for bottles and cans.  Not only was the fairground kept clean during the day, but thanks to their efforts as much material as possible was diverted away from landfills and to an appropriate recycling facility.  Those stations were set up around the fairgrounds.  Actions like this are very important to our environment and many countries do a far better job than we currently do.  With a little effort we can have a big impact on saving our natural resources.

The student volunteers had a large impact on the overall success of the event.  Among the volunteers were members of the KDPHI NAS and Alpha Epsilon Phi Sororities.  They staffed the kid tent area and helped the kids with the coloring books, gave out programs to the attendees, and staffed the recycling stations.  At the end of the event, when asked to comment on the day, members of Alpha Epsilon Phi had this to say:

Laura Urilov "Alpha Epsilon Phi had a great time volunteering at the Taste of New Paltz."

Jenny Oliva " It feels great to be able to come together with our entire community and help give back with our sorority."

Jennifer Sacks " We were all so grateful to give back to the community.  As a group we were able to help the day flow smoothly.  We can't wait to give back to the community again."

members of Alpha Epsilon Phi   by George Ruger 

Paige Goldsmith " The food was absolutely delicious!"    


*Headlining photo by Caylena Cahill