There will be Music, There will be Magic,There will be 'Sparks on the Ridge'!

There is a collective response echoing through the foothills of Shawangunk Ridge. The low hum of timpani drums brewing, didgeridoo set-up along the tree-line where Meditation Grove awaits design. Local artists and fascinating acts are counting down and packing up for August 5th – when they’ll all be headed out to the first annual 'Sparks on the Ridge' festival!

One of Three Expansive Event Fields that
Will Be Utilized for the Festival

Sparks is a call-to-arms for all the happy-hearted campers, day-trippers and artistically composed talent that 15 acres can hold. The line-up includes a landslide of musical acts - the final list includes over 50 names in regional and local music. Fireworks will light up the sky on Saturday night, fire-dancers and glass blowing demonstrations have already been promised.  Stilt walkers, Sound Healing and Yoga classes have also been added to the event schedule.  An evening bonfire will conspire in an inconspicuous corner of the vast property and installation art that is sure to WOW is already underway.  Festival organizers Ed Demirer and Erik DeFont have been putting in endless hours with their tight knit Sparks team.  Inspiration for the event was plucked from over 100 festivals! The guys are very hands-on with their product - organized and thorough while also the kind of laid-back-persona you're hoping to bump into at the show. The website: is full of in-depth information that will guide you through the weekend and serves as well as a portal for ticket sales.

There is an altruistic thread woven into the fabric of the festival.   To begin with, the weekend doubles as an environmental advocacy event. Waste management and recycling are going to be key - Lippincott Manor (the festival site) is a pristine traditional wedding and catering hall most weekends – including the weekend after the festival. The owners, Trish and Marty Dyk have made themselves an integral part of the planning and leg-work for this festival.  Conscious "Leave No Trace" effort (as indicated on the website) will be of major importance.    There is also a serious request being made for non-perishable food items, baby food and dry goods. These donation items will be collected by ‘Strangers Helping Strangers’ at their designated vendor booth.  A generous percentage of these donations will go to a food pantry that benefits Wallkill directly.  

In addition to canned goods, vendors are still needed. Non-professional and student artists are encouraged to submit participation request through the website.   There is still room for a variety of goods and services (included but not limited to): stained glass, woven items, t-shirt designs, painters and visual artists. Volunteers are also encouraged to submit participation requests.  Due to the organized structure of the event, even volunteers must be counted and purposed in time for the event weekend so do that now!   There are several ways to get in on the action. Day passes for Saturday or Sunday are available.  Weekend passes to include camping and non-camping are also on sale. Volunteers are lining up in droves to take on the festival shifts and help with parking, clean-up and water distribution oversight.  Beer, wine and a variety of food and snacks will be available daily – festival is supplying sprinklers, water stations and a shaded picnic area.

There will be no shortage of fun and enlightenment – the weekend is packed with great events and is drawing in on what appears to be a long list of very good company. Performances will not disappoint, in the words of Erik DeFont :

The bands are all really legitimate, quality bands. They are all very serious about their work and very talented – no fillers!  

Go-To Guide: The weekend is to be considered kid-friendly, but in a crowd of 2,000+ people it’ll be hard to promise strictly PG content. Pets are not permitted, no glass containers are permitted and coolers allowed for campers only.  RV’s are strictly prohibited. Camping will be primitive – the camp site is a country mile from the parking lot so bring only what you absolutely need and nothing more.  As a guideline – dress for the outdoors and be prepared for a short walk through several fields. There is a very specific traffic pattern mapped out from parking to the stage and vendor sections of the site. No one will be turned away for lack of space and everything is within a scenic five minute walk through the open grounds.

There is nothing better than summer time in NY, this festival will be a testament to the charm of our Hudson River Valley, will grow commerce in Wallkill exponentially and prove to be a beautiful and fulfilling weekend with something for everyone! The best thing about a festival is going with your friends. Bring them!  Plan on camping out under the stars, wake up to the sound of acoustic guitars in the haze of morning.  Relish in the zip of a tent in the background.  Pack a blanket and sunscreen, plan to spend the day in front of the stage.  Bring bug spray and towels in case you want to dip in the Wallkill River which is located at the foot of the property.  Don't forget a smile and bring a donation item!  And, since you have been so good and read this entire article here is a sneak peak at one of the stage areas:

We'll see you there!

Article by: Lolita Sage
Photos : Jay Timberger