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Picture yourself arriving at the base of one the most beautiful mountains in the Catskills. Now, take a deep breath of April mountain air — still crisp enough to remind you of the winter you’ve slogged through, and warm enough to assure you summer’s around the corner — and start weaving your way through TAP New York’s 125 invited brewers pouring as many as 400 different styles of beer.

All you need to get your fill is a ticket. But let’s just say that, even after two days of tastings, you still have room for a little more.


Chances are you sampled something great from one of our own local breweries, and are intrigued to see what else is on offer locally – and you’re in luck! Head to the Catskills Beverage Trail to keep those times rolling in the Great Northern Catskills.  


Irish Festivities Kick Off in the Catskills

March is typically the time of year to don the kelly green, but if you’ve ever been to East Durham in the Catskills — and you know you’re there when you start driving over shamrocks painted in the street — you quickly realize a celebration of all things Irish simply can’t be relegated to one day in March. Check out the two-day festival over Memorial Day weekend, packed with all the Irish music, dance, food and libations you can handle!


Having an Irish heritage isn’t necessary to attend the East Durham Irish Festival, but you should be prepared to feel Irish even if you’re not. Aside from that stomping beat of the music, with many bands hailing from across the Atlantic, the Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s on tap, and the smell of bangers and mash all around, there’s the fact that if there’s a countryside as green as the Emerald Isle herself, it’s East Durham in May.


Walk the world’s largest map of Ireland — about two acres of brick laid out like the homeland — and check out the county flags. Visit the thatched roof cottage imported stone by stone from Ireland and imagine what life was like for those who left the island in search of a better life. Stand next to the mass rock, a nod to those mid-17th century Irish Roman Catholics who were forced to worship in secret by blessing a rock in the middle of the woods as a suitable altar. And, of course, save time to soak up the largest collection of bands — from traditional Irish folk to modern Irish rock and everything in between.


Don’t Miss Spring’s Lineup of Events

In the Great Northern Catskills, spring arrives with pond skimming and season’s-end celebrations at our ski resorts in March, pours through April with TAP New York and, with the East Durham Irish Festival, dives into summer, where a season of adventure, music festivals, art and street fairs await. You’ll find plenty of local performances, classes, exhibitions and activities to check off the list as the days get warmer. 


Visit www.greatnortherncatskills.com to find out what’s on tap in the Catskills this spring.

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Hudson Valley Magazine editorial staff.