The Catskill Conductors Clambake Is a Hudson Valley Tradition

Adobe Stock / Larry Zhou

Stop by September’s Catskill Conductors Clambake, where Sullivan County business owners are reviving a centuries-old tradition.

Save September 10 for one heckuva good time in Livingston Manor. The owners of barbecue hotspot The Smoke Joint are hosting the 2nd Annual Catskills Conductors Clambake—and the menu is so good, you’ll be planning a visit back for 2023’s Labor Day Weekend.

What is a Conductors Clambake, you ask? The celebration dates to the turn of the century, when the Valley played a pivotal role in supplying dairy products to New York City. Transporting dairy by train was big business. The conductors of the O&W railroad decided to show their gratitude by throwing an annual clambake for farmers—charging 75 cents in 1905 for all you can eat.

The Smoke Joint team (Ben Grossman, Jennifer Grossman, and Craig Samuel) decided to revive the celebration last summer—and boy, it was a major success. “The Clambake represents an acknowledgment of our historic roots, an appreciation of our current blessings, and a faith in a future that is better and brighter because of what we can do together,” says Jennifer Grossman.

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Illustration by Geraria/ Adobe Stock

This year, they anticipate thousands of visitors at the Clambake, held on historic old airport grounds on Little Beaverkill Creek. “We’re serving all New York-sourced items,” says Samuel. “Long Island Little Neck clams with local potatoes and sweet corn.” There will be shrimp, too. You can also dig into their signature BBQ plus craft cocktails.

There will be live music as well as artisans and vendors selling craft brews, baked goods, jewelry, toys, and more.

Join the fun on Saturday, September 10, 12–7 p.m. 431 Old Route 17, Livingston Manor; on-site parking is available. Entry fee: $2.

Related: The Eldred Preserve Does Forest Escapes and Farm-to-Table Dining

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