10 of the Coolest Things to Do in the Hudson Valley This August

Our top picks for this month’s activities.

Photo by Laura Aloisio

Ulster County Fair

This fair, which originated in 1886, is acclaimed for its variety of rides for all ages, musical performances, showcase of animals, and superb local food.

Jul 30–Aug 4, Ulster County Fairgrounds, New Paltz, www.ulstercountyfair.com 

Dutchess County Fair

Highlights of the state’s second-largest county fair include two midways with rides, craft and food vendors, 4H exhibits and competitions, and a Grandstand concert series.

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Aug 20–25, Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, www.dutchessfair.com

Columbia County Fair

In addition to midway rides, a firefighters’ parade, and talent competitions, the fair also features lots of live music, including performances by Jimy Graham (who has toured with Wilson Pickett and Grace Jones) and The Voice finalist Moriah Formica, a Latham native.

Aug 28–Sept 2, Columbia County Fairgrounds, Chatham Village, www.columbiafair.com

Food and Fun in the Sun

The annual New York State Food Festival returns for a full day of specialty foods, craft beer, wine, farm produce, and more, all from throughout the Empire State. Free music will be performed on the Plaza Stage by rockabilly king Brian Setzer.

Aug 7, Empire State Plaza, Albany, www.albany.com

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Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff

Paraside is There

The singer/songwriter — and Hudson Valley resident — Natalie Merchant comes to Hudson Hall for a special acoustic duo set of her ’90s hits like “Wonder,” “Carnival,” and “Kind and Generous,” as well as new material.

Aug 9, Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House, Hudson, 518.822.1438, www.hudsonhall.org

Photo by Katie Chirichillo

Burgers & Beer

Hudson Valley’s 7th Annual Burger & Beer Bash brings together all the greatest elements of summer: juicy burgers, cold beer, music, and competition. Join us when the Valley’s top local chefs come together to present their take on the iconic American burger, and then vote for your favorite in hopes of having it crowned the “Best of the Bash!”

Aug 15, Dutchess Stadium, Wappingers Falls, www.hvmag.com

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Left: photo courtesy of 23Arts, Right: photo by Dequinta Productions

Tunes in Tannersville

From its origins as a 4-day residency, the 23Arts Summer Music Festival has expanded to an entire month of suggested-donation concerts focusing on jazz, the blues, tango, and more, with some of the world’s best young musicians giving intimate performances at venues throughout Tannersville.

Aug 2-25, Tannersville, www.23arts.org

Artwork courtesy of Jeanette Fintz

Bold New Modes

Subtitled “Color & Form in a Visual Rhythm,” Carrie Haddad Gallery’s upcoming PULSE exhibition brings together the work of Dai Ban, Jeanette Fintz, Ginny Fox, and Jenny Kemp for unique takes on abstraction. From Kemp’s bold, O’Keefe-style shapes to the angular wall sculptures of Ban, you’ll likely see something here that you’ve never seen before.

Through Sept 15, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, 518.828.1915, www.carriehaddadgallery.com

Photo courtesy of Bridgman | Packer Dance

Fancy Footwork

The collaborative work of Bridgman | Packer Dance finds Guggenheim Fellows and National Endowment of the Arts grantees Myrna Packer and Art Bridgman integrating dance and video for an abstract, even absurd style of choreography. They will perform two pieces: “Voyeur” and “Table Bed Mirror.”

Aug 16–17, PS21, Chatham, 518.392.6121, www.ps21chatham.org

photo courtesy of Jacob Burns Film Center

Classics on Screen

Mikhal Kolotov’s 1957 Soviet martial The Cranes Are Flying follows two lovers through the crucible of the Eastern Front, finding notes of grace and beauty amidst the untamable vagaries of human nature.

Aug 1, Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, 914.773.7663, www.burnsfilmcenter.org

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