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An Insider’s Guide to August Events in the Hudson Valley

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Dutchess County Fair | Photo by Vijai, HV Illustrated, courtesy of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

Hudson River tourism directors share their top picks for places to go, sights to see, and things to do throughout the month of August.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. There are a ton of things to do in the Hudson Valley each month. Even in the face of the coronavirus, there exist dozens upon dozens of ways to experience the best of what the region has to offer. While they might not be traditional per se (outdoor film festivals, anyone?), they are engaging, entertaining, and 100-percent #flattenthecurve-approved. Plus, there’s no better time to enjoy the dog days of summer across the region while listening to great music and tasting delicious food along the way.

To help scout out the best events in the Valley, we reached out to local tourism directors from Albany to Westchester for their top picks for things to do. Check out their selections, then get planning!

Albany County

Discover Albany President and CEO Jill Delaney shares her top recommendations for the month.

 

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Michelangelo – A Different View

Albany Capital Center, Albany
Through August 23, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Is it possible to gaze upon the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel without flying to Italy? Michelangelo – A Different View answers this question with a resounding yes. One of the most famous frescoes the world has ever seen will be on display at the Albany Capital Center. This exhibition presents the entire set of works, more than 50 in count. Visitors can examine them on ground level instead of having to look up at the actual site in Rome. These elaborate reproductions, including the massive Last Judgement, are officially licensed by the Vatican Museums.

New York Capital District Renaissance Festival

Indian Ladder Farms, Altamont
August 14 & 15

August is shaping up to be the month of “The Bard” across the Hudson Valley. Indian Ladder Farms hosts an absolutely stellar Renaissance Festival in the middle of the month. Crawl your way through olde-fashioned pubs, dine on hearty food from local vendors, and enjoy the atmosphere of Altamont. Of course, you have to check out the Queen’s Royal Joust for an action-packed afternoon.

Altamont Fair

Altamont Fairgrounds, Guilderland
August 17 – 22, 12-10 p.m. 

Searching for more summertime fairs? The Altamont Fair is a capital region institution, serving families in the Hudson Valley for over 125 years. Come for classic carnival rides, cute farm animals, festive games, and more.

Columbia County

Read up on Columbia County Tourism’s highlights for things to do in the Hudson Valley this month.

Fireworks at The Greens

Photo courtesy of Columbia County Tourism

Pig Roast, Live Music, and Fireworks Night at The Greens

The Greens at Copake Country Club, Craryville
August 7, 7-10 p.m.

There’s enough summer left for some incredible Hudson Valley barbecue. At the gorgeous Copake Country Club, The Greens restaurant hosts a good old-fashioned pig roast. Smoking J’s BBQ from Pawling provides all the expected fixings: Texas-style beef brisket, pit barbecue chicken, farm-stand corn on the cob, and, of course, the whole-hog pig roast. Music from The Real Men keeps things exciting until the grand finale fireworks show. Think of it as summer’s last hurrah.

Tannery Pond Concerts: Philip Edward Fisher and Friends

Saint James Church, Chatham
August 14, 6 p.m.

Chatham puts on a great show this month. Locals can head to Saint James Church for a beautiful performance of compositions by Schubert, Brahms, and more. Classical pianist Philip Edward Fisher is joined by Sami Merdinian on violin and Yves Dharamraj on cello, forming a trio of critically acclaimed musicians.

HempDay

Photo courtesy of Columbia County Tourism

Hudson Valley Hemp Day

Jenny’s Green Garden, Stuyvesant
August 28, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.

Happy Hemp Day, Hudson Valley-ites. At Jenny’s Green Garden, visitors can peruse a showcase of the region’s finest farmers, artisans, and craftspeople, all celebrating the benefits of hemp. At the market, shop hemp-infused beverages and snacks. Enjoy a hemp massage, then try out a relaxing yoga class. This event will provide information on how to get involved in the emerging cannabis industry along with how to use hemp for health and wellness, all while navigating NY State legislation.

Dutchess County

Dutchess Tourism President and CEO Melaine Rottkamp shares her top recommendations for the month.

Jazz in the Valley

Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie
August 15, 12 p.m.

Poughkeepsie’s annual Jazz in the Valley concert returns to Waryas Park. This festival celebrates the future of jazz, assembling some of the world’s finest musicians in front of the gorgeous Hudson River. Pull up a chair or set up a blanket and enjoy a lineup of world-class performers, including tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, vocalist Samara Joy, and The Curtis Brothers, to name a few. Book tickets online before they sell out.

 

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Beacon Sloop Annual Corn Festival

Pete & Toshi Riverfront Park, Beacon
August 15, 12-5 p.m.

Beacon’s riverfront is one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the Hudson Valley. In mid-August, explore Beacon Sloop Club’s corn festival. Artists perform atop two solar-powered stages, and tons of engaging children’s activities are available all day long. Plus, guests who arrive at noon have the chance to sign up for free sailing aboard the Woody Guthrie. Of course, snack on fresh Hudson Valley sweet corn and sample all types of corn-based foods.

Dutchess County Fair

Dutchess County Fair | Photo by Vijai, HV Illustrated, courtesy of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

175th Annual Dutchess County Fair

Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck
August 24-29, 10 a.m. — 10 p.m.

To say the Dutchess County Fair is a must-visit summer tradition would be an understatement. The celebration returns in a big way, with adorable farm animals, an assortment of quirky shows, and more fair food than one could ever consume. 2021 American Idol winner Chayce Beckham and NBC’s The Voice finalist Ian Flanigan take the mainstage to deliver unforgettable performances. Get your tickets now (online only), and bring the entire family to one of the region’s most beloved gatherings.

Greene County

Look no further for the coolest attractions and activities in Greene County during the month.

Music in the Park Summer Concert Series 

Dutchman’s Landing, Catskill / Coxsackie Riverside Park, Coxsackie
Thursdays throughout August / Sundays throughout August

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy live music outdoors in Greene County this summer. Dutchman’s Landing in Catskill hosts free concerts along the Hudson River every Thursday night. Country, blues, rock, and other genres bring timeless tunes and original songs to the Catskills. Over at Coxsackie Riverside Park, Sunday nights are the time to boogie. Pull up with a chair or a blanket for this free concert series. Check each calendar listing online for a full lineup of artists to take the stage and bring summer music back to the Hudson Valley.

14th Annual “Tour of the Catskills” Pro-Am Bicycle Road Race

Through Tannersville
August 14

Calling all Hudson Valley cyclists! Tannersville’s “Tour of the Catskills” typically draws over 250 racers from around the world. This competition takes cyclists through the heart of the Catskill Mountains and provides an ample challenge for seasoned veterans. Competitors can choose between three difficulties: 27-mile, 52-mile, and a grueling 75-mile trek. The “Devil’s Kitchen Climb” portion of the race is notoriously rough, putting this event on the global map. It’s a pro-am event, meaning you’ll encounter immensely talented athletes on the trail. Register online by August 13 to compete.

Car Show Windham

Adobe Stock | Photo by LazorPhotography

9th Annual Cancer Patient Aid Car Show

Chicken Run Family Restaurant and Steak House, Windham
August 15, 10 a.m. –  2 p.m.

Who’s revved up to see some classic cars? Windham’s lovely Chicken Run Family Restaurant and Steak House hosts a car show to benefit the Greene County Women’s League Cancer Patient Aid. There are 20 trophies ready to be won in specialty categories, including the Best in Show Classic. Entry is a minimum donation of $10.

Rip Van Winkle Wine, Brew and Beverage Festival

Historic Catskill Point, Catskill
August 28, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There’s nothing more “Hudson Valley” than enjoying craft beer and local wines at a scenic destination. At the Historic Catskill Point, visitors can sample products from the region’s very best brewers, distillers, vintners, and more. If that’s not enough to entice you, gourmet cheese vendors will accompany the top-tier vino. The 86-year-old Catskill Fortnightly Club hosts the event, which is a fundraiser for the surrounding community of Catskill.

Orange County

Check out Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana’s selections for the best things to do this month.

Outdoor Yoga

Brown Barn Farms, New Hampton
Sundays in August, 11 a.m.

Isn’t yoga much better outdoors? Brown Barn Farms certainly agrees. Every Sunday in the month, enjoy hour-long sessions led by Kelly Scotto. Tickets are $10 per person and must be purchased at the door. After a relaxing class, stop by Orange County Distillery’s tasting room for a noon to 1 p.m. happy hour.

Hudson Valley Jazz Festival

Throughout Orange County
August 12-15

Spread throughout Orange County, the Hudson Valley Jazz Festival is one of the summer’s most unique musical events. There is no “main stage.” Instead, music lovers can enjoy nationally recognized musicians and local jazz artists alike at atmospheric clubs, cozy cafes, moody restaurants, and quaint parks. Some of this year’s lineup includes Skye Jazz, The Tave Tesar Trio, and The Hudson Valley Jazz Ensemble. Check the website for upcoming venue announcements.

Renaissance Fair Duel

Photo courtesy of New York Renaissance Faire and Deborah Grosmark

New York Renaissance Faire

Tuxedo Park
Starting August 21

Step into a world of chivalry, jousting, royal feasts, and other festivities. Starting August 21, the New York Renaissance Faire transports guests to Elizabethan England every Saturday and Sunday. Devour savory treats, witness breathtaking performances, and shop at an authentic artisan marketplace. Any trip to the Renaissance Faire wouldn’t be complete without a seat at the jousting tournament. Cheer on a knight and observe displays of bravery and strength. Season passes are only $175, if the 16th century lifestyle suits you.

 

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New York International Air Show

Orange County Airport, Montgomery
August 28-28, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Who loves planes? At Orange County Airport, observe gravity-defying stunts and powerful flights from the U.S. Air Force. The Thunderbirds headline the show in their F-16 Fighting Falcon. Other impressive performers include the F-22 Raptor Demo Team, the Geico Skytypers, and more. Aerial feats and expert demonstrations entertain the crowd. Score a deal on tickets by purchasing them in advance for a 35-percent discount.

Putnam County

Read up on Putnam County Tourism Director Tracey L. Walsh’s picks for things to do this month.

Ascend Yoga at Boscobel House and Gardens

Photo courtesy of Putnam County Tourism

Ascend Yoga Series at Boscobel House & Gardens

Boscobel House & Gardens, Garrison
Classes Thursday through Monday

Anyone who has laid eyes on Boscobel House & Garden’s view of the Hudson understands how tranquil of a destination it is. Is there a better spot for outdoor yoga? Sign up for a variety of classes, including vinyasa, ashtanga, and even barre with the Ascend Center’s staff of instructors. Breath deeply and center yourself in Boscobel’s West Meadow, one of the most stunning parts of the property. Bring your own mat and enjoy a one-of-a-kind yoga practice. Check Boscobel’s website for the full schedule of classes, running Thursday through Monday.

The Summer BBQ/Concert Series at Putnam County Golf Course

Putnam County Golf Course, Mahopac
Fridays throughout August

The lush grounds of Putnam County Golf Course host heart-pumping concerts all summer long. Fans of classic rock will adore the tributes to legendary acts such as the Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, and more. Other acts take the stage to perform original material, and dancing is always encouraged. Online tickets also gain visitors access to a barbecue buffet under the stars. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and visit the cash bar for craft cocktails.

Boscobel HVS

Photo courtesy of Putnam County Tourism

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Boscobel House and Gardens, Garrison
Starting August 5

The iconic festival takes the stage at Boscobel for the last time this summer before moving to its new Philipstown location in 2022. To close its long-time run in Garrison, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival takes on The Tempest. One of the Bard’s most iconic works, The Tempest is also thought by many to be his last playa fitting farewell for HVSF. Follow Prospero’s exile from Milan as he weaves a spell against his enemies.

Rockland County

Take a browse through Rockland Tourism’s picks for the hottest things to do this month.

Jazz in the Garden 2021

Edward Hopper House, Nyack
Thursday nights in August

Nyack is one of the Hudson Valley’s many epicenters of history, art, and culture, and Jazz in the Garden is a perfect example of this. Renowned artist Edward Hopper’s historic Rockland County residence hosts Latin percussionists, rhythm and blues groups, and other performers specializing in the art of jazz music.

The 9th Annual Nyack Film Festival 2021

Hotel Nyack, Nyack
August  16-19 

Any movie buffs out there? The village’s ninth film festival teams up with a newly revamped Hotel Nyack to screen a variety of works. Short documentaries join long narrative features and everything else in between at this fest. Three bars onsiteincluding one poolsideoffer craft cocktails and local beer and wine. The Grille at Hotel Nyack serves delectable fare, ensuring no moviegoer leaves hungry.

Outdoor Shorts Film Festival

Garner Arts Center, Garnerville
August 20 & 21, 8 p.m.

Hungry for more movies? Garner Arts Center is back with in-person events, namely its ever-entertaining outdoor shorts festival. The event screens a variety of short films from up-and-coming writers, directors, and producers, including some Hudson Valley creatives. The schedule is curated identically for both nights, so attend whichever iteration is most convenient. Catch truly unique flicks in a classic arts destination.

Ulster County

Read up on Ulster County Tourism’s event highlights for the month.

Photo courtesy of Ulster County Tourism

Hamlet’s BIG Adventure (a Prequel)

Woodstock Shakespeare Festival Stage, Woodstock
Every weekend in August 

Fans of the Bard will be overjoyed to hear that the show goes on for Woodstock Shakespeare Festival this summer. Hamlet’s BIG Adventure (a Prequel) is a comical romp showcasing Hamlet’s early days, before all that business with ghosts and killings. A crisis hits the convent, and only a young Hamlet can save the day. Prepare to laugh at the goofy spectacle and enjoy Woodstock’s wonderful outdoor venue.

Blueberry Festival

Canal St and Liberty Sq, Ellenville
August 14

Summertime in the Hudson Valley means fresh produce, and this Ulster County fest has juicy fruit in spades. Celebrate blueberry season at Ellenville’s iconic blueberry festival. The food fair boasts hundreds of vendors, featuring delicious pies, fluffy pancakes, perfect jams, and everything else one could imagine.

Saugerties Food Truck Festival

Cantine Field, Saugerties
August 19

Food trucks are so hot right now. Sample many of the very best in one place at Cantine Field in Saugerties. Vendors include the Green Palate, Cooper’s Daughter Spirits, Pippy’s Hot Dog Truck, and much more. This event pleases local foodies three times a summer, including one more iteration in September.

12th Annual Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

Phoenicia
August 27-29

Live performances make a huge comeback this summer. Phoenicia’s International Festival of the Voice offers Hudson Valley audiences an unparalleled opportunity to watch the New York City Opera and Teatro Grattacielo. These diverse companies are some of the most lauded in the entire world. NYCO stages one of Verdi’s masterpieces, Rigoletto, and Teatro Grattacielo will share its award-winning 90-minute version of Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. Plus, Phoenicia’s own company performs the iconic Pagliacci by Leoncavallo.

Westchester County

Discover the hottest happenings according to Westchester County Tourism this month.

The Minnie Untermyer Concert Series

Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, Yonkers
August 8, 5 p.m.

Speaking of beautiful Hudson Valley scenery, the Untermyer Gardens’ amphitheater is an absolute work of art. Samuel Untermyer constructed the venue for his wife, Minnie. The pair adored music and brought singers, dancers, and other acts from around the world to take the stage in Westchester. In Minnie’s honor, catch one of the last performances of the season at this historic locale. Operatic tenor Marc Molomot takes the amphitheater stage to perform Die Schöne Müllerin by Franz Schubert. Plus, any inspired local artists can join Donna Giambrone Ingram on August 22 at 10 a.m. for an all-level line drawing class. The tranquil setting of the gardens is perfect for expanding creative horizons.

 

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Caramoor Summer Season

Caramoor, Katonah
August 1-29 

Every year, the historic Caramoor estate in Katonah hosts music festivals and concerts throughout the warmer months. August brings a slew of phenomenal artists  Be sure to catch other performers like The Knights, a small orchestral group dedicated to “eliminating barriers between audience and music;” Ljova and the Kontraband, a group of musicians integrating folk music with different genres; and Flor de Toloache, a female Mariachi fusion group. 

Extended Bicycle Sundays

Bronx River Parkway, White Plains to Yonkers
Sundays in August, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Since 1974, cyclists and joggers from all over Westchester County have taken to the Bronx River Parkway for some classic weekend exercise. The landmark closes to cars on Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. between the County Center in White Plains and Scarsdale Rd in Yonkers. Traverse as much of the 13.1-mile loop as you like, and enjoy a large community of energized locals.

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