An estuary runs through it

Between the Tides Festival features live music & good eats to benefit Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy this Sunday

by Frances Marion Platt
August 18, 2011 11:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Dion Ogust
Photo by Dion Ogust
Living in the valley of Muhheakantuck, the River that Flows Both Ways, is a heck of a lot more interesting than living alongside some plain-vanilla river. Consider the fact that we have to deal with tides, for instance. The Saugerties Lighthouse bears the distinction of being a prime mid-Hudson tourist destination that you can walk to – at certain hours of the day only. Some of the time, parts of the half-mile trail are underwater. Lucky thing that we now have the Internet for instant access to tide charts.

Every summer, the dedicated preservationists of the not-for-profit Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy throw a merry fundraising wingding called the Between the Tides Festival, and they mean it literally. The event has to be scheduled during a time window when visitors won’t need to wade to get to the Lighthouse site – although some will certainly arrive by boat just for the fun of it. This Sunday afternoon, August 21, the 2011 Festival will begin at 2 p.m., and guests will need to clear off the premises no later than 7 p.m., no matter how much fun they’re having. High tide is expected at 7:50 p.m., just a few minutes after sunset.

Part of the lure of the Between the Tides Festival is an extended opportunity to explore the restored interior of the Lighthouse, which is normally only open to public viewing on 20-minute tours from noon to 3 p.m. on summer Sundays (unless you’re among the lucky few to book a bed-and-breakfast stay many months in advance). But the main attraction is generally the five hours of continuous live music. The only 2011 performers to be announced as of presstime are Paul Luke and the Josh Tyler Band, but in past years a lineup of half a dozen or more local musical luminaries has been typical.

Food and drinks are included in the price of admission to the Festival, making the donation of $25 per person in advance, $30 on the day of the event an affordable investment in the upkeep of this community treasure. Seniors get a $5 discount and kids under age 12 get in free to this family-friendly celebration of our estuarine heritage, but please leave your pets at home.

The official address of the historic Saugerties Lighthouse is 168 Lighthouse Drive in Saugerties, but really, you can’t miss it. Just head for the water. To purchase advance tickets, call the Lighthouse at (845) 247-0656 or stop by Our Bookshop at 97 Partition Street in downtown Saugerties. For additional information, visit

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