Chili with a chance of snowshoeing

Hudson Valley Rail Trail WinterFest returns to Highland this Saturday

by Ann Hutton
January 13, 2011 12:38 PM | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Photo by Rafael Diaz
Bring the whole family to the 13th annual Hudson Valley Rail Trail WinterFest for a crisp fresh-air outing and a day of fun. Scheduled for this Saturday, January 15, the event takes place at the Rail Trail Depot on New Paltz Road in Highland from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For a $2 admission fee, families can enjoy hayrides sponsored by DuBois Farms, an ice-carving demonstration, marshmallow-toasting and chestnut-roasting. And a big heated tent will be the spot for kids to come for crafts and games. This year Lowe’s will be sponsoring the crafts area with materials and crafters on hand to help out. As always, there will be hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot chili and hot dogs available for purchase to warm bellies and keep bodies energized.

The annual Chili Competition has brought in more than 20 contestants this year to show off their culinary skills and vie for the coveted Best of the Fest award. The Rotary Club will be serving up tastes of chili for 50 cents each, and everyone tasting is invited to vote for their favorite recipe. Buckets of chili will remain anonymous, but you might recognize the culinary touches of chefs from these local restaurants: Casa Mia, Coppola’s La Fantasia, Elia’s Catering & Sausage House, the Global Palate, the Hard Roll Deli, Main Street Café, Main Street Bistro, Mariner’s on the Hudson, Mohonk Mountain House, New Friend’s Café & Bakery, P & G’s, Paul’s Kitchen, Sal’s Place, the Would Restaurant, Vigneto Café, the Village Grill, Wagon Wheel Deli, the Walkway Café, Amici’s, Cosimo’s Trattoria, Dubliner Irish Pub, Mahoney’s, River Station and Soul Dog.

Event chairman Jerry Luke reports, “Last year we had a tie for First Place in meat chili, between the Global Palate and the Highland Bagel Café. The vegetarian chili winner was Wagon Wheel’s. We generally have 700 to 800 people turn out, but this year we’re expecting as many as 1,000, due to the growing popularity of the Rail Trail and the Walkway. We appreciate the many local businesses that provide their services and donate door prizes.”

WinterFest is produced by the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Association, which manages the beautiful four-mile stretch of Rail Trail running through Highland and now connecting to the Walkway over the Hudson. The event will take place come rain, snow or shine, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rail Trail Depot. General admission is $2 for adults, and children age 6 and under are free. Call (845) 691-8151 for more information or visit and find out about the hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing available on this scenic route.

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