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Lawn and lore
by Doug Muller
August 28, 2008 01:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There's nothing quite like a good game of croquet. It's all very Alice in Wonderland, as players amble about a manicured green in stuffy British outfits wielding knobby wooden instruments. Take that whimsical game and put it in the step-back-in-time setting of Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, and you've got a pretty magical evening.

The folks at Huguenot Street are calling it "Wickets and Wine," and it takes place this Saturday, August 30th, from 4 to 6 p.m. On the shaded grounds of the 1894 Deyo House, croquet players of all levels - including novices - will convene for a friendly bout. "This is our second Wickets and Wine event for the public," says Richard Heyl de Ortiz, Director of Public Programs for Historic Huguenot Street. "It's a great way to take advantage of the beautiful green spaces that Huguenot Street has to offer and to have fun while experiencing a bit of Victorian life." Lemonade, wine and other refreshments will be provided for $5 per person. Space is limited, however; those who want to take on the wicket course should register by calling 845-255-1660 x300 or sending an e-mail to register@huguenotstreet.org.

The croquet is bracketed by other Labor Day weekend events at the Street. Before "Wickets and Wine," on Saturday, August 30th, at 10 a.m., visitors are invited to a 60-minute tour entitled "The Remaking of an Icon: Behind the Scenes at the Jean House." This program showcases the critical and substantial work done to secure the newly re-opened Jean Hasbrouck House and describes some surprising discoveries made during the restoration. The tour costs $5 per person; reservations are not required.

The next day, Sunday, August 31st, features a different tour - "Workdays on the Street" - which steps off at 12:30 p.m. The 60-minute walk of Huguenot Street tucks into featured rooms within the historic houses, conveying the stories of the many occupations of the people who have lived on and around Huguenot Street during the past 300 years. Says Heyl de Ortiz, "Labor Day gives us the perfect opportunity to focus on the ways that the resourceful Huguenots - and those who followed them - earned their living. Making this tour part of an afternoon in downtown New Paltz is a great way to enjoy the weekend." The "Workdays on the Street" tour also costs $5 per person, and no reservations are required.

In addition to these special events, the house museums of Historic Huguenot Street are open for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days of the holiday weekend. Tours begin at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center on Huguenot Street, which features an introductory exhibit and the Museum Shop. Locust Lawn, where the story of the Huguenots continues, is open for guided tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Locust Lawn features the 1814 Jeffersonian manse of Josiah Hasbrouck and is located at 400 Route 32 South in New Paltz.

For more information on Historic Huguenot Street, call 845-255-1660 or check out the organization online at www.huguenotstreet.org.

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