Crackin' Foxy plays at a previous Hobofest.
Labor Day weekend will be filled with a celebration of local food and down-to-earth music in Saranac Lake with the second annual Farm 2 Fork Festival and fourth annual Hobofest.
The Farm 2 Fork Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 at Riverside Park along with the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Market. This will be a celebration of small farms and local food presented by the Adirondack Green Circle and the Ausable Valley Grange.
The festival will include a tasting of food prepared by home cooks using featured produce from local farmers. The theme of this year’s festival is “Stretching Your Farmer’s Market Dollar.” The $10 ticket allows a taste at each of the 8 cook stations, the Pickle Bar, a taste of hand-cranked Ice Cream, a drink at the Artisan Beverage Bar, and a sample of fresh-pressed cider.
This year’s festival will also include four workshops: “Tools for Homesteading” by Paul Smiths professor Brett McLeod; “Rendering Misunderstood Lard” with Sara Burke from Atlas Hoofed It Farm and nutritionist Martha Pichard Palmer; “Stocking Your Shelves with Homemade Tea,” offered by “wild edible” expert Pat Banker; and “Preserving Your Bounty,” with chef Tom Morris of Alegria Restaurant.
Plus, there will be free lost arts workshops, children’s activities, farm animals and music and dancing by Soma Beats and Wuluba Drummers.
Tickets will be available at the event and at the Saranac Lake Farmers Market. For information, call 891-0182.
On Aug. 31, the night before the Farm 2 Fork Festival, Maryland chicken farmer Carole Morison will give a talk entitled “From Industrial Farming to Pasture Raised: Progressing the Local Food Movement” at 7pm in the Harrietstown Town Hall. Carole was featured in the Oscar nominated documentary film “Food, Inc.” and she is now working with Animal Welfare Approved to promote humane farming practices. Animal Welfare Approved will have a booth at the Festival and Carole will speak briefly at 10:30 am.
This year, the Green Circle is partnering with the Hobofest to promote Labor Day Weekend in Saranac Lake.
“Come join us for good eats and stay for Hobo beats,” Brill said. “Farm 2 Fork on Saturday, Hobofest on Sunday and you can ride the Adirondack Carousel on Monday.”
On Sunday, Sept. 2, the Hobofest returns to the Union Depot with a day full of music, starting at noon.
“We are trying to make Saranac Lake a destination for the holiday weekend as well as a staycation for those that live in the area,” said Hobofest programmer Peter Seward. “We’re lucky when we don’t step on each other’s event and even luckier when we partner with another event to maximize folks that are visiting.”
Hobofest celebrates railroad culture and the “hobo spirit.” This year’s event will take place under a 40-by-80-foot “big top” tent to assure against the variables of weather. Music will be available until 11 p.m. In the past, there have been between 400 and 500 attendees.
“With the promise of it being protected under the big top and likely getting a good day this year, I’m really expecting to build on those numbers,” Seward said.
Eat and Meet Grill & Larder will serve local fare, and there will be a children’s activities booth and festival and artist merchandise tables.
Hobofest organizers this year secured a New York State Council on the Arts grant for programming. In the past, they’ve paid musicians who have had to travel and haven’t been able to pay across the board.
“Most of the performers have played for free at the festival, and we’re really lucky to have had that kind of support from them, but we’re doing what we can to compensate,” Seward said.
This year’s special guest is Washington State legend, Baby Gramps. A former street musician and train buff, Gramps plays antique resonator National Steel guitars, and sings his own unique arrangements of rags, jazz, & blues songs from the 20s and 30s, and many originals with wordplay, humor, and throat singing.
Several unsigned, fully-realized ensembles, all “invested” in this event, offer distinct takes on roots music. The intricate groove-grass pulse of Big Slyde, this year with the smoky vocals of Hanna Doan. The Adirondack-Brooklyn hybrid, Frankenpine, craft a modern take on bluegrass, with a colorful palette and original voicing. Crackin’ Foxy distinguish themselves with a post-vaudeville vintage of styled song, elegant female three-part harmony, and swinging arrangements. This year’s appearance of the young and grizzled Blind Owl Band, follows their recent romp through the Northeast, diving headlong into the mosh-pit of old-time as dance music.
The day traditionally kicks off with bluesman Steve Langdon hollerin’ and pickin’ ala John Henry against the din of the first arriving train. New to this stage this year are Eddy and Kim Lawrence, with their wry sense of humor, and deft fretwork from the Canadian border, Keene resident Stan Oliva, and Quinn Sands from Cleveland, Ohio.
People are encouraged to bring lawnchairs or blankets. The event is free, but donations are accepted. There is limited parking around the Union Depot and Depot Street.
“My best recommendation is to come early to secure a parking spot or just be resourceful and find where you can park around town,” Seward said.
11:45 a.m. Fanfare – Kyle Murray & Scott Renderer
Noon REV LANGDON (Saranac Lake)
12:40 p.m. LEMON DROPS (Saranac Lake)
1:20 p.m. QUINN SANDS (Cleveland, OH)
2 p.m. STAN OLIVA BAND (Keene)
2:55 p.m. Chris Chauvery (Cleveland, OH)
3:10 p.m. Bram & Jayne (Corning, NY)
3:30 p.m. CRACKIN' FOXY w/Brian Dewan (Saranac Lake)
4:30 p.m. EDDY & KIM LAWRENCE (Moira, NY)
5:45 p.m. BIG SLYDE (Lake Placid)
7:00 p.m. BABY GRAMPS (Seattle, Washington)
8:15 p.m. FRANKENPINE (NYC/Beacon)
9:15 p.m. Theresa Hartford (Saranac Lake)
9:30 p.m. BLIND OWL BAND w/ Addison Bickford (Saranac Lake)