CATSKILL — Cool days and hot food just seem to go together, and that’s what visitors to the inaugural Catskill Food Festival enjoyed Saturday afternoon.
The very first Catskill Food Festival took place on Main Street, with the festivities getting underway at 1 p.m. and lasting until the early evening hours. It was hosted by Sonny Rock Production and Hudson Valley 360, which is owned by Columbia-Greene Media. The event was followed by a celebration at Dutchman’s Landing Park in Catskill.
“We wanted to bring in a different food festival in Greene County.” said Erica Izer, promotions manager for Hudson Valley 360 and Columbia-Greene Media. Izer was one of the promoters behind the festival.
“We had a major turnout already, and it’s not even 1 o’clock,” Izer said.
Main Street was shut down from Thompson Street to Bridge Street. and was filled with food trucks and vendors. There were also several musical bands playing, and all stores along Main Street were welcome to either open their doors or set up a table along the street to take part in the festival.
“It’s been an unbelievable turnout,” Catskill Village President Vincent Seeley said. “We want to introduce people, new and old, to the new and improved village of Catskill.”
There were 15 food trucks and six vendors selling products at the festival, along with many participating open businesses along Main Street. Later on in the evening, the longest fireworks show ever held in Catskill took place at Dutchman’s Landing Park, sponsored by Columbia-Greene Federal Credit Union, according to Seeley.
Many people attending the festival were impressed.
“I think it’s very nice.” Stefi Hasencopf, 63, of Catskill, said. “It’s nice seeing the community activity. I would love to see more.”
Hasencopf noted how she grew up in Catskill, and when she was in school, she and her friends would enjoy walking up and down Main Street, enjoying what it had to offer. She would love to see that come back to Catskill.
Others also enjoyed seeing a vibrant event taking place in the community.
“Growing up, it felt like nothing was going on here,” Melissa Tangney, of Catskill, said. “It is cool to see things like this happening in Catskill now.”
Vendors and food truck operators were also impressed with the turnout.
“This is our first time in Catskill,” said Robert Lease of Charcoal Dole, a barbecue food truck from Albany. “So far it’s been awesome.”
Some food trucks even reported running out of food by 4:30 p.m.
“It was a really great day,” food truck operator Ernesto Nunez of El Danzante on Wheels said.
Most trucks stayed for the whole event, along with a lot of festivalgoers staying to the end as well. Many asked if the event would return next year.
“Definitely doing this yearly.” Seeley said.