Artisans and other festivals fall into autumn

Kingsley Street Soap Makers hosted a booth at the Cooperstown Artisans Festival in 2019. (Contributed)

Artisans and other festivals fall into autumn

Events such as Fall Fling, Arts on the Lawn
will showcase Otsego County’s shoulder season

By Kevin Limiti • Special to

The summer is winding down and with the change in season comes colored foliage, Labor Day, Halloween and fall hikes up the scenic mountains in the Catskills and Adirondacks.

The taste of apple cider, the increasingly crisper days and the feeling of waking up in autumn with a hot cup of coffee is something anybody can look forward to, especially now with all sorts of activities vying for the attention of Otsego County locals and visitors alike.

One of these events is the Cooperstown Artisan Festival put on by the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. It will be at the Otsego County courthouse at 197 Main St. in Cooperstown during Labor Day weekend, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 5.

Like most events, last year’s artisan festival was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tara Burke, executive director of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, said she is happy to stage the event in 2021.

“We’re excited about our vendor lineup this year,” Burke said, who mentioned more than 50 vendors would be coming including the Adirondack Balsam, Bill’s Woodworking, Daisy Hollow Farm, Happy Dogs Ceramics, Viking Woodworks, Weathertop Farm and more.

Burke said the festival gives vendors “a chance to showcase their work because it’s beautiful.

“We get a number of local artists and regional artists,” Burke said. “We’re excited to have them.”
In addition to the artists and vendors, there will be live music and onsite food, including The Green Cow, and food trucks with treats, such as coffee bombs.

“This show’s been around for a long time,” Burke said. The Artistans Festival used to be called the Cooperstown Arts and Crafts Show, which had been an annual tradition since the early 1900s. However, they changed the name to the Artisans Festival, and this is the fourth year the Chamber of Commerce has been running it.

“This is our event. It’s all us,” Burke said, and she said she expects a big turnout this year. “Labor Day weekend is really busy,” Burke said.

One of the interesting things about the Artisans Festival is the Fine Arts on the Lawn, put on by the
Cooperstown Arts Asso-ciation, will be held at the same time on Labor Day weekend.

Burke said she encourages people to go to and from both events.

Fine Arts on the Lawn is a two-day festival, which includes front lawn exhibitions by local and regional artists. There is a $10 fee to set up original art on the front porch of the Cooperstown Arts Association and a $110 fee to set up original works on the lawn, which are 10′ x 10′ spaces for tents. There will be music and artist demos, admission is free.

Other events include The Farmers’ Museum’s twin festivals, the Harvest Festival and Tractor Fest, which have been running for 43 and nine years, respectively.

The Harvest Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 18, and Sunday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tractor Fest, which is intended to teach people about tractors and how farming technology has grown and changed throughout the years, will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10.
The Farmer’s Museum will also be sponsoring “Things That Go Bump in the Night” ghost tours, which will run Thursdays and Fridays, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 15, to Oct. 30. The ghost tour is inspired by the classic collection of folk tales written by Louis C. Jones and is recommended for ages 10 and up.

In that same vein, there will be an off-off-Broadway production of the Haunting of Hill House, an adaption of the Shirley Jackson novel Friday, Oct. 1 to Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the Foothills Performing Arts Center.

The Rotary Club will be sponsoring the first ever Fall Fling at 5 p.m. on Oct. 9, which has the purpose of bringing people together for a day of music, food and local vendors.

Fall Fling will feature local pumpkins and hot cider. “Coming out of over a year of lockdowns and quarantines, we are fortunate to be able to gather (safely and outside) to celebrate our community and local businesses,” the website said.

Red Shed Brewery will be celebrating Oktoberfest from Friday, Sept. 24, to Sunday, Sept. 26.

For those inclined to cooking and eating, the garlic festival is an event that is, fittingly, all about garlic. Supported by the Susquehanna Valley Garlic Growers Assocation and the Friends of the Garlic Festival, it takes place in Milford at Wood Bull Antiques on State Route 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18. This year will be the 20th anniversary of the festival, which will feature garlic growers providing tips on growing as well as demonstrations, music and entertainment, all different types of food which include garlic, and talks on the benefits and history of garlic.

Hyde Hall will be having a dinner fundraiser and concert event, which is meant to provide the experience of the Clarke family who used to live in the mansion. Music from the Ma’alwyck will provide an alluring atmosphere that will take visitors back through time. There will ghost tours at the mansion throughout October including evening candlelight tours.

Oneonta is also having some fall events for Labor Day weekend. The Destination Oneonta Harvest Party, takes place from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16 featuring autumn-themed activities, games and vendors with more details to be announced.

For more information about all the events, go to or call 607-547-9983.

arla Andela, a local potter, works at the Artisans Festival in 2019. (contributed)

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