This weekend: Pickled and proud in Rosendale

Above: Scenes from the 2010 Rosendale Pickle Festival, by YouTube user ThePickleClub.

How many things can you do with a pickle? This Sunday in Rosendale, pickled foods -- not just cukes, mind you, but pigs’ feet and eggs and kimchi (cabbage) and sauerbraten -- will be tasted, feasted upon and judged. Recipes and pickling tips will be exchanged.

 But they don’t stop there, those Rosendalians. Pickles will fly in the Pickle Toss and be immortalized in the Pickle Drawing Contest. People will drink pickle juice. And some fortunate local soul, blessed by the Pickle King himself, will get to romp about in a pickle suit all day being Mr. Pickle.

What goes well with pickles? Everything. Festivities that have evolved as part of this shindig include a Japanese tea ceremony, flower arranging and kimono fashion show. The breathtaking drumming of the West Senegal Drummers, tunes from Hali Hammer and Randy Berge and various other local entertainment will rock the rec center, while thousands of guests browse a hundred vendors from several countries.

Like the Street Fest, the International Pickle Festival began because somebody agreed to have a party. In this case, the culprit was barber Bill Brooks, at the behest of some Japanese pals. What happens when you expect two hundred and several thousand show up? What is it about Rosendale, anyway? Pickle King Brooks (who with his wife, Pickle Queen Cathy, fields thousand of Picklefest inquiries a year these days) has a stock explanation: “We always could throw a pretty good party.”

The Fifteenth Annual Rosendale Pickle Festival will be held from 11 AM till 5 PM at the Rosendale Recreation Center on Route 32.