Guide to a Catskills Memorial Day Weekend

Above: Hundreds of rubber duckies take to the waters of Gooseberry Creek in the Tannersville Rubber Duck Race & Crazy Boat Race and Festival on May 25. Photo via the Great Northern Catskills website

Memorial Day weekend in the Catskills abounds with parades, yard sales, backyard barbecues…and a vast and lively array of special events to be enjoyed.

Many towns in the region will be holding their annual Memorial Day parades, but that's not all that's going on this weekend by a long shot. Here’s the Watershed Post's guide to the best of the weekend's unofficial festivities. For a full list of Memorial Day events, including parades, see our Memorial Day events calendar


Fleischmanns will be hopping on Saturday between 10am and 4pm with its 6th Annual Main Street Fair. Main Street will be lined with vendors of crafts, antiques, photography, jewelry and other goodies. The library’s having a book sale, the fire department’s throwing a chicken BBQ, and the Museum of Memories will be open. Take a horse drawn carriage ride and cheer at a vintage style baseball game. Festivities are from 10am to 4pm.

Up the road in Margaretville on Sunday, May 26, the fifth annual Tour de Pepacton will bring together a crowd of bicyclists and those who enjoy them for the benefit of Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care. If you’d like to ride, you have two choices: The all-in 60-mile variety, or an easier 25-mile cruise around the reservoir. There’s also a five-mile walk-run around Margaretville, and Main Street will be full of music, food and fun. You can get more details from the Catskills Area Chamber of Commerce or register for the ride at; click on “clubs” and scroll down until you see “Tour de Pepacton.” You can also show up and register between 8am and 9am; rides set off at 9.

If you prefer (or also enjoy) more sedentary pursuits, the several allied book shops of Hobart Book Village are growing and are having a Memorial Day Sale that’s a bibliophile’s dream. Adams’ Books, Blenheim Books, Mysteries and More, Hobart International Bookport, Liberty Rock Books and Paper Moon Bookbinding will all be open 10am to 6pm, all three days of the weekend.

The grand opening of the Farmers’ Market at Chapel Hall in Franklin will take place on Sunday. Grab yourself some yummies and adorn your digs with a copy of their 2013 poster by noted realist Jack Beal. The market will be open from 10am to 2pm; it’s located on Institute Street.

The Summer Shack at the Andes Hotel will be rockin’ from 2 to 8pm on Sunday, May 26 with Doylestock, a Memorial Day tribute to late radio host Terry Doyle. Bands in the area never had a better friend, and six of them are coming out to play their hearts out in a tribute: Heaven’s Back Door, The Honest Mistakes, The Blues Maneuver, George Kilby Jr. and the Road Dogs, Just Throw Money and Esquela. Deejay Patrick del Rosario will host. Your $10 will go to the newly established Terry Doyle Fund for Young Musicians, administered by the Oneonta First Night Foundation. 


You have to be a skier/boarder to get your mind around the joy of the Endless Winter Rail Jam, but the folks at Windham Mountain know just what you need. So what if everyone else is kicking off the summer season? They’re pushing all the leftover snow into a giant pile to play on along with 200 of your fellow snow fanatics. The fun is free and goes on from 10am to 4pm, Saturday, May 25.

Irish is always in season, and the East Durham Irish Festival will bring together fresh talent direct from the Emerald Isle, New York and Boston to the Catskills. Three music pavilions, four bagpipe shows and four step dancing shows will perform at the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural & Sports Centre on May 25 and 26.

You’ll be quacking up as 500 rubber duckies take to the waters of Gooseberry Creek in the Tannersville Rubber Duck Race & Crazy Boat Race and Festival. Food, music and crafts will be happening at the finish line of the free event. The duck-launch is at 11am; build a craft and join in the Crazy Boat Race at 2pm. The free festival runs from 11am to 4pm on May 25.

The Windham Chamber Music Festival will be held at 8pm on May 25, the perfect way to relax after a duck race. You will hear Bach-Busoni Chaconne in D minor (from Partita No. 2); Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24; Chopin: Four Scherzos. Tickets are $25.


Harley riders should head for Sharon Springs, where the first-ever Sharon Springs Harley-Davidson Weekend will be in full vroom Saturday and Sunday. Day trips through the surrounding countryside depart from the New York House at 10:30am, and finish up at the American Hotel at 4pm. 

This weekend marks the opening of the Bees’ Knees Café at Heather Ridge Farm in Preston Hollow. Great eats, exquisitely prepared; outstanding views and self-guided trails for the exploring. You can even join a poultry CSA.


If you're a consummate bargain-hunter, head for the Greater Liberty Chamber of Commerce's annual Yard Sale-O-Rama, happening Saturday and Sunday in Liberty and the surrounding communities of White Sulphur Springs, Swan Lake, Parksville and Ferndale.

On Sunday, the second annual Soap Box Derby rolls down Main Street in Liberty. Be there bright and early: Festivities kick off at 8am.

Come out to Jeffersonville for the Art Experience & Chalk Walk. Not only will there be an array of eye-popping work to enjoy and/or purchase, there will be displays and demonstrations to draw the whole family into the experience. Magnificent works in the time-honored medium of chalk-on-sidewalk are just part of the fun. It’s happening on Sunday, May 26, all over downtown Jeffersonville.


The Folk Music Society of New York is hosting the springtime edition of their Traditional Folk/Roots Music Weekend at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson. Evening concert performers include Danny Spooner, John Kirk & Trish Miller, Joy Bennett & Chris Koldewey. Both Saturday and Sunday will be packed with workshops, jams and singalongs; check out the Folk Music Society's website for more information.

Across the highway and up the hill, they’re throwing a clambake at Kerhonkson's unique Ukrainian cultural center/hideaway Soyuzivka, affectionately known as Suzy Q. Besides the feast, enjoy traditional music and dance from Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26.

At the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz, enjoy the spring edition of the deservedly famous Woodstock/New Paltz Art and Craft Fair, a juried show with hundreds of exhibitors, fun to shop or just to experience. It’s on all weekend long, Saturday through Monday.

Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) in Saugerties takes off this week with a world-class hunter/jumper equestrian show, featuring some of the top horses and riders in the world competing for big bucks. It’s on from Wednesday, May 22 through Sunday, May 26.

The Woodstock Soundouts began in 1967 and provided the spark and template for the 1969 Woodstock Festival. They were revived in 2008 to benefit the Woodstock Day School. This weekend’s incarnation, hosted by Happy Traum, takes place with a stellar lineup at the Bearsville Theatre on Sunday, May 26, just in time to commemorate Bob Dylan’s birthday. 

For more great Memorial Day Weekend events, see our special section in Watershed Post's event calendar -- and if we're missing one, you can add it to the calendar yourself