The Carrot Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Congregation Agudat Achim in Niskayuna.
Since its founding 43 years ago, the festival’s mix of delectable carrot cake, savory dishes, and full roster of children’s activities have brought in thousands of people each year.
This year, the festival will look a little different.
“We’ve still been keeping in mind that even though there’s no limits we’re still in the middle of a pandemic,” organizer Hillary Fink told The Gazette last week. “We want to be safe, not only for our volunteers who are working but for the people who are coming. So we continue to be really careful in planning this year.”
Organizers are encouraging masks to be worn while outdoors and requiring masks to be worn while indoors. Live music won’t be part of the festival and organizers have limited the number of vendors and children’s activities. That’s not to say there won’t be plenty for kids and families to do. Kids can go on pony rides, see a reptile display, partake in miSci activities and have the chance to explore an airplane from the Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville as well as the News 10 ABC Storm Tracker.
As the festival’s name suggests, food tends to be the star of the show and this year is no different. Festival volunteers have prepared 700 carrot cakes to serve up, and they’ll also offer potato latkes, chicken shawarma, a Carrot Festival brisket sandwich and a Mediterranean platter (falafel, hummus, pita and tahini sauce) among other options. Food will be served to-go and there will be a drive-thru option for carrot cake and produce.
Vendors and crafters will be on hand selling everything from candles to kitchen supplies to jewelry and more. Local radio station B95.5 will provide music.
Slated to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the festival will also feature a CDTA “Stuff the Bus” event and organizers are asking for specific items to be donated to local non-profit organizations (the full list is available at Agudatachim.com). This year’s Carrot Festival is dedicated to Rose Westheimer, one of the festival founders who died earlier this year.