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Beekman Harvest Fest continues to grow

Beekman Harvest Fest continues to grow

Mini-villages, tours, demonstrations planned for annual festival
Beekman Harvest Fest continues to grow
Brent Ridge, left, and Josh Kilmer-Purcell on the farm at Beekman 1802.
Photographer: photo provided

It’s getting to be that time of the year, when farmers are reaping what they’ve sown. 

At Beekman 1802, that means not only vegetables but a Harvest Fest of all things Beekman.  

It’s been a busy year for owners Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge. They’ve recently partnered with Ommegang Brewery, SAS Shoes, Crowne Plaza and HSN. Their Harvest Fest, happening Saturday and Sunday, is in its ninth year and has also expanded.

“It’s grown so large that we’re dividing our little village into mini-villages,” Ridge said. 

Those will include an artisan village, a storybook village, a gourmet village, a celebration village, a vintage village and a beer garden.  

But while the event has gotten bigger -- they’re expecting more than 6,000 attendees this year -- Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell are maintaining the small-town feel and shining a spotlight on all things upstate New York. 

“ . . . Without losing that small-town feel to it because we know that that[’s] what people love. They love coming to be part of the community and feeling like they’re surrounded by neighbors,” Ridge said. 

Attendees will get a chance to check out the Beekman farm via hourly tours. They’ll also get to meet the makers of some of the famous Beekman products along the way. 

“We’ve worked with over 300 local artisans to create our products. This year when people come to the farm they actually get up close with some of our artists, because we’re actually making an artist colony on our farm. People will get to meet our blacksmith and our glass blowers and our ceramicists, and talk to them about their craft,” Ridge said. 

Besides the tour, there will also be a chance to get funky with goat disco. 

Sharon Springs’ own Jay Lavery, a resident who became famous last year when a video of him dancing in his barn to Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” went viral, will be teaching neighbors how to boogie -- with goats.

Throughout the day there will be live music to dance to as well, including the Kennesaw Mountain Boys, Charlie & The Roomers, Milkweed, Brian Shafer & Becca Frame, and many others.  

And for those who don’t dance there’s plenty to do, like the No Apologies pie-eating contest. 

“Everybody is so health conscious these days and they don’t want to eat their second piece of pie, and we’re like 'When you come to Sharon Springs we want you to eat the whole pie,'” Ridge said. Pies will be provided by Stewart’s. 

For the kids, there’s a lot to do in storybook village, where they can get their faces painted and learn how to blow the best bubbles. Librarians from across the region will be reading some of their favorite stories aloud throughout the day.

In keeping with the “live local, buy local” philosophy, there will be more than 120 producers from across New York state, including fiber artists, jewelry makers, glass artists and others. The gourmet village will also offer opportunities to meet local farmers and food vendors.  

Of course the Beekman Mercantile shop will also be open, and there will be chances to try some of the new products Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge have been working on. 

“We’ve just launched our beer with Ommegang, so we’ll have a full beer garden. People will get to try the new Goat Milk Stout,” Ridge said. 

SAS Shoes, which Beekman 1802 has partnered with, will be giving away shoes. SAS is one of the few shoe companies that still makes its products in the United States, and because Beekman 1802 is committed to manufacturing in the U.S. it just made sense to partner, said Ridge. Makers from SAS will also be giving demonstrations on how their shoes are produced. 

Beekman 1802 will also be launching a partnership with Crowne Plaza, which has about 300 hotel locations across the country. Beekman soaps will be featured in all the hotels. The first 2,000 people to enter the Harvest Fest will receive a free pack of the soaps and lotions.  

While neighbors might walk away with goodies and a full stomach, they’ll also be leaving having met a few new friends, of both the goat and the human variety. 

“We just want to make sure that when people come, they leave with a smile on their faces,” Ridge said, “We guarantee that.”

Harvest Fest

WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
WHERE: Sharon Springs
TICKETS: Free
MORE INFO: beekman1802.com
PARKING: There are two locations to park. There will be free shuttles taking visitors to and from the parking areas to the festival. They’ll run continuously throughout the festival. 

  • Sharon Springs Central School, 514 Highway 20
  • Sunnycrest Orchards Farm, 7869 NY-10
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