Food & Drink

Fourth Annual Hinsdale Horseradish Festival Slated for June 2

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Jeff VanDeCar, a festival originator, welcomes festival goers.   Credits: Richard Lee
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Photo from a previous Hinsdale Horseradish Festival shows attendees on a sunny day.
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HINSDALE, NY -- The annual Hinsdale Horseradish Festival is a chance for families to get out of the house, spend time with one another and enjoy a nice day outside, said Jeff VanDeCar, one of the organizers of the event.

This year's festival -- the fourth -- will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hinsdale Memorial Park, 1547 Gile Hollow Road. 

“We’re hoping for a nice sunny day, and obviously a big crowd,” VanDeCar.

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Each year, the event features dozens of different vendors, live entertainment and demonstrations. And attendance has been as high as 1,000, according to VanDeCar.

Attendees can expect a few new events this year, including a car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and “Magic by Uri”  at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Also new to this year's festival are musical performers Nick Kody and Lydia Herren, who will play from 1 to 3 p.m., and the Porcelain Bus Drivers, who will play from 4 to 8 p.m. -- two hours after vendors close their booths at 6 p.m.

Demonstrations are a big part of the event as well, VanDeCar said. Throughout the day, Fat Root LLC, will demonstrate the growing and processing of horseradish at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.The Shire of Blackwater, a local chapter of the Society of Creative Anachronism, will give sparing demonstrations at noon and 3:30 p.m.  Raptor rehabilitator Mark Baker will give a birds of prey demonstration from 1 to 5 p.m.

Back in 2014, Jeff Goodyear, Steve Clute, and VanDeCar were trying to come up something to do in Hinsdale.

“There’s all sorts of festivals in surrounding towns and we thought that Hinsdale needed something,” VanDeCar said.

They thought of Maude Bell and her family, who lived on Fay Hollow Road, grew horseradish along the Olean Creek and marketed a horseradish sauce. 

“It was an interesting idea for Hinsdale because there’s a lot of history behind the making of horseradish there,” VanDeCar said.

Since then, the event has been planned and sponsored every year by the Hinsdale Historical Society, along with Goodyear, Clute, and VanDeCar, who, with their wives, are partners in Fat Root, a horseradish sauce manufacturer and vendor of horseradish plants. 

Last year, organizers decided to turn the festival from a two-day event into a one-day event.

“We do really try to make it a community event in Hinsdale for everyone to enjoy,” VanDeCar said.

He noted that the annual Allegany County Celtic Festival will be held the same day in Cuba and that he is hoping that festival will not affect the number of attendees at the Horseradish Festival.

Admission to the annual Horseradish Festival is $3; children under 16 accompanied by an adult are free.

For a full schedule of Saturday’s events, please visit the festival website.

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