HINSDALE, NY – Saturday's third annual Hinsdale Horseradish Festival celebrates a local legend.
She was Maude Bell, who grew up along the banks of the Olean Creek and the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal in the last two decades of the 19th century. She and her husband Will sold produce at a local farmer’s market and were best known for digging horseradish roots and farming horseradish plants in the garden they kept at their home along the canal on Fay Hollow Road. Maude Bell’s bottled horseradish was known to be superb. Will Bell died in 1941, and Maude Bell lived until 1975.
Almost 40 years after Maude Bell’s death, in 2014, three Hinsdale couples established a local horseradish company and called it Fat Root, LLC. And on the first weekend of June 2015, they launched the horseradish festival.
As in previous years, the festival will be at Memorial Park, 1547 Gile Hollow Road. This year, the festival will be on one day only, and festival hours will be from10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Last year was just a few over 600, but it was a two-day event and we caught rain all day Sunday,” Steve Clute, Hinsdale Town Historian and a partner in Fat Root, said. “We are expecting over 1,000 for this year.”
Last year’s festival had several sponsors including Good Times of Olean, Four Mile Brewing, Mountain 106.3, Lawrence Dye Insurance Services Inc., Sanzo Beverage Co. and Certo Brothers. This year, Fat Root and the Hinsdale Historical Society are the primary sponsors.
“Hinsdale is a very small town, so our options are few,” said Clute, whose Fat Root partners are his wife Christine, Jeff and Julie Goodyear, and Jeff and Sue Vandecar.
Live musical performances will be by Diggin’ Roots Band from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and by Nick Kody and the Creek Road Band from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
The New York State Police will present a vehicle rollover simulator at 4 p.m.
Festivalgoers can meet Daniel Klaes, the author of “Hinsdale House an American Haunting,” and see an episode of TLC’s television series “Paranormal Lockdown” that was filmed at Hinsdale’s haunted house.
The entertainment slate for the day also includes demonstrations of self-defense techniques by AKT Combatives Academy. And the Shire of Blackwater and the Shire of Hartstone, two chapters of the Society for Creative Anachronism Inc., will have members dressed in medieval attire demonstrating fighting, scribal, blacksmithing and woodworking techniques. Blackwoods Chainsaw Designs will present a variety of carvings and sculptures.
The festival will also feature child-friendly events. Magician Bill Gormont will perform at noon and 1 p.m. Steve Phillips is scheduled to give a command dog demonstration at 2 p.m. The Sun-Dance-Kids Farm will be on hand with a petting zoo. And an “extreme hula hooping” performance also is planned.
The Hinsdale Historical Society will offer shrimp cocktail and a game of “Name that Item” at its tent. Participants who identify the most items will receive a prize. Drinks and wine tasting will also be available at the Winery of Ellicottville.
The Hinsdale United Methodist Youth Group will offer an auction of donated baskets and gift certificates as a fundraiser for attending the seasonal Snow Camp at the Circle C Ranch.
Admission is $5 but free for teens and children under age 16.
Additional information and updates can be found at http://www.facebook.com/Hinsdale-Horseradish-Festival-540065469468798/.