Friends And Food At Fairgrounds

Photo courtesy of hudsonvalleyresort.blogspot.
Photo courtesy of hudsonvalleyresort.blogspot.
Photo courtesy of hudsonvalleyresort.blogspot.

For those who struggle with choosing a singular flavor in New Paltz, Taste of New Paltz was the place to get your pallet wet.

The 24th annual Taste of New Paltz event was held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds on Sunday, Sept. 14.

Over 5,000 people flocked to the Fairgrounds to get a “taste” of what their town had to offer. Over 50 restaurants, craft, wellness and business vendors alike were set up in a sea of tents and tables to put their work on display.

Local wineries, cideries and craft brewers were also on-hand. Local restaurants put their food and drinks on display, charging $2-$3 a sample.

Peter Ingellis, the Executive Director of the New Paltz Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of Taste of New Paltz, said the event is great exposure for the many businesses and vendors.

“It’s the most cost-effective marketing you can possibly have is to come out here and spend $200-$250 dollars to exhibit,” he said. “They can come out here and people build up awareness about what they’re doing.”

Josie Eriole, owner of Moxie Cupcake, said it was Moxie’s fourth time at the event. The shop prepared 2,000 cupcakes for the afternoon’s festivities.

“My favorite part of this event is the people,” she said. “It’s just such a wonderful community feel of local people and tourist people. Everybody is so appreciative and happy of those people. It’s a big part of our community and I like to be involved in community events.”

This particular event began in 1991 at the Rivendell Winery. Since then, Taste of New Paltz has morphed into a rival for popularity against the Ulster County Fair.

Along with the food and drink samples, taste-goers enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, live music from The Dylan Doyle Band and The Jukebox Revolution and were able to interact with the community.

“I like to see the people that I don’t get to see all year long,” Ingellis said. “I see people that I usually don’t see in the course of normal business. I get to talk to them, thank them for being members of the chamber. I can talk to them to see what they want to do in the next year. The biggest thing I like about the event is that we get to bring people to town.”

Student members of the American Marketing Association Club at SUNY New Paltz conducted surveys of the overall experience from attendees at the event, to report back to the New Paltz Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees agreed on the consensus that the food is the best part of the Taste of New Paltz.

The main phrase of the day was, “we’re here to eat.”

About Melissa Kramer 157 Articles
Melissa Kramer is a fourth-year journalism major who lives for sports and music.