The International Pickle Festival, Rosendale, New York
That first year we hoped 200 people would come for our highlighting of Japan, but more than 1000 did. Who knew that Pickles were so popular! Since then Pickle Fest seems to have taken on a life of it's own.
The trend continued for Pickle Fest '99 when we celebrated the German Pickling traditions and attendance doubled. Emil Hiler, the roaming accordionist and Shupplattler Dancers along with other strolling musicians added to the festivities.
In 2000 we joined with Mt. Olive and Vlassic Pickle companies helping with some great flavors as free tastings and door prizes. From sushi to sauerbraten, with kimonos and lederhosen there was something for everyone. In addition to the Kids Pickle Coloring Contest, and Pickle Balloons, come enter the Pickle Juice Drinking Contest or the Pickle Toss. We even had appearances by the piccolo, the Official Instrument of the Pickle Fest.
We have had inquiries from as far away as India, Bosnia, and Lebanon. We have had entries from Kansas, Manhattan, North Carolina and New Jersey, to right around the corner in New Paltz, Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties. As we go on, we add new countries and cultures to experience and have a Pickly Good Time.
In 2002, our Host the Rosendale Recreation Center, was being replaced. We had to adjust, and we found ourselves “Under the Big Top”. And come they did, over 4000 Pickle fans and their families. We had over 12,000 sq. ft. of vendors, all styles of flavored cucumber pickles, pickled peppers, tomatoes, okra, asparagus, beans, and many more vegetables and fruits. Zachary's Deep Fried Pickles, Vinny's Pickle Pizza, cheesecakes (none Pickle flavor), the Hibernian's delicious Corned Beef and Cabbage, sweet Maple Syrup and candies, Manny & Scott's Sauerbraten, all of them tempted your taste buds.
The new Rosendale Recreation Center saw its biggest crowd, almost 5000, since it opened with the 6th Rosendale Pickle Festival, once again graced by the ever gracious Japanese Dance Group. Senegalese and West African Drummers gave everyone a great show of their music. Who does not love Emil Hiler, the best German Accordionist around, accompanying the Schupplattler Dancers?
The freshest sushi Rosendale has EVER had was on hand to compliment the wonderful Traditional Japanese Dancers, along with other great pickled products, Pickle paraphernalia, shirts, tote bags, Dilli Chili, and MORE!
Let your mouth celebrate, tell us the best and worst of your Pickled Delights, come let your tastebuds be the judge at the Rosendale International Pickle Festival.
Among the local groups who have benefited from the proceeds of the Pickle Festivals are the Rosendale Youth Center, the Women's Club Spring Clean Sweep projects, the Food Pantry, and other civic projects.
Bill and Cathy Brooks
The Rosendale International Pickle Festival