All about the Snowflake Festival


All of Uptown Kingston will kick off the holiday season which includes something for everyone on Friday December 2nd from 6-8pm.

The Kingston Uptown Business Association (KUBA) presents the 4th Annual Snowflake Festival to be held in the Historic Stockade Business District of Uptown Kingston on Friday, December 2nd, from 6-8pm. The major sponsors for this year’s festival include Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor, WBPM 92.9 and Ulster Savings Bank.

Arriving in a historic fire truck, Santa will light the tree at the corner of Wall and North Front Street promptly at 6pm. Right behind Santa will be this year’s 2016 Light Of Uptown Award recipients Ed & Bill Ford who will be arriving in a vintage 1937 Ford.

The festival’s main stage, located at Wall and John St., will have FREE performances from Music Together, CCE’s Engery & Pook, Coleman HS Chorus, KHS Brass Band, and Ukraine Dancers, and a magician along with a bike raffle, all of which will begin promptly after the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Throughout the celebration in other parts of the Historic Stockade District The Ice-Man will be creating a magnificent snowflake display with dancing lights and music, and Mrs. Claus will be performing her holiday magic show (with puppets!), and The Heat-Miser will be juggling fire which was a crowd pleaser at last year’s Snowflake Festival. Victorian Carolers will stroll the streets filling air with music and holiday spirit.

Under the canopy, many shops and businesses will be joining in the festivities offering crafts, hot chocolate, cookies and even a photo booth to capture your holiday memories with family and friends.

Once again the Senate House will be a winter wonderland of lights and beauty where you can:

  • Stroll the grounds and tour the Loughran House so elegantly decorated for the season
  • Visit with Santa in the Yorker Barn then take a horse drawn carriage ride
  • Enjoy chestnuts roasting over an open fire and hot apple cider
  • Delight in Christmas Carolers singing holiday music

The Fireman’s Museum will also be open handing out treats and a place to warm up and learn about Kingston’s historic Fireman’s heritage and to register for their Power Wheels Raffle.

Make your reservations early for one of the many Uptown restaurants after a fun evening of holiday cheer.

Click here for more information.


Interview with the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo founder, Danielle Bliss


We love stationery, letterpress, the Hudson Valley and shopping locally! Put it all together and you have the personal and business philosophy of Ulster Co’s very own Danielle Bliss. We were thrilled to chat with Danielle to learn about her letterpress business and the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo, the annual shopping market now in its 4th year.

Tell us a bit about your business, Wishbone Letterpress.
Wishbone Letterpress is a custom graphic design and letterpress printing studio. Letterpress printing is a printing process that involves antique printing presses, cotton paper, and a raised printing plate. The printing process creates an impression that is pushed down into the paper. We do a lot of wedding invitations, business cards, and social stationery. My husband and I also have a sassy greeting card and product line that we sell to stores all over the world, and online. We write all of the copy, design and print all of our products.

What’s it like being a small business owner in Ulster Co?
It’s great, and can be difficult at times. Some of the companies that we rely on for press maintenance type things, don’t exist in this area. But other than that we have a really supportive business community and great local customers who appreciate what we do.

What made you start the Hullabaloo shopping event?
My husband and I traveled all over to sell our greeting cards at indie craft markets all over the North East. After participating in our first market ever in 2011, in Portland Maine, we asked ourselves why there wasn’t something like that event in Kingston? The market was hip and fun, there was music and food, and shoppers hung out all day. So while participating in markets for a few years, we took notes on what made for a good market, and organizationally what worked well, and came up with a plan for the Hullabaloo.

What’s your criteria for picking vendors?
When jurying the Hullabaloo I look for companies who are really engaged in their work and are committed to their craftsmanship. I look for high-quality, well-made, design-focused products that are unique, modern, and giftable. The curation process is really about finding a good mix of diverse vendors. We get a lot of applications from jewelers and ceramic artists.

Why do you think the local, hand-made quality of products is so important?
It’s important because first of all, local handmade products are usually better quality and are made to last. It’s something that you’re going to hold on to, and possibly pass down to future generations. But it’s also important to support small business, small businesses often buy their materials locally, supporting local farms and material suppliers. I think a lot of local small businesses, myself included, started businesses of their own because there is a lack of well paying jobs in this area outside of healthcare, and education. And now a lot of these small businesses are creating jobs.

How has Hullabaloo grown over the years?
The Hullabaloo has grown in size, we started out the first year with 47 vendors, each year we’ve grown a little, now we’re up to 75ish. And then there’s little things in terms of growth, more decorations, more special features, each year we hope to make the event a little more magical.

With everything from Hullabaloo to the Phoenicia Flea and Smorgasburg, where do you see the future of these hip, independent markets going?
I see the movement growing and hopefully working together to bring about more awareness about local makers in the area.

What part of the Kingston Greenline are you most excited about?
I’m excited for the Rondout section.

What are some of your fave outdoor activities in Ulster Co?
I’m a big fan of the swimming holes in the Catskills.

Where are some of your favorite places to explore in Kingston?
One of my favorite parts of Kingston is Midtown. There’s always something that you didn’t see before, an empty storefront or industrial building just waiting for a new life. I’m excited to see the eventual transformation of the area.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business.
Dream big and work hard, anything can be figured out.

Fave Color: Bright Yellow
Fave Movie: I don’t have a favorite.
Fave Song: “I’ll believe in Anything” by Sunset Rubdown, although that version only exists on youtube.
Fave Food: It’s a toss up between tacos and sushi
Fave Book: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


Danielle and her husband Joe


The Hudson Valley Hullabaloo

Kingston’s Looking for a “Big Jump”

If you’ve been following along as our work on the Kingston Greenline has progressed, you might have heard us talk about the Green Lane Project. Starting in 2012, the Green Lane Project was PeopleForBikes‘ campaign to build the sort of bike lanes that everyone would want to use – protected bike lanes.

An example of a two-way protected bike lane, with plastic flex-posts, in Columbus, OH.

An example of a two-way protected bike lane, with plastic flex-posts, in Columbus, OH.

Here in Kingston, we took the successes of the Green Lane Project to heart. Research has shown that protected bike lanes are the best way to increase ridership, particularly among groups that are less likely to ride without them: women, senior citizens, and families.

So, as part of the project to redesign Broadway, we joined with others to push for a protected bike lane along Kingston’s main transportation artery.

That design is still working its way through the necessary approvals, but just last week the City of Kingston took another major step in the march toward a fully-connected bike system with its application to PeopleForBikes’ next initiative, the Big Jump Project.

The Big Jump Project is a three-year effort to help 10 places achieve a big jump in biking – a doubling or tripling of people riding – by building a network of safe and comfortable places to ride and engaging the community. The goal is also to validate a core concept: that if a city does all the right things, more people will ride and the community will be a better place to live, work and play.

Turns out that Kingston was one of 80 cities across the nation (1:8 odds are pretty good!), and one of only 13 cities with populations under 50,000 to apply. The 10 winners will be publicly announced in January — but that won’t be the end of the line for the other 70 or for the rest of the United States. Instead, PeopleForBikes sees this as the beginning of a nationwide focus on finally connecting the all-ages biking networks that can make our communities significantly better for millions of people.

So cross your fingers for Kingston, and let’s keep working to make our great city an equally great place to bike…for everyone!

FALL FEAST’ivities: S. Pine Street City Farm Stand



There’s a lot of autumn entertaining and feasting to get on with this season, and the South Pine Street City Farm Stand is ready to supply you with fresh, naturally grown herbs and vegetables (using organic soil and seeds with no pesticides) to make all your fall dishes divine. Located at 27 S. Pine St in Kingston (map it), the stand’s hours are 3PM – 6PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays… Now through November 23rd!

Farmers Trish Hawkins and Joel Zenie would like to share with you this letter they recently penned to some local flora and fauna:

Dear Dr. Kale, the Collards, and Miss Mustard Greens,

Thank you, loyal friends. You’ve been with us from the start and now, it being Fall, you’ve caught some beneficial chill and will provide your good green leaves to human customers until our season’s end.

Dear Human Friends, come one come all to get your healthy Autumn greens (and root crops) at the Farm. We’ll be open Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 3 to 6 pm until November 23.

Hearty thanks to all,
Trish and Joel

P.S. Don’t come if there’s a blizzard! In any case, we’ll reunite in Spring.

Trish and a carrot

Trish and a carrot

peppered in deliciousness

peppered in deliciousness

garden chard

horseradish root

horseradish root

















The Stand’s fall harvest consists of: kale, collards, mustard greens, arugula, dill, cilantro, parsley, horseradish root, lettuce, turnips and carrots.

The Snowflake Festival

snowflake-fest-poster Uptown Kingston kicks off the Holiday Season with the Snowflake Festival… A fun, family oriented celebration and tree lighting ceremony.

WHO: Kingston Uptown Business Association
WHAT: The Snowflake Festival
WHEN: Friday, Dec 2nd, 6PM – 8PM
WHY: See Santa arrive on a Fire Truck!

Enjoy a fabulous tree lighting ceremony and then visit Santa with the kids at the Senate House grounds. There will also be an ice sculpture show, LIVE music, bike raffles and tons of shopping and dining. Celebrate with us for some serious Holiday Uptown Fun!

Snowflake Festival Chill Ride

Join us for our 2nd ride in the Chill Ride series. These rides are a chance to get out and experience winter cycling with a group of “chill” riders. The rides are slow and suitable for riders of all ages and abilities.

WHO: Kingston Land Trust & Bike Friendly Kingston
WHAT: Snowflake Festival Chill Ride
WHEN: Friday, Dec 2nd,
WHY: Take a chill ride then enjoy the Snowflake Fest!

This ride supports the Snowflake Festival hosted by the KUBA. Decorated bikes are encouraged and appreciated! Be sure to have working headlight and rear lights. After the ride, stay for the Snowflake festival. BFK is supporting KUBA’s bike raffle by donating bike helmets and locks for the winners.

Sinterklaas! Send-Off Celebration

sinterklassSinterklaas departs from the historic Kingston Waterfront (aka “Spain”) after a full day of open houses, musical performances, workshops creating beautiful crowns and branches & a children’s maritime parade down Broadway with stars & puppets galore.

WHO: Hudson Valley Community Productions
WHAT: Sinterklaas! Send-Off Celebration
WHEN: Saturday, Nov 26th, 11AM – 5:30PM
WHY: Kick off the Holidays with this fun Dutch tradition

Kingston sends off Sinterklaas & his white horse on a tugboat across the river to Rhinebeck (aka “Holland”). After his send off there will a Sinterklaas Soiree, a tree lighting & plenty of specials at local restaurants.

Hullabaloo Chill Ride

hullabaloo-rideJoin us and Bike Friendly Kingston for the first of this year’s Chill Ride series. These rides are a chance to get out and experience winter cycling with a group of “chill” riders. The rides are slow and suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

WHO: Kingston Land Trust & Bike Friendly Kingston
WHAT: Hullabaloo Chill Ride
WHEN: Sunday, Nov 20th, 12PM – 1:30PM
WHY: Take a chill bike ride then get your shop on at the Hullabaloo Holiday Market… There’s FREE bike parking!!!

Volunteers from BFK will explain how they stay comfortable on winter rides, and why winter bike commuting is all the rage!

Bike Clinic at the Repair Cafe

Bike-Friendly Kingston is partnering with the Repair Cafe for another special FREE bike clinic! Cycling isn’t just for the summer months any longer and it’s best to be prepared. You WILL learn tons about your bike!

WHO: Bike Friendly Kingston
WHAT: Bike Clinic at the Repair Cafe
WHEN: Saturday, Nov 19th, 11am – 3pm
WHERE: Clinton Avenue United Methodist:
122 Clinton Ave, Kingston, NY 12401
WHY: Learn how to repair your bike in an emergency and get your bike all ready for the winter.

There will be basic bike repair workshops and instructions, information, giveaways, helmet fitting and tons of help changing and repairing flats tires. Did we mention it’s FREE FREE FREE?!?

Hudson Valley Hullabaloo

14344754_1428576500491282_6878149818196267800_nThe Hudson Valley Hullabaloo is back for another year of merry-making with more than 70 artisan vendors and the event’s signature holiday party atmosphere, complete with delicious food and amazing music PLUS free bike parking.

WHO: Hudson Valley Hullabaloo
WHAT: 4th Annual Hullabaloo Holiday Market
WHEN: Sat 11/19 at 10A-5P, Sun 11/20 at 11A-5P
WHY: Get an early jump on your Holiday shopping.

The Hullabaloo is home to artists, designers and craftspeople making it a highly sought after market for shoppers with an eye towards design and one-of-a-kind or vintage gifts. There’s a $2 admission fee and kids 12 and under get in for free!