Food Festival has things cooking in Millerton

Saturday, Sept. 18, promises to be a day to savor — and a day to pace yourself. Because on that day, Millerton is going to transform itself into a grid system of well, to be honest, we’re not exactly sure of quite how many village blocks (let’s face it, writing this we got a little too excited and a little too hungry to sit down and chart out the exact number of streets and avenues in the entire village, but trust us, there are a lot of them!) filled with the kind of culinary delights one’s olfactory senses and gustatory system just isn’t used to handling. 

That’s right, Saturday, Sept. 18, from morning till night (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), will be the first-ever Millerton Food Festival. From everything we’ve seen and heard, it’s going to be a doozy!

The Millerton Business Alliance (MBA) has spent months planning for the event, along with Main Street Magazine founder, editor and owner Thorunn Kristjansdottir (who also happens to head things up at the MBA). It was Kristjansdottir’s brainchild to hold the festival in the first place. The merchants have been contributing lots of ideas also, as they’re pretty excited about the festival, too. 

So are the restaurateurs, who rather than feeling competitive with the food vendors and food trucks coming into the village for the special one-day affair, have been welcoming and inviting to all of those who are participating in this tourist-friendly event. That’s really encouraging to hear.

There are so many great headliners coming into our quaint little northeastern Dutchess County dot on the map that day: Lemongrass Grill, Momma Lo’s BBQ, Cosmic Donuts, Love Feast and more.

There will also be loads of activities to engage in throughout the village, including at the 1858 one-room Irondale Schoolhouse located at the Main Street entrance to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, where kiddies can decorate cookies. 

For more robust appetites, families can dine on barbecue on the lawn of the Millerton Inn, across the street from The Moviehouse (where you can catch a flick later that evening).

Another option, stop by the North East Community Center (NECC) to see old friends or make some new ones and enjoy potluck together.

Be sure to also visit North East Ford further out on the Boulevard District, where they’ll be offering an assortment of family-fun activities. 

Of course, what kind of Food Festival would be complete without checking out the seasonal offerings at the Farmers Market — especially when you have one as enticing as the weekly market put on by NECC? It includes farm-fresh produce, pasture-raised meats, local cheeses, baked goods and prepared foods. All of their vendors are local and use sustainable and ethical growing practice — how can you argue with that? The NECC Millerton Farmers Market is located at the Millerton Methodist Church, at the corner of Dutchess Avenue and Main Street; it will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the festival.

Not only will locals of and visitors to Millerton get to enjoy all of that great gourmet gratification on Saturday, but all of the lovely local fare we are accustomed to will also be available — and regular readers of The Millerton News should be well aware of what a treat that is (even if many of us are spoiled from eating it so often by now). 

We should count ourselves fortunate that we in the presence of such excellent culinary talents as those who chef at restaurants like 52 Main, Oakhurst Diner, Millerton Inn, Harney’s & Sons, Taro’s, The Dig and so many others.

We are relishing the upcoming Millerton Food Festival with great anticipation, as we do so many of the MBA’s other great ideas. The merchants alliance has made such great strides in keeping this already vibrant village alive and well, especially now, during the pandemic, when it’s needed more than ever. Kudos to them for doing such great work so consistently and so competently. Clearly, they really know how to get things cooking!

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