The Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival is taking place next Friday through Sunday – June 20th-22nd at The Saratoga Fairgrounds.

125 artists and artisans will display and sell their original works, there will be live entertainment and music and ongoing craft demonstrations, there will be activities for kids – oh, and 20 hot air balloons will launch.

Christian Dutcher is the balloon component organizer or The Saratoga Ballon and Craft festival and he joins us now.

    Big Gay Hudson Valley is holding their first-ever Queen City Pride celebration in Poughkeepsie the weekend of June 5th through 8th. They’ve given their classic “Pride Preview Weekend” a new date, new time, and a host of all-new events.

Events include Night Out At Vassar on Thursday June 5th; Big 80s Cosmic Bowling hosted by Trixie Starr on Friday, June 6th; Hudson Valley Gay Life Expo on Saturday June 7th; Beefcake Dinner also on the 7th; and the Big Gay Summer Picnic on Sunday, June 8th.

Here now to tell us more is Stephan Hengst, Co-Founder of Big Gay Hudson Valley.com and the organizer of Queen City Pride.


  Kingston’s Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History is sponsoring the second annual Kingston Community Block Party on June 8th from noon to 4pm at Kingston's T.R. Gallo West Strand Park. The multicultural festival is a free, family-friendly, multicultural festival which will feature live ethnic music, dance and comedy, along with handicrafts and children’s activities, including arts and crafts, games, singing and storytelling.

Here to tell us more are Geoff Miller, chairman of Kingston’s Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, and Gerry Harrington.

The 9th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival will spotlight 75 features, documentaries and short films, as well as parties, filmmaker Q&As, workshops and awards, from May 29th to June 1st in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, Mass.


  The Hudson Project is a new 3-day music festival from Michael Lang, the co-creator of the Woodstock Music & Art Festival. The festival will feature The Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse, Kendrick Lamar, a DJ set by Moby and so much more.

Winston Farm in Saugerties, NY will host four stages along with a 5th interactive performance area at the center of the site highlighting local musical acts and performance artists.

In addition to the musical talents, a wide range of interactive activities will keep attendees stimulated throughout the weekend filled with music, food, and camping.


  There is nothing like a good literary festival, especially when it takes over an entire municipality.

The 3rd Annual Read Local Red Hook Literary Festival will take place next weekend, April 11th and 12th, throughout the village. The festival is full of free events celebrating local authors and featuring the likes of James Romm, Valerie Martin and Gail Godwin.

We get a preview this morning from two of the organizers - Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books and Music and Juliet Harrison of Red Hook Community Arts Network.

   The annual Berkshire Festival of Women Writers is a collaborative, multi-venue event sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with many local partners, celebrated county-wide in the month of March, Women’s History Month.

In 2014, the Fourth Annual Festival will feature more than 150 women of all ages and from many backgrounds, sharing their talents through readings, lectures, workshops, performances and screenings held at 36 Berkshire County venues from Sheffield to Williamstown.

    The Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith, NY is having their annual Ice Harvest Festival on February 1st from 10am to 4pm.

Ice harvests were once an essential part of winter in rural communities. Before there was refrigeration, ice was needed to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months. Ice Festival attendees can take part in a traditional ice harvest! They’ll walk out on the frozen mill pond to help cut and maneuver blocks of ice using historic tools. The ice will be transported by sled and then packed in the Museum’s traditional ice house.

This year’s FilmColumbia Festival kicked-off last night with a screening of Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and directed by Stephen Frears.

Throughout the rest of this week and coming weekend, the 14th annual festival will show yet-to-be-released independent and foreign films, shorts, and some studio films in a lineup that includes the much buzzed about August: Osage County; Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; and the new Coen brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis.

Here to tell us more about the line-up are Peter Biskind, Executive Director and Co-Programmer of the FilmColumbia Festival and Calliope Nicholas, Director of FilmColumbia.

    The 4th Annual O+ Festival is taking place in Kingston, NY this coming weekend.

The O+ Festival is a three-day, community-run celebration of music, arts and wellness. O+ participating artists exchange their contributions for health and wellness services from art-loving doctors, dentists, and other medical providers at the O+ Pop-up Clinic during the festival.

  Joe Concra is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the O+ Festival and he joins with more information about the festival and shares songs for performing bands.