Closing Festivities for Bicentennial

August 12, 2012

On Saturday, October 13, a burial took place at the Elmendorph to celebrate the closing of Red Hook’s Bicentennial. After remarks by local officials, two five-gallon buckets, made to last a hundred years, were lowered into a hole dug on the Cherry Street side of the Elmendorph Inn and an engraved stone was placed to mark the spot. Among the items included in the buckets were the Community Heritage Book, newspaper articles, a 2012-13 yearbook, a telephone directory, photos and some memorable videos. We’ve uploaded the videos so you get a taste of what our Bicentennial had to offer.

First, Amy Murray’s marvelous depiction of Community Heritage Day with interviews by Chris Klose and songs by two of Red Hook’s fourth grade classes.  Click on this link: Bicentennial Community Heritage Day.  She captured the spirit of our community perfectly!

Then, the Giant Puppet parade,  preserved beautifully by  John Vincent and Kathy O’Connor . Click on this link: Giant Puppet Procession.

And finally, a special treat compiled by Alexander Klose for viewing at Community Heritage Day – a compilation of all the delightful songs created by Mill Road School students. Click on this link: Mill Road School Songs.

Enjoy. They make us all glad to be part of such a special community!



The West Point Band is on for this evening!

August 6, 2012

For the first time ever in Red Hook, the West Point Concert Band will give a rousing riverbank concert at historic Montgomery Place tonight, Saturday, August 11.  Concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on, and a picnic if you’d like and hope the thunderstorms stay away!

Montgomery Place, River Road, Annandale.

Come early, stroll the gardens, hike the trails, and enjoy the beautiful views.

Montgomery Place, Courtesy Historic Hudson Valley


A Day to Remember!

July 19, 2012

General Armstrong leads the Giant Puppet Parade

For icing on Red Hook’s Bicentennial cake, nothing could beat last Saturday’s Community Heritage Day at Historic Montgomery Place. More than 3,000 people came from Red Hook and all points of the compass to enjoy an extraordinary celebration of living history, family fun, music, sunshine, fabulous food, games, exhibits, farm machinery old and new, huge draft horses and elegant llamas, an old-fashioned schoolmarm giving lessons in a 1912 one-room school house (complete with indoor “outhouse!) — all topped off with a parade of more than 125 puppets representing more than 200 years of Red Hook’s passing scene.

"FDR" (Jonah Triebwasser) and his Secret Service agent (Frank Campagna)

“Wow! I’ve never had this much fun in my life,” exclaimed a visitor from Rhinebeck. “Me, too,” said her friend, “and I’m 83 today!” Indeed, Community Heritage Day was a Day to Remember — for the ages.

For a taste of the offerings we are pleased to present a few photos (by tireless photographer George Karpel) and Amy Murray’s marvelous depiction of Community Heritage Day with interviews by Chris Klose and songs by two of Red Hook’s fourth grade classes.  Click on this link: Bicentennial Community Heritage Day.  She captured the spirit of our community perfectly!

Then, the Giant Puppet parade,  preserved beautifully by  John Vincent and Kathy O’Connor . Click on this link: Giant Puppet Procession.

And finally, a special treat compiled by Alexander Klose for viewing at Community Heritage Day – a compilation of all the delightful songs created by Mill Road School students. Click on this link: Mill Road School Songs.

Community Heritage Day was sponsored in part by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities.


Old fashioned sack race




July 18 ‘Taste of the Past’ Event Postponed

July 17, 2012

Come to Community Heritage Day!

July 13, 2012

Saturday, July 14,
10 am – 5 pm
Montgomery Place, Annandale, NY

Historic Displays, Demonstrations, Performances
and Hands-on Activities

Rain Date Sunday July 15th

Free Admission and Free Parking.

Free bus from Red Hook and Tivoli (see brochure for details).

Click the link below to download the full brochure with details:

Community Heritage Day Brochure

Come to Community Heritage Day!

June 13, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 10 am – 5 pm, Montgomery Place, River Road, Annandale

Historical Displays, Demonstrations, Performances and Hands-on Activities!

Free Admission, Free Parking, Free Buses from Red Hook & Tivoli.

Click here for all the details – Community-Heritage-Day-brochure


Last Day for the Puppet Workshops!

Free community workshops to build giant puppets and other elements for Bicentennial “Portrait in Procession” of Red Hook

To participate, click here to fill out our online form!


Beginning Saturday, June 30, local artists Sophia Michahelles and Alex Kahn will conduct two weeks of daily “story-building” workshops to create giant puppets and other elements for a Red Hook Bicentennial Community Heritage Day parade on July 14, at historic Montgomery Place.

The workshops are free, geared toward adults and teenagers, but everyone is welcome. Participants may drop in for as long or as short a time as their creativity, energy and schedules permit over the two weeks.

Michahelles and Kahn are internationally acclaimed puppeteers best known locally as the creative force behind Rhinebeck’s annual Sinterklaas parade of whimsical Christmas-time creatures. They specialize in using processions as a means for communities like Red Hook to reflect upon, preserve and interpret their unique, defining aspects.

“We want people to lend us their stories as well as their hands,” says Michahelles. “The fun is having lots of people working together to create a story of Red Hook in solid form and color – like an old-fashioned barn raising.”

“Vivid, everyday examples are what make a parade larger than life,” adds Kahn.

The workshops will be at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 57 South Broadway, in the village of Red Hook, and are scheduled from Noon until 6 p.m. Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1, and from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m., Monday, July 2 through Friday, July 8, and again, from Noon until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8, and from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m., Monday, July 9 through July 13.

To help build Red Hook’s Bicentennial puppets, go to For further information, contact Carol Wagner, volunteer coordinator, at:

This project is made possible (in part) through a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, administrator of public funds through the New York State Council on the arts’ Decentralization Program, and is sponsored by the Egbert Benson Historical Society of Red Hook Bicentennial Celebration Committee.




Art Galore and More in June!

June 4, 2012

Two special events on Sunday, June 10: Blithewood Paint-Out and Gardens Tour and Tivoli Walking Tour


Enjoy the flow of brush and color as Red Hook Community Arts Network  (RHCAN – artists capture the Catskills and record the river while painting “en plein-aire” (outdoors in nature) at Blithewood’s beautiful Gilded Age gardens. At 2 p.m. accompany Bessina Harrar, author of “Blithewood – A History of Place,” for  a relaxed, informative tour of the gardens.

Free,  Hours: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bard College, Blithewood Avenue, (see sign for CCS Bard Hessel Museum), Bard Campus Annandale (follow signs) 
Site is not handicapped accessible – many steps leading to garden. Small parking lot by Blithewood Mansion, additional parking at CCS Bard Hessel Museum

At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday,  join us for “Tivoli Talks: A Walking Tour of Red Hook’s ‘Other’ Village,”  with former Tivoli mayor and historian Tom Cordier. Meet at Tivoli’s Watts de Peyster Hall (Village Hall) 3rd floor.

Also in June: “History Happened Here,” June 7 with Roger Leonard recalling the history and people of Upper Red Hook and “A Peaceable Secession: Red Hooks Splits from Rhinebeck” June 16 with J, Winthrop Aldrich at Rokeby.  Then on to the Giant Puppet Community Workshops that Monday, June 30 through Friday, July 13, culminating in the grand Portrait in Procession’  at the end of July 14’s Community Day. Lots of festivities in store at Community Day! Stay tuned!     See Events for complete information.


Red Hook Takes the Stage June 2!

May 23, 2012

Original Musical “The Land, The River, The People” Celebrates Red Hook’s 200 Years

Next up on our Bicentennial calendar is a special concert celebrating Red Hook’s history, culture, and enduring love of the land.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, not to be missed — filled with heartwarming music, song, prose and poetry by six world-class performers from the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Broadway,” says Loretta Campagna, Chairperson of the Bicentennial Celebration Committee.

The performance starts at 7 p.m. and takes place at the  Richard B. Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theatre, Bard College, Annandale. Tickets: $15; $12 seniors and Children 12 and under.  You can purchase tickets by calling the Fisher Center Box Office, 845-758-7900.  Tickets may also be purchased from Bicentennial Committee members or by calling Sandy at 845-757-3031.
Please call the Fisher Center Box Office for assistance with special seating. For more information call 845-757-3031. Read more »

Bicentennial Bash Begins!

May 14, 2012

Come One, Come All!

“Red Hook Needs You!” went out the clarion call well over a year ago. And from every point in the township, from Annandale and Barrytown in the west, Tivoli in the north, Upper Red Hook in the east, down to Red Hook in the south, the volunteers came.  Not to fight “Redcoats,” but mustered to honor the 1812 founding of the Town of Red Hook. Countless hours of goodwill and hard work later, the Bicentennial Celebration has begun!

Events Calendar Available

For your convenience, the list of events is posted under “Events” on this Web site and includes reservation forms for those requiring advance registration. A Calendar of Events has been mailed to all Red Hook residents detailing all of the wonderful festivities and community-wide programs you won’t want to miss from May through next October. A version of the printed calendar is also available under “Events.” From the official Bicentennial opening on Apple Blossom Day, May 12, to the October 13 burying of the Red Hook Bicentennial Time Capsule on the grounds of the historic Elmendorph Inn, there will be something of interest for everyone.

Bicentennial Commemorative Magazine is Out!

Make sure to pick up your free copy of the Bicentennial Commemorative Keepsake Magazine, published by Mercantile’s Jim and Heather Gibbons and made possible through the generosity of advertisers. Includes fascinating vignettes of bygone industries and profiles some of the srtists giving shape, form and color to our Bicentennial festivities. Available around town and at all Bicentennial events.

250 Years of Architecture The first major events take place the weekend of May 19-20.

Edgewater. Courtesy Richard Hampton Jenrette, Photo by John Hall

On May 19, we present the Heritage House and Barn Tour,  a self-driven tour of ten rarely open sites spanning more than 250 years of Red Hook’s architectural heritage. Among them is the Heermance farm, with its practically intact, early 1700s stone house. A church in Tivoli, barn in Red Hook, and a former Annandale grist mill imaginatively adapted for modern living will be on view, as will a Dutch barn in Upper Red Hook and a meticulously renovated Greek Revival house in the heart of Red Hook’s most productive agricultural acreage.

Edgewater, Barrytown’s magnificent Classical Revival mansion on the Hudson River, is certain to be a highlight, as will the closing reception at Red Hook’s Maizeland, circa 1799, home of Revolutionary War General David Van Ness, one of the village’s earliest developers.

For flyer, click below…

House & Barn Tour Flyer

Reservation Form – May 19 House & Barn Tour

Montgomery Place, Courtesy Historic Hudson Valley

In addition, both May 19 and 20, Montgomery Place Historic Site, Red Hook’s own National Historic Landmark, is opening its grounds and mansion free to the public in honor of the Bicentennial and New York State Heritage Weekend. A rare 1797 map of Red Hook and Rhinebeck will be presented for the first time. The grounds will be open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m and mansion tours will take place 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Call for Artists!

There are several exciting opportunities for artists to be involved in Red Hook’s Bicentennial. Among them, SUNDAY, JUNE 10: Artist Paint-Out at the Blithewood Gardens on the Bard College campus and SATURDAY, JULY 14: Artist Paint-Out during Community Day at Montgomery Place in Red Hook. The completed artwork will be on display at Red Hook Community Arts Network (RHCAN)’s gallery and Montgomery Place.  For details contact: Joanna Hess, Paint-out Coordinator at

Greetings and Happy Bicentennial Year to All!

January 6, 2012

In a fitting start to this Red Hook’s 200th birthday year, we are pleased to announce that the fabulous Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt top has been shipped this week for final finishing. Under the guidance of Diana Louie of the Village Fabric Shoppe, many volunteers contributed to the project. After unveiling, the quilt is to be on permanent display at the Red Hook Town Hall.

The Red Hook Bicentennial Quilt