Story and photos by Robert Knight
Heritage of West Nyack’s fourth annual fall festival Sunday was reported to be a huge success with more than 1,000 visitors recorded within an hour of the 12 noon opening at the Town of Clarkstown’s historic Vanderbilt/Budke/Traphagen park off Germonds Road in West Nyack. Among the highlights were:
- Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann opened the event at a fund-raising cocktail party the night before inside the 1730 Vanderbilt-Budke House, reportedly the oldest structure in the township.
- Historian Tim Adriance described the history of the Vanderbilt-Budke house to hundreds of visitors Sunday.
- Children were enthralled with Hayrides, stencil art, writing with a quill pen, colonial games, children’s story hour with the Hausner family and
- A petting zoo by Nickel-O Farms and
- Trying to walk on stilts.
- Most adored the West Nyack Fire Department’s giant fire dog, while a few fled in terror to pick pumpkins instead.
- Adults were fascinated by hand lace-making by Mayra Petretti,
- Blacksmithing demonstrations and exhibits by Jonathan Nedbar.
- Everyone was thrilled by two half-hour skirmishes between British and American troops during the Revolutionary War, portrayed by re-enactment groups the New Jersey Militia, Heard’s Brigade and the 35th Regiment of Foot.
Other events included 1841 cannon blasts by Stan the Cannon Man, talks by Ben Franklin, Daniel Hanchrow’s re-telling of the trial of Jane “Naut” Kanniff in 1816, the last witchcraft trial in New York State; walking tours of the property led by Paul Tappenden to identify edible plants, fruits, vegetables and weeds; gathering pumpkins in the pumpkin patch and carving or coloring them to take home, pumpkin bean bag toss and corn kernel games, demonstrations on making wood pens on a turning lathe by the Hudson Valley Wood Turners, and demonstrations of honey bees and their hives by Ron Breland.