With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, the countdown to every one of the local fairs and festivals in the Hudson Valley region has begun. Whether it’s watching an air show or equestrian event or scouting craft fair stalls like a pro, check out some of the region’s finest cultural and entertainment attractions:
Mashomack International Polo Challenge, Pine Plains, New York
The Mashomack Polo Club will host the 21st Mashomack International Polo Challenge and Luncheon on June 22. This prestigious event marks the start of the social season in Millbrook and attracts over 1,500 patrons and spectators from New York City, Westchester and Fairfield counties and beyond. Located on a 1,900-acre preserve in Pine Plains, New York, just 90 minutes from Manhattan, the Mashomack Polo Club is a full-service club for polo players of all levels from June through September. Join the fanfare to see who will secure the coveted 2019 trophy for their team and country. To purchase tickets, visit www.mashomackpoloclub.com.
The Rhinebeck Crafts Festival, Rhinebeck, New York
Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, the highly anticipated Rhinebeck Crafts Festival, June 22-23, is a celebration of all things handmade, including unique contemporary craft and art from over 200 independent American artists. Gourmet specialty foods, jewelry, tastings by Hudson Valley distilleries and wineries, hands-on craft demonstrations and a host of family activities make this a destination event not to miss. General admission is $10, seniors are $9, children 6-16 are $4 and children under 6 are free. The Rhinebeck Crafts Festival is held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6550 Spring Brook Avenue (Route 9) in historic Rhinebeck. There is free parking, and the show is held indoors and outdoors, rain or shine. More details are available at rhinebeckcraftsfestival.com.
Hudson Valley Wine & Chocolate Festival, New Paltz
Chocolate and wine are known to make a great pairing. A festival featuring both favorite food groups? Sounds heavenly. Just in time for Father’s Day, the Hudson Valley Wine & Chocolate Festival returns June 15-16 for all-day sampling, shopping and sipping in the vibrant and funky Hudson Valley town of New Paltz. This year, the event takes place at the Ulster County Fairgrounds and features more than 85 vendors. Also new is the festival’s updated admission policy. For the first time, it’s opening the grounds to visitors of all ages and offering free admission for children 10 and under. Visitors can expect an assorted roster of vendors including wineries, craftspeople and food trucks; hvwineandchocolate.com.
Weekend Air Shows at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Rhinebeck, New York
One of the Hudson Valley’s most popular activities kicks off June 15: air shows at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, which houses one of the world’s biggest collections of early 20th-century aircraft of the Pioneer, World War I and Golden Age of aviation. Performances chronicle the history of flight and offer museum visitors the opportunity to view over 60 vintage aircraft, many antique automobiles and motorcycles and related memorabilia in a classic small-town airport setting. Spectators can view dogfight demos as biplanes from the 1920s and 30s take to the skies. Avid aviation enthusiasts can enjoy the Hudson Valley from above while riding in an authentic 1929 biplane ($100). Weekend admission: $25, $20 for seniors 65 and over, $12 for ages 6-17 and kids under 5 are free. 845-752-3200; www.oldrhinebeck.org.
HITS-on-the-Hudson, Saugerties, New York
The HITS Saugerties Show Series is back! Starting on May 22 and continuing through Sept. 8, Ulster County’s signature horseracing competition returns for eight weeks of equestrian shows that dole out $3 million in prize money. The majestic Catskill Mountains provide a sweeping backdrop to this exciting series, which commences with HITS-on-the-Hudson 1, running until May 26. If you’ve never spent the day at the picturesque racetrack before, be sure to watch the talented horses and their riders do their thing. 454 Washington Ave. Extension, Saugerties. For upcoming events and information, visit hitsshows.com/Saugerties.