This year is the 14th anniversary of the Heart of the Hudson Valley Bounty Festival in Marlborough. Over the weekend, inclement weather pushed the festival from Saturday to Sunday, while seemingly without a drop off in attendance.
Sheila Mannese, of the Meet Me in Marlborough Events Committee, thanked key Festival sponsors: Dawes Septic & Repair, Sawyer Savings, Shamrock Amusements, the Town of Marlborough and Mobile Life.
Mannese said planning for the festival takes months.
“We do it for the community and the surrounding area so they can enjoy a fun day but also to get to know what we have in our area, especially in Marlborough,” she said.
Gerry Greco, of Hepworth Farms, brought a number of her workers to see one of their own perform with the Grupo Folklorico Latin Dance Troupe of Poughkeepsie.
Greco said many of her workers have been with her for 10 to 15 years.
“They come every year and are all legal under H2A visas. These guys all work on our vegetables, and without them here we would have no food in America,” she said.
Hepworth’s workers, who are mostly from Queretaro in northern central Mexico, arrive in Marlborough in April and return home in November. This non-immigrant visa program allows low-skill, temporary, or seasonal workers to seek employment in the United States.
Greco said she wants her workers, “to feel comfortable and to be treated as part of our community, and this is a good start right here; that’s how I see it.”
Daniel Cocozza, of Lepinski Farms, brought a few of his cows to the festival, especially favorites Ferdinand and Elton. He keeps them locally in the front fields at Quimby Farm on Mt Zion Road.
Cocozza said this is his first time at the festival.
“I think it turned out very good. People love the cows, and a large hay bear is the new addition. I built that myself, and that is probably the biggest hit besides the cows,” he said.
Cocozza is just starting out in the field, “and all of the local farmers have been very helpful. Everyone knows what I’m trying to do and everyone’s giving a lending hand.” He gave special thanks to Sean, Diana, Abbey and Emily Henry for their support.
Priscilla Goulden runs the Ulster County 4H Animal Squad that is based in Modena. She showed off an alpaca, saying that they help kids raise quality animals.
“We do a lot of community service and have gone to certain animal rescues in the past,” she said. “The kids are learning how to take care of animals and passing the information on to the community.”
Besides alpacas, Goulden said they expose the kids to goats, ducks, geese, chickens, dogs and horses.
Goulden is new to the Bounty Festival, “and we love it. Will Farrell and the Southern Ulster Rotary Club sponsored us and got us in and we’ll be back.”
Kim and Steve Wojehowski, of Woj’s Wood Shop, showed off a variety of their handmade wooden craft projects. Kim said Steve does the woodwork while she paints some of the items.