Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's baaaaaack ...

In the February issue of Hudson Valley Connoisseur, Shelly Loveland wrote a great article profiling a few of the interesting folks who knit in our region and listing some great places where they find their supplies, such as exotic handcrafted wools.

One of the most important events for regional knitters that she mentioned was the annual Chancellor’s Sheep & Wool Showcase at Clermont State Historic Site. This year it takes place on April 26, and organizers have announced that this year's event will have a Celtic flavor.

Here is more info:

Clermont State Historic Site is proud to highlight Chancellor Robert Livingston’s Celtic heritage at its on Saturday, April 26th from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. This year, the Showcase will feature kilt making, bagpiping, exhibits of historic and modern tartans, and lively Celtic music, as well as a full array of wool related crafts, vendors and demonstrations. Admission to the event is $7 per vehicle.

Vermont farmer Fred DePaul will show sheep shearing techniques across three centuries, while reenactors of the Ulster County Militia will demonstrate 18th century wool processing. Visitors will enjoy watching the highly trained border collies of Wild Goose Chase as they herd ducks on Clermont’s garden terrace.

Music from the Celtic Isles will echo across Clermont’s great lawn as bagpipers from the Capital Region Pipe Band perform at 11 a.m. and noon. The David Godding Band will present Celtic music and light-hearted dancing at 2 p.m.

At 12:45 p.m., Doreen Browning of the Kiltmaker’s Apprentice in Highland will demonstrate how kilts are made. Children can design their own family tartan at the crafts tent or round up sheep on a “Spot the Sheep” tour of the historic mansion.

Shoppers will find unique, hand-crafted items such as sweaters, scarves and jewelry for sale. Supplies for fine crafts will be available, including hand-dyed yarns and quality knitting accessories. Many of the Showcase’s best deals can be found at the Chancellor’s Silent Auction, an event to support the Friends of Clermont, who sponsor the Showcase.

The mansion at Clermont State Historic Site will also be open for tours. Tickets are $5 per adult, $4 per senior/student, and free for children 12 and under. For more information on the Sheep & Wool Showcase, vendor registration, or volunteering as a knitter, please contact Kjirsten Gustavson at (518) 537-4240, or visit www.friendsofclermont.org.

Clermont State Historic Site is a wonderful place. I used to work giving tours in its mansion years ago when I was on break from college. In addition to the mansion, Clermont has formal gardens, scenic Hudson River views and miles of hiking trails. The road leading to Clermont is just off Route 9G, near the Dutchess/Columbia county border north of Tivoli. The Friends of Clermont is a private, non-profit educational corporation, founded in 1977 to support and supplement the museum education and historic preservation programs at Clermont State Historic Site. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Clermont is one of six historic sites and 12 parks administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in the Taconic Region. For more information on New York State Parks, please visit the website at www.nysparks.com.

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