Monday, August 15, 2011


Last Spring Garrison, New York, was named by Hudson Valley Magazine “One of the ten best places to live.” Decades before that, the court of public opinion named it one of the best river towns to visit in the Hudson Valley.  And more that a century before that, its majesty was made clear by the Hudson River painters -- without even using words.  

Garrison Art Center has been a part of this unique history and has been bringing art to the area for nearly 50 years.  It is locally dubbed the “busiest little Art Center in New York”.  According to Hudson Valley Magazine   “… Garrison Art Center, housed in a charming old building on the river, is one of the Valley’s most active arts meccas.”  The New York Times says it is “a lovely waterfront location known for its popular art classes.”   

Each summer brings Garrison Art Center’s much-anticipated Fine Crafts Fair, an intimate affair down by the riverside where 90 select vendors offer unique high quality crafts/fine arts for the body and home. For 41 years visitors have enjoyed the wares of regional artisans, and in recent years -- with the come back of “hand mades” -- collectors, homeowners and those who just have a bent for something unique make their way to this Fair.  Visitors also enjoy a gourmet food court (or burgers and dogs), free river rides on the historic 47-foot Sloop Woody Guthrie plus non-stop foot-tapping live music generously supported by The Garrison, Hudson Valley Magazine, M&T Bank and WHUD.  This year’s acoustic music series includes live performances by Tiki Daddy, Baby soda Jazz Band, Evanescent, and Muhamadou Salieu Suso.

Sitting just a stone’s throw from Metro North and right at the edge of the Hudson, Garrison Art Center boasts one of the most famous river views anywhere. Although the magnificent castle across the water known as West Point Academy seems formidable, it somehow manages to look at home nestled within an even more awesome landscape. Sited literally on the edge of the water in Garrison Art Center’s back yard, the Fair has long been hailed for its small size and big beauty.  Equally important for many is the hassle-free convenience, just steps from the Metro North Hudson Line Garrison Station Stop, parking with shuttle service and even parking for those traveling by yacht –reservations required.

And after leisurely shopping, Fair visitors often enjoy the many local attractions. Train riders can hop back on the train, and one stop up river jump off in Cold Spring at the bottom of Main Street to browse the numerous atntique shops and have dinner at one of several highly acclaimed restaurants.  For those interested in making it a weekend adventure, there are several charming and historic bed and breakfast options.

The 42nd Fine Crafts Fair is August 20 and 21, 2011, from 10am to 5pm, rain or shine.  Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for train riders, seniors citizens and college students.  Kids 18 and younger are free with a parent.  For more information about Garrison Art Center’s 42nd Fine Crafts Fair, visit

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