Hilltowns Market Day
The first project of a "Helderberg Hilltowns Association" might be planning a weekly Hilltowns Market Day whose location would rotate weekly from spring through Christmas among the four hilltowns: Berne, Knox, Westerlo, and Rensselaerville.
In this weakened economy, lots of hill town folks would be glad to raise a few extra vegetables to earn some extra money, bake some cakes and pies, put up some canned fruits and vegetables for sale. Extra money in the local pockets, and the city folk would love it.
Town Park Activities
Each town would have to agree on where to hold this monthly event in their town. An ideal solution would be to make the town park pavilion available one weekend a month to be the center of the activity. The pavilion might be reserved for local vendors. Outside vendors could bring their tents or mobile carts and set up on the surrounding lawn. Local organizations could use the food booth. The towns could agree on fees for locals and for outside vendors based upon the size of the area set aside for them. This would pay for any parking attendants and cleanup, plus be a source of income for the town.
Activities at the park could be:
- flea market tables
- arts and crafts
- farmers market:
- spring - bedding plants (especially of heritage varieties, flowers, maple syrup
- summer - organic vegetables and fruits, flowers
- fall - flowers, fruits, pumpkins
- early winter - Christmas trees, wreaths, arts and crafts, canned goods, baked goods, smoked hams and turkeys
- antiques and collectibles
- baked goods
- home canned fruits, vegetables, pickles
- jams and jellies
- smoked hams and turkeys
- maple syrup
- fresh eggs
- free range chickens
- boxed picnic lunches
- crocheted and knitted articles, quilts
- pony rides for kids
- local musical groups could perform.
- food booths with hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas, etc.
- Folks would be encouraged to have their garage sales only on their town's Hilltown Weekend; pass out maps at the Park.
- Once this idea gets established, encourage organizations to have their fund raising events, breakfasts, and dinners on the same date.
- Some organization might even start serving lunch to Hilltown Weekend visitors.
- Local restaurants could have Hilltown Weekend lunch specials.
- Local organizations could on occasion plan a "House and / or Garden Tour" for Hilltown Weekend visitors. Maps could be distributed at the Town Park in return for donations: a low cost fund raiser.
- Themed special events - like a car show, or antiques fair