First Friday returns to Saugerties with art, wine & delectables

Rock Star Rodeo’s Bill Yosh & Lucky Chocolates’ Rae Stang (photo by Will Dendis)

On the first Friday of every month, the shops, art galleries and restaurants in the Village of Saugerties extend their hours for the night, and host special events and sales in a communitywide demonstration of camaraderie and mutual support. The next First Friday event unfolds this Friday, September 7 from 5 to 10 p.m. (Be forewarned that some venues will close earlier than that, and a few will stay open later.)

It seems like it has been around longer, but First Friday has only been in play in Saugerties since July of this year. Diane Dwyer, one of the event organizers, says that she was inspired by the First Friday wine tastings that the Partition Street Wine Shop in the village has held at its location since last fall. When Dwyer opened the Imogen Holloway Gallery on Partition Street in May of this year, the idea of doing a First Friday event at her new place of business appealed to her, and Rae Stang of Lucky Chocolates, along with Karyn Pavich of the Dutch Ale House and Dry Goods, quickly adopted the idea as well.

Now, just a few months into it, there’s a long list of participating venues in the village giving art-lovers, shoppers and diners a good reason to come around and stay out late. Up to now, most of the activity has been on Partition Street; but this time, several places on Main Street are getting involved too, and organizers hope that the event will continue to expand and evolve. They’re interested in attracting more street performers, like the impromptu fire-eater who set up in front of Lucky Chocolates last time, or buskers who’ll play an instrument and sing on the streets.

Some of the participants plan ahead as to what the visitor can expect to find at their locations, and others wait until the last minute; so a walk around the village that night will probably yield some pleasant surprises.

Visitors on First Friday this month can definitely expect to find out-of-the-ordinary edibles, though, like the Mezcal Picklebacks and salty treats from the Brine Barrel showcased at the Partition Street Wine Shop. Love Bites will feature Thai Food Night, and the Hudson Valley Dessert Company will offer a gift-packaged sampler box of ten different kinds of biscotti. For any kind of snack that might benefit from a coating of chocolate, Rae Stang of Lucky Chocolates will have a chocolate fountain for dipping purposes in the window of her shop.

Several venues will host live music. Jeremy Bernstein will perform original tunes and ballads at the Partition Street Wine Shop, and the Main Street Restaurant will have special cocktails to accompany its live music. ‘Cue will offer the folksy blues of Mr. Roper to enjoy along with late-night barbecue, served until 9:30 p.m.

The art galleries in the village use the occasion of First Friday to change their exhibits – the Holloway on a monthly basis, the Marleau Gallery every other month. Both galleries will host opening receptions this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. The Imogen Holloway Gallery will exhibit “Wiggle Room,” bold graphic works depicting rhythmic patterns by Margrit Lewczuk and Matthew Magee, and the Marleau Gallery a few doors away will show “Four Fellows,” featuring work by local artists Sara Conca, Robert George, Michael Ciccone and Richard Gamache. The Wolf Moon Pet Barkery will host a wine-and-cheese reception for artist Carol Lieberman, whose pet paintings generate proceeds that benefit animal rescue organizations.

Some of the retail merchants will hold special sales. Light House will offer an end-of-summer sale of home entertaining items, and Dig will give an extra ten percent off sale items from 5 to 10 p.m. New retailer Christine Dempsey of the Crimson Gypsy Design Studio will offer romantic handmade clothing and corsets. The English Garden will give free framing estimates, and Dry Goods will offer microbrewed beer and hors d’oeuvres from the Dutch Ale House, the restaurant that Dry Goods proprietor Karyn Pavich owns with her husband Johnny.

For more information, contact Diane Dwyer of the Imogen Holloway Gallery at or Rae Stang of Lucky Chocolates at

The latest installment of First Friday happens this Friday, September 7 from 5 to 10 p.m. (give or take) in the Village of Saugerties. Special sales, promotions, out-of-the-ordinary edibles and art gallery exhibits and receptions are featured in a communitywide demonstration of camaraderie and community support.

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