Winter Hoot Festival at Ashokan Center

Mike & Ruthy

From February 1 through 3, the first-ever Winter Hoot Festival at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge will celebrate the musical and cultural heritage of the region and raise funds to help nearby schools attend the Ashokan Center’s year-round environmental education and natural history programs. Hudson Valley musical royalty will come out to support the cause. The event is hosted by folk roots duo Mike & Ruthy. Other performers include Natalie Merchant, Amy Helm, Spirit Family Reunion, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower, Ratboy, Jr., Rosie Newton & Richie Stearns and Kristin Andreassen.

“Ruthy and I have been eager to start a community-oriented music festival,” said Mike Merenda. “The Ashokan Center has played a big part in our lives, with Ruthy’s father and stepmom, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, having been so involved with [the place] for over 30 years. The brand new Ashokan Center has provided the perfect location and shared vision of building community through music, ecology, and the arts, and we’re thrilled to hatch the Winter Hoot there.”

There will be a screening of the groundbreaking film Dear Governor Cuomo by Hudson Valley filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, with a post-film concert by Natalie Merchant. Dinner by New World Home Cooking will be offered on Friday and local vendors will create an indoor farmers’ market on Saturday. Additional programming taking place all day Saturday and on Sunday morning will include art activities by Fiberflame and indoor/outdoor events including birding, hiking, sledding, nature photography, blacksmithing, singalongs, jam sessions, late-night revelry and a silent auction.

There is a suggested donation of $30 to $50 per person, with onsite accommodations available from $25 to $100 per night. For the schedule and additional information, visit

Winter Hoot Festival, Friday-Sunday, February 1-3, $30-$50, Ashokan Center, 477 Beaver Kill Road, Olivebridge;

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