Kids Almanac: Ways to celebrate Martin Luther King

Beacon hosts musical Dr. King Parade

The Dr. King Parade in Beacon on Monday, January 20 is a short musical parade for Martin Luther King Day, with songs including “Oh Wallace,” “If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus” and “We Shall Overcome”: all songs from the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marches. All ages are welcome at this Clearwater event. I love envisioning all of these voices together, helping our kids learn some of this important American history while feeling inspired to find their own way with making our world a better place.

Lineup takes place at 9:30 a.m. at the Springfield Baptist Church, located at 8 Mattie Cooper Square in Beacon, and the parade begins at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Bonnie Champion at (845) 255-6436, Linda Richards at or (845) 265-8080, extension 7105, or visit


Kingston YMCA hosts indoor mini-triathlon

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to exercise more? How about doing a mini-triathlon? Looking for an opportunity to venture into the tri-world with your tween or teen? Do you want to be able to mention casually in any conversation for the rest of your life that you’ve competed in a tri? Or perhaps you are an experienced athlete interested in trying some new strategies in a smaller event?

Whatever your motivation, the YMCA Indoor Triathlon on March 2 is definitely worth checking out, and right now, preregistration is open for only $20. The price goes up to $50 after February 15. This mini-tri is open to all abilities and ages 12 years and up – and they’re serious about all abilities, because, shockingly, even I have done this event: It consists of a 15-minute swim, 20-minute bike and 20-minute track run. You can do this!

The YMCA is located at 507 Broadway in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 338-3810 or visit


Shandaken Primitive Biathlon in Oliverea

Love snowshoeing and want to kick things up a notch? Need a cure for cabin fever? Pull out your snowshoes and black-powder, muzzle-loading firearm and head over to the 17th annual Shandaken Primitive Biathlon! The biathlon takes place on Sunday, January 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Upper Esopus Fish & Game Club. The 1.25-mile course includes four shooting stations with two shots per station. It’s a timed event, but you can shave one minute from your total just by wearing 1800s attire.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each of the four age groups: 12 to 16 years; 17 to 40 years; 41 to 59 years; and 60 years and over. Participants may also opt for an untimed woodswalk division for those interested in snowshoeing and shooting the course. Tomahawk and Sharpshooter competitions will be included as separate events. Day-of biathlon registration costs $18; the woodswalk costs $12.

The Upper Esopus Fish & Game Club is located on Little Peck Hollow Road in Oliverea. For more information, call Paul at (845) 246-3954, Vince at (845) 688-5560 or Ed at (845) 339-3449, or visit


Two snowshoe tours of Minnewaska

To me, snowshoeing feels like the winter equivalent of kayaking. I can walk around and explore the woods freely and quietly, catching animal sightings and other moments in nature that I might not be able to achieve otherwise. Here are two excursions to consider at Minnewaska State Park Preserve, located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson.

First, on Sunday, January 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., take a hike along the Mossy Glen Trail, including the newly replaced Blueberry Run footbridge that was lost during Hurricane Irene. Dress for the weather, and pack a lunch and water or a hot beverage as well as snow boots or waterproof hiking boots in case snow conditions are poor. Preregistration is required, and children and youth under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A limited number of snowshoes are available on loan to registrants, so space is limited to early signups. To register, to inquire about fees or for more information, call (201) 512-9348, extension 16 or visit

Second, on Monday, January 20 from 1 to 3 p.m., take a two-mile-long snowshoe loop hike of Beacon Hill along two carriage roads and one hiking trail with Laura Conner, environmental educator. Preregistration is required. Snowshoes may be rented from the Park Preserve Office, located at the Peterskill climbing area at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson. “Please note, once ski trails are groomed, the entrance fee for this area of the Park Preserve is $6 per adult and $5 per junior. The Empire Passport will not be accepted.” To register, call (845) 255-0752 or visit


Frost Valley YMCA offers MLK weekend getaways

Need a family getaway? Spend your long holiday weekend at Frost Valley YMCA for a two- or three-night package from Friday, January 17 to Monday, January 20. Activities include over 30 miles of cross-country ski trails, snow-tubing, ice-skating and more. Frost Valley YMCA is located at 2000 Frost Valley Road in Claryville. For reservations or for more information, call (845) 985-2291, extension 450, or visit

Erica Chase-Salerno is probably out skiing or drinking hot cocoa right now. She lives in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at



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