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Category Archives: Little Falls

Mohawk Valley Art

Saturday afternoon I drove to Little Falls, NY, with my friend Tracy to attend an art opening at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA).

I’ve stopped in at MVCA before, most recently in September during the Garlic Festival. Regular readers may remember that I won two lovely pieces of art at the MVCA Art Giveaway in October. This is the first opening reception I’ve been to. I hope it will not be the last.

The exhibit was “People and Places in My Travels” by Deborah Rosato. I was enchanted by “Christmas in Old Forge,” which MVCA shared on its Facebook page. The other watercolors and pastels in the exhibit did not disappoint. Ms. Rosato was on hand to answer questions about her work. I didn’t have any questions; I just took it all in.

Tracy and I chatted up Kevin Mihaly, the executive director. He mentioned volunteer opportunities. I am interested in that, if it could work out. For one reason, I might get some blog posts out of it.

We also talked with Frank Wilcox, one of the artists who had donated work to October’s Art Giveaway. I also knew Mr. Wilcox because he was in the play Strike Story, which was presented in Little Falls’ Black Box Theatre and at Ilion Little Theatre.

I later noted in MVCA’s Calendar of Events, “Art Matters,” that he will be teaching a 10-week class in Mixed Media beginning in January. MVCA offers a number of art classes. I had said at the Art Giveaway that I was inspired to create something. Perhaps a class is in my future.

After looking at the exhibit and enjoying some of the refreshments, Tracy and I went into the retail section, The Selective Eye. Art, jewelry, clothing, postcards and more are available for purchase. I bought some postcards when I was there in September. They didn’t have any new ones this time.

I was really happy I had made it to the art opening. I was also pleased I had picked up the Art Matters Calendar of Events, so that I can take advantage of other events. For more information on MVCA, you can call 315-823-0808, visit their website at, or Like their Facebook page.


Interlude at Little Falls

Our plans for Sunday included a trip to Little Falls, NY, where we hoped to take in a show at the Black Box Theatre at Canal Place.

Little Falls is a mere six miles from Herkimer. You can get there by State Route 5 or by Route 5S. We went 5S this time, another scenic country road. We noted what seemed like a lot of cars at Herkimer County Humane Society and hoped that meant lots of people adopting dogs and cats. We also noticed the scaffolding at the Historic Fort Herkimer Church where they are doing some renovating. I’m hoping they have some event celebrating when the repairs are finished. It would make an awesome blog post.

The play we had hoped to see at the Block Box was sold out. That was disappointing, but we made the best of it by checking out the shops. Two re-purposed factories, Canal Place and the Shops at 25 West, host a variety of antique and specialty shops. We browsed vintage clothing, books and toys I remember from my childhood (I believe I’ve mentioned I’m old).

We took our time wandering around. Steven found a ceramic witch he couldn’t resist. I admired a few Santa Clauses on our way out, but I figured one holiday was enough for now.

I picked up a brochure about Little Falls and discovered a number of other attractions I would like to check out for future blog posts. If you’d like more information about Little Falls, visit

I Stink and Am Merry

The Little Falls Garlic Festival boasts the motto, “Eat, Stink and Be Merry.” I like it, but I also think it is a little silly, because I like the smell of garlic. I suppose they refer to garlic breath. I guess that’s different.

I missed the Garlic Festival last year so was pleased when my sister Diane and her daughter Camille drove over from Liverpool specifically to attend. It’s not a far drive from Herkimer to Little Falls. It was not even too difficult finding a parking space.

We paid our admission and got our hands stamped in case we left and desired re-entry. I said it was like we were going to a bar or a club, a thing I have not done in ages.

We strolled around the booths, trying free samples of garlic and dips made with garlic. I never realized how many garlic farmers this area has. I also had not realized how many varieties of garlic there are.

“I just go to the grocery store and buy garlic,” I said.

“Don’t buy that junk!” a vendor said. “That’s shipped over from China! Buy enough here to last till next year.”

I didn’t quite do that, but I purchased a lovely braid of garlic which is currently hanging in my kitchen. When it is gone, I shall make every effort to replenish my supplies through a local vendor.

Our fun was cut short by a storm. We had been a little afraid it would be but had made up our minds to enjoy the festival while we could. It had started to sprinkle and the wind had started whipping as Diane purchased her garlic. I was relieved that the bill she was using to pay and the bills the young man had gotten out for her change did not fly away in the breeze.

The deluge hit at Diane completed her purchase. She and Camille had carried umbrellas and I had my crazy old lady hat, but nothing did us much good. Our backs were soaked well before we reached the car.

I was laughing. “Shawshank Redemption!” I said, throwing my arms wide and looking up, like Tim Robbins does in the movie. Camille was less amused, but her discontent stemmed from the fact that the storm had hit before she had been allowed to buy anything.

My main regret was that we had not been able to hear much of Common Threads, the band Steven and I had enjoyed so much at the last event we attended at Canal Place. They had started playing at two, and the deluge hit not long after that.

It was still a fun time. The Little Falls Garlic Festival is a great event. I highly recommend you watch for it next year. I certainly will.

Fun at the Garden Fair

Steven had a rare Sunday off this week. We were delighted that it fell on the day of the 18th Century Spring and Garden Fair at Herkimer Home State Historic Site in Little Falls, NY.

We made plans to get there as soon as it started, 1 p.m., so for once it was no problem getting a parking space. I’m always so pleased at the number of people taking advantage of these events. Not everybody sits home complaining, “There’s nothing to do around here!” We actually arrived a little prior to one, but most of the booths were already set up, and a number of other early arrivals were strolling about.

The tents over most of the tables were a welcome sight. I had sensibly worn one of my crazy old lady hats (the nicer one), but I needed all the shade I could get. We chatted for quite a while with a lady from Glimmerglass State Park. Steven picked up some information on a telescope night they are having in June. That would be a great blog post if we could make it to that.

Moving on to the vendors, we pondered plants, eventually selecting a Toad Lily from Acadian Farm Perennials by Kathy-O of St. Johnsville. Photographs of the blooming flowers were attached to some of the pots. What a great idea! I just have to decide where to plant it now.

We also purchased some natural flea and tick spray from The Mustard Seed & Antiques at Stone Mill of Little Falls. We’ve purchased dip mixes from The Mustard Seed at other events. Good stuff. The lady told us the flea and tick spray would be good for us and our dog. We will utilize it the next time we walk the nature trail at Herkimer County Community College.

Acadian Farm is located at 259 Tillboro Rd, St. Johnsville, phone number 518-993-3967. The Mustard Seed is at 410 Canal Place, Little Falls, phone 315-823-0718. The Herkimer Home State Historic Site is at 200 State Route 169, Little Falls, 315-823-0398.

Gimme Some Sugar

Sunday Steven and I went to the Herkimer Home State Historic Site, 200 State Route 169, Little Falls, NY, for the annual Sugaring Off.

We’d already had a full morning with a grocery shop, a breakfast out, a walk, a run and a blog post (not necessarily in that order). But I was excited to go to one of my favorite places, and to have a real Mohawk Valley subject for a blog post.

We set off down Route 5S in the direction of Little Falls. Past the Humane Society and the Historic Fort Herkimer Church. You can see for miles across beautiful farm land and mountains. Steven thought he missed the turn, but I didn’t mind as I was enjoying the scenery. It turned out we hadn’t missed it, though, and soon we were driving down the narrow road to the Home, realized that, as usual, finding a parking space might be problematic. We took the easy way out by parking behind the last car on the side of the drive and walking the rest of the way.

I was pleased to see that many people were taking advantage of the event. A large crowd was wandering around the grounds or going into the Visitor’s Center. Many volunteers were walking around or manning displays and booths wearing period costumes. We purchased some fritters with warm maple syrup and a small bag of popcorn. We found a spot on the grass to sit. It wasn’t too damp for the length of time it took to eat two fritters and nibble some of the popcorn.

We couldn’t just walk through the Home itself, as we have at other events, because they had scheduled guided tours. The tours were free, but you had to pick up a ticket from the Visitor’s Center. The next tour was almost forty-five minutes away, so we walked around looking at other things. We were able to go down into the root cellar, where a costumed volunteer was telling us how the underground temperature of about 50 degrees made it the perfect refrigerator.

Horse drawn wagon rides were offered, but we didn’t time it right to take one of those. We wandered up to the Visitor’s Center and looked at the displays there. Upstairs some ladies were demonstrating cooking on an open hearth. We sampled some cornbread and pumpkin bread. Yummy! Back out on the lawn, we got to eat some Jack Wax or Sugar on Snow. Hot syrup is dripped onto well packed snow. Quite a tasty treat.

I especially enjoyed looking at the cemetery. Some of the gravestones are obviously replicas of the originals, but some are old and authentic looking. I took a couple of pictures for Halloween decorating purposes. We hung around close to the cemetery during the Militia Demonstration, because I was afraid the sound of the guns would give me a headache.

I picked up some fliers in the Visitor’s Center, most notably one listing 2012 programs at the Herkimer Home. I’m sure the site is good for multiple blog posts. I also grabbed a flier called “Discover Herkimer County New York.” That might have some good ideas for Mohawk Valley Girl. Stay tuned! For more information on the Herkimer Home call 315-823-0398 or visit

HALO Hoedown

Sunday Steven and I went to the HALO Hoedown at Silverado, Marginal Road, Herkimer. HALO is the Helping Animals Live Organization, a no kill, no cage, not for profit cat shelter in Little Falls, NY. This was their third annual Hoedown. We had attended last year’s and enjoyed it. When I noticed it advertized again, I made a note.

We had a bad moment Sunday when Steven looked at the Community Calendar in the Telegram and saw the Hoedown listed for Saturday. I was sure it was Sunday. It was Sunday last year or I would not have been there (work schedule). For once, I managed to find something online (when it comes to computers, I am so twentieth century): HALO’s Facebook page (love that Facebook).

Misunderstanding cleared up, we headed over. The Hoedown had been going on for over an hour when we arrived. A large crowd seemed to be having a very good time. A lady at the door stamped our hands with a paw print after we’d paid our admission, in case we stepped out. That was a definite possibility for me, because it was warm in that place. I was foolishly wearing long sleeves. Oh well, who can predict how to dress this time of year?

We fought the crowd to get our tickets for the Chinese Auction. They offered a number of creatively put-together baskets. Two books, two coffee mugs, fancy tea and biscotti; two bottle of wine, cheese and candles; two DVDs with microwave popcorn. The cans you put the tickets in had labels telling the complete contents of the baskets. We passed on the gift cards but put in for a lovely picture of a rainbow. It’s always so fun to walk up and down deciding what you want to try for. I’m sad to report, we did not win anything. Then again, we had just purchased a number of really cool items at garage sales on Saturday. How much junk do we need (apparently more, because we keep buying it).

We found seats at the bar and settled down to enjoy the music. A number of talented musicians had volunteered their time for the event. We heard two groups, but I didn’t catch who they were. I drank a beer and took in the scene. It was quite a cross section of people, all ages, shapes and sizes. I saw a few cowboy hats, appropriate for the Silverado. Some people were two-stepping on the dance floor. I’d like to learn how to two step. Steven is not confident in his own abilities, but I’m fairly sure I can count to two.

We stayed long enough for some door prize drawings (again, we didn’t win), but left early enough to have some more of Sunday afternoon to enjoy. I later saw on Facebook (because of course I Liked HALO) that the fundraiser had been a resounding success. For more information about HALO check out their Facebook page or visit their website:

Additional Adventures in Little Falls

Steven and I drove over the bridge to Canal Place, continuing our Little Falls adventures last Saturday.

Our first stop was the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts where the Annual Regional Fine Arts Exhibition was on display. The Telegram had printed a picture of one painting that had won a prize, and I wanted to see the original. It was a painting of a lady at some sort of party and she looked as if she was about to say something interesting. I was so impressed that the artist had put such expression in the face. There were other works of art on display that were lovely or striking or just plain cool.

We chatted up the lady that was working there. Steven mentioned a gorgeous frog the center had been selling raffle tickets for during the Garlic Festival. Alas, he had not won. The lady showed us some paintings that were currently being raffled. We took a flier and may take a chance on one of them.

After the Arts Center it was just across the street to Chicks Along the Canal. This was an outdoor market billing itself as “Cheeky Chic Chicks and Savvy Woman Entrepreneurs.” We strolled through the booths, admiring various wares. We only purchased some mix for a horseradish dip, but we picked up several business cards for future reference.

A band was playing, and Steven heard a song he particularly likes. We moved closer to listen and ended up sitting down and enjoying the performance for the rest of the time they were on. We found out the band was Common Thread. Although many in the crowd (me included) called for an encore, the lead singer said they must make way for other bands. I know good ones were scheduled all day.

I was getting a little overheated as the day warmed up, so we walked into the shops to enjoy the air conditioning and look at antiques. We purchased some post cards of Little Falls, so be sent to some soldiers I know. We left for home, having had a wonderful day in Little Falls.

More Little Falls Fun

This is a continuation of our delightful day in Little Falls partaking of the Canal Celebration activities.

After leaving Eastern Park we noticed signs saying “Book Sale Today” at the public library, which was right across the street. We decided to hit that on our way back and continued down Main Street.

The time was about 11:30, and I knew the Farmers Market ran till noon. It was a lovely morning for a walk, and Main Street in Little Falls is distinctive. Steven says it looks like an old fashioned town, and he’s right. There is a strip mall across the street, but the side we were on had a covered sidewalk and various interesting looking businesses. We passed Smokey D’z BBQ, which is located where East End Steakhouse used to be. We also passed Little Falls Hardware, FF Floor and Furniture Restoration Co., and All Events Engraving, to name a few.

From a distance we had seen a tent. Getting closer we saw it was the German Mannerchor. There were tables and chairs under the tent, but nothing had started there as of yet. I saw beer mentioned on a sign and said I’d like to check it out later, but alas, that never happened. I later found out that Johnson & Co. had performed there that evening. I was sorry to have missed that. I have beer at home, but a good band like Johnson & Co. you don’t hear every day of the week (although we did hear a good band at Canal Place Later; that’ll be in tomorrow’s post).

In due course we got to the bank and the Farmer’s Market. Lots of fresh produce and some pretty flowers. The only thing we bought, though, was Herkimer Home t-shirt. We love the Herkimer Home. We walked back along a parallel street, just for variety’s sake. We saw an Amish horse and buggy waiting at a corner so quietly we didn’t realize at first it was a real horse.

At last we reached the library and after a couple of tries found the right door to get in. Ah, book sales. One of my favorite things. I quickly found a few books: a biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a Jacqueline Susann novel and a couple collections of plays. I was glad we were parked close as I carried out my treasurers. Soon we were headed towards more adventures in Little Falls. Stay tuned!

Little Falls Fun

So Steven and I headed to Little Falls Saturday for what I thought was called Canalfest.

Steven is always a little nervous about driving into Little Falls, because it can be confusing to get around with all the one way streets. He can reliably get to Canal Place, which was one place we definitely wanted to get to, but we wanted to check out some other things first.

We were happy to find Main Street. We knew that was where M&T Bank, which hosts the weekly Farmer’s Market, is located. Before we were anywhere near the bank, however, we saw a big to-do going on in what I later found out was Eastern Park.

I picked up a booklet about Canalfest, or rather the 24th Annual Canal Celebration 2011, Little Falls, NY Bicentennial 1811-2011, according to the front of the booklet. I could swear the newspaper was calling it Canalfest. Anyways, I proceeded to not consult the booklet for the rest of the day, but I knew it would prove useful when writing my blog posts (for example, informing me that it was Eastern Park).

The guy at the Veteran’s Booth in Eastern Park chatted us up for a while. He told us about a ceremony for fallen soldiers to take place in September. I made a note of the date (preview of coming attractions). I put a donation in the jar, for which the guy gave me one of those little flowers to attach to my purse. He also gave me a United States Army sticker for the back window of my truck. (You would think I would have one of those by now. For heavens’ sake, I’ve been a veteran since 1997.)

Steven and I proceeded to stroll through the various vendors. I resolutely resisted the fair food. It was too soon after breakfast. I would have regretted that Blooming Onion.

We put in for the Chinese Auction at the HALO booth. That’s Helping Animals Live Organization, I think. They mostly help cats. I’ll have to find out more about them; that would be another good blog topic.

As we enjoyed the many vendors, we did not make any purchases but picked up a few business cards, most notably one of a lady from Rochester selling some beautiful tie-dyes. A lady doing palm readings said she would tell us one thing apiece for free. She actually told us each several things. They weren’t all true, but I did not contradict her. She was a nice lady, and it might be fun to have a palm reader at a party sometime.

We returned to the car briefly so I could drink some water, then decided to stroll down Main Street in search of the Farmers Market or other Canal Celebration activities (I’m probably going to milk this topic all week).