Thank You!

The Ghent Band performs at the Blueberry Festival 2022
A note from Jeffrey Harris, President, Austerlitz Historical Society:

On behalf of the Society, I wish to thank the wonderful volunteers, musicians and entertainers, demonstrators, and vendors who participated in the successful return of the Blueberry Festival 2022! We weren’t sure if anyone would show up and boy were we surprised! Including volunteers, vendors, etc., we estimate that over 2,500 people attended and participated. Over 1,750 adult tickets were sold (children enter for free). We were certainly overwhelmed with cars and had to scramble for parking spaces. We even parked folks on the front lawn (a first). The scramble meant that a number of visitors entered the grounds from various points, and we lost some ticket sales — we’ll work to improve that at the next festival.
Chris and Hilary Ferrone, and Greg Vogler getting those pancakes started.
There was a small group of people who worked so diligently on the prep work, I hardly know how to thank them. First, and foremost, was Margaret Hover, our AHS Secretary and Manager of Operations. Margaret did everything from recruit volunteers and vendors, put up tents, travelled all over the area picking up supplies, lifted heavy equipment — you name it, she did it! Please, if you get a moment, send Margaret a thank you note. She is truly an amazing person.

Margaret’s husband, Kevin Johnson, worked like a dog (to put it bluntly). Cutting grass, planting flowers, putting up tents, picking-up benches, filling gas canisters, moving chairs and tables, etc., it was rare to not see him covered in sweat!

Donna Peterson, came all the way from her new home in Florida to take over the kitchen (and a whole host of other things). Many of you know Donna, and quite frankly the festival would not have occurred without her.Her institutional knowledge saved us many times and she even helped me put up fencing! If that wasn’t enough, she then cleaned and brought needed order to our supply basement.
Ever wonder how Donna mixes all those buckets of pancake batter?
The dreaded pancake breakfast line.
Michael Rebic was determined that we would have blueberry pies this festival and personally made 35 of them! He was joined by Dodie Wheeler (who also ran around picking up needed supplies and managed the blueberry tent), Wendy Diskin (who helped despite having a family wedding that weekend!), Margy Quinn, and Emma Jensen. We also want to especially thank all those who baked many other items for the bake sale — we sold out!
Blueberry pies cooling in the Morey-Devereaux House.
Jim Newberry and Maureen Wilson went well beyond the call of duty and put together our new griddles and cleaned the old ones. I can picture Jim now in the hot summer sun, sweating, but determined — it was hard work (those griddles are heavy). Jim also flipped pancakes and Maureen helped with the bake sale.
Vivian Cunningham, looking like a chemist, in the kitchen.
Vivian and Gary Cunningham were absolutely amazing! They showed up whenever help was needed which meant that they moved supplies, helped put up tents, moved furniture, cleaned, etc. Gary took on the new lemonade booth (ever clean hundreds of lemons?) and we discovered that Vivian had spectacular organizational skills. She was also rather a wiz in the kitchen!
Jeff O’Donnell never stopped working. We asked him to do so many things, I am amazed that he came back to help with clean-up! And he cooked in the pancake tent. Thank you, Jeff.

The very successful tag sale was managed and set-up by Barbara Perlmutter. She worked a lot of hours collecting and arranging the many donated items. After the festival, I walked into the barn and it was magically cleaned-up. Thank you also to intern Lucy Sanchez for all her help with the tag sale and so many other tasks.

Gale Stockman and Brenda Tamez worked in the office making sure we all got tickets, sales boxes, ipads, etc. And of course, the bookkeeping before and after the festival. Gale also made sure the advertising signs got out into the community (and were collected after).

Thank you to Mary Neufeld who did an amazing job setting up and working the pancake tent and even convinced her nephew to help set up those tables and hundreds of chairs!

And Roy Carney who came in and adjusted our fencing, put out parking signs and guides and helped us get more cars into that field than we ever thought possible.
Tag Sale in the large Barn
And to all those who volunteered for the day of the festival, we give you our sincere thanks — what a wonderful job you did (and thanks for stepping up when issues presented themselves). A special thank you to the extended Dunne and Ferrone and Murphy families (Denise, Tim, Hilary, Chris, Fiona, Joanne, and Eryl) who came en masse to take on the pancake breakfast, the Mugler family and friends (Shirar, Nicola, Jack, Wil, and Ellis), the Palmer family (Bill, Ruth and Joy), and the Avenia family (Margaret, John, and Emma).

Thank you to Karen Carney, Tim Hawley, Larry Massimo, Connie Mondel, Jane Magee, Charlotte & Rupert Fennell, Ginny Nightingale, Ansi Vallens, Dan Perlmutter (photogapher), Gale Page & Frank Smith, Carole Reamer, Bill Case, Elizabeth Diggs, Emily McCully, Greg Vogler (the best blueberry dropper in town), Lynne O’Connell, Shari Tassitore, Kristen Dalton, Isabel Buckbee, Zinnia Pappas, Sue Diskin, Madaline Sparks, Keith Galluzo, Pam Renwick, Eve Zatt, Joe Herwick, Phil Palladino, Barbara Smith, Mary Gerhardt, Liz Tyski, Dorothy O’Donnell, Bruce Stockman, Julie Foehrenbach, Vicky Jensen, Lisa Meaney, Mark Diskin, Debbie Coolidge, Dorothy Muller, Libby & Tim O’Neil (They took over the shop and helped tremendously with clean-up.), Erlyn Madonia and her granddaughter Lilly, Mitzi Lobdell, Joan Gampert, and the man who became my right-hand-manScotty Quinn.

No doubt, we have missed some names (please let us know). But a sincere and heart felt thank you to all those who helped make the festival such a success. It was so wonderful to see everyone in person!

Jeffrey Harris

Let’s allow the pictures to do the talking (and if you have more great photos, please send them our way.):
Chesley McLaren & Doug Welch
Connie Mondel and Jeffrey Harris
This year a number of companies helped to sponsor the festival with donations. Please, when doing business, let those companies know that we truly appreciate their support. And a special Thank You to Stewart’s for the delicious ice-cream! See photo below:


After two interrupted years the Blueberry Festival is back on Sunday, July 31, 2022 from 9am – 3pm! (Rain or shine – we have tents.)Your favorites will still be there, but this year we have new vendors, new entertainment, and even new food. The day begins with the famous Pancake Breakfast (served from 9am until 11:30am) and ends with the rousing sounds of the Ghent Band.In between there is lots to do and see, including many demonstrations, historic displays, artists and artisans, children’s activities, tag sale/antiques, great food including the bake sale, great music, a quilt raffle and a garden raffle (don’t forget to take a look at the new herb garden) and everyone loves to watch the sheep shearing and border collies!
While the price of everything seems to be going up, we decided to welcome everyone back with the same admission cost of $8 (children under 12 are free). We love pets, but we do ask that no pets be brought to the festival.We are still looking for volunteers — particularly at the two admissions booths and the pancake tent. Don’t be shy, just email Margaret Hover at [email protected] or Jeff Harris at [email protected] or you can call and leave a message at 518-392-0062.If you are volunteering and do not know your arrival time or assignment, please contact Margaret at the above email address. This is very important as we must prepare name tags and complete the schedule.Click here for vendor info.Whether you are volunteering or coming as a guest — we look forward to seeing you on July 31st.
VOGUE:The Austerlitz Edition
The Austerlitz Historical Society continues its series of talks on Sunday, July 17 at 2pm when Phyllis Chapman presents Head to Toe: What They Wore, How They Wore It, and Why it Mattered, an exploration of the shape-shifting variety of 19th century fashions.Corsets for men? Bustles and shoplifting? Beetle embellishment? Do they get it right in the movies? This fun look at stuff that doesn’t get mentioned in history books demonstrates the wide variety of style, silhouettes and fads that kept the fashion-conscious on their toes and illustrates that we do define ourselves through dress. As Mark Twain observed, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
Chapman will speak on Sunday, July 17 at 2:00 p.m. in the Historic Austerlitz Church, NY Rt. 22, Austerlitz, N.Y. The talk is free and open to the public.Vintage Visitors is composed of Phyllis Chapman, historic interpreter, her husband, Mike Chapman, audio/visual creator and technical director, and associate Kristen Marcoux, seamstress and assistant at fashion shows and living history demonstrations.