The Amenia talent show opened after the Festival of Lights parade with an array of mountains made out colorful afghan blankets by Jill Barnet-Fein sister of Jeff Barnet-Winsby. An abominable snowman was seen standing in the middle of the stage. A loud voice proclaimed:
“Yeti likes Amenia. Amenia has mountains. Yeti likes mountains. Amenia has snow. Yeti likes snow. Amenia has golf. Yeti not so sure. And Amenia has children, lots. Yeti likes children, lots, especially roasted with cauliflower, yum. See me after show if you want recipe.”
A long array of performers ensued including line dancers, soloists, Sharon Kroeger of Calsi’s Store on violin, all sorts of rappers and tappers, jinglers and janglers, a Yoga Queen, a truly spectacular array of talent. Producers Jill Winsby-Fein and Jeff Barnet-Winsby of the Wassaic Project provided lights and sound. And of course, the wonderful Vicki Doyle facilitated for the town, painstakingly making sure everyone was happy. Home-made cookies and hot chocolate were a delight to all.
On Sunday the milking barn at across from Calsi's store which is owned by Wendy Goidell was opened up for a bazaar for Christmas. Megan Callanan and Cassie Carello organized the sale. They both have vintage clothing businesses. Peter Siegenthaler, a Millbrook School graduate and bread maker, helped with clearing and decorating the building. The triumvirate, who have worked in various capacities at the Wassaic Project and the Lantern, collaborated on this event in the hamlet.
“We invited our friends and neighbors to showcase the hard work and creativity of our community. We are hoping that this will be the first of many events in the barn, with the next one planned for close to Valentine's Day. We have been promoted through email blasts and social media by Hudson Valley Magazine, And North (a curated guide to upstate New York), Chronogram, and Escape Brooklyn.”
One of the businesses displayed with an array of dairy products and herbs were Chaseholm and Remedy Farms. Sarah Chase and her grass fed Holsteins and Jordan Smith with her herbal animal remedies, were profiled in the Millbrook Independent earlier this year. The Dilley family of Millbrook, had cocoa, homemade sweets, and handmade Christmas ornaments.
Many people were trying on the vintage clothing and while listening to LP’s from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s with DJ PJ spinning old favorites. With all the Christmas decorations throughout the barn and the upbeat young people from the Wassaic Project and Brooklyn it was a festive atmosphere. There were handmade leather goods, original photographs and unique items to discover such as furniture made from barn wood. Many new businesses were featured.
We spoke to the two vintage clothing ladies who organized the event. Megan told us that she focuses on “60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s clothing. "I source garments from all over the country with special focus on the Hudson Valley area and the Southwest US (Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Megan sells online through an app called Depop and I also post items on Instagram, both with the username @sourjanevintage. My store is named after the Velvet Underground song "Sweet Jane," because they are one of my favorite bands.
Cassie sells her clothing under the name Cassandra Dawn Vintage, which is her first and middle name. She focuses on clothing from the ‘70’s and sells mostly through Etsy. She posts photo spreads on her Instagram page that are styled around her home in Wassaic. Her username on Instagram is @Cassandradawnvintage.
Megan continued: “Cassie and I had the idea for this bazaar in the barn when we became friends behind the bar at the Lantern. We would talk about collecting and selling vintage clothes. This year we both started to share our collections with the rest of the world. We both enjoy finding ways to bring our community together. We thought this barn sale would be a great opportunity to sell clothes, showcase our friends' businesses, and interact with our community in a festive setting.”
They said they thought the most "buzzed about" thing at the market was the new Jamaican Restaurant in Amenia, Railhead Jerk. “The food is awesome and everyone was really excited to have a new restaurant in town that is making something different from everything else.”
The Railhead Jerk Jamaican Restaurant served jerk barbequed ribs and chicken with corn casserole and other Jamaican specialties at the sale. The restaurant has just opened in Amenia on the site of the former Metro Café. Their new restaurant is open from Thursday through Monday and features oxtail stew, curried goat, Jamaican coconut pastries, soursop juice, ripe plaintains and many other Caribbean specialties. We sampled the jerk ribs and mango tamarind dipping sauce which were very tasty.
Peter Seigenthaler's breads, bagels, and chocolate babka sold out about halfway through the day; people were begging him to start baking full time. It nice to see farms from all over the area selling their wares, such as cheeses and herbs from Chaseholm and Remedy Farm in Pine Plains, organic meats from Back Paddock Farm across the river in Highland, and an old friendly Wassaic face such as Christine Pizutti of Olde Forge Farm who used to be in Wassaic, who has moved her flock of goats, pigs, and fowl to Tivoli. We also saw beautiful handmade cards made by the Post Mistress Fran from the Wassaic Post Office.