SCVA Launches First Annual Fall Foliage Photo Contest, Foliage at 10% Color Change

September 19th, 2014

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is proud to announce its first ever Fall Foliage Photo Contest, where visitors and residents are encouraged to submit their very best, most autumn-centric photos of the Sullivan County Catskills. Submissions are being accepted through SCVA.net and the SCVA’s Facebook page.

“The contest allows our own residents and visitors to showcase their own view of the Sullivan County Catskills’ amazing fall colors,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “The images are meant to represent everyone’s individual experience and creative vision, whether they are pumpkin-picking, hiking, shopping, or flying across a zip line. We can’t wait to see what folks come up with.”

Foliage-related selfies are welcomed, as are pictures that highlight Sullivan County businesses or landmarks in a creative way. The Fall Foliage Photo Contest runs through Oct. 27, and the photos with the most online votes will win one of several tourism-related prizes donated through SCVA’s membership. The winners will be announced on Oct. 28.

Photos must be taken in Sullivan County during autumn 2014, and include the location, date, and photographer’s name.

Visit SCVA.net/Fall-Foliage to learn more about the contest, the region’s journey toward full foliage color, and other Foliage Fun that is happening in the Sullivan County Catskills, where foliage is exhibiting strong green colors, sprinkled with yellow and rust highlights, and the occasional spot of orange.

The SCVA is also on the hunt for residents who would like to join the SC Peep Squad and submit regular foliage reports to facebook.com/SullivanCountyCatskills.

Sullivan County Showing First Signs of Autumn

September 12th, 2014

Sullivan County’s first signs of fall color have started to appear across the region’s foliage. According to the Sullivan County Visitors Association’s weekly update, approximately five percent of leaves in the Sullivan County Catskills are showing hints of yellow and red – with some individual trees already showing full color.

“We are always inundated with visitors who love to explore the spectacular color that sweeps across our hillsides each fall,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “We’re expecting an even greater influx this year, thanks in part to the video billboard we acquired in Times Square earlier this year and all of the media attention associated with the region just now.”

“It’s a very exciting time in Sullivan County, and our hospitality experts are looking forward to welcoming new friends to the region,” she added.

For the first time, the SCVA will be holding a foliage photo contest, the details of which will be announced shortly. In addition, the organization is on the hunt for a team of Leaf Peepers to join the SCVA Peep Squad, and submit regular reports via the SCVA’s Facebook page about changes to the region’s foliage.

Sullivan County is renowned for its spectacular scenic views and brilliant red, yellow, and orange foliage colors. It is the home to a number of great fall events, including (but certainly not limited to):

Von Steuben German Festival
• Sept. 13, noon-6 p.m., Yulan Fire Department Ball Field

The Harvest Festival at Bethel Woods
• Sept. 14, 21, and 28, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Giant Pumpkin Party and Children’s Parade
• Oct. 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Grahamsville Fairground

Wine Festival at Bethel Woods
• Oct. 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Craft Beer Festival and Chili Cook-Off at Bethel Woods
• Oct. 11, noon-4 p.m., Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

TroutoberFest
• Oct. 11-12, Beaverkill Angler, Roscoe, N.Y.

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is a proud contributor to I Love NY’s foliage reports. SCVA will have more exciting fall foliage announcements soon. Learn more about fall events by heading to scva.net/fall-foliage.

Sullivan communities establish unique identities

September 5th, 2014

bigeddylogolongWith all the media coverage, you’d think everyone’s focus is centered solely on potential casinos in the Catskills. But take a closer look.

What you’ll find is that nearly every municipality across Sullivan County is working hard to establish its own identity by embracing its unique and appealing attributes – without the benefit of casinos.

Emerging festivals and celebrations are helping to cast a different light on Sullivan County – for tourists and locals alike.

Bagel Festival in Monticello drew 5,000 people when it started in 2013, and that nearly tripled this past August. Bethel Woods continues to bustle, presenting new and innovative entertainment and educational opportunities each season. In the Roscoe region, the folks there have embraced a well-recognized and hard-earned identity of being the “Ultimate Fishing Town,” celebrating the fishing mecca these past 11 years with their Annual Trout Parade!

And then there’s the Big Eddy Film Festival in Narrowsburg, started in 2012. Since then, the festival has done nothing but flourish, pulling new tourists into Sullivan County with each passing year. A product of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Big Eddy is the coming together of like minds to establish a thoughtful and entertaining viewing experience for the Catskills, and the Delaware and Hudson River valleys. Set in the 150-seat Tusten Theatre, the festival brings quality independent cinema to fans in a much more intimate experience than Tribeca, Sundance, or even the Woodstock Film Festival.

But let us not overlook those dedicated citizens who have also helped foster longtime traditions in our county. For 135 years, Grahamsville locals have kept the Little World’s Fair thriving; for 25 years, Riverfest in Narrowsburg has celebrated music, art, and the environment. And nothing short of sustained interest and passion has kept the Shandelee Music Festival growing, too.

Whether over generations or over a year, the people of Sullivan County have continued to have faith in this amazing region, embracing their own special version of the Catskills. Each vision is unique, and contributes to a bright and thriving future for those who live here, and for those who visit here.

If you’re attending the Big Eddy Film Festival Sept. 19-21, check out www.scva.net/scva/accommodations for lodging options in our region. And be sure to check out other local attractions at www.scva.net/scva/attractions. It’s a season in the Catskills you won’t want to miss.

A Perfect Ending to a Perfect Celebration!

September 4th, 2014

Check out this wonderful TripAdvisor review left for the Sullivan County Catskills’ own ECCE. Just another example of the wonderful memories that can be created in the Catskills!

My wife and I were celebrating our legal wedding in NYC this summer. While we love going to the city, we wanted to end somewhere in the mountains. After doing some research, we found Ecce. We combed through the website and read many reviews on TripAdvisor, and we totally agree that this B & B deserves 5 stars! If we could give more we would gladly give them. Not only is this home beautiful with its gorgeous views, beautiful decorations, and peaceful atmosphere, but the hosts and hospitality are amazing! By the time we left, we felt like we had made some new friends.

Omg… the food was delicious and creatively plated. Continental breakfast followed by a sit down plate of excellence. Omelets, sweet surprises, and “the cloud” just to name a few of the delectable bites you’ll receive.

I want to take a moment to mention details, which were not forgotten at ECCE. From the beautiful flowers planted in places you would not even think about, to the items available in the room and en suite bathroom. Every time we would think of something we may have forgotten, we would open a cabinet or closet door, and it would be there. Wow.

Alan and Kurt are very knowledgeable about the area. Being from Texas, we are not too familiar with the NY/NJ/PA area, however, with their guidance, we were able to drive around the city with confidence and ease. Plus, they were able to give us so much information about the history of the area. They had recommendations for restaurants, shows, and other activities that may interest people. We have ideas for our next trip.

We had such a good time and we can’t wait to get back to the Catskills! Thanks for making our wedding getaway memorable Alan and Kurt!

Sullivan County Catskills nostalgia stokes future hopes

August 26th, 2014

There’s nothing like the hope of a bright future to bring to life thoughts of the past.

And what a past it was here in Sullivan County, where hundreds of resort hotels, summer camps, boarding houses, and bungalow colonies made up one of the most bustling tourist stops in the world.

Still, the decades-old dream of casino gambling is getting closer and closer to a possible reality, with two Sullivan County projects in the running for one of our region’s two future casino sites.

It seems like with each step we take forward, the deeper our need to remember times of the past. Sullivan County is bustling with memories, with organizations from east to west, north to south, putting on one “remember when” fest after another.

Just this past Sunday, the Liberty Museum & Arts Center hosted its 13th Conference, 500 Hotels! Tourism in the Sullivan County Catskills: Past, Present and Future. The full-day event included a robust list of some of the most impressive Catskill historians and storytellers.

And just a few weeks ago, the Times Herald-Record re-launched its Classic Catskills online initiative (www.classiccatskills.com), pre-gaming its 44-page special book, Inside Classic Catskills. Both the book and the website tell some of Sullivan County’s greatest “heyday” stories, and include interviews, rare photos, and memorabilia.

But it wasn’t just the resorts that made Sullivan County a place worth remembering. We also have the honor of surviving the most amazing and free-wheeling concert ever – Woodstock.

With its 45th anniversary upon us, the whole county has become wrapped in a purple haze of Woodstock mania. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and other local organizations have celebrated the 1969 Woodstock music festival’s history and its unique place in American counterculture all year. Tribute bands and exhibits and music festivals and… the list could go on forever.

The memory collecting is so strong that you can probably find another dozen Woodstock- or Borscht Belt-related events on our calendar (www.catskillsocial.com) nearly every weekend through the end of the year.

Still, while memories of Sullivan County’s tourism-centric past still linger, we as a community need to remember to also stay focused on supporting our region’s future by standing behind both of the Concord projects. Casino applicant presentations will take place over the course of three days in Albany, beginning on Sept. 8. The interest is so high that the New York State Gaming Commission has even made arrangements to stream the presentations live on its website (www.gaming.ny.gov).

Either casino (although we still have our hopeful fingers cross for BOTH) would bring in top-tier performers, boost the economy with direct and indirect jobs, and become a massive contributor to the future of Sullivan County’s tourism industry.

It would be like Sullivan County’s homecoming – only better.

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http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Sullivan-County-Catskills-Events.html?soid=1109030167021&aid=LHfQGXnbdCw.

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