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Ramapo Daily Voice serves Airmont, Chestnut Ridge, Hillburn, Hillcrest, Kaser, Monsey, Montebello, Mount Ivy, New Hempstead, New Square, Pomona, Sloatsburg, Spring Valley, Suffern, Tallman, Viola & Wesley Hills

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Chestnut Ridge Music Fest Brings Back Clean, Family Fun

A photo from a previous Hungry Hollow Family Music Festival. Pictured, from left to right, are Peter Seeger, Skip Herman, and Tom Chapin.
A photo from a previous Hungry Hollow Family Music Festival. Pictured, from left to right, are Peter Seeger, Skip Herman, and Tom Chapin. Photo Credit: Zachary Croce
Skip Herman
Skip Herman Photo Credit: Zachary Croce
Skip Herman flips through an album filled with pictures from past Hungry Hollow Family Music Festivals.
Skip Herman flips through an album filled with pictures from past Hungry Hollow Family Music Festivals. Photo Credit: Zachary Croce
Skip Herman's pictures from past Hungry Hollow Family Music Festivals.
Skip Herman's pictures from past Hungry Hollow Family Music Festivals. Photo Credit: Zachary Croce

CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y. - The Kodak pictures in Skip Herman’s photo album are filled with families, smiling people, and some well-known--legendary, even--guests.

The Hungry Hollow Family Music Festival used to be held in Chestnut Ridge and came about in the 1990s when Herman’s kids were enrolled at the Green Meadow Waldorf School along with the children of local musician and Rockland resident Tom Chapin.

The impetus for the festival was a school fundraiser and the two came up with the idea. Herman built the stage and Chapin performed for the kids.

It built up steam in the ‘90s but it’s popularity tailed off. Now, after an extended hiatus, the festival will make a comeback this weekend on Hungry Hollow Road.

“Here I am, after the ‘90s, back into the business of realizing families like to go out and experience a music festival in a clean environment,” Herman said. He has five grandchildren now and wants them to have this experience.

The festival will benefit the Threefold Community off Hungry Hollow Road—Green Meadow Waldorf School and the Fellowship Community, which cares for the elderly—with proceeds going to benefit eldercare programs and education initiatives. Other neighboring organizations like the Sunbridge Institute will also benefit from the concert, according to Fellowship Community Administrator Matt Uppenbrink.

“The idea was to bring a little more awareness and a little more activity among the institutions” with the music festival, Uppenbrink said--a community building event of sorts.

In it’s heyday the festival attracted folk music legend and civil rights activist Pete Seeger, who stopped by to perform one year. (Seeger is also the founder of the Clearwater Festival in Beacon.) Other notable acts that appeared in the past included Suzanne Vega and Peter Yarrow, Herman said.

And while it’s a chance for some family fun, the festival also offers a chance to hear some local musicians with ties to the organizations.

A kickoff concert will be held Friday in the Threefold Auditorium and feature renowned violinist Emmanuel Vukovich, a Green Meadow Waldorf grad who will perform at Carnegie Hall a week later. He will be joined by John McDowell, the founder of the Rockland Farm Alliance and a renowned musician and composer in his own right.

“Here I am, after the ‘90s, back into the business of realizing families like to go out and experience a music festival in a clean environment."

Around 20 acts will be featured on a main stage and a smaller side stage on Saturday, including The Chapin Sisters, who are Tom Chapin’s daughters and school alumni; Walking Shapes featuring Green Meadow Waldorf grad Jesse Kotansky; The Bill Pernice Band, named for the school’s administrator Bill Pernice; Mark Sganga and Friends, Mamma Tongue with [John] McDowell; The Tyler Pearce Project; Living Roots; and Adam Falcon and Friends, plus more.

The kick-off concert will take place Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. and the rest of the performances can be seen and heard the following day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ticket are available online at www.threefold.org/events or at the following locations: Meadowlark Toys & Books and Hungry Hollow Co-op in Chestnut Ridge, Sign of the Times in Nyack, Abagail Rose & Lily Too in Piermont and Organica in Northvale, N.J.

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