Welcome to the 44th annual Carrot Festival! I am happy to say that we are able to keep the word annual there because even though they were modified, we were able to have our festivals during the past two years of the pandemic. Now we are all hopeful that most of it is behind us, and this year we are back in full force!
Plenty of activities will be available to entertain kids of all ages, including pony rides and a touch-a-truck area. Vendors and crafters will be indoors and outdoors selling their wares. Farm-fresh produce from the Carrot Barn will be available at the Rose and Paul Westheimer Produce Tent, just as it has every year since the very first festival! Many non-profit organizations will be on-hand in the Stephen Schechter Community Service Tent with information about all of the great services they provide. Part of that includes our partnership with CDTA, who will be providing a bus for us to stuff with much-needed supplies for four community organizations (list provided below). We also have a full line-up of live entertainment scheduled throughout the day at the Phil Rubins Stage. In addition to entertainment, we have a special ceremony planned to commemorate 9/11.
Remember – Honor – Celebrate is the theme for this year. We remember all who lost their lives during the horrific events of 9/11. We honor all of the brave citizens who came to selflessly help. This year we will also honor front-line workers who put themselves in harm’s way throughout the pandemic. We celebrate life and community. I can’t think of a more appropriate date than 9/11/2022 to bring our Carrot Festival back to the level it was before the pandemic and celebrate being together, in person, as a community. We look forward to seeing you!
I Come from the Mountains- An acoustic instrumental duo consisting of fretted and fretless guitar, tabla, and Middle Eastern percussion. https://www.facebook.com/icomefromthemountains/
Schenectady Light Opera- is a non-profit community-based performing arts center whose mission is to provide opportunities for adults and youth to experience and participate in the performing arts. Don’t miss SLOC’s upcoming season, opening in September with “Once,’ followed by about one show a month through May. 2022 is the 96th season. http://sloctheater.org/
Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus (Sweet Adelines)- Saratoga Soundtrack is a chorus that has fun while striving for musical excellence through education, accountability, and integrity.” a championship chorus of Sweet Adelines International, an organization dedicated to promoting the art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance. Saratoga Soundtrack is a chorus that has fun while striving for musical excellence through education, accountability, and integrity. “ https://saratogasoundtrack.org/
3 Minute Pop- Make sure you have your dancing shoes and your sing-along vocal cords with you because 3 Minute Pop lives up to its name.
Roben Kosek Jazz & Blues- Their repertoire includes instrumentals, Latin songs, sambas, bossa novas, French cafe selections, as well as more contemporary pieces, keeping their audience pleasantly surprised. https://www.rkjazzandblues.com/
The Secret– This group of All-stars strives to make hearts and faces smile through a variety of musical genres. Their main goal is to spread joy and sunshine to all and maybe when it’s all said and done, they’ll have figured out the “Secret”!
Children at the Well- Youth storytellers from many different traditions work to increase community capacity for intercultural understanding and create diverse connections while growing compassionate leaders through the ancient art of storytelling. https://childrenatthewell.org/
School of Rock- The School of Rock in Albany, New York offers group and individual music classes helping students learn how to not only play their own instruments with skill and confidence but also teaches students how to play together as bands and groups. https://www.schoolofrock.com/locations/albany
Stuff the Bus with items needed for 4 local charities.
Thank you to CDTA for donating a bus to allow us to support the following charities… (The requested items are listed below.)
Molly Marie Made
Paparazzi Jewelry and Accessories
Linda & Isadore Johnson
Facebook/ Johnson’s Jazzy Jewels
Top of the Hill Treasures
Kathryn and Sarah Thomas
Audrey’s Art LTD
Color Street (Independent Consultant)
Magical Vacation Planner
The Spicy Purritto
My Thirty-one Gifts and Real Time Pain Relief
Salvage & Shine
Creations by Chrissy
Christine A. Martell
Snowberry Wreaths and Candles
Lisa Ne Jame
Lisa Ne Jame
Magical Vacation Planner by Jenn Lashway
Marty’s Wholesale Jewelry
Karen B. Hausler CHFC CLU MSFS
Stepping Stone Massage-Massage by Charlene
Lorraine Calleri-Charlene Dougall
The Makeup Curio
Tina V Sells Beauty- Senegence
Sleepy Dog Knits
Operation At Ease
Real Media Solutions
Scentsy By Michele
New Adobe LLC Real Estate Services
Diane Carol Designs
Diane and Nicholas Deleo
Touchstone Jewelry by Swarovski
Usborne Books and More
Dominican Retreat and Conference Center
Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York
League of Women Voters of Schenectady County
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
New Choices Recovery Center
Niskayuna Community Action Program
Northern Rivers Family of Services
Refugee & Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus- RISSE
Schenectady Chapter 74 Therapy Dogs International
Schenectady County Ministries
The Octavo Singers of Schenectady New York, Inc.
The Zonta Club of Schenectady
Jewish Federation of NENY
Niskayuna Rotary Club
Schenectady Jewish Community Center
We invite you to contribute to this year’s Carrot Festival in a meaningful way.
In 1978, the CAA parking lot needed paving. Members Paul and Rose Westheimer, owners of The Carrot Barn at Schoharie Valley Farms, produced and packaged 1400 tons of carrots that year and suggested during a brainstorming session that a carrot-themed fundraiser might be a successful endeavor to complete the task at hand.
After more than 40 years of successful Carrot Festivals, the Westheimers were glad to see their idea become a community institution. They remembered Paul’s father, Julius, making and selling fresh carrot juice at the first festival! There were pony rides on the front lawn, along with cotton candy and taffy for kids. “It was minuscule compared to now,” Paul Westheimer said. The money raised in that first festival, mostly from selling fruit and vegetables, paid for the paving job and was the beginning of what has become one of the Capital Region’s favorite end-of-summer outings. Long after the Carrot Barn was sold, the Westheimers were active members of the Carrot Festival committee, until they relocated to Massachussetts. Sadly, we lost precious Rose z”l in early 2021. Her legacy lives on. The Carrot Festival now showcases foods and desserts, including several kinds of carrot cake. Other features include fresh produce from the Carrot Barn in Schoharie, live music and entertainment throughout the day, vendors and crafters, a community service tent, a pet adoption clinic, and plenty of activities to keep children entertained. The “star of the show” is the Signature Carrot Festival Carrot Cake: a buttery praline filling between the two cake layers, topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. In 2006, the Congregation copyrighted and published the cookbook Divine Kosher Cuisine. An entire cookbook section was devoted to Carrot Festival recipes. The cookbook contains many delicious kosher recipes and can be purchased at our Leora Judaica Gift Shop
Entertainment traditionally includes a Klezmer band, Israeli dancers, performers from Schenectady Light Opera Company’s (SLOC’s) fall shows, and much more. In addition, special afternoon concerts have featured the local bands Flame, Joe’s Boys, the McKrells, The Accents, and The Refrigerators, to name a few. In 2019, we were also honored with a performance by American Idol Third Place winner Madison VanDenburg, who lives in Cohoes.
Vendors and crafters sell jewelry, kitchen gadgets, pottery, cosmetics, floral designs, clothing, and more. The community service tent features local non-profit organizations showcasing what they do to help the community, as well as many volunteer opportunities with our new partner, The United Way of the Greater Capital Region! The children’s area is always filled with activities to keep kids of all ages busy for hours.
The Carrot Festival has become a community family tradition, and we are proud that COVID-19 did not stop us from holding a festival in 2020, even if it looked a bit different. But happily, the Westheimers’ vision carries on with volunteers hard at work planning our 2021 Carrot Festival. We welcome you to join us!
Carrot Festival Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CarrotFestival
Congregation Agudat Achim office: 518-393-9211
Contact Hillary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-331-4208