Albany's Tulip Fest!

Tulips on display at the 66th Annual Albany Tulip Fest
Today was the first day of the Albany Tulip Festival in Washington Park and my first visit to the Fest. The Festival did not disappoint.

The crowds were not overwhelming, music on two stages, a great mix of food and craft vendors and tulips everywhere! It was a great time and an excellent way to see some of the local vendors.
Our first stop was to the Capital Q Smokehouse for a North Carolina style pulled pork sandwich. For those not familiar with North Carolina style it is slow cooked pork with a tangy vinegar sauce on a bun topped with coleslaw and the only way to have a pulled pork sandwich, in my opinion. At $4 for a small sandwich, the price was right and the sandwich was pretty good. I grabbed a menu and lucky us - they deliver in the area with a $15 minimum order. Check out their offerings at

What's a visit to Festival without sampling nut butters and mustard?  A sample at the Saratoga Peanut Butter Company turned into a purchase of their Adirondack Jack. A nut butter of peanuts, almonds, cranberries and flax seed and it is soooo good. I'll definately order some more at Jeff couldn't pass up sampling some mustards at the Green Mountain Mustard booth. He walked away with a sriracha mustard aka Atomic Rooster and Horse Power, a spicy horseradish. With as quickly as he can go through mustard it's good to know we can replenish our stock at

The craft vendors were plentiful and a real treat! Glass, silversmiths, earthenware, wood - just about every craft type imaginable. I was drawn to one booth in particular - Metal Magic Lanterns. Beautiful metal lanterns made from tin cans. Talk about upcycling! The work is absolutely amazing. If you're looking for some interesting candle votive holders visit Lennie Kaumzha's website at It will be just the perfect item your patio needs this summer.

Our next stop was to a jewelry vendor where my husband treated me to an absolutely beautiful blue agate necklace on a silver chain from Trezana Jewelry. A "quick" stop at Merriweather's booth was not so quick. We were treated to so many amazing aromas from the plentiful soaps, lotions and creams. Everything is all-natural and a healthy treat for your skin - so it really was necessary for us to make a purchase or two. And you know what - we're worth it. Jeff walked away with the Revive Bar soap and I was absolutely in love with the Southern Charm hand and body cream. It really was a difficult choice but luckily they have a website! Now the next time I'm looking for a spa quality product I'll visit

The artists were plentiful as well. Photographs printed on canvas and tile.
Wood art sculptures, blown glass features, acrylic and oils. An art trekker's dream. If you get a chance visit His work is amazing. Brilliant hues with bold and broad brush strokes. If you are looking for African art - this would be the place to start.

I was not expecting such a well-rounded event. There was a separate area for families with smaller children. Bouncy houses, pony rides and even a trio of musicians that played one of the jazziest versions of Sesame Street I've ever heard.
The crowd was equally entertaining. Plenty of costumes paying homage to the Dutch contribution to the area. Groups showcasing their tightrope and hula skills and one athletic group performing their acrobatic capoeria - the Brazilian dancing martial art.
Paying homage to the Dutch ancestry
With so much to see we almost forgot why we were there....the tulips! So many varieties and the colors were stunning. This year was the 66th festival and I can see why it is such a popular annual event in Albany New York. It is not to be missed.