Drink in a bountiful fall harvest

A rainbow appears above the vineyard at Coyote Moon Winery, Clayton.

A rainbow appears above the vineyard at Coyote Moon Winery, Clayton.

Northern New York wineries share ‘labor of love’ with communities

[Read more…]

Five Things Friday – July 31

Happy Friday!


[Just click an event for more details.]

1. Sew What grand reopening

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.
Where: Sew What Quilt and Embroidery, 255 State St., Carthage.
What: Grand reopening, raffles and refreshments.
Cost: Free admission.
INFO: Facebook page.

Friday / Carthage

2. Village-wide sales

When: Friday.
Where: Around Lowville.
What: Village-wide garage sales, organized by Lewis County Chamber of Commerce.
Cost: Free admission.
INFO: Chamber, 376-2213.

Friday / Lowville

3. Farmers market

When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Cape Vincent Village Green, Broadway St., Cape Vincent.
What: Organic food, crafts, vegetables, local specialties and fruits and more.
Cost: Free admission.
INFO: Chamber, 654-2481.

Saturday / Cape Vincent

4. Saturday farmers market

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Where: JB Wise Place pavilion, 175 Black River Parkway, Watertown.
What: Offering food, baked goods, flowers and more.
Cost: Free admission.
INFO: Facebook page.

Saturday / Watertown

5. 51st annual antique boat show and auction

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Antique Boat Museum, 750 Mary St., Clayton.
What: Featuring Lyman boats, presented by RBC Wealth Management.
Cost: Friday/Saturday, $15; Sunday, $14; ages 7 to 17 Friday/Saturday, $10; ages 7 to 17 Sunday, $8; ages 6 and younger, members and active/retired military, free; military spouse, $10; military children, $5; adult three-day pass, $30; children three-day pass, $20.
INFO: Antique Boat Museum, 686-4104.

All weekend / Clayton


1. Iron Horse Day

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Railway Historical Society of Northern New York Museum, 9784 State Route 812, Croghan.
What: Train rides along Lowville and Beaver River Railroad.
Cost: Call for info.
INFO: Railway Historical Society of Northern New York, 346-6848.

Saturday / Croghan

2. KeithFest

When: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Coyote Moon Vineyards, 17371 E. Line Road, Clayton.
What: Annual music festival in memory of Keith Brabant. Music, food, children’s and family entertainment. Benefits the Keith Brabant Music Scholarship Fund.
Cost: $10; ages 11 and younger, 65 and older, $5; family, $25; military and family, half price.
INFO: KeithFest, kbmsfgeneralinfo@yahoo.com; KeithFest Facebook; Coyote Moon Vineyards.

Saturday / Clayton

3. Antwerp Old Home Day

When: All day Saturday.
Where: Throughout Antwerp.
What: Includes 5/10K run/walk, auction, contests, chicken barbecue, children’s activities, Cubby T. Clown and Co., live music, parade and more.
Cost: Call for details.
INFO: Operation Restore Antwerp Facebook; village of Antwerp, 659-8661.

Saturday / Antwerp

4. War of 1812 Weekend

When: All day Saturday and morning Sunday.
Where: Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, 504 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor.
What: Saturday: demonstrations slated for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; English country dance, 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday: living history demonstrations, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Free admission.
INFO: Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, 646-3634.

Saturday & Sunday / Sackets Harbor

5. Plein Air Festival 2015

When: 6 p.m. Friday; all day Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Bella-Brooke Vineyard, 2989 County Route 6, Hammond, on Friday; Morristown Public Library, 200 Main St., Morristown, Saturday; Chippewa Bay Community Club (next door to the Bay Post Office, 1176 County Road 6, Chippewa Bay), Sunday.
What: Friday: wine and hors d’oeuvres reception for artists and visitors slated for 6 p.m. Saturday: artists on sites; book sale slated for 9 a.m. to noon; concert on the river slated for 7 p.m. Sunday: silent auction and reception slated for 3 p.m.
Cost: Call for info.
INFO: Morristown Public Library, 375-8833.

All weekend / Morristown


1. Chicken barbecue

When: 4 p.m. Friday.
Where: American Maple Museum, 9753 Route 812, Croghan.
What: Takeouts available.
Cost: Call for details.
INFO: Museum, 346-1107.

Friday / Croghan

2. Beer & Wine Tasting Train

When: 6 p.m. Friday.
Where: Adirondack Scenic Railroad, 321 Main St., Utica.
What: Featuring Hosmer Winery and beers of summer, with complimentary wine and beer glasses for all passengers. Slated to depart at 6:30 p.m.; arrive in Remsen, 7:15 p.m.; depart Remsen, between 7:45 and 8 p.m.; arrive in Utica, between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m.
Cost: First-class ticket, $45; coach, $25.
INFO: Adirondack Scenic Railroad, 1-800-819-2291.

Friday / Utica

3. Brew at the Zoo and Wine Too

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Where: New York State Zoo, 1 Thompson Park, Watertown.
What: Eighth annual event features 19 breweries, eight wineries, two distilleries, 12 restaurants and two distributors. Includes auctions, merchandise sales from vendors and live music.
Cost: $35.
INFO: Zoo, 782-6180.

Friday & Saturday / Watertown

4. Bake sale

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Crosby Public Library, 59 Main St., Antwerp.
What: To benefit library construction fund.
Cost: Call for info.
INFO: Crosby Public Library, 659-8564.

Saturday / Antwerp

5. Sampling Syracuse food tours

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Throughout downtown Syracuse.
What: Three-hour walking tour stops at award-winning restaurants in downtown Syracuse.
Cost: $39.
INFO: Sampling Syracuse food tours, (800) 979-3370.

Saturday / Syracuse

The arts

1. Sarah Hiltbrand

When: 7:30 to 9:30  p.m. Friday.
Where: Kallet Theater, 4842 N. Jefferson St., Pulaski.
What: Regional artist has played at other local venues such as Hafner’s, Funk ‘n Waffles and others.
Cost: Call for details.
INFO: Kallet Theater, 298-0007.

Friday / Pulaski

2. Quilt Week

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Oncenter Complex, 800 S. State St., Syracuse.
What: Presented by the American Quilter’s Society.
Cost: Daily, $14; two-day admission, $25; multi-day admission, $35.
INFO: Quilt Week.

Friday & Saturday / Syracuse

3. Scott Keen book signing

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Crosby Public Library, 59 Main St., Antwerp.
What: With local author Scott Keen. Refreshments available.
Cost: Copies of books: $15.
INFO: Library, 659-8564; Scott Keen.

Saturday / Anterp

4. Opening reception: Joan Applebaum

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Sackets Harbor Arts Center, 119 W. Main St, Sackets Harbor.
What: Watercolor, acrylics, pastels and fiber art exhibit scheduled to run through Sunday, Sept. 6.
Cost: Call for details.
INFO: Sackets Harbor Arts Center, 646-3502.

Saturday / Sackets Harbor

5. Exhibit: Monet to Matisse

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee St., Utica.
What: Features more than 60 impressionist and post-impressionist paintings and drawings from the collection of Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tenn. Exhibit slated to run through Sunday, Nov. 29.
Cost: $10; students, $5; children 12 and younger, free.
INFO: Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, 797-0000.

All weekend / Utica


1. Mennonite Heritage Farm open

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Where: Mennonite Heritage Farm, 8778 Erie Canal Road, Croghan.
What: Tour historical farm.
Cost: Adult, $3; ages 6 to 12, $1; ages 5 and younger, free.
INFOMennonite Heritage Farm, 346-1122.

Friday & Saturday / Croghan

2. Wilderness Health Care Foundation Memorial Golf Tournament

When: 8 a.m. Saturday.
Where: Clifton-Fine Municipal Golf Course, 4173 Main St., Star Lake.
What: Registration slated for 8 a.m.; awards ceremony and luncheon, 2:30 p.m.
Cost: Call for details.
INFO: Clifton-Fine Hospital, 848-3351.

Saturday / Star Lake

3. Benefit Golf Tournament for Tom Olivas

When: 8 a.m. Saturday.
Where: Willowbrook Golf Club, 25075 state Route 37, Watertown.
What: To offset medical and travel expenses for Mr. Olivas who was recently diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and is in the hospital dealing with complications of a stem cell transplant.
Cost: Call for details.
INFO: Facebook event page; Willowbrook Golf Club, 782-8192.

Saturday / Watertown

4. Return to the Wild

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Where: The Wild Center, 45 Museum Drive, Tupper Lake.
What: Live wolf on campus, campus-wide treasure hunt with clues.
Cost: Adult, $20; ages 5 to 17, $13; ages 65 and older and military, $18; ages 4 and younger and members, free.
INFOThe Wild Center, 518-359-7800, ext. 116.

Sunday / Tupper Lake

5. Evan Williams Bourbon Basmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River

When: All weekend.
Where: Whittaker Park Boat Launch, Waddington.
What: Boats leaving scheduled to leave every morning at 6:15 a.m.; weigh-in, 3:15 p.m. Sunday. Family-friendly activities all weekend.
Cost: Free.
INFO: Bassmaster.

All weekend / Waddington

Need more NNY? Check out the Watertown Daily Times calendar for the whole list of events.


Coyote Moon Vineyards offering wine tours on St. Lawrence River

Patrons gaze at Calumet Island as their boat passes by during a Coyote Moon Vineyards wine cruise on Saturday evening. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

Patrons gaze at Calumet Island as their boat passes by during a Coyote Moon Vineyards wine cruise on Saturday evening. Amanda Morrison / NNY Living

It’s a two-hour tour.

Coyote Moon Vineyards’s Wine and Craft Beer Lounge on Riverside Drive was packed with patrons Saturday night, most with beverages already in hand, primed for a voyage on the St. Lawrence River.

As the boat left the dock, George L. “Jack” Grobe, the first mate, demonstrated how to don a life preserver to raucous cheers.

“By the end of the night, they’ll cheer at anything,” he said. “You can tell them we hit a rock and they’ll cheer. It’s good to see everyone having a good time.”

The cruise, which departs from the lounge at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, features a scenic tour of the Thousand Islands and a selection of the Vineyards’ award-winning wines, which customers have a chance to sample before leaving shore.

On board, each passenger brings a bottle of wine, which is included with the admission price of $39.95, and can snack on cheese and crackers provided by River Rat Cheese, another Clayton business. At the end of the tour, passengers are given a free Coyote Moon glass. [Read more…]

Fifth annual KeithFest June 28 at Coyote Moon Vineyard in Clayton honors a musical legacy

In addition to a musician, Keith E. Brabant was an avid cyclist and hiker. This photo of him was taken in Arizona in 2010. He and his girlfriend took a cross-country driving vacation there and back, returning just about two weeks before he died. RACHEL BORAWSKI

In addition to a musician, Keith E. Brabant was an avid cyclist and hiker. This photo of him was taken in Arizona in 2010. He and his girlfriend took a cross-country driving vacation there and back, returning just about two weeks before he died. RACHEL BORAWSKI

When a group of musicians gathered to celebrate the life and music of Keith E. Brabant five years ago, his mother figured it would be a one-time event.

“It was such an outpouring of love and music,” said Melody A. Brabant, Keith’s mom. “People then kept saying, ‘Let’s keep doing it.’ So that’s what we did.”

The fifth annual KeithFest is from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 28 at Coyote Moon Vineyards, 17371 County Route 3, Clayton.

Those who perform at KeithFest share his passion for music. In a letter he wrote to his mom in 2006 from Colorado, Mr. Brabant expressed his love of music and the path it was leading him on. “The only thing that I want to happen is for the music to get created,” he wrote. “And that’s been happening from day one. All small pieces of ‘fabric’ over the course of my life — that will be a ‘quilt.’”

Mr. Brabant was the victim of a shooting in April 2010 in the town of Alexandria. The Keith Brabant Music Scholarship Foundation was formed shortly after his death.

Mr. Brabant was a musician and composer who performed in numerous bands all over the country and in Seattle and Breckenridge, Colo. He also loved the outdoors and studying history, religion and government.

The music scholarship in his name, administered by the Northern New York Community Foundation, has awarded $8,000 to young north country musicians since 2010. Applications are reviewed each year by the KeithFest panel. Five scholarships to students in Jefferson County will be presented at this year’s festival.

Because the festival is on June 28, graduation day for several local schools, admission will be free for any 2014 graduating senior with school identification.

The music kicks off at noon with local musician Sarah Parker Ada playing ukulele. The scholarships will be presented at 12:20 p.m.

The music continues from 12:40 until 2:15 p.m. with Mark Mason and friends Gary Walts, Sam Hopkins, Jim Burr, Lisa Forshaw and Jim Wiley. Up next will be Dave Scanlon and the DTZs, followed at 2:45 by Coyote Moon’s own Foggy River Band.

At 3:30 p.m., the acoustic trio Define Normal will take the stage.

“The Keith Brabant Experience,” an annual tribute session to Mr. Brabant by Justin Reynolds and friends, takes the stage at at 3:50 p.m.

“That is very close to my heart,” Mrs. Brabant said of the annual session. “It’s Keith’s original music and a lot of the cover songs that he enjoyed playing. It takes a lot of devotion from the musicians to put it together. Musicians come from all over who get together and learn Keith’s music, which can be quite complex.”

The band Casey Street Shuffle will perform at 4:30 p.m. followed by The List at 4:50 p.m., Sonic Buzz at 5:35 p.m., Root Seller at 5:55 p.m. and Ian Wagner at 6:40. At 7:10 p.m., Minus Mike, the group Mr. Brabant started out with during his teen years, will wrap up the festival.

The festival also will offer activities for children throughout the day, including a bounce house, craft tent and an “instrument petting zoo.” The instrument zoo will include an acoustic guitar signed last year by KeithFest participants. In a new tradition, an acoustic guitar will be signed by participants of each KeithFest for display the following year.

An assortment of food, ranging from fried cheese curd to wine slushies, will be offered.

■       ■       ■

The 2014 Keith Brabant Music Scholarships honorees:

$600 to Sonja Lara-Gonzalez, Theresa, a student at Indian River Central High School. Funds will go toward music lessons and/or the purchase of a violin.

$600 to Trenton Service, LaFargeville, who attends Alexandria Central School. Funds will go to his attendance at the University of Massachusetts summer music camp.

$600 to Jahara Green, Calcium, a student at Indian River. Funds will go to the purchase of a violin, and/or to attend the Crane Youth Music Camp at SUNY Potsdam.

$400 to Rachelle Johnson, Alexandria Bay, a student at Alexandria Central. Funds will go toward Camp Electric in Cedarville, Ohio, and/or Orangehaus music camp in Anderson, Ind.

$400 to Brady Towne, Fort Drum, a student at Carthage Middle School. Funds will go toward Crane Youth Music Camp and/or purchase of a double bass.


The details

WHAT: Fifth annual KeithFest

WHEN/WHERE: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 28 at Coyote Moon Vineyards, 17371 County Route 3, Clayton.

COST: $10 for ages 12-65 and $5 for those under 12 and over 65. This year, the festival has been designated a Yellow Ribbon event. Soldiers and their family members will be admitted at half price with military ID. Free admission will be given to any graduating high school senior with school ID. There is a family rate of $25.

ON THE WEB: www.keithfest.com


By Chris Brock, Times Staff Writer

Five Things Friday – Aug. 23

1) Get outside and unplug at the inaugural Outdoor Adventure Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Natural Resources Permit Office Building, S-2509, off Route 26 between Great Bend and Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield, a free event sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County and the Natural Resources Branch Directorate of Public Works on Fort Drum. All ages can enjoy hands-on stations with various levels on fishing, archery, hunting, forestry, trapping, air pistols, arts and crafts, fish and wildlife, outdoor cooking and orienteering, as well as a climbing wall. The family-friendly event, which will be held rain or shine, also includes a chicken barbecue hosted by Carthage American Legion Post 789 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Proceeds from those food sales will benefit scholarship funds awarded by the Legion. For more details and a complete schedule of events, visit www.fortdrum.isportsman.net/outdoor-adventure-day.

2) This weekend is Rockin’ the Bay, a classic rock and classic cars weekend in Alexandria Bay, that promises to allow you to enjoy summer for at least a few more weekends. The band Hat Trick will take the stage tonight from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. On Saturday, the band Ferguson & Rogers will play from 12 to 3 p.m. and the band Wagners Agenda will play from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. There will be a Big Splash Contest to benefit the Alex Bay Rotary Club at 3 p.m. On Sunday, there will be a free classic car rally from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with registration held prior to the event from 7 to 9 a.m., and a magical mystery tour from 12 to 4 p.m. Contact the Chamber at 482-9531 for more information. [Read more…]

Five Things Friday – July 26

1) In Watertown this weekend, check out Family Fun Day in Thompson Park playground Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be free lunch, keepers from the Zoo and family-friendly activities. The event is sponsored by the Watertown Family YMCA and the United Way of Northern New York, who will share information about their children’s programs and family activities. For more information, call the Y at 782-3100 or United Way at 788-5631. Also in Watertown is the first of Super Summer Saturdays at Flower Memorial Library at 10:30 a.m. The free event will include stories, music, dancing and crafts. The event will be repeated on Saturday, Aug. 31. For more information, call the library at 785-7709.

2) There’s nothing like a road race to motivate you to get back into running shape or find out what kind of shape you’re in. This Saturday you can also do so for a good cause at the Run for the River 5K/10K to benefit Save the River on Saturday. Registration starts at Frink Park, Clayton, at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins at 9 a.m. The registration fee for the 5K is $30 and $35 for the 10K. You can also register online at www.active.com (search for Save the River). For more information, visit www.savetheriver.org. [Read more…]

Five Things Friday – July 19

Whether you’re in the mood to tango, attend a shore dinner or enjoy a weekend in Sackets Harbor, there’s an event for everyone this weekend in the north country!

1) Today is Children’s Day at the Lewis County Fair in Lowville, beginning with a Saddle Horse Premium Show at 9 a.m. Other activities include a spelling bee at 9:30 a.m., the Lewis County Holstein Club Show at 10 a.m., free face painting, an alligator show and Ditsy the Clown. Discount $18 wristbands will be sold from noon to 4 p.m. and are good until 6 p.m. Tonight also features a double concert, with Greg Bates performing at 7 p.m. and the Outlaws at 8:30. John Stevens & Doubleshot Polka Band will also perform at 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the track-side festival are $25 and grandstand admission is $20. Saturday is Family Day at the fair, which begins with an open horse show at 9 a.m. and a dog show at 10 a.m. The midway opens at noon. Wristbands for $20 are good until 6 p.m. Demolition Derby will take place at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and North Country Idol will take place at 6 p.m. Gate admission both days is free. For a full schedule of events, visit www.lewiscountyfair.org.

2) The 42nd annual Canadian American Festival is Saturday and Sunday in Sackets Harbor. The two-day festival includes craft vendors, a wine garden, a farmers market and live music. The Academy Student Program will also present “Where the Wild Things Are” at the Lake Ontario Playhouse on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m. The Honey Bush Brothers will give a live concert on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Atlas will perform on the waterfront at the Battlefield Park from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Check out the full schedule of events here. [Read more…]

Five Things Friday – June 28

Here are five ways to enjoy the last weekend in June! Stay tuned for a special July 4 edition of FTF early next week.

1) Enjoy the best of classic summer carnival fun at the 97th annual Mount Carmel Feast hosted by St. Anthony’s Catholic Church (850 Arsenal St., Watertown) tonight from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 10 p.m. The fair will have rides, live music, bingo (tonight at 7 p.m.), fireworks, traditional Italian food and raffles. The Mt. Carmel Feast religious procession starts at 5:30 Sunday and will be followed by the blessing of the church’s new Rose Window at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks will conclude the festival at 10 p.m. Sunday. [Read more…]

The sweet success of local wines: New York state varieties are changing the world

Kris Allen with a selection of New York State wines at her Watertown store. Photo by Norm Johnston/NNY Living.

Drinking a glass of wine is a fun and relaxing experience, whether with a meal or sitting on the front porch during a warm spring evening. While picking the right wine can be unnecessarily intimidating, everyone’s taste is as unique as their fingerprint and no one is right or wrong when choosing the type of wine they prefer.

Traditional wine offerings have been categorized as semi-sweet, sweet, dry or semi-dry; however, sweet wines are becoming more popular while at the same time reigning in new wine lovers. It is so exciting to be a part of the wine industry today. The influx of people trying wine is great to see.

Twenty years ago, New York boasted only 54 wineries, most of which were in the Finger Lakes region. Today there are more than 330, which is one reason why New York has evolved into one of the largest players in the wine world and a leading producer of sweet wines.

Due to its micro-growing climates, New York wineries have produced soft, sweet, fruity wines for years. It’s amazing to watch now that the rest of the world is jumping on the bandwagon and offering a sweet alternative to the masses. As this trend continues, it’s exciting to see that consuming wine is no longer for the experienced, but the novice wine drinker can now feel comfortable exploring new territories. Here are a few of my favorite selections from some local wineries. [Read more…]