Hooley on the Hudson

A hooley is a party or an evening of traditional music and dance. The word originates in Ireland and Scotland. Kingston, New York has a day and night of modern and traditional Irish music and dance. They call it the Hooley on the Hudson.

This event takes place every year on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. It starts around mid-day and ends in early evening. It takes place in the area around lower Broadway in the downtown area along the creek.

Because the Hooley is right on the creek that empties into the Hudson River, people from other states arrange to park their boats for the weekend and watch the events from their decks. Kingston has spaces for visiting boaters at their marina. Cabin cruisers from upstate, New Jersey and Long Island were parked there this weekend. If you are a boater, this is an option for next year’s Hooley, but I am sure you would have to arrange this well in advance.

The streets are blocked off near the event and some restaurants put tables on the street. You can eat from the vendors or dine in one of the restaurants. They have vendors selling items from Ireland. Kingston has a paved path next to the creek that is lovely to stroll on. There are antique shops on lower Broadway a short walk from the celebration. This event is both dog and kid-friendly.

I was not in a good spot for this shot, but I could not get where I wanted to be. It was packed around the dance floor.

Unfortunately I did not have a lot of time at this event. Too busy catching up on other things in life. Here are some of the bands and dancers that performed on two of the stages. I never saw the third stage.

Happiness is playing Irish music.

Why an Irish celebration in September? They think of it as around half-way to St. Patty’s Day. The weather in NY is usually a lot nice in September as well. Its a fun event. It mixes more modern with traditional and it is in a lovely setting. If you are looking for something to do next Labor Day weekend head up to Kingston, NY and join the fun at the Hooley.

Lone bagpiper
Irish Setter at this dog-friendly event.

Farmer’s Dance

Many cultures have dances that are traditional. Mexico has the Jarabe Tapatio, known as the Mexican Hat Dance. Italy is famous for the Tarantella. In Korea they have a dance that dates back 2,500 years called the Farmer’s Dance.

The Farmer’s Dance originated long ago for a purpose. It is performed during agricultural events including planting and harvesting of crops. It was performed to encourage the farmers by giving them a beat to work to.

The music is fast paced and the dancers perform acrobatic movements. They twirl long paper streamers attached to their hats. They wear colorful clothing.

All images on this post were taken years ago on an old Pentax K1000 as slide film. I scanned them from the slides.

While I witnessing this I thought the dancers possessed impressive skills that must have been honed with much practice.

These ladies joined in the festivities.

What kind of dances are traditional to your culture? What was the purpose or meaning behind them? Dance is more than just a performance art.