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 January 28, 2014
New York State Celebrates Major Milestones and Anniversaries

 Remember Woodstock? The world-famous music festival which became a symbol for idealism and the musical explosion of the 60's? This year marks the 45th anniversary of that transformational event and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, set on the original site of Woodstock in the Catskill Mountains, will be presenting a year-long celebration with legendary and contemporary music performances and educational programs exploring the ideals of the era.

The anniversary of Woodstock is just one of the exciting anniversaries New York State will be celebrating in 2014. The year marks major milestones in everything from winemaking and the arts to sports and many of these will be cause for year-long celebrations, including the 75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame, the 50th anniversary of Buffalo's signature recipe for chicken wings and the 175th anniversary of the Brotherhood Winery. Here's a look at some of the major milestones and anniversaries being celebrated around the state.

Raise a Glass to 175 Years of Wine. The Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, is believed to be America's oldest operating winery. In continuous operation since 1839, the winery even stayed open during Prohibition to produce sacramental wines for the church. Guided tours include a visit to its hand-excavated 19th century cellars. Winner of a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, the winery will be commemorating its 175th anniversary with special tastings and presentations throughout the year.

75 Years of Baseball History. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, established in 1939 to honor the sport's greatest players and the history, is celebrating its diamond anniversary throughout 2014. Highlights include four event-filled weekends with events such as the Hall of Fame Classic on May 24, featuring legends of the game; a night at the museum following the Classic and a golf fundraiser on May 25 where fans will gain insight into the sport and have the opportunity to meet some of baseball's heroes.

When the world came to Queens. The 1939 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows thrilled the world with its displays of "futuristic" technology. On the eve of its 75th anniversary, it's hard to believe the Fair was most people's first glimpse of television, color photography and air-conditioning. The 1964 World's Fair popularized another new technology---the computer. Just in time for the 75th and 50th anniversaries of the Fairs, the Queens Museum unveiled an ambitious exhibition of souvenirs from both that will be on display throughout the year. Nearby, the New York Hall of Science is restoring the Great Hall that was built for the 1964 World's Fair to capture the public's imagination about the possibilities and wonder of science.

75 Years of Oz. The 75th anniversary of the MGM film, The Wizard of Oz comes to life through parades and other events in the birthplace of its creator, L. Frank Baum, in Chittenango, Central New York. The 2014 International Wizard of Oz Club Convention will be held June 5-8 in Chittenango where fans will enjoy the All Things OZ museum, which houses memorabilia reflecting Baum's life and the timeless popularity of his work.

A Golden Anniversary for Buffalo Wings. Buffalo Wings are so ubiquitous that it's hard to believe their invention can be accurately traced. Nevertheless, it's commonly agreed that this popular chicken wing concoction was created in 1964 by the Anchor Bar's Teressa Bellissimo. Purists insist that the Anchor Bar still makes them best, but cooks around the world have given Buffalo Wings their own spin and compete every Labor Day weekend at the city's annual National Buffalo Wing Festival. This year's festival is taking place Aug. 30-31.

45 years on the Hudson or Sailing to save a river. The Clearwater Sloop, built by folk music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger, is celebrating its 45th anniversary on the Hudson. The Clearwater is a floating classroom for environmental education. Lessons are taught through hands-on learning experiences, music and fun activities. The Clearwater also raises awareness of the need to fight pollution through its annual fundraiser, the Great Hudson River Revival, the country's oldest music and environmental festival, which will feature name entertainers at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, June 21-22.

The Tioga County Historical Society and Museum will be celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year. To celebrate the centennial, the museum will be having multiple events and exhibits during the year. Some of these events and exhibits include: an expanded Civil War Exhibit; a Native American Exhibit; and numerous lectures from local historians and academics. On exhibit now through the end of the month is an exhibit featuring toys at least as old as the museum. More events will be scheduled in the coming months. The Tioga County Historical Society Museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

70 years of rodeo games or Ride-em cowboys---and girls! The Gerry Rodeo in Chautauqua-Allegheny, believed to be the longest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi, will celebrate its 70th year, July 30-August 2. The rodeo, started as a fundraiser by the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department, attracts more than 130 cowhands from across the country who compete in events from bareback, saddle bronco and bull riding, to steer wrestling and tie-down roping.

60 Years of Culture. For its 60th anniversary, the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton will feature special programs such as a touring exhibit from the New York State Museum in Albany, and a Model Train & Doll Fair on Feb. 23. Over the years, the museum has expanded from its original Italian Renaissance-style mansion to make space for a science center and planetarium, and today, presents exhibitions and programming including art, theater, history and science.

25 Years of Boxing Legends. The success of hometown boxing champions Carmen Basilio in the 1950s and Billy Backus in 1970 inspired residents of Canastota, in Central New York, to establish an International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989. This year, from June 5-8, the 25th annual anniversary induction weekend will also be celebrated with ringside lectures, celebrity demonstrations and a golf tournament of champions.

A Silver Jubilee for Apples. The apple harvest is celebrated every fall in the Hudson Valley's Village of Warwick with a huge celebration, complete with free musical entertainment on several stages, a children's carnival, vast variety of food, and over 200 juried crafters. Drawing more than 30,000 visitors, the one-day event will mark its 25th anniversary on October 5.

The Bicentennial of the Battle of Plattsburgh. The War of 1812 didn't end until 1814, and the Battle of Plattsburgh played a decisive role, both in defeating the British and in maintaining American control over the region. This year marks the bicentennial of the battle, and throughout the year Plattsburgh commemorates 200 years of peace with a series of special events, historic reenactments and culinary delights. Visitors can join small-group boot camp platoons to experience military life as it was 200 years ago and try their hand at musket and cannon loading and firing, open-fire cooking and setting up a military camp. The Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Weekend takes place Sept. 13-14.

Centuries of History in the Hudson Valley. Two very different historic Hudson Valley landmarks will be celebrating anniversaries in 2014. Lyndhurst, an 1838 Gothic Revival mansion is celebrating its 175th anniversary. The Tarrytown estate, which reopens to visitors in May, was once home to railroad baron Jay Gould and features dramatic Hudson River views, outstanding collections and gardens. Across the Hudson River in Marlboro, the Gomez Mill House is celebrating its 300th anniversary. The house, which reopens for tours April 6, is the oldest existing Jewish dwelling in North America. The house was home to Revolutionary War Patriots, landed gentry and social activists, and events and exhibits will view history through the lenses of its varied former owners.

100 years of entertainment or And the bands play on. Woodstock is just part of the state's proud entertainment heritage. The restored Glove Performing Arts Center in Gloversville, in the Capital-Saratoga region, will be celebrating its centennial with a full calendar of performances. In the Hudson Valley, the Westchester Broadway Theatre, which features Broadway-caliber musical revivals, is celebrating its 40th season of dinner-theater. And two popular Catskills festivals hit milestones this year: The Catskills Irish Arts Week in East Durham will celebrate its 20th anniversary July 13-19; and Mountain Jam at Hunter Mountain will mark its 10th anniversary June 5-8.

A Golden Jubilee for Skiers. Two ski areas have major anniversaries this year. In the Finger Lakes, Bristol Mountain, in Canandaigua, is greeting its golden anniversary in grand style with a giant gold bow on the 50th chair of the Comet Express Chairlift along with special events and offers such as a woman's ski clinic with former Olympic skier Lisa Densmore on Jan. 29 and a gift for any season pass holder who can produce season passes for all 50 years. Additionally, Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks is marking its 80th anniversary.

45 Years of Equestrian Competition. The 45th annual Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows will bring nearly 1,000 horses to Lake Placid for its annual competition. Running from June 24-29, the show is filled with colorful pageantry and guided tours which take visitors behind the scenes. Enthusiasts can stay on for the I Love New York Horse Show July 1-6.

25 Years of Lacrosse. Eight teams came to the Adirondacks in 1990 to compete in the first annual Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament. Now the largest lacrosse tournament in North America, the tournament has divisions from teens to seniors and draws more than 230 teams. Celebratory family-friendly events and festivities are planned for its 25th annual tournament, from Aug. 4-10.

140 Years of Vacation Learning or Summer school without walls. The Chautauqua Institution in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region was founded in 1874 as an experiment in out-of-school summer learning. Its 140th anniversary season, which runs from June through October, is expected to draw more than 100,000 participants. Programs cover fine and performing arts, current issues, interfaith worship and study, recreational activities and a lecture series to include sessions led by Ken Burns and Fareed Zakaria.

More milestones. Among the other fun anniversaries around the state is the 10th annual Cream Cheese Festival (Sept. 20 in Lowville); 10th Annual Lake Placid Marathon and Half Marathon in the Adirondacks (June 8), and the 60th anniversary of the Greene County Youth Fair (July 24-27) in Cairo in the Catskills. Plus, two Capital-Saratoga region parks will celebrate major milestones: Fort Nassau, site of an important Dutch trading house built in 1614, and John Boyd Thacher State Park, established in 1914. The Mohonk Mountain House, a National Historic Landmark resort in the Catskills, will celebrate its 145th anniversary with themed menu items, spa treatments and Victorian era experiences.

New York State

New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, hiking, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers.