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Carrot Festival takes the cake

The Carrot Festival began 30 years ago as a fundraiser to offset the cost of paving the synagogue's parking lot, Fink said. At that time, congregation members Paul and Rose Westheimer owned The Carrot Barn at Schoharie Valley Farms, where more than 1,400 tons of carrots were produced annually.

While the Westheimers no longer own The Carrot Barn, they still play a role in the planning of the festival by serving on the committee, which began meeting in January to plan for the festival.

Each year we added a layer, Fink said. She said about 20 years ago the congregation began baking cakes to sell during the event.

"You don't have to be a rabbit to love carrots," read the shirts from the event.

The congregation always gets requests for its carrot recipes, so they compiled a cookbook, which is sold throughout the world, of all the congregation's favorite Carrot Festival recipes, in addition to other kosher recipes.

Copyrighted in 2006 the cookbook, titled "Divine Kosher Cuisine," features some recipes, which are derived straight from the Carrot Festival. The cookbook can be purchased online at www.divinekosher.com for $32.95.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 14, at 2117 Union St., Schenectady.

There is no admission fee for the festival, but a $2 parking fee is suggested.

The festival performance schedule is as follows:

10:30 to 11 a.m.: Hava Nashira, synagogue choir will perform.

11:15 a.m. to noon: Art Isenberg, a Hebrew, Latin, Israeli and Dixieland keyboardist, will perform.

12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Israeli dancers will perform.

1 to 1:30 p.m.: The General Lee Speaking Band will perform.

2 to 4 p.m.: The McKrells, Irish-American band.

4 p.m. to close: A children's talent show will be held.

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