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Give a hoot

Festive fundraiser for owls will have a folksy flavor

A great horned owl was one of the stars of the show at a past Raptor Fest organized by The Friends of the Important Bird Area in Washington County.

A great horned owl was one of the stars of the show at a past Raptor Fest organized by The Friends of the Important Bird Area in Washington County.

— What do you get when you combine owls and music? Well, a HOOTenanny of course. This year marks Washington County’s first HOOTenanny, a gathering at Oliva Vineyards Winery and Tasting Room in Fort Edward celebrating the wise old bird and folk music.

IF YOU GO

• What: HOOTenanny

• When: Saturday, Aug. 16, from 4 to 7 p.m.

• Where: Oliva Vineyards, 2074 Route 4 in Fort Edward

• How much: $40 in advance and $45 at the door

• Info: ibafriends.org or caffelena.org

The event, which takes place on Saturday, Aug. 16, is the brainchild of two friends — one from Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, and the other from The Friends of the Important Bird Area (IBA) in Washington County.

“We came up with the idea of music, food and wine tasting and we took it from there,” said Laurie LaFond, president and director of Friends of the IBA. “We wanted to think of something that combined owls and music. That’s where the idea for the HOOTananny name came from.”

The collaboration with Dianne Winter, the associate director of Caffe Lena, just seemed right, LaFond said. Adding that their missions easily intertwined together, and by bringing folk music to the grassy lands of the owls, it just fit.

“Historically, the folk movement has had ties to the environment and social awareness,” Winter said. “This is our first fundraiser outside of a music hall — it’s a fun, new type of event for us, and by working with IBA, the folk music community is also very environmentally conscious, so we thought it would be a nice fit for our people to find another organization to support.”

Caffe Lena opened in 1960 and has helped to launch many of America’s best-loved songwriters, including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and Ani DiFranco. When the cafe’s original founder, Lena Spencer passed away in 1989, Caffè Lena was converted to a non-profit institution.

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