Festivals are a staple of New York, be it in the north country with Bobcats, Bears and Brews at the Zoo, or the Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival. Here, we look to catalog many of the festivals this great state has to offer each year.
We’ll provide you with features as we, too, travel around the state to some of our favorites — like Ithaca’s Apple Harvest Festival — and the ones we just had to check out –like The Great Chocolate Train Wreck Festival in Hamilton.
Please take some time to browse through our festival listings, where you’ll find descriptions, photos, directions and what else there is to do in the area.
If you are a festival organizer and don’t see your festival here, please help us build our listing by submitting your festival.
Continue reading to meet “The Festival Fanatics!”
The Annual Maple Festival has occurred every year since its inception by the Franklinville JayCee’s in 1962. The festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the village annually. Local maple producers, their maple syrup and maple products are highlighted each year. The Maple Festival requires hundreds of volunteers which make it so successful. The festival continues each year as a direct result of Franklinville’s generous volunteerism spirit.
This is a major, fun family event in Cattaraugus County and all are welcome!
The Ashokan Center’s annual Maple Fest celebration on Saturday, March 1st, is a favorite of families near and far because it has something for everyone!
Join us for an all-day pancake breakfast hot off the grill topped with Ashokan Maple Syrup in our beautiful and spacious dining hall. Tap a tree and watch syrup being made. Try your hand at Blacksmithing. Enjoy singing and dancing with Jay and Molly and Mike + Ruthy, and a fantastically fun and engaging puppet show with Grian MacGregor and the Ivy Vine Players. Get outside for an invigorating guided hike on Ashokan’s inviting woodland trails to see the Cathedral Gorge and our Historic 1885 Covered Bridge.
The temperature heats up in the evening for Ashokan’s Maple Gras, with a Cajun themed jam session, food, music, and dancing. You won’t want to miss Chef Jill’s take on Cajun food, and a free dance lesson will have you moving all night to the grooves of Krewe de la Rue.
Bring the family for a full day of fun! This event was created to remind people that the Town of Inlet offers miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, a sledding hill and an ice skating rink that are open and free to the public every day, all winter! Add some bonfires, a cardboard sled race and some fireworks and you have a fun filled day for the whole family!
What a great combination! Some of the best hot chili in the Adirondacks, and some of the best hot music too!
Hot chili and hot music will be served up at the annual Bands ‘n Beans event at Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George on Sunday, March 2, 2014.
For a list of the restaurants involved as well as the music lineup, continue reading.
The 16th Annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-off will take place February 15th , 2014 11:30am-4:00pm featuring chili prepared by approximately 30 restaurants as they compete for the titles of Best Meat/Overall Chili, Best Vegetarian, and People’s Choice Chili. In addition to Chili, there are other Chili related food items. The Chili Cook-off will feature a farmers market with vendors and local wineries, breweries, and farmer’s sampling their goods. All activities will take place on the Ithaca Commons and surrounding streets.
There will be other events occurring throughout the day of the cook-off including the Chili Olympics, Hot Pepper Showdown, Chili ‘Stache Competition, and Chili Idol Karaoke.
This is always a huge festival as thousands descend on The Commons in downtown for a warming bowl of chili.
Saratoga Springs once again hosted its annual Chowderfest this past weekend. The Festival Fanatics attended last year and we just had to come back this year too.
What a difference a year makes!
The number of chowder venues has increased by a couple of dozen and the crowds have increased three fold. The sidewalks were packed with thousands of visitors all queuing up for a $1 cup of chowder…corn chowder, Spanish chowder, elk chowder, clam chowder, shrimp chowder and more.
This event, sponsored by the city of Saratoga Springs, is now among the largest festivals in the whole Upstate region. You really should mark it down on your calender and come next year!
Hanford Mills Museum, in East Meredith, is holding their annual Ice harvest Festival on Saturday, February 1, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Ice harvests were once an essential part of winter in rural communities. Before there was refrigeration, ice was needed to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months. Ponds like our Mill Pond were the source of this winter crop.
Take part in a traditional ice harvest as you walk out on the frozen mill pond to help cut and maneuver blocks of ice using historic tools. The ice will be transported by sled and then packed in the Museum’s traditional ice house.
What: Ice Harvest Festival
Where: Hanford Mills Museum, East Meredith (Delaware County)
When: Saturday, February 1, 10am-4pm.
Indian Lake, located deep in the heart of the Adirondack park, will celebrate its 29th Annual WinterFest beginning on February 14.
This multi-day event is family friendly and brings people from all over the North Country to this idyllic village just south of the Adirondack Museum. This year a large Winter Wonderland Craft Show will make its inaugural appearance at the festival. Indian Lake is gorgeous in all four seasons, but winter really brings out its beauty in a special way.
It’s the annual happy hour that everybody waits for!
The Seneca Park Zoo holds their annual fundraising Zoo Brrrew on Friday February 7 from 5-8:30 pm (21 and older only, please).
Live music, seasonal wines and beers and a vast array of delicious food stations. Sample fajitas and Mexican cuisine at the Mexican station. You can try any number of Asian specialties at the Pacific Rim station. And the Italian station will be featuring calamari, chicken parm bites and cannolis with chocolate drizzle!
This event is always one of the most popular and fun fundraisers for Rochester’s zoo.
This festival, held February 7-8, 2014, is one of the largest winter events in the North Country. Fun for the whole family, bonfires, road races, lots of music and food and even some winter fireworks. They really get slammed in the winters up here, so “Warm Up Oswego” is a welcome and fun respite from the long winters!