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!”
Thank you all for a great year on our website. More than 80,000 visitors checked us out in 2013 looking for something fun and festive to do in the Empire State.
Now, we are going to step away for a bit and join in the holiday shopping frenzy with our family and friends. We look forward to seeing you all in January with another great year packed with festivals for you to enjoy.
Check back here in January and then …off we go again!
Chuck and Trish D’Imperio
“The Festival Fanatics”
PS: Don’t forget that Chuck is a prolific author of books about Upstate New York. You can see his books on this site. He will be glad to sign a book for you for gift giving. Just click on the cover!
Residents of Rochester’s famed Corn Hill neighborhood once again open their doors to the public for the 27th annual Annual Holiday Tour of Homes. Come tour the beautiful homes of historic Corn Hill, adorned in their holiday splendor. Located in one of the country’s best preserved 19th Century residential neighborhoods Corn Hill’s Holiday Tour of Homes is the perfect prelude event for this year’s holiday season! Attendees have their choice to take either a traditional tour or opt for an enhanced, evening candlelight tour.
Corn Hill is Rochester’s oldest neighborhood and is recognized as one of the most beautifully preserved 19th century neighborhoods in the U.S.
Hi everybody. I am “Big Chuck” D’Imperio one of the “Festival Fanatics.” I just wanted to put a bug in your ear to remind you that Christmas is coming and I have some of the most unique gift items for that special “New Yorker” on your gift list. I am a longtime writer of Upstate New York books which you can see along the right margin of this page.
My books have spread the word far and wide about the wonders of upstate, the history and the people, to readers all across the country. I love Upstate! If you know someone who lives far from home now but was raised in upstate, these books are a perfect way to send a little of “home” to them for the holidays.
Just click on each book cover for ordering information or feel free to email me at email@example.com for more information! Happy Holidays!
Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, New York, is best known as home of telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse, but the mansion’s original owner, Henry Livingston, Jr., also has a claim to fame. Some scholars believe he’s the true author of the classic Christmas tale, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” On Saturdays November 30-December 21, Locust Grove celebrates the magic of Christmas past with special holiday season tours of the mansion’s 25 decorated rooms. Sundays December 1, 8, 15 and 22 feature Holiday House Hunts for kids, with clues from “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Also this year on Thursdays, December 5 and 12, Locust Grove hosts Holiday Sunset Sensations with twilight tours and wines paired with holiday nibbles prepared by Chef John Lekic of Le Express Bistro. Tickets are $30 in advance: Call 845-454-4500. Tickets are $35 at the event.
This annual event grows and grows each year.
Now in its 20th year this holiday event invites guests to visit 16 top wineries along the famous Cayuga Wine Trail and pick up ornaments and goodies along the way. The schedule is extensive so please click on the website below for all the details. Because of the overwhelming demand this is a ticketed event, so check the website!
It is one of the “must see” festivals of the season.
Tiny and historic Sharon Springs decks the halls with Victoria boughs of holly for a festive day of fun, music, food and many costumed characters wandering the old sidewalks of the village.
Be sure and check the website for the full itinerary of events. This is one of Sharon Springs many festivals that have brought many thousands of tourists to this glittering community. Women, get in your best Victorian garb and men…dig out that old top hat. All are invited to show up in period costume (and hundreds do!).
The Fabulous Beekman Boys, reality TV stars Josh and Brent, will also be on to greet their fans and to show you around their brand new Mercantile store just opened up on Main Street in 2013!
The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, one of the real treats in Upstate New York, is hosting their annual Candlelight Festival on Saturday December 14, from 3-7pm.
The museum is a small rural campus of interesting and historic buildings set up in a village square motif. Blacksmith shops, printers offices, churches and banks, a one-room schoolhouse and more all make this a top tourist spot throughout the year. And of course the Baseball Hall of Fame is just down the street and around the corner!
Ride through the museum grounds on a horse drawn sleigh, let the kiddies take a spin on the magnificent Empire State Carousel (for free), enjoy traditional holiday foods and beverages and marvel at the hundreds of lit candles casting their warm glow over the grounds. There will also be a reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by a local theater group.
Don’t forget to visit the historic Fenimore Museum which is right across the street!
An old fashioned German Christmas Market is coming to Port Jervis on Sunday, Dec. 1!
“Christkindlmarkt” is a German Christmas Market. It is an enchanting family event in the tradition of markets held throughout Germany during the Holiday Season! It is a charming festival with twinkling lights, holiday music, & the aromas of the season. There are local retailers, specialty foods, handcrafters, & entertainment. Bring the whole family!
Old Fort Johnson, built in 1749, is the original limestone house built by one of the most important men of early New York, Sir. William Johnson. It is located just west of Amsterdam, N.Y.
This magnificent historic landmark hosts a festive open house from Nov. 30 to December 1 this year. It is a rare opportunity to see the inside of this historic home resplendent in its holiday finery.
This holiday tradition returns to the Old Fort. Tour this 1749 home that has hosted yuletide celebrations from colonial times through to the present.
Then enjoy complimentary refreshments in the Visitor’s Center and shop in their expanded holiday gift shop. This event is free and open to all, however, donations are always appreciated.
Below is a video of the exterior of this grand old home. To see the inside, why don’t you mark down the date of the holiday open house and come visit!
Saturday Nov. 30 is Sinterklaas Arrival Day at the historic Kingston Waterfront.
It is a day of open houses, musical performances, workshops creating beautiful crowns and branches*, a march down Broadway, a parade of stars, and puppets galore. Kingston welcomes Sinterklass and then sends him on his ultimate destination across the river to Rhinebeck. He will leave the historic Rondout area in grand style: on his white horse down the the Hudson where he will board a tugboat! After his send off, there will a Sinterklaas Soiree, Tree Lighting Ceremony and plenty of specials at all of the local restaurants.
Sinterklaas keeps moving along the Hudson Valley so be sure and visit the official website for the best time to see this legendary holiday figure!
Watch this video from the past to show you the fun and excitement that occurs in the historic Rondout area of Kingston as the parade takes Sinterklaas to the river and sends him off across to the festival in Rhinebeck!