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Your Guide to the “Best of the Fests” in Upstate New York


Festival season is full speed ahead in Upstate New York. We’ve got some of the best, quirkiest, and just plain fun events taking place across the state - celebrating everything from women’s rights, the arts, and comedy, to local food and wine.

I’ll spare you the commentary and cut right to the chase. Here’s your guide to the “best of the fests” in Upstate New York:

Agri-Palooza!: June 4, 2017
Castile, NY
A celebration of Wyoming County Agriculture, with farm tours, demonstrations, hay rides and more.

3rd Annual New York Craft Brewers Festival: June 10, 2017
Utica, NY
The New York Craft Brewers Festival will bring together up to 45 New York State Breweries from every region of the state, featuring up to 130 hard-to-find and award-winning beers.

14th Annual Chautauqua Writers’ Festival: June 15 – 18, 2017
Chautauqua, NY
Live and write with award-winning poets, fiction writers and nonfiction writers who share their insights in intensive workshops, readings, panel discussions and individual conferences designed to ensure personalized attention. Includes a songwriting workshop.

Great Lakes Experience Festival: June 17, 2017 11 – 5pm
Dunkirk, NY
A free family festival with many activities, including environmental displays, health and wellness organizations, live animals, food trucks, and a free fishing event for kids and adults.

Path Through History Weekend: June 17 - 18, 2017
Experience a Revolutionary War battle, discover some of New York State’s and the U.S.’s greatest natural wonders or relive some of the greatest moments in sports. Visit over 500 destinations across the state and choose from 13 themes to create your own Path Through History.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival:June 23 – July 1, 2017
Rochester, NY
This festival navigates all genres of creative improvised music from all corners of the world with over 1,500 musicians and more than 325 concerts at 19 venues.

49th Annual Corn Hill Arts Festival: July 8-9, 2017
Rochester, NY
This free festival features 375 juried artists, four music stages, and two beer and wine gardens all set in the historic Corn Hill neighborhood of Rochester.

Finger Lakes Wine Festival: July 14 – 16, 2017
Watkins Glen, NY
More than 80 wineries join numerous vendors and restaurants for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, presented by Yancey's Fancy New York's Artisan Cheese each year.

VoteTilla – Commemorating the NY Centennial of Women’s Suffrage: July 16-22, 2017
Rochester, NY
A weeklong navigational celebration of New York’s Women’s Suffrage Centennial and key people and places that made it possible. Events will take place along the Erie Canal from Seneca Falls to Rochester.

27th Annual Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival: July 20 – 23, 2017
Trumansburg, NY
Four days, four stages, 70+ bands, and plenty of dancing, art, camping, workshops, healing arts, yoga, family fun and more at this annual festival in the Finger Lakes.

9th Annual Brantling Bluegrass Festival: July 27-30, 2017
Sodus, NY
Three jam-packed days of great bluegrass music from some of the top national, regional and local bands. Fireworks, kids’ events, vendors and more.

Lucy Comedy Festival: August 3-6, 2017
Jamestown, NY
Featuring over 50 events, including stand-up comedy, discussions about comedy, classes in stand-up, improv, sketch and more, comedy happy hours, kids shows, Lucy & Ethel dinner shows, a silent auction, Lucy town and cemetery tours, I Love Lucy under the stars and a Lucy trivia show.

KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival: September 14-23, 2017
Rochester, NY
Expect the unexpected in this unique, multi-arts festival that both showcases and stimulates creativity with theatre, comedy, dance, music.

AppleUmpkin Festival: September 23-24, 2017
Wyoming, NY
A fall arts and crafts festival held throughout the historic gaslight village of Wyoming, NY. In addition to numerous arts, crafts and food vendors, the festival offers non-stop family entertainment and an appleumpkin bake off.

ImageOut – The Rochester LGBT Film Festival:October 5-15, 2017
Rochester, NY
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, this 11-day festival features over 40 program and 70 films from around the world.

20th Annual Wayne County Apple Tasting Tour “Tasting Weekend”: October 6-9, 2017
Lyons, NY
Take a self-driving tour on scenic county roads ablaze in autumn glory from market to market. Enter to win prizes along the way. The Apple Tasting Tour Challenge starts October 1 and runs through the 31.

Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show: October 8-9, 2017
Highbanks Recreation Area, Letchworth State Park
Rated one of the best craft shows in the US! Over 300 arts & crafts vendors! 10am-5pm.

Peek’n Peak Fall Festival: October 14-22, 2017
Clymer, NY
Two weekends of fun at this fall festival, which includes a craft show, farmer’s market, pumpkin cannon, children’s crafts and activities, plus ski lift rides, a petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

And keep an eye on the calendar for the various tasting events, county fairs, and celebrations surrounding Independence Day (July 4) in the US. There’s always something to check out when you plan your trip.