Plan your trip around some of the best events in Central New York that just about anyone will enjoy. Here are the top CNY events and festivals you won’t want to miss, so get ready to mark those calendars!
The LUMA Projection Arts Festival is an annual event in early September that brings projection mapping to life in Binghamton. LUMA is free to the public and draws in 30,000 people every year as guests come to see large displays of projected art canvased on buildings across the downtown Binghamton area. This festival is continuously growing and has added the element of interactive media in 2018.
Drawing over 100,000 people every year, Spiedie Fest is one of Binghamton’s most popular events. Spend the day listening to live musical performances and choose your favorite spiedie recipe from the Spiedie Cooking Contest. Ranked top three in the country, Spiedie Fest is also home to one of the largest hot air balloon launches.
The Dicks Sporting Goods Open is one of the elite tournaments of PGA Tour Champions that is hosted at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott each year in August. Come and watch some of the Champions Tour’s finest give it their all and cheer them on as they go. Community members are also invited to the annual concert hosted every year at the Open with past performances including, Blake Shelton, Bon Jovi and Zac Brown Band.
Nationally recognized by the Blues Foundation, the Blues Fest creates a two-day diverse musical experience for all attendees, who can come and listen to their favorite artists and bands at the Chenango County Fairgrounds. The Chenango Blues Fest takes place in August every year.
The Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival draws thousands of people every year to come and enjoy craft sales, literary art, music and creative culinary arts. Colorscape takes place each September in the East and West Parks of downtown Norwich.
The Chenango County Historical Society and Museum Antique Show and Canal Boat Derby is 40-plus years in the making. Spend your Labor Day weekend searching through antique vendor goods to find your next new piece.
The Herkimer County Fair is an exciting annual summer event. Sitting on 26 acres of land with 10 permanent buildings, the fair brings six days of fun to community with Gillette shows, a demolition derby, tractor and truck pulls, rides, contests, kids’ activities and food. A Queen, Princess, Prince Pageant is held every year along with farmyard Olympics, a talent show and an agricultural scavenger hunt.
The Herkimer Diamond Gem Show & Festival celebrates the county’s most unique geological feature. Each year, more than 6,000 gather to experience one of the largest gem and mineral shows on the East Coast each July. The unique vendors bring visitors everything from organic animal products to handmade jewelry and home decor items to reiki sessions, and just about everything in between, not to mention some of the best food trucks upstate New York has to offer.
Beginning in 1999 on a small lakeside beach, Adirondack Paddlefest has grown to be the largest on-water kayak, canoe and SUP demo and sale in the country. Hosted at Mountainman’s Paddlesports Shop in Old Forge, the site offers a great beach for test paddling, clinics, demos and lectures. Factory reps and industry experts are on hand at the fest to help you find the perfect canoe, kayak, SUP and equipment for all your summer paddling adventures.
To celebrate the County’s hop heritage, the Madison County Historical Society has been hosting the Madison County Hops Fest every year in September since 1996. The fest includes a weekend filled with exhibits on the history of hops, home brewing demonstrations and a crowning ceremony of the Hop King and Queen. Guests can also enjoy samples of regional craft beer and attend the Taste of Hops event, where local restaurants prepare an appetizer made with beer as one of the main ingredients and pair the appetizer with a craft beer to try.
Calling all antique lovers: The Madison-Bouckville Antique Week is one event you won’t want to miss! Every year in August, Antique Week brings buyers, collectors, admirers and dealers from across the globe to the largest antique event in New York. With an attendance of 2,000 vendors, this week-long event features high-quality antiques and some of the most desired collectables.
The longest running and largest Wizard of Oz-themed festival takes place right in Madison County. Oz-Stravaganza hosts thousands of fans each year and invites them to a museum dedicated to All Things Oz. The festival includes, costume contests, rides, games, festival food and fireworks for everyone to enjoy.
Located on the Mohawk River, the Amsterdam Riverlink, a park that includes a newly built pedestrian bridge, as well as walking and bike paths. Every Saturday during the summer, free concerts are held in the park, where guests can bring their families and enjoy great music from a variety of artists.
For over 170 years, the Fonda Fair has been bringing joy to the Montgomery County community. Each year, the fair contains a thrilling demolition derby, tractor pulls, games, rides, food and animals. For those looking to get an early start to your day at the fair, there are camping grounds available for rent right outside the venue.
The Annual St. Paddy’s Day Pub Fest provides the perfect way to give back and support local businesses in the Amsterdam area. Each person who participates in the Pub Fest receives a stamp card to be stamped by at least 10 participating establishments. If you are one of the first 50 people to return your card to the Irish American Club, you win a free t-shirt. The day includes food, music, activities and giveaways.
Often referred to as the nation’s best 15K, the Boilermaker race is one of the most incredible events to be a part of. The race takes place on the second Sunday of July and takes runners through the historic city of Utica. The thousands of people that come to run this 9.3-mile race every year are cheered on by some of the most energetic spectators in Central New York. The Boilermaker finish line is located at Saranac Brewery. There’s nothing like rewarding yourself with a cold beer after a long race!
The Cask Ale Festival takes place at Woodland Farm Brewery each year in October. This event features cask ales from breweries across New York state. Each brewery brings their own rendition of their beers that are only be available at the festival. Guests can taste a variety of IPAs, imperial porters, brown ales and imperial stouts. Food is available throughout the day at Woodland Farm Brewery.
A tradition for more than 30 years, the Remsen Barn Festival of the Arts is held during the fourth full weekend in September. This juried arts and crafts festival hosts 250 craft and food vendors for the community to enjoy. The main street of Remsen is closed to traffic and also includes a farmers market mixed in with the craft booths. With a wide variety of artwork, jewelry and homemade goods, just about anyone can find something they like!
The NYS Woodsmen Field Days is an event dedicated to the forest industry. This event is known to be a major event for those who compete in the lumberjack and lumberjill competition circuit. View competitions between contestants, wood displays and more while learning about the forest industry.
In the month of July, Honor America Days takes place in Rome, NY. This event has been around for almost 50 years. To kick of the all-day event is a parade through the town and later in the evening, it is followed by a performance at the historical Fort Stanwix National Monument.
Drawing tens of thousands of people every year, Hall of Fame Weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum brings avid baseball fans together with some of the world’s greatest players for a weekend of excitement. Bring the family and enjoy a weekend filled with activities, including the induction ceremony, the Parade of Legends and award presentations. You may even have the opportunity to meet some of your favorite players!
A program of Otsego 2000, Glimmerglass Film Days is an annual festival featuring screenings of award-winning films. Enjoy a film and interact with internationally-known artists, filmmakers, scholars and activists. The Film Days also include a variety of food vendors, brews, wines and cocktails.
The Annual Iroquois Arts Festival centers on the celebration of Iroquois creativity and self-expression by featuring an all Iroquois Art Market open to Iroquois artists by invitation only. Both traditional and contemporary arts and fine crafts are showcased. The Sky Dancers from Six Nations Reserve in Ontario perform traditional Iroquois social dances, and may invite the public onto the dance floor to participate. Onondaga storyteller Perry Ground will return with dramatic tales of daring feats and astounding adventures. Family activity area will feature participatory crafts.
Guests will never experience a dull moment at the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair! Enjoy locally-grown food and six days of spectacular shows including Nerger’s Tigers, World of Wonders, Rosaire’s Royal Racing Pigs, Hanneford Circus and Motorized Grandstand events. Exhibits in Country Living, the Hall of Agriculture, Historic Treasures and Progressive Land is also featured.
The annual Sharon Springs Harvest Festival is a free event and draws one of the biggest crowds in Upstate New York. Thousands of visitors come to Sharon Springs, spurred on by fond memories of past festivals as well as a loving loyalty to this quaint village.