As I am writing this blog in the beautiful Finger Lakes it is only June 1, which means summer is still technically 20 more days away. But, it’s sunny, the lakes are crystal clear and glistening, and it’s 90 degrees out! So, for all intents and purposes, I am declaring summer in the Finger Lakes starting right now!
There is so much to do in the Finger Lakes this summer. You can visit the wineries, swim in the lakes, tour our historic sites and enjoy our farm to table dining. But when I think of one thing that we are most known for during the summer (besides the lakes of course), I think of festivals. All sorts of festivals. Dozens of festivals! Quirky festivals, music festivals, cultural festivals… you name it, we’ve got it! We like to consider ourselves the festival capital of the world! I’m going to tell you about a few in this blog, but, to see all of the great Finger Lakes festivals, visit our events page by clicking here.
This weekend (June 1) is the Sulphur Springs Festival in Clifton Springs. It’s a whole festival celebrating the unique sulphur history of the village! Phelps is also all about celebrating their heritage on Aug. 1-4 with the Phelps Sauerkraut weekend. I bet you didn’t know the Finger Lakes Region is one of the largest cabbage producing areas in the country. This festival even includes cabbage bowling!
We have arts festivals, too. June 5-9, artists from all around the nation will descend upon the Finger Lakes to paint beautiful scenes of nature at the Plein Air Art Festival. In celebration of the Plein Air Festival, that Saturday will also feature art exhibits, live music, and family events in Canandaigua.
And, don’t forget music! The Canandaigua LakeMusic Festival (July 12-21) is Canandaigua's largest celebration of music performed by both local and nationally recognized musicians. The Native American Dance and Music Festival on July 28 and 29 at Ganondagan is another wonderful way to experience music in the Finger Lakes. The festival features a wide range of Native American traditional dancers, musicians, storytellers, and artists sharing their cultural heritage, crafts, and arts with festival goers.
But, wait! That’s not all! We also have cultural and historic festivals. The Hill Cumorah Pageant (July 12, 13, 16-20) tells the story of the Mormon religion and is one of the world’s largest outdoor productions with a cast of more than 600 performers! In the Finger Lakes we also celebrate the history and culture of farming and tractor equipment. The Pageant of Steam in Hopewell (Aug. 8-11) features the area’s largest display of operating farm machinery dating back to the early 1900s.
And, of course, with more than 100 wineries in the Finger Lakes, we most certainly have wine festivals. One of the region’s favorites is the Finger Lake Riesling Festival in Canandaigua on Aug. 10 and 11. The festival celebrates the Finger Lakes’ Riesling varietal with dozens of wineries, music, food and activities for everyone to enjoy!
These fun festivals should get you started on your Finger Lakes festival planning. But, remember this is just a sampling! There are so many more listed at visitfingerlakes.com/events and for more information, you can always call the Finger Lakes Insiders at 877-386-4669 and ask them about their favorite summer festivals in the Finger Lakes! Or, take a few minutes to watch as festival veteran Val introduces the office rookie, Sara, to how to correctly do festivals in the Finger Lakes below: