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Best local festival or fair in the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region is an area of tranquil beauty, yet once a year each town puts on a festival or fair to shake things up a bit and showcase what the town is all about. There are many fairs and festivals to choose from, so the local innkeepers are sharing their thoughts on which ones not to miss as they offer their recommendations for the best local festival or fair in the Finger Lakes.

Naples Grape Festival

It always takes place the last weekend in September at a really gorgeous time of the year in the Finger Lakes.  There are lots of folks selling their famous grape pies, as well as cookies, breads, fresh grapes, grape juice and even grape ice cream!  There are grape stomping contests, pie eating contests and plenty of all different sorts of music - country, bluegrass and even some local rock-n-roll. There are even horse drawn wagon rides through some of the vineyards at local wineries.  How can you beat it?  ~ Terry - Keuka Overlook B&B

I recommend the annual Naples Grape Festival. It's a wonderful celebration of the grape harvest, and includes juried arts and crafts, music and food. And grapes in everything...juice, jelly, tarts, and more than 20,000 grape pies. Located in Naples at the South end of Canandaigua Lake. ~ Donna Cunningham - Yale Manor Bed and Breakfast

Many of our clients speak highly of the Grape Festival in Naples.  ~ Cristina and Fernando Diaz - The Farr Inn Bed and Breakfast

Seneca Lake Whale Watch Festival

Our theory is that you can go to New England, spend a bunch of money and maybe not see a whale. We can provide you with the same 'not see a whale experience' for much less money, still lots of good food and music, plus a 'whale' of a fireworks extravaganza! Y'all come! Takes place in Geneva at the North end of Seneca Lake in August. ~ Shirley Camp - LaFayette Bed & Breakfast

Located at the Seneca Lake Park in Geneva. You can go and laugh at the cardboard boat race, visit the many craft booths, enjoy a fresh roasted ear of corn while you cheer on the bug races at the New York State Agri. Expt. Station booth, listen or dance to the different bands and last but not least taste some of the Finger Lakes best wines. There are many other attractions too numerous to list. Something for all ages to enjoy. ~ Glenda - Gentle Giants Bed and Breakfast

I really enjoy the Whale Watch in August. There are so many fun things to do, especially watching the boat races. Our guests have really enjoyed the festivities. ~ Jean Paradise - Paradise on the Lake B&B

Ithaca Festival

This festival features "...1,000 local artists -- musicians, visual and performance artists, dance and theatre artists, mimes, storytellers, poets and writers, community groups and ensembles." ~ Jan Revi - 1843 House Bed and Breakfast

It attracts thousands from all over to eat great food, hear fantastic musical performances, and peruse vendor's and artist's offerings. Always the first weekend after Memorial day this four day event spends the first three days on the Ithaca Commons, then moves on to Stewart Park. The festival just has a great spirit that resonates with you long after you've left. Takes place in Ithaca at the South end of Cayuga Lake. ~ Steve and Kathy Wirt - Wine Country Cabins B&B

Finger Lakes Wine Festival - held in July at the Watkins Glen International Racetrack, is one of the largest showcases of New York State wines. Participants can enjoy one-stop tasting and shopping of over 500 New York State wines. The Festival also features arts & crafts vendors, gourmet foods, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, pace car rides, and live entertainment, highlighted by Corning Museum's Hot Glass Road Show. The racetrack is located approximately 3 miles Southwest of the village of Watkins Glen at the South end of Seneca Lake. ~ Barbara Schiesser - Sunrise Landing Bed and Breakfast

Annual Montour Falls Fireman's Festival - Each year in early June they host several different types of entertainment that are FREE to the public. Many would say that Friday nights band is the "must see" band of the festival - Nik & The Nice Guys - the quinessential party band. Others would say that the Honeoye Falls Community Concert Band is the "don't miss" event of the weekend. The midway is clean and safe. Perfect entertainment for the entire family. The parade is also a big crowd pleaser - in past years we've had the pleasure of hosting the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Philadelphia Mummers. ~ Laura Lynch - Catharine Cottages Bed and Breakfast

Cohocton Fall Foliage Festival - I think that this is the greatest, and not because we live here either. The people buy and buy and buy. The vendors really have some quality things and the food is to die for. Local folk (the churches, Lady Lions, etc.) do a lot of the cooking. Takes place in October in Cohocton which is west of Keuka Lake and South of Canandaigua Lake. ~ Fran Ambroselli - Villa Serendip B&B

Waterfront Art Festival - Over 200 artists participate at this juried show. Artists display their creations right along the lake path. It's a beautiful way to spend the afternoon, walking along the lakefront and viewing local art. Of course a festival wouldn't be complete without plenty of food and entertainment. Takes place in July in Canandaigua at the North end of Canandaigua Lake. ~ Sheryl Mordini - Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Historic Downtown Canandaigua Arts Festival - As far as festivals go, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Great for the area. Art and craft vendors line Main Street. Food, activities and entertainment are also abundant. Takes place in July in Canandaigua at the North end of Canandaigua Lake. ~ Jaynee & Guy Straw - Inn on the Main

Peppermint Days - Kiddie parade, live music in the Village Square, Historical House Tours, Tour of The Hotchkiss Peppermint Historical Building, Baking Contest, Crafters in the Park, Fireworks Saturday night over the Veterans' Bridge. Takes place in the July in the Village of Lyons to the Northwest of Canandaigua Lake. ~ Diane De Cracker- Peppermint Cottage B&B

Trumansburg Grass Roots Festival - One of the most unique local festivals ever presented. Each year it features over 60 bands on 4 stages over 4 days and nights. Almost every type of music is showcased with a leaning toward roots related and world music. Monies raised go to various causes, including the fight against AIDS. Takes place in July in Trumansburg on the Southwestern side of Seneca Lake. ~ Judy - Barrister's Bed and Breakfast

Waterloo's Celebrate Commemorate Memorial Day - Its the best festival. Historical significance on the beginnings of Memorial Day (Waterloo NY)--<via presentations, enactments, etc.>, entertainment, crafts, food, parades, Civil War ball, commemoration. etc--all contribute to the quality of the event. Located in Waterloo midway between the North ends of Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. ~ Perry and Caren - The Gridley Inn

Sulphur Springs Festival - Takes place in June in Clifton Springs as a 2 day event that celebrates the founding of Dr Henery Foster's sanitarium and the water cure of the sulphured springs and features live music of the 'Golden Age' of Big Band era with the sounds of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and more.  There is a  parade, more  music, lots of food, a victorian fashion show and a cruise-in of vintage cars.    ~ Nancy & Al - Gorham House Bed & Breakfast


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