60 Fun Things (Within 60 Miles) with Connie Herrera

It’s Mid-Way through Summer – But there are still a lot of festivals to enjoy

If there’s one thing that I love about summertime in western New York, it’s the variety of festivals and events that keep me busy every weekend. We all know (and love) the big ones that entertain us each month: the Lilac Festival in May, Jazz Festival in June, Corn Hill Festival in July, Park Avenue Festival in August, and Clothesline Festival in September. They all feature the best food, music, artisans, activities—and lots of crowds.

But it’s the small, specialized, strange and wonderful local events that are really fun for me. You probably have a few favorites to write me about, but here are some that I’ve enjoyed.

26th Annual Native American Dance & Music Festival (July 22-23)

If you haven’t been to the new Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan, this is the time to do it. The Center tells the 2,000-year-old story of the Seneca and Haudenosaunee, explaining their contributions to art, culture and society. The Festival brings together art and music and features performances by The Akwesasne Women Singers, Singer-Songwriter Bear Fox, Hoop Dance & Native American Flute Player Kevin Locke, Iroquois Social Dancers, Storytellers, and a juried art show. Members: Free, Adults: $12, Seniors: $10, Students 18 and older: $7, Children 3-17 years: $5, 2 years and under: Free  | Location: 7000 County Road 41 (Boughton Hill Road) Victor, NY 14564 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The 60th Annual Attica Rodeo (August 3-6)

I’m definitely a city slicker, but I really enjoy wearing my boots and cowboy hat to the Attica Rodeo (you’ll need both to sit in on the bleachers in the sun and easily walk on the dirt and gravel paths). If you’ve never been to a rodeo, this will make you feel like you’ve headed onto a Western movie set.  Events include bull riding, cattle penning, barrel racing, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, tie-down and breakaway roping, horse shows, tractor pulls, clinics, clowns and more.  The recent rainstorms flooded some of the fairgrounds, but the folks in Attica have pulled together and everything will be ready for the Rodeo. Adults: $18, Children 6-12 years: $8 (children 6-12 free with paid adult on Saturday Matinee 1:00 p.m. & Sunday 2:00 p.m. performances), Children 5 years and under: Free |  Location: 230 Exchange St, Attica, NY 14011 | Contact: 585-591-0839

25th Annual Glorious Garlic Festival Weekend at Fox Run Vineyards (August 5-6)

Celebrate the garlic harvest at beautiful Fox Run Vineyards. At this festival you will come across crafts, homemade garlic-infused treats, cooking demonstrations, and more than 15 different varieties of garlic from growers all over the area. Live music and garlic-related lectures complete the day. Free admission! Location: 670 State Route 14, Penn Yan

Phelps Sauerkraut Festival (August 6-7)

Celebrate all things sauerkraut with crafts, a fun run, recipe contest, and lots of kid-friendly activities. More information here.

The 57th Annual Pageant of Steam – Canandaigua (August 9-12)

Steam Traction Engines, Antique Tractors, Shingle Making, Grain Threshing & Baling, Corliss Steam Engines, Antique Gas Engines, Plowing and Saw Mill Demonstrations, Stationary Steam Engines, Parade of Movable Equipment, Tractor Pulls, Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull (Friday),and  Live Music (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). Adults: $7, Children under 12: Free | Location: 3349 Gehan Road Canandaigua, NY 14424 | More information here.

29th Annual Macedon Center Community Lumberjack Festival (September 10, subject to change)

Located on the Fireman’s field on Canandaigua road in Macedon, this event is affordable family fun at just $3 admission for adults, $2 for seniors, $1 for kids 6-14, and free for 5 years and younger. Amateurs and professionals compete in events including log rolling, two-man crosscut, buck saw, chain saw, log chop, tree felling, and a grease pole climb. Chain-saw carving artists and other craftspeople sell their wares while the kids enjoy a petting zoo, crafts, and fish pond. Come early for the lumberjack breakfast (Sat. 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and Sun. 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) or enjoy food vendors all day.

The 23rd Annual Finger Lakes Fiber Festival (September 16-17)

This festival is fun and educational – promoting small farms, fiber artists, and fiber-related businesses. Watch demonstrations of sheep shearing, basket weaving, drop spindling, spinning and weaving on all kinds of looms or take classes in a wide range of fiber arts. A full array of vendors will fill your closet (and gift list) with beautiful hand-woven, spun or felted treasures. You can also buy supplies for anything you knit, crochet, weave, or dye. (Note: pets are not permitted anywhere on the fairgrounds, including the parking lot…probably so the sheep won’t get spooked!)  

Appleumpkin Festival (September 23 – 24)

A Fall Arts and Crafts Festival in the historic Gaslight Village of Wyoming, New York

Connie Herrera is the author of 60 Fun Things to Do Within 60 Miles of Rochester, 60 Great Places to Go With Kids Within 60 Miles of Rochester, and her newest book 60 Fun Things to Do When You’re Retired – Within 60 Miles of Rochester. “My goal is to help people rediscover where they live and see it with new eyes. So, if you’re new to the area, I want you to be astounded at your luck in moving here. If you’re here for a visit, I hope you’ll want to come back again to do more. And, if you’ve lived here all your life, I hope you’ll be surprised at how many places you haven’t yet explored and how many you want to visit again!” You can find out more at my website: 60funthingstodo

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