Taste of the Nation; Portsmouth, NH: Share our Strength makes a stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, when more than 70 local restaurants will get together beneath big-top tents on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum. This year’s Taste promises to be the best yet, featuring incredible food and drink from the top restaurants and brewers on the Seacoast, a fabulous silent auction with rare items and experiences, a VIP lounge, and music so you can dance the night away! Proceeds go toward aiding hunger relief efforts.
June 22-June 26
St. Peter’s Fiesta Festival; Gloucester, Massachusetts: Starting at the turn of the century, many Italian families from Sicily settled in the fishing community of Gloucester. They continued many of the customs they had practiced in the old country; among these, paying homage to St. Peter, the Patron Saint of Fishermen. This annual festival honors St. Peter and is a celebration of the community and its rich heritage. This festival includes an annual open air Mass at the Altar at St. Peter’s Square, followed by a procession and the blessing of the Italian-American fishing fleet. In the afternoon is the famous and entertaining Greasy Pole competition in which brave souls run across a grease-covered pole above the water trying to capture a flag. In the Seine Boat Races, twelve-man crews prove their strength and stamina by rowing against each other in old Seine boats in a grueling mile long race.
June 24-June 26
Newport Flower Show; Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island: The 21st annual Newport Flower Show, "Gilded - Artful Living" will take place at Rosecliff, one of Newport's most historic mansions. Show highlights: floral designs, horticulture exhibits, garden displays, unique shopping opportunities, Champagne & jazz brunch, afternoon tea, lectures and demonstrations, and children's activities.
June 24-June 26
Hello Kitty Weekend; Edaville USA, 5 Pine St., Carver, Massachusetts: We may have a train, but it’s been taken over by Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty will greet all of her fans throughout the park. Kids can also have a cookie break with Hello Kitty and make a fabulous beaded charm bracelet.
June 24-June 26
New England Brewfest; Village Shops, Lincoln, NH: Breweries from across New England will gather to tap into their exceptional brews at the annual New England Brewfest! Come to the Lincoln Village Shops in Lincoln, New Hampshire – in the heart of the White Mountains – to sample and learn about these delicious craft brews. There will be 30 breweries and more than 100 beers on tap. While you’re tasting, enjoy live entertainment, craft beer education programs, great food and exhibits offering brew paraphernalia and souvenirs. Lodging packages available; see website for details.
June 24-June 26
Vermont Quilt Festival, Champlain Valley Exposition, 105 Pearl St., Essex Junction, Vermont: See hundreds of astonishing quilts in several exhibits in two large exhibit halls; shop the merchants mall for quilting products; hear free gallery talks and watch vendor demonstrations. Join some of the 80 classes given by the most skilled instructors in the country. Opening the show is the festive Champagne and Chocolate Preview on Thursday evening.
Country Beach Jam; Salisbury Beach, Salisbury, Massachusetts: Come to the beach for the annual Country Beach Jam, with four great bands on a beach front stage from 3 to 10 p.m.. There's also seafood, beach pizza and food stands, giveaways and a fireworks show at 10:15 p.m.
The Maine Whoopie Pie Festival; Dover-Foxcroft, Maine: Celebrate the taste of Maine’s favorite dessert at the 2016 Maine Whoopie Pie Festival. Dozens of bakers with thousands of Whoopie Pies will be on hand. Snewample, purchase and enjoy this unique Maine delicacy. Come for the Whoopie Pies, but stay all day to enjoy live music, food, arts and crafts, vendors, and fun activities for the whole family! For the first time this year, the festival will also be crowning the festival Big Whoop.
South Berwick Strawberry Festival; South Berwick, Maine: This volunteer festival gets bigger and better every year. Enjoy strawberry shortcake or strawberries on ice cream under the tents, or choose from the many food tables. There are crafts and jewelry for sale by many vendors, live music and entertainment throughout the day and childrens’ rides and events. Nearby, visit the beautiful Hamilton House, a restored Georgian mansion, owned by Historic New England, situated on a bluff overlooking the Salmon Falls River, once a crucial point in the shipping business of the New England colonies. Or see the home of writer Sarah Orne Jewett, famous for capturing the history and flavor of the region. A 15-minute drive off Route 95 from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Thames River Art & Craft Show; 437 Pequote Avenue, New London, Connecticut: With a view of the Thames River as a backdrop, guests will be able to peruse some of this area's best hand-made goods. The show will feature artists from all over New England and will include indoor and outdoor artisan booths as well as some fantastic food.
Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day; public gardens statewide: Enjoy this celebration of Connecticut’s historic gardens. Member gardens host special events and activities. See websites of individual gardens for schedules. Gardens include Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden in Bethlehem; Butler-McCook House and Gardenin Hartford; Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme; Glebe House Museum in Woodbury; Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford; Osborne Homestead Museum; Promisek at Three Rivers Farm in Bridgewater; Roseland Cottage in Woodstock; Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield; and Weir Farm National Historic in Wilton.
WCOD Cape Cod Chowder Festival; Hyannis, Massachusetts: Chowder Fest serves up the best chowders on Cape Cod for our tasting pleasure and live entertainment.
June 26-July 2
Annual Windjammer Days Festival; Boothbay Harbor, Maine: The Festival will take place June 26-July 2. Enjoy the beauty of fully rigged windjammers sailing into Boothbay Harbor. Great fun for all: a sailboat race, golf tournament, pancake breakfasts, waterfront concerts, art and craft fair, hometown street parade, antique boat parade and fireworks over the harbor. Participating windjammers in this event offer overnight trips or hourly cruises.
July 1-July 5
Annual Boston Harborfest; Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Harborfest is a six-day long Fourth of July Festival that showcases the colonial and maritime heritage of the cradle of the American Revolution: the historic City of Boston. The award-winning festival strives to honor and remember the past, celebrate the present, and educate the future with reenactments, concerts, historical tours and much, much more. More than 200 daily events during the festival are concentrated in Boston’s historic downtown and waterfront districts, with sponsored main events on Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Visitors to the Annual Chowderfest will vote for “Boston’s Best Chowder” after sampling traditional New England-style clam chowder from some of the Boston area’s top restaurants.
Boston Fireworks and Boston Pops July 4 Concert; Boston Esplanade: The annual tradition on the Boston Esplanade features performances by singers Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas in addition to the Boston Pops Symphony. The concert starts at 8 p.m., and the fireworks start at 10:30 p.m.
July 8-July 10
Moxie Festival; Lisbon Falls, Maine: A festival in honor of a beverage that has a cult following in New England. Music, entertainment, food, fireworks, parades and carnival games. Since 1982, The Moxie Festival has been held on the second weekend in July in Lisbon, Maine, home of the world famous Moxie Store!
Green River Festival; Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, Massachusetts: One of the top musical events in western Massachusetts, the Green River Festival combines superb musical talent from around the U.S., local food and fine crafts and hot air balloons for two days of sun and fun.
Annual Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival; Stowe, Vermont: More than 25 hot-air balloons will soar for one of Vermont’s most popular summer celebrations; Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa will once again host the spectacular three-day event. Festival attendees are welcome to join in the fun; hot-air balloon rides are priced at $275 per person, plus tax, and advance reservations are recommended. Tethered rides on the hot-air balloons may be available for $10 per person.
July 9-July 10
New Bedford Folk Festival; New Bedford, Massachusetts: The New Bedford Folk Festival features Americana roots music, contemporary singer-songwriters, traditional American folk music from Appalachia, blues, western music, sea music and Celtic music, this year from Ireland, Scotland, Nova Scotia and Quebec. The festival features nearly 50 acts performing on seven stages, all operating simultaneously all day, both days. The festival also features a juried crafts show with the handmade crafts for sale at affordable prices. Crafts include jewelry, pottery, clothing and musical instruments. Food will also be available including New Bedford landed fish and scallops, Mediterranean specialties, French cuisine, homemade ice cream and the usual hamburger/hot dogs.
Antiques and Uniques Festival; Craftsbury Common, Craftsbury, Vermont: Over 100 antique and unique vendors dot the Common in the most quaint and picturesque country way while live folk music and roaming buskers add to the ambiance. This year the festival will offer a specialty foods area and antique car owners are asked to drive to the event for special parking and viewing.
July 9-July 10
Newport Kite Festival; Brenton Point State Park, Ocean Drive, Newport, Rhode Island: The spray of colors across the sky along Ocean Drive in July at the annual kite festival is a sight to behold. There is nothing more or less to this jubilee other than the pure joy of flying a kite. Admission is free.
Vermont Brewers Festival; Burlington, Vermont: This is an artisan craft Beer festival celebrating artisan craft beers and the brewers who brew them. Come enjoy a great weekend in July at Burlington Waterfront Park with scenic views of Lake Champlain framed by the Adirondack Mountain Range.
Yarmouth Clam Festival; Yarmouth, Maine: On this extended weekend, the normally quiet New England village of Yarmouth, Maine, will swell to 15 times its size, as more than 100,000 visitors flock to the annual Yarmouth Clam Festival — including visitors from 13 countries and 32 U.S. states. One of Maine’s most popular summer events, the festival includes a Friday night parade, Saturday night block party and fireworks, clam shucking contests, a Firefighters’ Muster, the Diaper Derby and, of course, lots and lots of clams! A boatload of other seafood will also be served up: lobster stew, lobster rolls, grilled scallops, shore dinners, and fried shrimp, to name a few. A wide array of favorite foods for landlubbers includes pizza, burgers and dogs, meatball subs, home-baked desserts, the famously thirst-quenching Lime Rickeys and much more.
Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz; Hartford, Connecticut: This free-of-charge festival is a world-class jazz event. More than twenty-five hours of music performed by internationally acclaimed artists. Wonderful world-class musicians will grace the mainstage of the Thomas Harris IV Pavillon in Bushnell Park. Local and regional artists will perform on the Arch Stage located in the marketplace adjacent to Trinity Street.
Killington Wine Festival; Killington, Vermont: The Killington Wine Festival has become a signature summer event for the Killington region. Guests enjoy a nice July weekend tasting fine wines with Killington Peak and the Green Mountains of Vermont as a scenic backdrop. This year’s event will feature more than 500 wines from around the world represented by over 40 wineries and distributors.
North Atlantic Blues Festival; Rockland, Maine: The North Atlantic Blues Festival is an annual two-day blues music festival featuring national blues performers and considered one of the most prestigious on the East Coast. The festival is held at the Public Landing in Rockland, Maine, overlooking the picturesque Rockland Harbor. In addition to all day live entertainment, the festival has vendors selling a wide array of food, drinks and crafts. Saturday evening, Main Street is closed to traffic for the NABF Club Crawl. Attendees of legal age, wearing their wristband from the festival are allowed admission to the many bars and restaurants featuring many of the top regional blues performers. There are also bands performing on Main Street for all ages at no charge.
Vermont Cheese Festival; Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, Vermont: With more than 50 cheesemakers, the highest number per capita in the country, Vermont is the premier artisan cheese state. Festival visitors will meet cheesemakers, and taste and purchase their cheeses. Come for educational seminars, cooking demonstrations by star chefs, and cheesemaking demonstrations throughout the day. The Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival has been organized by Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery in partnership with the Vermont Cheese Council. This is a busy weekend in the area; make reservations early.
Annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival; Wakefield, Rhode Island: Fly high above America’s smallest state in a hot air balloon at this special festival in scenic south county. Enjoy carnival rides, see the world famous racing pigs, watch a pizza grilling competition, and try the climbing wall — all followed by fireworks. Bring your camera for the special Balloon Glow at dusk.
July 22-July 24
Newport Antiques Show, St. George’s School; 372 Purgatory Road, Middletown, Rhode Island: Established in 2007, The Newport Antiques Show is one of the nation’s premier antiques venues presenting a wide selection of important Americana antiques. Major dealers present paintings, furniture, folk art, jewelry, and fine and decorative arts. The show’s preview party will take place July 23. General admission tickets can be purchased at the door.
Stratham Fair; Stratham, New Hampshire: Experience a piece of the past … in the present. Established in 1967, the Stratham Fair follows in the traditions of old country fairs. Come and enjoy all the fair has to offer. Entertainment for all ages daily, 4H activities and exhibits, midway rides, music and magic acts, and the Miss Stratham Fair Pageant.
Newport Folk Festival; Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island: The festival at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, features more than 50 artists on four stages of music, food and crafts and a number of displays. Camping is also an option, but organizers are warning people to think about alternative transportation since parking is limited.
National Sand Sculpting Festival; Revere Beach, Massachusetts: The Annual Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival (NSSF) will be held Friday–Sunday, July 22-24, 2016. The festival is a greatly anticipated annual summer event in the Greater Boston area with approximately 300,000 attendees. It was voted one of Boston’s Top Events by BizBash Magazine, a leading media publication in the event industry. Master sand sculptors from around the world compete in this national contest that attracts international, national and regional media coverage.
Vermont Mountain Bike Festival; Ascutney Mt. Resort, West Windsor, Vermont: This is Vermont’s premier mountain biking event: bringing riders together to enjoy Vermont’s finest trails as well as industry manufacturers and retailers with booths and demo products. For two jam-packed days, the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival will be home to exciting events catering to beginner and expert cyclists alike. This event is family friendly and will also offer kids’ rides led by Wheels Around Waterbury, a local summer camp that teaches kids mountain biking skills. Local shops and industry vendors will be on hand to share their products and provide demos.
Lake Champlain Maritime Festival; Burlington, Vermont: This festival promises exciting events and activities within a spectacular setting: Burlington’s waterfront on the shores of Lake Champlain. Stroll along the shores from venue to venue; view the classic boats, longboats, canoes, and kayaks; watch Dragon boat demonstrations. Experience boat building, sample local fare, enjoy music and bring the children for hands-on exhibits along the spectacular shores of Burlington’s waterfront. The Waterfront Wine & Food Tasting takes place at the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival in Burlington’s Waterfront Park. More than 40 participating exhibitors will be featured!
45th Annual Road Race and Blessing of the Fleet; Galilee, Rhode Island: It began as a ceremony to ask for “Divine Protection” of those fishermen who risked their lives harvesting the sea. The annual Blessing of the Fleet tradition has blossomed into one of Rhode Island’s most popular weekend-long events that now also includes a road race and a seafood festival attended by nearly 30,000 people. A delicious harvest of seafood and other delectable foods are prepared in the New England tradition, including complete lobster dinners, linguini with clam sauce, barbecued shrimp, and a raw bar. The Blessing of the Fleet itself is a spectacularly colorful event that takes place at noon on Saturday, in Galilee. Hundreds of vessels line up to parade past thousands of spectators.
Old Lyme Midsummer Festival; Old Lyme, Connecticut: For the past 100 years artists have flocked to this town, located on a serene inlet at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Historic homes built by sea captains, an art museum, an art college, galleries, shops and delightful inns make Old Lyme one of New England’s most unique destinations. The town’s two-day Midsummer Festival takes place in the heart of Old Lyme’s historic district. As part of the events, the Florence Griswold Museum hosts Market En Plein Air, an open-air food event in a setting modeled after outdoor markets in French villages. The Bee and Thistle Inn and Spa is hosting the Shoreline Chef Competition in which four local chefs are given secret ingredients selected from Market En Plein Air vendors to compete for the winning dish. The festival also includes a dog parade, concerts and more.
Lowell Folk Festival; Lowell, Massachusetts: The largest FREE folk festival in the country attracts thousands of people over three days. The Lowell Folk Festival strives to present the very finest traditional artists from across the country and around the world. Festival stages reverberate with the sounds of traditional music more often heard in homes, social clubs, dance halls and annual celebrations. Enjoy ethnic food and crafts. In the area, visit the Lowell National Historic Park which offers museums and exhibits highlighting Lowell’s significant contribution to the American Industrial Revolution. Ride a historic replica trolley or cruise the canals aboard a tour boat.
Newport Jazz Festival; International Tennis Hall of Fame & Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island: Referred to as the grandfather of all jazz festivals, this event draws thousands of people from all over the world to Newport, Rhode Island — a city which is famed for its spectacular coastal scenery and awe-inspiring architecture. The Newport Jazz Festival® was founded in 1954 as the first annual jazz festival in America and has been host to numerous legendary performances by some of the world’s leading established and emerging artists.
Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival; Mount Snow Valley, Vermont: If it’s blue, it’s probably happening in the Mount Snow area of Vermont in late July and early August. The Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival is a community effort in which dozens of businesses, organizations and individuals have created blueberry or blue-themed events happening the first ten days of August. Visitors to the valley will find a Big Blue Parade, a Blue Street Fair, a blue car auto show, blueberry bake sales, blue beer, and pick your own blueberry opportunities. Don’t miss Boyd Farm’s “Fields of Blue” public art display.
July 29-Aug. 7
Bangor State Fair; Bangor, Maine: This popular 10-day event exhibits a wide range of open ride specials, food and beverages, free music and entertainment and family oriented games, animal shows and more.
Cultural Survival Bazaar; Tiverton Four Corners Art Center, 3852 Main Road, Tiverton, Rhode Island: A festival of indigenous art, music and cultures from around the world. Shop for unique art, jewelry, clothing, crafts, decor, tribal rugs and much more. Enjoy music performances by a variety of world artists, presentations, Native American storytelling, educational displays, craft-making demonstrations, Wampanoag cuisine. Free admission.
Maine Lobster Festival; Rockland, Maine: Love lobster? This is the festival for you. You’ll find fresh Maine lobster under nine tents overlooking Penobscot Bay — plus a sea goddess, a big parade, top-notch entertainment, Maine arts and crafts, U.S. Navy ship tours and more. In addition to lobster, you can choose from steamed and fried clams, fried Maine shrimp, shrimp cocktail, steamed mussels, and many varieties of traditional summer fair food, all prepared in the traditional Maine way.
102st Annual Portuguese Feast of the Blessed Sacrament; Medeira Field, New Bedford, Mass.: Founded in 1914, this traditional mid-summer event has become the largest Portuguese Feast in the world and the largest ethnic festival in New England, attracting more than 300,000 visitors. The Feast features Portuguese and American food, live music and entertainment, midway, carnival rides and the largest parade in New Bedford.
Salem’s Annual Maritime Festival; Salem, Mass.: Salem’s Maritime Festival at Derby Wharf celebrates New England’s long seafaring history and traditions. Come for music, exhibits, demonstrations, tours of the Custom House and the Derby House, harbor cruises, food and family-friendly activities. Head down the street to visit the House of Seven Gables. Climb aboard a reconstructed 1797 merchant ship and immerse yourself in the stories surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692 — all in the same day! Get to Salem easily from Boston on the Salem Ferry or by commuter train.
Litchfield Jazz Festival; Goshen, Conn.: The Litchfield Jazz Festival is a favorite of the public and critics alike. Check website nearer the date for the full line-up of performers. This is a rain or shine event.
Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair; Mount Sunapee Resort, Newbury, NH: America’s oldest craft fair, the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair is one of the finest, most prestigious craft events in the USA today. This annual nine-day event showcases the work of more than 350 craftspeople’s items, made by hand in New Hampshire. It’s the place to see an incredible variety of beautiful, one-of-a-kind craft items that are functional, decorative and built to last. The fair is held at the Mount Sunapee Resort in the beautiful Dartmouth/Sunapee region of New Hampshire. The Annual Craftsmen’s Fair is a fun way to explore the fascinating world of fine craftmaking, with activities for all ages. Meet and talk to the craftsmen, learn about their techniques, and purchase from them. Find creative and practical gifts at more than 200 craft booths and The Shop at the Fair. Adults and children can sign up for workshops — including basket weaving, tools for kids and glassblowing. Or, watch daily demonstrations of glassblowing, woodcarving, blacksmithing, furniture building and more.
Aug. 11 & 15
Annual Provincetown Jazz Festival; Provincetown and Cotuit, Massachusetts: Two days of great jazz in two towns on Cape Cod. At the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a colorful community with many shops and restaurants, whale watching and beautiful beaches.
Mystic Blues Festival; 100 Essex St., Mystic, Connecticut: The Annual Mystic Blues Festival (MBF) will be held August 12-14, 2016 at the beautiful Mystic Shipyard. The festival showcases an array of blues legends, including Grammy Winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, and Blues Artist of the Year Award Winners. MBF not only supports and promotes Blues music, but also works with the Center For Hospice Care (CFHC).
Annual Winter Harbor Lobster Festival; Winter Harbor, Maine: North of Acadia National Park, Winter Harbor is on a scenic peninsula with an active fleet of lobster boats. Each August, the harbor draws many visitors for this annual event. Watch lobster boat races, enjoy a Blueberry Pancake Breakfast and Maine lobster dinner and shop at the craft fair. Winter Harbor is accessible by ferry from Bar Harbor in the summer months.
Annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival; Mystic, Conn.: More than 270 fine artists will exhibit oils, watercolors, photography, pastels, sculpture and acrylics along the streets of historic downtown Mystic during this annual art festival, the oldest of its kind in the northeast.
Vermont State Fair; Rutland, Vermont: The Vermont State Fair is an agricultural fair managed by The Rutland County Agricultural Society. The first Vermont State Fair took place in 1846, making it one of the oldest state fairs in the United States. Originally named the Rutland State Fair, the event started out as a one day event. The first fair took place in a field near Castleton, with Fredrick Button as the first President of the Rutland County Agricultural Society. The fair became popular enough that, in 1849, the Rutland Railroad began putting extra cars on their trains to bring people from all over Vermont and Western New York to visit. After moving around Rutland County for a few years, the Rutland Fair grew closer to Rutland City, sometimes setting up on land owned by John Cain (now Grove Street, north of Crescent) or on the old Baxter Estate. The Fair was given a permanent home in 1856. The land at 175 South Main Street in Rutland, VT was originally known as the Rutland County Park. The fair, which was officially renamed in 1972 as the "Vermont State Fair" is still held at this location today.
Washington County Fair; Richmond, Rhode Island: Owned and operated by the volunteers of the Washington County Pomona Grange, the Washington County Fair, a non-profit organization, has been a great New England tradition for the past 49 years! The Fair is Rhode Island's largest agricultural event. One of the biggest draws to the Fair is today's Country Music Stars! The Fair runs for five days (Wednesday - Sunday), taking place August 17-21. Admission includes access to all daily concerts, special acts and events, the giant midway and kiddy land area (all ride tickets and games separate), all agricultural events and shows, exhibits and displays, tractor and horse pulls, the farm museum, and much, much more! The Fair features the Main Stage pine grove where you can relax and enjoy some of music's hottest acts. The Midway is full of the rides you look forward too every year, as well as some new additions! Also, for the second year, the Midway will feature New England's largest traveling roller coaster!
Annual White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival; Waterville Valley and Loon Mountain, NH: The largest outdoor blues festival in New Hampshire! The festival features award-winning blues artists, food vendors, craft vendors, a climbing wall and many fun activities for children including Saturday night fireworks. The festival is held in the heart of the White Mountains and the boogie stage is in a natural amphitheater located on a 72-acre pasture in the Pemigewasset River Valley.
45th Festival of the Arts; Chatham, Massachusetts: More than 110 booths showcasing fine art, crafts, jewelry, glass, ceramics, photography, woodworking, sculpture and more. Children’s tent daily featuring face painting and art & craft activities. Gourmet food trucks will be available on the Green for your refreshment. A great day out for the whole family.
Machias Wild Blueberry Festival; Machias, Maine: Come celebrate the powerful little fruit that put this section of Downeast Maine on the map. Come enjoy crafts, food, entertainment, contests, and all things blueberry. Machias is in the northern part of Maine’s beautiful, rugged coast, four hours from Portland, two hours from Bangor, and about an hour and a half from Bar Harbor.
24th Annual Great Falls Balloon Festival; Lewiston/Auburn, Maine: An annual hot-air balloon festival featuring approximately 30 balloons, including some special shapes. Held annually the 3rd weekend of August. Events include balloon rides and tethered balloons (weather permitting), musical entertainment all weekend for all ages, family fun day on Sunday, craft and trade vendors, various food booths, exhibitors, children’s activities, carnival and much more!
Annual Milford Oyster Festival; Milford, Conn.: Come to the coast of Connecticut to celebrate oysters! This family-oriented festival is filled with arts and crafts, harbor activities, entertainment for all ages, colorful tents with food and beverages, a classic car show, canoe and kayak races, children’s games, and national and local entertainers. Several varieties of oysters will be sold at the festival representing some of the most prominent oyster growers on the east coast of the United States. Enjoy oysters both salty and sweet, grown from Maine to Virginia.
Annual Cotuit Arts & Crafts Festival; Cotuit, Massachusetts: For two days in August, the Cotuit Village Green becomes the largest outdoor crafts festival on Cape Cod. Come to this quaint, seaside village to see the wares of 100 outstanding artisans and craftsmen. Free parking and free admission.
25th Annual Stockbridge Summer Arts & Crafts Show; Bidwell Park, Stockbridge, Massachusetts: The town of Stockbridge, blessed with internationally renowned summer festivals of music, theater and dance, major art museums and historic homes, brings hundreds of thousands of art and craft lovers to visit the most famous Main Street in America, as painted by Norman Rockwell. More than 80 jury-selected artists and crafters will display their work ranging from paintings to ceramics, fiberware to glass blowing.
Annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival; Gloucester, Massachusetts: More than 175 juried artists and craftsmen from throughout the United States will be coming to Gloucester for this festival, now in its 36th year. Live music, unique creations and delicious food will highlight the two-day event. A pancake breakfast (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Gloucester) helps to kick off Saturday in grand style while free live “family style” entertainment includes puppeteers, ragtime jazz and maritime music. The Gloucester Waterfront Festival runs from 9 am to 6 pm each day. The site is handicapped accessible and friendly pets on leashes are welcome. Free Admission.
American Folk Festival; Bangor, Maine: Traditional performers from across the country celebrate the richness and variety of American culture in this free, three-day, multi-stage event. The festival features four stages of music and dance; traditional craft demonstrations and exhibits; a children’s area with activities for the whole family; dozens of food vendors offering ethnic food, regional specialties and traditional festival favorites; and a marketplace offering unique, handcrafted items and “Taste of Maine” treats for sale.
37th Annual Lakes Region Fine Arts and Crafts Festival; Meredith, NH: An outdoor, juried arts and crafts exhibition and sale of fine arts and fine crafts, featuring high-quality works of more than 80 artists and craftspeople. The festival is held outdoors among the Meredith Village Shops and the Mill Falls Marketplace.
Boothbay Harbor Fest; Boothbay Harbor, Maine: This festival is a community collaboration that was created to offer visitors and locals the opportunity to experience a collection of unique and vibrant events that celebrate who we are. There will be something for every type of fun seeker: music geeks, foodies, artsy folks, fashionistas, athletes…
Camden Windjammer Festival; Camden, Maine: The largest single gathering of the Maine windjammer fleet arrives in Camden Harbor to celebrate the windjammer industry. Live music, performances, nautical activities and demonstrations, boat parade, fireworks and films.
Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival; Bennington, Vermont: Vermont stinks? Only at this annual festival where garlic lovers congregate to sample food and crafts from 50 different vendors! There’s a beer and wine tent to relax in and even enjoy garlic cocktails. Sample garlic soup, garlic hot dogs, and even garlic ice cream, garlic apple pie and brownies!
Bread & Roses Festival; Lawrence, Massachusetts: The 31st Annual Bread and Roses Heritage Festival will be held, as always, on Labor Day. It is a FREE, open air, labor and social justice event, on the Lawrence Common, from noon to 5:00 pm. Enjoy an electric day of musical, dance, and theatrical performances from a diverse range of cultures from American Folk, Salsa, Blues, Celtic, Hip Hop, and more! Stroll down the walkway of food vendors to choose BBQ, Dominican, Turkish, Vietnamese, Mexican, and other international treats! Pony rides, face painting, hula hooping, a juggler, and even story telling for the kids.
The Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta & Yacht Race; Provincetown, Massachusetts: The Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta celebrates the role of the Great Atlantic fishing bank schooner in Provincetown’s maritime history and allows visitors to experience these historic vessels in port and at sea. The Regatta shares the story of Provincetown’s place in the traditional fishing industry and of Cape Cod’s past, when commerce and transportation truly ‘ran with the wind.’ Located at the outermost tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown was the first great fishing port on the eastern seaboard dating back to the time of the Norsemen. Many of the leading fishing vessels that plied the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans throughout America’s early maritime history called Provincetown home. At the height of the commercial fishing in the 19th century, Provincetown harbored as many as 100, 90-ton Schooners and 700 vessels. Come learn, have fun and see one of the most unique landscapes in New England!
Eastport Pirate Festival; Eastport, Maine: Three fun-filled days of people of all ages in pirate costumes with events that include the Pirate Parade and the Great Pirate Ship Race on Passamaquoddy Bay with ships from two countries.
Hampton Seafood Festival; Hampton, New Hampshire: Wonderful for the whole family, this major seacoast event features 60 top restaurants serving world famous New England seafood. Choose from lobsters, fried clams, shrimp, BBQ ribs, steak tips, “bloomin’ onions,” and scrumptious desserts. Includes 80 arts & crafts vendors and end-of-the-season sidewalk sales, plus continuous entertainment on two stages featuring jazz, oldies, and rock & roll! Fireworks on Saturday evening. Repeatedly voted “One of the Top 100 Events in North America” by the American Bus Association.
Norwalk Oyster Festival; Norwalk, Connecticut: This fun festival celebrates its 38th year! Highlights this year include the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and Fast Action Motorsports entertainment. Cheer for your favorites at the slurping and shucking contests, “Go Green” with environmental demonstrations and displays, experience a Pirates’ Coast Adventure, stroll through the New England Seaport Village and much more.
Maine Lighthouse Day; along the Maine coast: The U.S. Coast Guard, the State of Maine and the American Lighthouse Foundation join together for this annual celebration of Maine lighthouses. More than 20 lighthouses along the Maine coast will be open to visitors on this day.
Vermont Mac and Cheese Challenge; Artisan's Park, Windsor, Vermont: Welcome Mac & Cheese Lovers! Thirty local restaurants will compete by preparing their best macaroni & cheese recipe, showcasing a minimum of one cheese from Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (VFCC), the state’s first community-owned dairy farm, paired with a Harpoon beer. Just $10 ($15 if purchased at the door) gets you a voting ballot and entry to event where you can sample every recipe and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award. There will be Harpoon draft beer available for purchase, live music, a calf petting zoo and Cow Chip Bingo. Kids under 6 get in free…rain or shine! Don’t miss it. All proceeds will go to benefit Vermont Foodbank, Sustainable Woodstock and Vermont Dairy Foundation.
Rochester Fair; Rochester, New Hampshire: Bring your whole family for fun and entertainment you won’t find anywhere else. Our fair has something for everyone in the family! Check out our livestock, walk through our gigantic exhibit hall or get your adrenaline fix on New Hampshire’s largest carnival midway.
Newport International Boat Show; Newport, Rhode Island: One of the four largest in-water boat shows in the country, the Newport International Boat Show features both power and sail on 15 acres along America’s Cup Ave. with 850 exhibitors and more. Newport is renowned as one of the world’s best sailing destinations.
Sept. 16-Oct. 2
“The Big E” Eastern States Exposition; West Springfield, Massachusetts: Eastern States Exposition, home of The Big E, has presented the finest livestock, the most innovative commercial, industrial and artistic developments, and the highest caliber of varied entertainment to the people of the Northeastern United States for more than eight decades. More than one million people now attend the 17 day Big E, an annual autumn extravaganza of entertainment, exhibits and agriculture – the culmination of a visionary idea first expressed by Joshua L. Brooks at the beginning of the 20th century.
New Hampshire Highland Games; Lincoln, New Hampshire: Known as one of the most diverse games in the United States, NHHG highlights include the Gathering of the Scottish Clans, with more than 60 clans and societies; Massed Bands; sheepdog trials; Celtic world music concerts; the New England Regional Scottish Fiddle Championship; Scottish athletics; National Highland Dance Competition; solo piping and drumming; Scottish harp (Clarsach) and other instrument competitions.
Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival; Harwich, Massachusetts: A two-day music festival along with arts and crafts and a home town parade. This event marks the beginning of cranberry harvest season.
Durham Fair; Durham, Connecticut: What started as a local event has become the largest of its type in Connecticut. The first fair drew an estimated 2,000 people mainly from Durham and surrounding towns while, at the present time, a fair, if the weather is good, may draw over 200,000 people from all over Connecticut and surrounding states. In 1916, less than $300 was paid in prize money, while currently, over $90,000 is paid.
Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival, Newport, Rhode Island: Held in one of the most spectacular settings in America, this event has quickly taken its place among the most anticipated food and wine events in the country. This remarkable weekend experience features hundreds of wines from around the world, fabulous food, cooking demonstrations by celebrated chefs, live and silent auctions and a gala celebration.
Annual Scallop Fest; East Falmouth, Massachusetts: This annual event includes famous scallop dinners, a juried craft show, midway of rides and games, entertainment and a food court. Ranked a Top 100 Event by the American Bus Association.
Star Island Gosport Regatta; Isles of Shoals, off Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Star Island is one of the rocky, wind-swept Isles of Shoals, located off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. Boat rides are available from Rye and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Race classes include cruising, racing, and J-24, as well as a team cup for yacht clubs entering three or more boats. Follow the race from the starting line on the M/V Thomas Laighton and come ashore in time for lunch with entertainment and the best views of the finish line.
Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival; Boston, Massachusetts: The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival delights tens of thousands with a host of jazz, Latin, blues, and groove acts. The city comes out in force to enjoy world-class jazz on three stages, great eats, and good times stretching six blocks in Boston’s historic South End.
Burke Fall Foliage Festival; East Burke Village, Vermont: Head to northern Vermont for brilliant autumn colors and the Northeast Kingdom’s biggest event: the annual Burke Fall Foliage Festival. Shop for local crafts from more than 60 vendors, see the parade at 10:00am, plus a rubber ducky race, live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, a farm animal petting zoo, Cow Plop Bingo, a beer & wine tent, live musical entertainment and more!
Chili-Chowdah Festival; East Bridgewater, Massachusetts: This Annual Chili Chowda Fest is in its 20th year. Area restaurants and individuals can enter their chili and/or chowder to be voted on by the crowd. Live music throughout the day, fully stocked cash bars and draft beer, food booths and vendors, and a “Show & Shine” motorcycle competition.
Sept. 29-Oct. 2
Deerfield Fair; Deerfield, New Hampshire: New England’s oldest “family fair,” with 140 years of agricultural fun.
Sept. 30-Oct. 10
Topsfield Fair; Topsfield, Massachusetts: The oldest continuously running agricultural fair in America, featuring carnival games and rides and agricultural events.
Sept. 30-Oct. 1
Octoberfest at Harpoon Brewery; Boston, Massachusetts: Harpoon Brewery’s annual German-style OctoberFest boasts 3 stages with live music, a big selection of Harpoon beers and ales, and lots of German food sold by a local restaurant. Come do some chicken dancing and keg bowling and enjoy the German Oompah bands at one of New England’s largest OctoberFests.
Sept. 30-Oct. 2 & Oct. 7-9
Southington Apple Festival; Southington, Connecticut: This annual festival is a family-oriented community event spanning the first two weekends in October. The event offers six days of spectacular fun, delicious food, live entertainment and crafts. Come see the Apple Fritter and Apple Pie Eating Contest, plus an Apple Harvest Bed Race, road race and more.
Salem Haunted Happenings; Salem, Massachusetts: A month-long festival in the bewitching seaport of Salem includes a series of spooky events that involve haunted houses, storytelling tours and a Grand Parade. A favorite October destination because of its infamous Witch Trials of 1692, Salem was once a major maritime hub for the New England colonies and is rich in history and culture.
Fryeburg Fair; Fryeburg, Maine: Fryeburg Fair is a fall spectacular in New England. Located in Fryeburg, on the western border of Maine, the Fair is always held the first week in October. With over 3,000 animals on the Fairgrounds for a full 8 days, the Fair offers an incredible array of food, entertainment, rides and lots of great people watching! All for one admission price - $10 a day. Enjoy our website with lots and lots of photos of what we do best - agriculture and fun.
Stowe Foliage Art Festival; Stowe, Vermont: Fall is festival time in Vermont and Stowe celebrates the absolute zenith of foliage color with the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival. 200 juried artisans exhibit and sell a wide range of contemporary and traditional craft work as well as original art, photography, sculpture, and specialty food products. While having a bite and a beer in the dining tent, enjoy live music on Saturday and Sunday.
North American Wife Carrying Championship; Newry, Maine: Fun for competitors and thousands of spectators alike, the Wife Carrying Championships receive international media attention each year. Teams from across the United States and Canada compete head-to-head for fame, fortune and a chance to compete at the World Championships in Finland. The origin of North American Wife Carrying Championship is based in Finnish history. The modernized wife carrying event is all in fun, and in reality, is a true test of physical strength, agility and teamwork between man and woman.
Acadia Oktoberfest Food & Crafts Festival; Southwest Harbor, Maine: The first day of this special weekend will open with an afternoon and early evening “Wine & Cheese Tasting” accompanied by music. Maine wine distributors will offer wines from around the world and Maine cheese makers will serve exciting pairings of specialty cheeses. ‘A BREWFEST TO REMEMBER’ will be held October 6. This event has been noted as “one of the spots not to miss” and one of the “top ten festivals in New England” by the national RV Magazine and New England brewery magazines, respectively.
Chowder Days at Mystic Seaport; Mystic, Connecticut: In the crisp New England air, enjoy unforgettable clam chowder and other fresh seafood specialties, along with seasonal desserts and beer, wine and apple cider. Stroll through our village and enjoy live music. Bring the kids to enjoy a “clammy” art project and story time in the Children’s Museum. Or, climb aboard our steamboat Sabino for leaf peeping from the water.
Waterville Valley Fall Foliage Celebration; Waterville Valley, New Hammpshire: Celebrate the arrival of fall with Waterville Valley’s Fall Foliage Fest over Columbus Day Weekend. A weekend of fun family events is planned including kids’ games, pumpkin painting a 5K road race, tent sales, a pie-eating contest and more. Following the 5K run the Fall Foliage Beer Garden will kick off hosting samples of Sam Adams and Harpoon fall brews in the center of Town Square accompanied by live music and a corn hole tourney starting at noon hosted by Harpoon.
Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta; Damariscotta, Maine: Come to beautiful midcoast Maine for a celebration of all things pumpkin. This festival is a fun-packed week of events including a pumpkin paddle boat relay and pumpkin motor boat regatta, pumpkin polo, and the Maine Pumpkin Growers Organization-sanctioned giant pumpkin weigh-off. There’s also pumpkin catapulting, a pumpkin drop, underwater pumpkin carving, a giant pumpkin parade, 60 giant pumpkins lining Damariscotta’s main street, and a pumpkin derby.
Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival; Edgartown, Massachusetts: The Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival is a celebration of ‘Sea, Farm & Vine.’ The four-day feast, celebrating the rich tradition of farming and fishing, features the Island’s best culinary talent, artisanal producers and local ingredients, while organically aligning with national chefs, culinary leaders and wine and spirit purveyors to create a fresh unique-to-the-Island immersion weekend.
Wellfleet Oysterfest; Wellfleet, Massachusetts: This two-day family festival celebrates the town’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions and brings together locals and visitors alike for a weekend full of hometown flavor and big time fun! There is something for everyone: local cuisine, arts and crafts, educational programs, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, walking tours, live music, a road race and the annual Oyster Shuck-Off competition.
Head of the Charles Regatta; Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts: Head Of The Charles Regatta, the world’s largest two-day rowing event, was first held on October 16, 1965. The race was established by the Cambridge Boat Club members with the advice of Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest Arlett. Arlett proposed that a “head of the river” race, similar in tradition to races held in his native England, be held on the Charles River. “Head” races, a class of regattas, are generally three miles long – boats race against each other and the clock, starting sequentially approximately fifteen seconds apart. Winners of each race receive the honorary title of “Head of the River” or, in this case, “Head Of The Charles.”
New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival; Laconia, New Hampshire: Formerly the Keene Pumpkin Festival, which regularly set records for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns, the 25th annual event has been moved to Laconia for 2016.