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Festival Season

If you’re visiting the Finger Lakes this summer or fall, check out some of the region’s food and beverage events.


Seneca Lake Wine & Food
May 30 & 31

This weekend-long event held in Clute Park in Watkins Glen features more than 200 wines from twenty-five participating wineries. It also boasts waterfront views, live music, and food vendors touting Italian, Mexican, and grill options, among others.

Barbecue at the Wineries
June 13

Eight wineries on Keuka Lake play host to this culinary event, with each concocting its own barbecue dish with a special sauce, marinade, or rub.

Finger Lakes Wine Festival
July 10–12

The three-day event at Watkins Glen International raceway features tastings from more than eighty wineries, making it the largest single showing of wines produced in New York State. The festival boasts food and craft vendors, wine seminars, and culinary classes, in addition to demonstrations in such arts as painting and ice carving.

Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival
July 24–26

Touted as the only festival of its kind east of the Rockies, the event features nightly jam sessions, performances by international stars, wine tastings, and numerous food and craft vendors. It’s a fixture of Syracuse Artsweek, which attracts more than 66,000 visitors to the city’s downtown.

Finger Lakes Cheese Festival
July 25

Held at Sunset View Creamery just outside Watkins Glen, this annual event offers the opportunity to sample the many wares of the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail. Other highlights include cooking lessons, a grilled cheese cook-off, and ricotta-making classes.


Grapehound Wine Tour
July 30–August 2

This four-day celebration of greyhound adoption is headquartered at Pompous Ass Winery, part of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Registrants can bring along their dogs, regardless of breed, as they visit the tasting rooms at more than twenty participating wineries. Proceeds benefit greyhound adoption groups throughout the Northeast.

Cortland Arts & Wine Festival
August 1

Held at Courthouse Park in downtown Cortland, this festival features tastings from more than twenty wineries, plus cheese pairings, food vendors, live music, a car show, art displays, and more.

Central New York TomatoFest
September 12 & 13

The thirtieth annual event, at Emerson Park in Auburn, celebrates America’s favorite red vegetable (or, rather, fruit) while raising money for local food pantries.

Harvest Celebration of Food & Wine
September 19 & 20

Fall-themed dishes are on the menu at Keuka Lake wineries that pair their creations with locally sourced cuisine.

Apple Harvest Festival
October 2–4

The Ithaca Commons is home to this popular homage to the apple, with numerous growers, bakers, cider-makers, and more on hand to sell their wares. This fall’s event is the

Finger Lakes Beer Festival
October 24

Watkins Glen International hosts fifteen New York State craft breweries sampling their wares. Admission to the indoor event (held in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Garage) includes tasting coupons and a commemorative glass.