10 events to visit in New York State this June


Coming to New York this June? You’ve timed your trip well with the northeastern state playing host to some great events throughout the month.

(Photo: Ithaca Festival)

Beyond the bright lights of the Big Apple, the state brims with activity during the summer months, which kick off in earnest in June. Across the region’s museums, arenas and public spaces, tons of top-class events take place that draw visitors from miles around. For travellers, they offer an opportunity to get off the well-trodden tourist trail and mix with locals in a fun and welcoming atmosphere of revelry. Here are 10 events to visit in NY this June.

Ithaca Festival

Each year, the city of Ithaca, nestled on Cayuga Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region, gives itself over to an acclaimed craft fair festival that provides visitors with the perfect chance to pick up gifts and souvenirs. Held in Downtown and the surrounding streets, hundreds of local and regional vendors assemble to peddle a huge diversity of wares, ranging from jewellery, pottery and metalworking to dolls, toys, artwork and apparel. The bustling bazaar takes place against a backdrop of live music, with over 70 performances on specially constructed stages throughout the city. Small-batch craft foods and beverages are also available as ready-to-go refreshments or take-home treats.

Downtown Ithaca Commons / 30 May – 2 June 2024

New York State Blues Festival

(Photo: New York State Blues Festival)

Syracuse and the wider Central New York region have a thriving blues music scene stretching back decades. One of the most highly anticipated events of the summer, the New York State Blues Festival takes place in the scenic environs of New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, where it draws blues music fans from far and wide. The three-day festival is a magical occasion, with a stellar line-up of musician acts hailing from New York and beyond descending here each year to perform everything from soulful ballads to pumping blues-rock anthems. Revellers won’t go hungry either, with plenty of food vendors on hand serving up classic festival fare. Festival admission is free.

New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse / 13-15 June 2024

New York State Cannabis Festival

Following the legalisation of recreational marijuana in New York in 2021, a number of cannabis-themed events have popped up across the state celebrating the long-awaited end of prohibition. Among them is this cannabis and craft beer festival in the small village of Whitney Point, which was launched with the aim of removing the plant’s lingering stigma while broadening the demographic of craft beer consumers. The event also centres women at its heart, highlighting the role they are playing in the nascent cannabis industry. For visitors, there’s tons of activities and entertainment, including the chance to indulge in a cannabis consumption experience, watch glassblowing in action, get artistic on Chalk Art Street, join meditation and yoga sessions, rock out at the main stage with local musicians, and sample some of the finest craft beer you’ll find anywhere in New York.

Whitney Point, Broome County / 22 June 2024

Palm Tree Festival

This acclaimed music festival returns for its fourth edition this June amid the lavish landscapes of The Hamptons. A one-of-a-kind, intimate festival experience, the event is renowned for its tropical beach vibes and high-quality sets by major names from the world of music. Headline acts for 2024 include Swedish House Mafia, Kygo, Sofi Tukker and Purple Disco Machine. As well as the top-notch music, there are tons of activities including lawn games, plus food trucks. The festival is open to those aged 21 and over.

Francis S. Gabreski Airport, Westhampton Beach / 22 June 2024

‘A Long Affair: Surrealism 1924 to Now’ exhibition

(Photo: Sage, Kay (American, 1898–1963), Margin of Silence, 1942. Oil on canvas, 18 x 15 in. Albany Institute of History & Art, Gift of the estate of Kay Sage Tanguy, 1964.38)

This exhibition commemorates the hundred-year anniversary of André Breton’s famed Manifesto of Surrealism, and features paintings, drawings, prints, and three-dimensional objects from every decade since the 1920s. Artists including Alicia Adamerovich, Jean Arp, Pennie Brantley, Leonora Carrington, George Condo, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Julio de Diego, Dorothy Dehner, Max Ernst, Philip Guston, Wifredo Lam, René Magritte, Georges Malkine, Man Ray, André Masson, Joan Miró, Wangechi Mutu, Richard Pousette-Dart, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Kay Sage, Kurt Seligmann, Yves Tanguy, Val Telberg, Remedios Varo and more will be represented in The Hyde’s largest gallery.

The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls / 22 June – 15 September 2024

Saratoga Antique Show and Sale

The 44th Annual Saratoga Antique Show and Sale will be held in early June. Hosted by the National Bottle Museum, the show brings together antique bottle dealers from across the country. All types of bottles and related items will be available, including early New England glass, flasks, Bitters, canning jars, medicinal bottles, milk bottles, stoneware, and ephemera. The show is an opportunity for the public to learn about the fun and interesting hobby of bottle collecting, and start or expand on your own collection. Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Early admission is available for $20 at 8am. Parking is free.

Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa / 2 June 2024

Ithaca Reggae Fest 

The 6th annual Ithaca Reggae Fest returns to the picturesque expanse of Stewart Park in Ithaca in June. The two-day event kicks off on the Friday with a free Welcome Party, before things ramp up several notches on the Sunday with a full day of reggae music featuring both local and international artists, as well as dancing, art, yoga, skateboarding, youth activities, craft vendors, food trucks, and plenty more. The festival also has a strong environmental focus with proceeds going towards issues relating to the region’s vital water resources.

Stewart Park, Ithaca / 21-22 June 2024

Syracuse Jazz Fest

(Photo: Syracuse Jazz Fest)

Jazz fans in New York during late June may well want to head to Syracuse, with the city staging its hugely popular annual jazz festival. Originating in the African-American communities of New Orleans in the 19th century, the genre has flourished across the US, and Syracuse’s contribution to this music phenomenon has become renowned across the region. Spanning five days, the festival sees clubs, bars, outdoor stages and even a historic chapel in Downtown Syracuse provide the canvas for jazz artists to enact their own interpretations of jazz classics as well as original numbers in front of large numbers of toe-tapping, finger-clicking spectators.

Downtown Syracuse / 26-30 June 2024

Saratoga Pride Festival

Pride Festivals are a staple in cities across the world and one of New York’s biggest and best pride events takes place in Saratoga. Taking place in High Rock Park and throughout the streets of the city’s bustling Downtown district, the one-day event sees shops and homes bedecked with the distinctive rainbow flag or pride flag that has become a symbol of LGB pride and social movements. Thousands throng the park and streets for the occasion, which features a colourful parade, music, dancing and lashings of food and drink to keep festival-goers well energised throughout.

High Rock Park, Saratoga Springs / 23 June 2024

Adirondack Wine & Food Festival

(Photo: Adirondack Wine & Food Festival)

Set against the picture-postcard backdrop of Lake George amid the Adirondack Mountains in northeast New York, dedicated gastronomes assemble each year for a celebration of all things food and drink. The two-day gourmet event offers some of New York’s finest artisanal food and craft beverage producers the chance to showcase their mouth-watering wares in front of packed crowds of epicureans. A culinary tent featuring cooking and cocktail demonstrations, plus live music, outdoor games and even an on-site street magician add to the occasion.

Charles R. Wood Park, Lake George / 29-30 June 2024

By Paul Joseph