FESTIVALS / SPECIAL EVENTS
Scandinavian Folk Festival
For those who have wondered where they might spend an afternoon enjoying imported Scandinavian food and drink, Swedish music and dancing, palm readings by a seeress, live action role playing (LARPing), and a Viking-style axe-throwing ring, look no further than the Scandinavian Folk Festival. The annual event is perfect for families, antique collectors, Scandinavian history buffs, or folk music fans. Sponsored by the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, the event celebrates Jamestown’s Nordic background. A group of Swedes came to the area in the 1850s, and found that the land was reminiscent of Sweden, with abundant forests and clean, running water. Historical and genealogical lectures are held throughout the fest for those who want to learn more.
At Jamestown Community College
Check scandinavianjamestown.com for times.
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The 28th Annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival
A summer tradition since 1992, the festival brings thousands of music lovers to the rolling hills of Western New York. Enjoy Independence Day weekend with a wide variety of live original music on three stages, instrument workshops, dance lessons, and activities for both children and teens. The Wailers, Donna the Buffalo and 10,000 Maniacs are featured acts this year.
The Heron Farm and Event Centre
(2361 Waits Corners Rd., Sherman)
July 9 & 23
Salvatore's Secret Garden Dinner Series
Salvatore’s Italian Gardens will create an exclusive, fresh and imaginative dining experience inside the Botanical Gardens. A Garden Bar featuring handpicked wines, bubbles and craft beers will also be open for visitors to enjoy live music from Michael DiSanto, drinks and a relaxing stroll through the Botanical Gardens.
4:30-8:30 p.m., Buffalo Botanical Gardens
(2655 South Park Ave.)
Queen of Heaven Carnival
Free admission and free parking make it easy to enjoy this old school lawn fete, which features a large midway. New for this year include craft beers and specialty food vendors.
Begins at 5 p.m. at Queen of Heaven
(4220 Seneca St., West Seneca)
Taste of Buffalo
More than 55 restaurants, five wineries, and 450,000 guests gather in downtown Buffalo to enjoy “fun by the forkful.” Experience the largest two-day food festival in the US.
July 13, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. & July 14, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Delaware Avenue
(Downtown Buffalo, from Chippewa street to Niagara Square)
Created to promote an international Friendship Festival celebrating the good relations between Canada and the United States of America since the end of the War of 1812. Enjoy four days of family fun with loads of activities, free concerts, and much more.
All day events at Mather Park
(Mather Circle, Fort Erie, Ontario)
Earth-Spirit Artisan Festival
A wonderful Summertime fun event showcasing some of Buffalo's top artisans and holistic vendors. Delaware Park at the Marcy Casino across from the Albright Knox Gallery. Family Friendly.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Delaware Park
(At the Marcy Casino across from the Albright Knox Gallery)
Eight days of food, music, and nightly events including a two-day craft show featuring 250 vendors from around the area. The event closes with a fireworks display along the Erie Canal.
(15 Webster Street, North Tonawanda)
Scandinavian Folk Festival
The annual Scandinavian Folk Festival is based on Nordic traditions. This year’s entertainment includes the Swedish Meatballs, Viking Mixed Chorus, folk dancing teams, lectures, a food court, and more
Begins on July 19 at 1 p.m., Carnahan Building, Jamestown Community College
Grease Pole Festival
Celebrate Puerto Rican culture with music, dancing, and live entertainment. Expect plenty of authentic food and beverages, as well as carnival rides. The highlight of the weekend will be the climbing, or should we say the attempt of climbing the greased pole.
Begins at 5 p.m. on July 20, runs from 12–11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Olivencia Community Center
(261 Swan Street)
The 34th Annual Burger Fest
Burger Fest celebrates the creation of the first hamburger during the Erie County Fair at the Hamburg Fairgrounds in 1885. The one-day festival has something for everyone, from Kidspace children’s inflatable rides and activities; an arts and crafts show and sale, the classic car show and the Labatt beer tent.
Starts at noon along Main and Buffalo Streets and in the Village of Hamburg Municipal Parking Lot.
Galbani Italian Heritage Festival
This year, the festival is being held in downtown Buffalo, at Niagara Square. Expects dozens of vendors, live entertainment, a cooking stage, and much more.
Wild Renn Fest
Be part of Hawk Creek’s unique renaissance-themed celebration of wildlife diversity. Exciting entertainment and activities for all ages, including live wildlife presentations, bird of prey flight demonstrations, medieval reenactments, educational exhibits, food, music, art, and much more.
11 a.m.–4 p.m. Hawk Creek Wildlife Center
(1963 Mill Road, West Falls)
Waldfest delivers a German-themed beerfest in the woods. A little under-the-radar, but still super popular, Waldfest offers attendees authentic German music, food, dancing, and, of course, beer.
All day at Spring Garden Park
(3838 Two Rod Road., East Aurora)
July 25–August 4
Buffalo Infringement Festival
This is a nonprofit-driven, non-hierarchical grassroots endeavor bringing together a broad range of eclectic, independent, experimental, and controversial art of all forms. Visual, performing, musical, and media arts are all included. Events take place in multiple venues throughout Buffalo.
21th Annual Lebanese Festival
Experience a treasure chest of traditional Lebanese culture, customs, cuisine, and terrific music. Share the Lebanese heritage in Buffalo this summer.
5 p.m. at St. John Maron Church
(2040 Wehrle Dr., Williamsville)
Fiddler's Green Country & Bluegrass Festival
Six hours of continuous free live musical entertainment at 3 different venues featuring Creek Bend, City Fiddle, Buffalo Bluegrass Youth Ensemble, Hintz of Thunder and more.
11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
(65 Franklin Street, Springville)
The Glen Park Art Festival
Enjoy the best fine arts and crafts, entertainment, and great food in the historic Village of Williamsville.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Glen Park
(Between Mill and Rock Streets)
Roger Tory Peterson’s Wild America Nature Festival
The festival features a juried-entry fine nature art and craft show and competition; local food cook-off competition; and classes, workshops, music, and talks by well-known speakers and artists.
Panama Rocks Scenic Park
(11 Rock Hill Road, Panama)
Kingdom Bound Summer Festival
Experience exclusive events, artwork, concerts and much more at this festival. This year’s headliners include Crowder, For King and Country, Skillet, Passion Music, Bethel Music, and Danny Gokey.
Darien Lake Theme Park
(9993 Alleghany Road, Corfu)