The ice has thawed. The sun is shining. It’s spring, and that means festivals - a lot of them - all across New York. Groove to country music, dabble in wine tasting, watch a movie and frolic through the flowers. Here are your must-catch festivals across the Empire State this summer.

Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally
What started as a cooking contest in the 80's has grown into one of Binghamton's most anticipated summer festivals with food, music, hot air balloons and special events that attract thousands of visitors for 3 days of pure fun. Considered one of the top hot air balloon rallies in the country, you'll want to be here for festivities as well as the local delicacies like tasty spiedies. Spiedies are small pieces of delicious meat, such as lamb, beef, pork or chicken, that are skewered and grilled to perfection--if you haven't tried these yet, do your taste buds a favor and have a bite this August. Binghamton; tickets start at $20; August 4-6

Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruise
Water Music NY
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal, Water Music brings some of the greatest musical talent to the shoreline across New York State. Starting in Albany and finishing in Lockport, the Albany Symphony will travel the Erie Canal performing pieces with their exceptional musicians. Check their summer schedule here and listen to sweet symphonies on the waterfront. Albany - Lockport; free; July 2 - 8

taste of buffalo
Taste of Buffalo
The largest food festival of its kind, Taste of Buffalo is something that needs to be experienced. Starting July 8th, over 55 restaurants will take over downtown Buffalo where visitors sample endless varieties of wine, food and treats--not to mention the cooking demos and live music. Come for two days of flavor and make sure to bring your appetite. Buffalo; free; July 8 - 9

Canandaigua Wine Trail - Photo Courtesy of Canandaigua Wine Trail
Finger Lakes Wine Festival
Wine not fill your summer with fun? For three in July, the Finger Lakes Wine Festival is bringing you music, food, and needless to say--amazing wine--from over 80 of the best vineyards in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Special events include a lake front toga party, taster's banquet and great western breakfast. So bring your appetite and indulge in some of the best artisan wine and cheese. Watkins Glen; tickets start at $50; July 14 - 16

2015 July 25th Fireworks-Oswego Harborfest - Photo by Robert J Clark Photography
Oswego Harborfest
Experience the 30th annual Harborfest that is a staple of summertime for 
For those who know it, Harborfest is a staple of summertime fun, and this year’s 30th annual festival will be one to remember. The four-day party is filled with live music, carnival fun and fireworks on the shores of Lake Ontario, so bring your swimsuit and dancing moves, because this festival is guaranteed fun. Oswego; free; July 27 - 30

Open Farm Day
Thanks to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, adults and kids of all ages can experience the magic of agriculture and farm animals up-close. Participating farms across Madison County will open their gates to the public for farm tours, food tastings, demonstrations and hands-on farm fun. Pro tip: download the Open Farm Day Passport here or at your local Price Chopper to visit three farms and a chance to win prizes. Locations across Madison County; free; July 29

Cortland County: Cortland County Arts and Wine Festival
In its 11th year, the Cortland County Arts and Wine Festival is the place to tap into your creative side as local artists, musicians and culinary professionals bring their finest creations. Enjoy a day of wine, art and music with special performances by Molly & the Badly Bent Bluegrass Boys, Johnny & Lonnie, Small Town Shade and more. Cortland; free; August 5

Food Truck - NYS Fair
Taste NY Food Truck Competition & Craft Beer Festival at the Great NY State Fair
As if the midway rides, live music and wine slushies weren’t enough reasons to experience the Great NY State Fair--you just got one more mouth-watering reason to attend: The 2nd annual Taste NY Food Truck Competition & Craft Beer Festival. Sample the tastiest food truck delicacies from over 20 vendors across New York State. Think grilled PB & J, mac n cheese, savory BBQ and just about anything your heart desires. NY State Fair, Syracuse; $3 samples; September 2 - 3

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