July heats up in New York State with an amazing variety of food, music, and regional celebrations for everyone. Head to the Adirondacks for a world-class sporting event, enjoy the sounds of bluegrass in the Catskills, celebrate everything Irish in Central New York, watch hot air balloons take flight in Chautauqua-Allegheny, be awed by amazing 4th of July fireworks in New York City and beyond, travel back to the Renaissance in the Finger Lakes, get a delicious taste of Buffalo, celebrate some of Broadway’s newest and most exciting shows, frolic among amazing sunflowers on Long Island, and so much more!

Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City (New York City)

Through August 10

People dance under a giant disco ball on the dance floor at an event for Lincoln Center's Summer for the City
Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City is back with an exciting lineup of over 200 free or choose-what-you-pay events, thousands of artists, and food under the theme “Life, Liberty, and Happiness.” July’s events include the Big Umbrella Festival with multi-sensory experiences, performances, installations, and workshops specifically welcoming neurodivergent audiences and their families, a week-long celebration of Indian cultural traditions, jazz and hip-hop performances, and more. Manhattan; most events free, choose-what-you-pay tickets start at $5.

Celebrate Independence Day with Fireworks (Various Regions)

July 4

A vibrant fireworks display at Macy's 4th of July Fireworks in New York City
Credit: @clickforthekingdom on Instagram

On July 4th, Macy’s lights up the New York City skyline with a spectacular fireworks display on the Hudson River set to music. And that’s not all - you can also thrill to great fireworks displays at Boldt Castle in the Thousand Islands-Seaway region; Jones Beach on Long Island; the Empire State Plaza in Albany; and LEGOLAND in the Hudson Valley, which will present “Red, White & BOOM!” Discover more events with our blog on How to Celebrate 4th of July Weekend in New York.

Fire Island Invasion (Long Island)

July 4

Drag queens wave as they arrive aboard the Fire Island Clipper for the annual Fire Island Invasion

Credit: @fipines on Instagram

Every year on July 4th, hundreds of drag queens and thousands of spectators gather for a recreation and celebration of the first “invasion” that happened in the summer of 1976. Drag queens parade through Cherry Grove and then board the ferry to Pines Harbor where they are greeted with cheers and Cherry Grove’s 1976 Homecoming Queen Thom Hansen (aka Panzi). It’s an all-day celebration with performances and parties galore at The Pavilion, Pool Sip-N-Twirl and The Blue Whale. Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines; free.

2024 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (New York City)

July 4

Dozens of Nathan's Famous hot dogs arranged on a platter ahead of the famed eating contest in Coney Island
Credit: @butcherblocksupplyco on Instagram

Since 1916, this legendary holiday tradition has drawn tens of thousands of spectators to the Nathan’s Famous flagship restaurant on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island. See who takes home the coveted Mustard Belt to become this year’s hot dog eating champion and then hit the beach, hang out on the boardwalk, take a spin on the historic Cyclone, or take in all the fun at Luna Park. Coney Island; free admission.

Ellicottville Summer Music Festival (Chautauqua-Allegheny)

July 5-7

Head to Holiday Valley Resort for a joyous celebration of music and community spirit in picturesque Ellicottville! This year's festival features a fine art and craft market, pet parade, and spectacular performances by Marc Martel's One Vision of Queen, Caitlin Koch, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra bringing the hits of legendary rock bands The Who and Led Zeppelin. The festival culminates with a grand finale featuring a patriotic tribute of America’s songs set to majestic fireworks. Ellicottville; prices vary.

Sterling Renaissance Festival (Finger Lakes)

July 6 – August 18 (Weekends Only)

Knights on horses face each other as they prepare to showdown
Credit: @sterlingfestival on Instagram

Don’t miss your chance to journey back to 1585 at this Elizabethan Renaissance festival that boasts jousting, magic shows, swordplay, and more in a shady forest setting. With over 100 daily shows, family games, arts and crafts demonstrations, and refreshments, each visit is unique. Special themed weekends include Family Appreciation, Romance (featuring a Renewal of Vows ceremony), Ale Fest, and Pirate Invasion. The Queen’s Tea, held once each festival day, provides a little taste of class for the young and the young at heart. Sterling; various prices.

Beers, Bikes, and Barges: Rome (Central New York)

July 11

Calling all cyclists! Join the Rome Historical Society and Erie Canal Museum in exploring the history of the first Erie Canal town. Explore the Copper City and its history on this hour-long ride that will include stops at the home of Judge Joshua Hathaway, who broke ground on the Canal on July 4, 1817, and the Great Carrying Place. The ride ends with a public block party where you can enjoy a drink from Copper City Brewing Company. Rome; $25 registration fee (Includes first drink).

French Festival (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

July 12-14

Two people dressed in historic French uniforms on horseback at Cape Vincent's annual French Festival
Credit: @the_original_mayday on Instagram

Bonjour, Francophiles! Take part in a time-honored tradition that has brought joy, fireworks, and French-inspired fun for 56 years to Cape Vincent. The family-friendly event commemorates this waterfront town’s extensive ties to French history with a parade, mouth-watering French eats and other treats, arts and crafts vendors in the streets, wine, and much more! Cape Vincent; free admission; $5 parking fee.

Pleasantville Music Festival (Hudson Valley)

July 13

Rock out at New York’s ultimate backyard jam as Better Than Ezra, The Record Company, The Wailers, and Margaret Glaspy, along with breakout stars and local artists, take to the stage for the 18th Annual Pleasantville Music Festival. In addition to the great sounds, there will be a beer and wine garden for the adults, plus fun activities for the kids, and a zero-waste program to benefit the environment. Pleasantville; Prices vary, children under 12 free (must be accompanied by a ticket-carrying adult.)

Taste of Buffalo (Greater Niagara)

July 13-14

A woman in an orange shirt hands a customer a slice of cheesecake topped with cherries at Taste of Buffalo

Hungry? Treat yourself to a delicious summer weekend at Taste of Buffalo, presented by Tops. Indulge in culinary delights from nearly 50 restaurants and food trucks, along with delicious pours from wineries and breweries. Don’t miss the new Rockstar Kitchen Pop-ups featuring Buffalo's hottest chefs including two James Beard Award finalists. Stop by the Community Table tent and enjoy your meal with your neighbor, grab a cold beer at the Genesee Beer Garden, listen to live music, and take part in family-friendly activities like a giant coloring mural. Buffalo; free admission; food and beverages purchased with tickets.

Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard Sunflower Festival (Long Island)

July 13-14

You’re invited to spend two fun summer days filled with beautiful sunflowers at the Harbes Family Farm’s! Enjoy free live music and check out Harbes Barnyard Adventure, an eight-acre, family-friendly experience for all ages. The Barnyard admission includes a Musical Hayride tour of the 100-acre farm and its famous pig races. There are also farm animals, the “Jumbo Jumpers” bounce pillows, a Sports Zone with baseball, football, and basketball tossing games, “Lil’ Farmers PlayLand” filled with fun activities for preschoolers, and much more. Also check out Harbes Wine Barn, a 100-year-old renovated potato barn where you can get tastings of Harbes’ award-winning wines and be able to purchase them by the glass or bottle. Mattituck; free admission (Barnyard Adventure requires admission).

Disability Unite Festival (New York City)

July 14

Lachi, an award-winning blind artist, performs at stage at Central Park during the Disability Unite Festival
Credit: Anna Pakman

Come celebrate Disability Pride Month and commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with music, arts, advocacy, and more at the Disability Unite Festival, being held at Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. This free celebration of community will be a hybrid event, combining in-person festivities and an exclusive online experience. Manhattan; free admission.

Canal Fest of the Tonawandas (Greater Niagara)

July 14-21

The largest outdoor festival of its kind, Canal Fest of the Tonawandas encompasses 2-square miles along the banks of the Historic Erie Barge Canal. Each year, this family-focused, 8-day festival shared by the Twin Cities of Tonawanda & North Tonawanda draws thousands of visitors to its attractions, food, live music, and premier events, including a chalk art contest, parade, car cruise, bike cruise, and arts & crafts show. Tonawanda and North Tonawanda; free admission.

Annual Taste of Wayne County (Finger Lakes)

July 16

People try samples at the Taste of Wayne County event

Get your taste buds ready to take a delicious bite of the best foods Wayne County has to offer! Sample signature dishes, food products and beverages all while enjoying live entertainment. Newark; event tickets include 15 sample tickets, an event glass and an event utensil: $15 presale, $20 at event. Individual sample tickets will be available at the event for $2 each ($1 if you purchased a full event ticket and need a few extras) but will not come with an event glass.

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (Catskills)

July 17-21

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Billy Strings Band, Main Stage
Credit: Dave Weiland

Attention bluegrass fans – you don’t want to miss this annual five-day who’s who of bluegrass, newgrass, and roots music that will be coming to Oak Hill in the Catskills, with workshops, family fun, camping, dancing, jamming, foods, and crafts. It’s a musical lineup not-to-be-missed, with performances across seven stages and headliners including the Del McCoury Band, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Tony Trischka’s Earljam, Yonder Mountain String Band, and many more, along with artist-in-residence, Della Mae, and host band Dry Branch Fire Squad! Oak Hill; various prices.

Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance (Finger Lakes)

July 18-21

People gather in front of a stage flanked by Ukrainian flags at the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance
Credit: Casey Martin Photos

The Annual Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance is returning to Trumansburg Fairgrounds with four days and five stages of world, national, regional and local music. Donna the Buffalo, the festival’s founders and iconic Grassroots act, will return as both hosts and performers. Headliners include Old Crow Medicine Show, Mavis Staples, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Bombino, The Rumble Ft. Chief Joseph Boudreaux, Jr., Preston Frank & His Zydeco Family Band, and Willie Watson, in addition to dozens of other artists. Trumansburg; various prices; camping rate information here.

An Evening of Wine & Roses (Central New York)

July 19

The multicolored front of the discovery center building in Binghamton

The Story Garden of the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier will be in full bloom as you sample local and Finger Lakes wines, enjoy light food fare and watch artists as they paint en plein air! You’ll be able to tour the Center’s newest exhibits and take a chance on a basket raffle while enjoying musical entertainment. This great event raises money to support the Center’s unique programs and exhibits dedicated to expanding children’s curiosity and caring! Binghamton; ticket prices beginning at $50 (must be 21 or older).

Central New York Irish Festival (Central New York)

July 19-20


Celebrate Central New York’s rich Irish culture in a country setting with toe tapping music, dancing and frolicking, strength competitions, delicious foods, and more! This year's event will feature nationally and internationally known Irish entertainment, the return of the traditional Highland heavy athletic competition, a kid zone filled with fun activities, and a treasure trove of local food trucks and Irish merchandise vendors offering something for everyone. Deansboro; various prices.

Great Wellsville Balloon Rally (Chautauqua-Allegheny)

July 19-21

A colorful hot air balloon soars over a waterway at the Great Wellsville Balloon Rally
Credit: @photos_by_jserio on Instagram

Prepare to soar to new heights over the Chautauqua-Allegheny region at Allegany County’s largest event. The place to be is Island Park as more than 30 hot air balloons are inflated across four baseball fields before taking flight and filling the sky in a delightful rainbow of color, while gracefully floating over the Genesee River and the beautiful green hills and fields of Wellsville and the surrounding communities. The park’s natural amphitheater provides an opportunity to be in the middle of the action, and with over 35 vendors selling everything from traditional carnival food to balloon memorabilia, you will not leave empty handed. Wellsville; free admission.

Adirondack Artisan Festival (Adirondacks)

July 20

Handcrafted wooden fish in varying colors of blue and green are displayed at the Adirondack Artisan Festival

Bring home a piece of the Adirondacks after a visit to this truly unique festival at the Adirondack Experience – The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. From the traditional to the contemporary, you’ll find paintings, furniture, specialty foods, sculptures, clothing, stained glass, and more created by artisans and makers from throughout the region. The festival is a great opportunity to shop all things Adirondack, with products inspired by the natural majesty of the Adirondack wilderness and  many crafted using techniques passed down across generations. Blue Mountain Lake; $21 Adult (18-64), $18 Senior (65+), $12 Youth (5-17), $12 Student (with ID), free admission for museum members, children up to 4 years old, and active military members, $18 veterans. Memberships available.

Rochester Pride (Finger Lakes)

July 20

A group of drag queens dressed in the colors of the Pride flag perform on stage at Rochester Pride
Credit: @ektaroc on Instagram

Celebrate the accomplishments and history of the LGBTQ+ community at one of New York State's largest Pride festivals north of New York City. The festivities begin with a parade on South Avenue, immediately followed by the festival at its new location in the portion of Highland Park known as Beikirch Park, where you’ll find food trucks serving up delicious eats, plus wine and beer for sale, vendor tables, games and activities, and live music all day long. You can even start celebrating early, at the ROC Pride Picnic on July 14. Rochester; Pride Festival general admission is $5, VIP tickets are $50, and kids under 12 are free. Free admission to picnic and parade.

CURLFEST New York (New York City)

July 20

Founded by a group of women of color who decided that their natural, voluminous curls were something to cherish and not hide, CURLFEST is all about celebrating natural beauty. With the diversity and fun of New York City as a backdrop, CURLFEST is a favorite for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Every July, thousands of women from all over the world gather in jubilant support of African American beauty at this vibrant festival featuring live music, food trucks, braiding stations, beauty stands, artisans, and designers. Randall's Island Park; ticket prices start at $47.89 (includes taxes and fees).

Harbor Jam (Capital-Saratoga)

July 20-21

Harbor Jam returns to Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady for a weekend of great free music featuring headliners Night Fever, a tribute to the Bee Gees, and Hotel California, a tribute to the Eagles. Each night’s entertainment kicks off at 6 p.m. with a DJ, followed by the headliner performance at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday, July 21 concert will also be followed by a special fireworks show. Schenectady; free admission.

Athletic Brewing IRONMAN® Lake Placid (Adirondacks)

July 21

Athletes running into the water at Ironman Lake Placid

Credit: @alextong1 on Instagram

One of the Adirondack region’s premier, large-scale events, Athletic Brewing IRONMAN® Lake Placid celebrates its 25th year in July. The event, part of the VinFast IRONMAN North America Series, will see athletes kick off their 140.6-mile journey with a 2.4-mile swim in Mirror Lake before athletes embark on the 112-mile bike course with great views of the Adirondacks passing through the towns of Keene, Jay, Wilmington and Lake Placid. The 26.2-mile run course takes athletes through the city center to picturesque Mirror Lake before the culmination of their day at the historic Lake Placid Olympic Oval. Lake Placid, free admission.

Glimmerglass Festival (Central New York)

July 22 - August 20

Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown

Treat yourself to some of the world’s greatest opera and musical theater this summer at the internationally-acclaimed Glimmerglass Festival! Take in the view of Otsego Lake while enjoying performances of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance (July 22 – August 19), Cavalli’s La Calisto (July 23 – August 17), Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (July 27 – August 18), Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Elizabeth Cree (July 28 – August 20), and more. Cooperstown; Ticket prices vary by performance.

2024 Saratoga County Fair (Capital-Saratoga)

July 23-28

Saratoga County is throwing a party in July, and you’re invited! At the Saratoga County Fair, you’ll enjoy animal shows, truck, tractor, and lawn mower pulls, demonstrations, live music, and more. The fair, first held in 1841, predates most of the agricultural fairs in the United States, not to mention the Saratoga Racetrack in Saratoga Springs, the American Civil War, and even Canada becoming a country. Visit the fair and become part of a tradition that spans over eight generations of Saratoga County families! Ballston Spa; $10 general admission (good for one day only); $10 veterans (good for one day only);$35 weeklong pass (one scan per day); $5 senior citizens (65 and over; Wednesday only all-day); and free admission for children under 12.

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2024 (New York City)

July 24 – August 20

Hazelnut mushroom crusted halibut at Copinette in Manhattan
Credit: Marta Zielinska

Hey foodies! This summer is a great time to explore New York City one bite at a time. From July 24 to August 20, one of the state’s most anticipated celebrations of dining, New York City Restaurant Week, lets you enjoy prix-fixe meals at hundreds of restaurants across the five boroughs. Don’t pass up this great opportunity to sample the incredible array of eateries that make up the city’s culinary culture. General reservations open July 6.

Oswego Harborfest (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

July 25-28

Starburst fireworks light up the sky at Oswego Harborfest
Credit: @imagine_aerial on Instagram

Since it began in 1988, Oswego Harborfest has grown from a small local event to a major admission-free regional festival attracting an average audience estimated at 75,000 annually. Spanning Oswego Harbor, the festival features a spectacular fireworks display, live music, attractions, food, a midway, an arts and crafts show, farmers market and commercial vendors, and more! Oswego; free admission.

Broadway Con (New York City)

July 26-28

Get ready for an exciting three-day event where theater lovers come together, meet their favorite Broadway stars, and celebrate some of Broadway’s newest and most exciting shows! With compelling panels and programming, sing-along sessions and activities, and opportunities for photos with stars, BroadwayCon is the ultimate place to experience the magic of the theater community! Manhattan; $91.18 single-day pass, $224.39 general pass, $448.48 gold pass, and 1118.48 platinum pass.

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