There is no doubt that summer is prime time for festivals, and Syracuse is no different! We already talked about a few from June – The Taste of Syracuse and St. Sophia’s Greek Festival, but July takes the cake for having the most festivals in Central New York, take a look at some of the popular ones I attended this summer!
Finger Lakes Lavender Festival
Skaneateles is a beautiful village, and worthy of its own blog post at some point, but one of my favorite things is their lavender festival they hold each summer. This year marked the 10th annual lavender festival at Lockwood Lavender Farm. The FREE festival is a delight, featuring fields of several varieties of lavender, food trucks, craft vendors, and lavender products for sale. By far the best part of the weekend is being able to cut your own bundle of lavender. For only five dollars, you can get a pair of sheers and a template for how much you can cut. This year Arctic Island offered small cups of lavender flavored ice cream for $2 – yum!
St. Elias Middle Eastern Festival
One of the best parts of living in a diverse city (Syracuse is also a sanctuary city), is being able to experience an abundance of cultures right at home. St. Elias Middle Eastern Festival offers us a window into life on the other side of the world. The music and dancing are fantastic, and so is the food – I highly recommend the man’oushe (Lebanese flatbread) and the honey balls!
St. John the Baptist Ukranian Festival
Similar to the Greek and Middle Eastern festivals, the Ukranian festival features food, music, dancing, and vendors from Eastern Europe.Now this may be my Polish heritage speaking, but the food here was AMAZING. The pyrohy (pierogie) and particularly the holubtsi (golabki) were mouth-watering. They rival my babci’s, so they really hit home for me. On another note, the Polish Fest was also back in June in downtown Syracuse, but attendance has suffered the past few years.
Arts & Crafts Festival
Celebrated together with the Street Painting Festival (and at the same time as the Stage of Nations EcoFest and the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival – more on those next year!), the Arts & Crafts Festival brings hundreds of vendors from around the country to showcase and sell their wares. Items vary from jewelry and pottery to paintings, photographs, and a wide variety of unique crafts. The event is also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring yours along! At the center of the festival, there are a variety of music and dance performances alongside the line of food trucks. We even saw the local puppeteer walking around with one of his giant puppets – and happy to pose for photos! One of the highlights of the weekend has to be the chalk drawings on sidewalk squares on Saturday. Visit them around midday, right before judging, to see them completed. Some of the work is stunning!
Well that’s it for my take on this July’s festival around Syracuse; stay tuned for news on others next summer! For now, I’m looking forward to the Arts & Culture Festival next month at the zoo!