Seneca Falls is popularly believed to be director Frank Capra’s
inspiration for the setting of the 1946 Jimmy Stewart classic It’s
A Wonderful Life (2016 is its 70th anniversary year). Marketing
itself as “The Real Bedford Falls,” this former mill town created a
museum, 5K run and festival in the film’s name. Taking place in
December, the three-day event includes music, exhibits and plenty
of Christmas cheer.
Pleasing lovers of jazz and improvised sounds since 2002, the
Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival ranks among the
nation’s signature music festivals. Scheduled for June 24 to July 2,
2016, the festival’s 15th edition includes headliner shows at the
famed Eastman Theatre’s Kodak Hall; 220-plus Club Pass shows at
13 venues around town; 90-plus free shows on six outdoor stages;
and nightly jam sessions at the Rochester Plaza Hotel.
Rochester’s festival schedule also includes the long-running
M&T Bank Clothesline Festival in September, for six decades the
region’s largest fine-art and crafts festival.
Cooperstown is another melodious destination. Running from
Upstate New York is a year-round mecca for festivals and events
Debuting in 1841 as America’s first state fair, the Great New York State Fair is a summer highlight in Upstate New York. Staged at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, a 375-acre site featuring numerous year-round group and event rental options among its 110 venues, the Fair, scheduled for Aug. 25 to
Sept. 5 this year, is a ready-made agenda booster for groups.
In its continuing celebration of New York’s agricultural
heritage, the Fair is also emblematic of the wealth of annual
Empire State festivals and events offering easy tie-ins for
delegates visiting for other business.
Here is a sampling, by no means exhaustive, of the myriad
events populating the state’s annual party calendar.
Birthplace of the national Women’s Rights Movement and
home to the tour-capable National Women’s Hall of Fame,
BY JEFF HEILMAN
Lilac Festival , Rochester Garden Walk Buffalo
Swings at Midway, Great New York State Fair, Syracuse
Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown
Lilac Festival, Rochester