An A-Z Guide to 2014 Summer Festivals in New England
The variety of New England summer festival offerings is mind-boggling, and wherever you wander throughout the region's historic cities and quaint towns, you're sure to uncover unique and wonderful events with themes ranging from from classical music and dance to eggs and crustaceans. Here's an A to Z guide to New England's festival offerings for the 2014 summer season:
A rts & Ideas Festival - The International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut, is a multifaceted celebration of the arts that runs June 14-28 in 2014. "Transformation & Tradition" is the theme for this year's 19th annual festival, which features hundreds of performances; most events are free. Highlights include a free June 21 performance on the green by jazz vocalist and multi-Grammy winner Dianne Reeves, aquatic poetry with French comics Mathieu Levavasseur and William Valet, sushi cooking class with James Beard-nominated chef Bun Lai at Miya's Farm and a free Children's Film Festival on June 14. The 2014 festival will also feature a Box City on the New Haven Green for creative builders of all ages the weekend of June 14 and 15.
B lueberry Festival - Did you know that Maine produces 99 percent of the country's wild blueberries? The 39th Annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival in Washington County, where the majority of these berries are harvested, celebrates the state's top fruit crop August 15-17. The event features a children's parade, blueberry farm tours, music, a blueberry pancake breakfast, crafts, a blueberry quilt raffle, a blueberry pie eating contest and more.
C hamber Music Festival - The Portland Chamber Music Festival marks its 21st year this summer with five captivating classical performances in Portland, Maine. The Festival runs August 14-17 on select dates. Ticket and other information may be obtained by calling toll free: 800-320-0257. Or, order your tickets online at the festival Web site.
D iscover Jazz Festival - Burlington, Vermont, hosts 10 days of performances ranging from Nouveau Swing to Latin sounds to funk and soul at a variety of venues on Lake Champlain during this May 30-June 8 festival. The legendary Tony Bennett will appear on the Flynn Center MainStage on Saturday, May 31, and other headliners include Regina Carter, Big Chief Donald Harrison and the Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band. Tickets for various performances may be purchased online. Some events at area restaurants, bars and clubs are free, as are shows on the Church Street Marketplace stages. For details, call 802-863-7992.
E gg Festival - Take part in the 42nd Annual Central Maine Egg Festival, July 14-19. Pittsfield, Maine's Manson Park is the place to be for egg breakfast cooked in a 300-pound frying pan, entertainment, the "Egglympics" and egg-citing surprises. The theme for 2014 is to be announced. For information, call 207-487-3136.
F estival of Fireworks - The Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce's annual Festival of Fireworks moves to the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey, New Hampshire, for 2014. Take your family to see this spectacle in the sky--touted as one of the best fireworks shows in New England--on Saturday, August 16. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The theme for 2014 is: Rock'n the Stars.
G arlic and Herb Festival - No vampires allowed. The 19th annual Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival takes place in Bennington, Vermont, August 30 and 31 (Labor Day weekend). Enjoy live music, sample a wide variety of garlic foods, learn about garlic and herbs and watch cooking demonstrations. Call 802-447-3311 for more information.
H illsborough Balloon Festival & Fair - Watch hot air balloons lift off gracefully and color the sky during this four-day festival, July 17-20, in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Other activities typically include an an old-fashioned fireman's muster, a parade, carnival midway, an Artist's Fair, food, fireworks and entertainment. For schedule details and more information, call 603-464-0377.
I nternational Film Festival - The 17th annual Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, Maine, runs from July 11 to 20 and features screenings of nearly 100 American and foreign independent films, plus films made by innovative Maine and New England filmmakers. Call 207-861-8138 for more information.
J acob's Pillow Dance Festival - With free "Inside/Out" performances Wednesday through Saturday evenings and a schedule of major performances by some of America's foremost dance companies and ensembles, Jacob's Pillow in Lee, Massachusetts, is definitely a dance lover's place to be this summer. 2014 marks the festival's 82nd year; it is the longest running dance festival in the U.S. For information about this summer's events, call 413-243-9919. For tickets, call the box office at 413-243-0745.
K neisel Hall Chamber Music Festival - From June 27 to August 10, enjoy a wide array of Friday evening and Sunday afternoon classical concerts at Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine, as this chamber music festival celebrates its 112th year in 2014. For more information on the festival, call 207-374-2811. To purchase tickets, call call 207-374-2203.
L owell Folk Festival - For the 28th year in 2014, head for one of the largest free folk festivals in the U.S.--three days of traditional music and dance, crafts, ethnic foods and more on five outdoor stages throughout Lowell, Massachusetts, from July 25-27. For more information, call Lowell National Historical Park, the event sponsor, at 978-970-5000.
M aine Lobster Festival - If you love lobster, you need to be in Rockland, Maine, July 30-August 3 for the 67th annual Maine Lobster Festival. There's only one word for this gargantuan celebration of Maine's beloved crustacean--Yum! Each year, about 20,000 pounds of lobster were prepared in a giant cooker. Additional festival highlights include the Big Parade, Lobster Crate Race and entertainment for all ages. For details, call 207-596-0376 or toll free, 800-LOB-CLAW.
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