An A-Z Guide to 2013 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 2013 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 15-29 in 2013. "Dreaming New Worlds" is the theme for this year's 18th annual festival, which features hundreds of performances; most events are free. Highlights include a free June 15 performance on the green by R&B vocalist and multi-Grammy winner Aaron Neville, the exclusive Northeast run of a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream from the creators of the international sensation War Horse and a free June 29 talk by Roseanne Cash about her life and artistic experiences. The 2013 festival will also feature a Pop-Up Village on the New Haven Green with a variety of daily performances and activities.
B lueberry Festival - Did you know that Maine produces 99 percent of the country's wild blueberries? The 38th Annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival in Washington County, where the majority of these berries are harvested, celebrates the state's top fruit crop August 16-18. The event features a children's parade, a fish fry, 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 20th year this summer with five captivating classical performances in Portland, Maine. The Festival runs August 8-17 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 traditional New Orleans jazz to Latin sounds to funk and soul at a variety of venues on Lake Champlain during this May 31-June 9 festival. Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet will appear on the Flynn Center MainStage on Sunday, June 2, and other headliners include Bobby McFerrin, The Fringe and Poncho Sanchez and his 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 41st Annual Central Maine Egg Festival, July 15-20. 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 2013 is Sp"EGG"tactular Circus. For information, call 207-487-3136.
F estival of Fireworks - Take your family to the annual Festival of Fireworks in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, on Saturday, August 17, and in addition to seeing a spectacle in the sky--touted as one of the best fireworks shows in New England--you can enjoy live entertainment, watch sky divers and more. The theme for 2013 is: Rock the Stars.
G arlic and Herb Festival - No vampires allowed. The 18th annual Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival takes place August 31-September 1 in Bennington, Vermont. 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 18-21, 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 16th annual Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, Maine, runs from July 12 to 21 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. 2013 marks the festival's 81st 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 21 to August 25, 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 111th year in 2013. For more information on the festival, call 207-374-2811.
L owell Folk Festival - For the 27th year in 2013, 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 six outdoor stages throughout Lowell, Massachusetts, from July 26-28. 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 31-August 4 for the 66th annual Maine Lobster Festival. There's only one word for this gargantuan celebration of Maine's beloved crustacean--Yum! Last year, about 20,000 pounds of lobster were prepared in a new 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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