An A-Z Guide to 2015 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 2015 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 12-27 in 2015. This year's 20th annual festival features hundreds of performances; most events are free. Highlights include a free June 13 performance on the green by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy winner Darlene Love, ticketed performances by Quebec's new Machine de Cirque, a 12-course seafood lover's dinner with James Beard-nominated chef Bun Lai at his farm in Woodbridge and a free Family Day on the green featuring Dan Zanes on June 14. The 2015 festival will also feature a Box City on the New Haven Green for creative builders of all ages the weekend of June 13 and 14.
B lueberry Festival - Did you know that Maine produces 99 percent of the country's wild blueberries? The 40th Annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival in Washington County, where the majority of these berries are harvested, celebrates the state's top fruit crop August 14-15. 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 22nd year this summer with five captivating classical performances in Portland, Maine. The Festival runs August 13-22 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 Latin sounds to bebop to funk and soul at a variety of venues on Lake Champlain during this June 5-14 festival. Robert Randolph and the Family Band will appear at the Waterfront Tent on Thursday, June 11, and other headliners include Wayne Shorter, Christian McBride, Chris Botti and Mavis Staples. 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 43rd Annual Central Maine Egg Festival, July 13-18. 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 2015 is "The Central Maine Eggsperience". For information, call 207-341-3456.
F estival of Fireworks - The Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce's annual Festival of Fireworks returns to the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey, New Hampshire, for the second year in 2015. Take your family to see this spectacle in the sky--touted as one of the best fireworks shows in New England--on Saturday, August 15. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The theme for 2015 is: Pitch Perfect Pyro.
G arlic and Herb Festival - No vampires allowed. The 20th annual Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival takes place in Bennington, Vermont, September 5-6 (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 9-12, in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Other activities include a parade, carnival rides, an Artist's Fair, food, fireworks and entertainment. For schedule details and more information, call 603-464-0377.
I nternational Film Festival - The 18th annual Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, Maine, runs from July 10 to 19 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. 2015 marks the festival's 83rd 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 26 to August 30, 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 113th year in 2015. For more information on the festival, call 207-374-2811. To purchase tickets, call call 207-374-2203.
L owell Folk Festival - For the 29th year in 2015, 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 24-26. 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 29-August 2 for the 68th 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 are 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, 800-576-7512.
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