It’s coming fast. Summer is an action packed season filled with events, tours, parades, concerts, performances, and festivals, and it all starts Memorial Day weekend on the Adirondack Coast. There certainly will be something going on to entertain you. Let me give you a few brief highlights of what's happening this summer, but by no means will this list be all inclusive. Check the events calendar for more options and opportunities.
Where better to honor our military veterans than at a site where America’s earliest veterans fought and sacrificed their lives. Fort Ticonderoga salutes the service of the U.S. military every Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30. Active duty military veterans receive 10 percent off the general admission price.
At Fort Ticonderoga, you can parade into the Fort behind the Fife and Drum Corps and meet soldiers of the American Revolution. A full lineup of programs will be offered throughout the weekend, including canon and musket demonstrations, daily interpretive tours, and the historic trades programs. Hop aboard the Carillon for a historic boat tour on Lake Champlain, hike the Battlefield Hiking Trail, or rent a canoe to create your own on-the-water experience.
Crown Point is a community that has been organizing Memorial Day Celebrations for close to 150 years!
This year’s celebration begins on Sunday, May 29 in Veterans Memorial Park. The park opens at noon with food and craft vendors. Live music begins at 2 p.m. and goes to 9 p.m. Fireworks will appear over the park beginning at dusk.
On Monday, May 30, from 9 a.m.-noon, the Solemn Cemetery Tour takes place. At noon the park reopens with rides, vendors, and activities. The annual Memorial Day parade begins at 2 p.m. on Crown Point's Main Street and ends at the park, where live music will entertain attendees until 6 p.m.
Celebrate Our Trails!
National Trails Day is June 4! Thanks to Champlain Area Trails we have two opportunities to celebrate our trails this year.
Arrive at the Cheney Mountain Trailhead at 8:45 a.m. to take the Mineville IronOre Man hike, a 1.5 mile hike to the top of Cheney Mountain, for incredible views. Later that morning meet at Camp Dudley in Westport at 11 a.m. and take a shuttle to the beginning of the “Over the Mountain to Lake Champlain Hike.” Arrive back at Camp Dudley later that afternoon to celebrate with local food and drink and hear Chris Maron, CATS executive director, share his stories and lessons from his recent 200-plus-mile “hamlet to hamlet” hike in France from 4-7 p.m. Be sure to pre-register for these hikes with CATS.
Antique and Classic
The regional car show season kicks off at Adirondack History Museum on Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Attending this show also gets you free admission into the museum that day, where you can see new exhibits and local works in the art gallery, which is also new this year.
If you are an antique and classic car buff you will want to attend the Crown Point Car Show and Strawberry Festival on June 26. This is held in Crown Point’s Veterans Memorial Park from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and features live music, crafts, vendors, and a variety of fresh strawberries and confections.
Ticonderoga’s Annual Car Show is another event you won’t want to miss on August 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Ticonderoga Bicentennial Park.
Independence Day Celebrations!
Many of our communities celebrate the Fourth of July with parades, fun, and festivities. Deemed “the best Fourth in the north,” Ticonderoga’s celebration extends over four days this year.
On Friday evening, July 1, head to Bicentennial Park on Montcalm Street. Here you will find food, rides, vendors, and games from 4-10 p.m. From 6-9 p.m. there will be live music performed by Valley of the Guns, an alternative rock band.
The following day, July 2, the park also opens at 4 p.m. The Patriotic Bash Dance in the Park begins at 6 p.m.
Return to the park on Sunday, July 3, to check out a firefighter competition beginning at 4 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by live music by the Willie Playmore Band, playing classic and modern rock.
On the Fourth of July the park opens at 10:30 a.m. Montcalm Street will close at 1:45 p.m. to host the Montcalm Mile Road Race, followed by the parade at 2 p.m. Loose Connections ( 4-6 p.m.) and Joe McGuinness (7:30-11:30 p.m.) are scheduled to provide live musical entertainment for the evening. Plan on the big fireworks display taking at dusk to cap off the day!
On July 17 head to the water’s edge in the village of Port Henry to celebrate Lake Champlain’s sea monster, Champ. Join the day-long festivities at the Port Henry Marina, where the Lake Champlain Antique and Classic Boat Society will hold a rendezvous. A lot of beautiful watercraft will be on display, so plan on spending the day there!
More activities surround the marina at the village beach and Powerhouse Park. Festivities include childrens games, Penelope the Clown, craft and vendor sales, a children’s painting session, a sailboat race, and live music by the North Country Travelers.
On July 30 head back to Montcalm Street in Ticonderoga — the entire downtown becomes a major pedestrian mall! Find locally produced foods, crafts, artwork, games, and activities from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Soundwaves returns this summer on Thursday evenings in Ballard Park, Westport, with a full lineup of great musicians.
July 7: Camila Meza; July 14: Richard Julian; July 21: Sound of Mind; July 28: The Snaz; August 4: Sarah Neufield, The Ridge; and August 11: Nir Felder.
All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in the open air pavilion in Ballard Park, where attendees enjoy the lawn — bring a blanket or a lawn chair — and a scenic Lake Champlain backdrop. In the event of rain, concerts move directly across the Main Street into the Westport Heritage House.
This historic and picturesque lakeshore community will host its 37th annual Downtown Essex Day on August 6. The event is a town-wide market day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. that includes a variety of sales, foods, promotions, and activities for every member of the family.
The County Fair
The 168th annual Essex County Fair runs from August 10-14 this year at the fairgrounds in Westport.
This five day event is filled with a wide variety of activities and entertainment in the spirit of a family friendly Adirondack agricultural fair. The fairgrounds open at 9 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on weekends.
This year’s theme is “We go out on a limb for you." It will feature lumberjack shows and timber games, along with harness racing, tractor pulls, horse pulls, truck pulls, a demolition derby, and more. A wide variety of livestock shows and demonstrations will be available each day, as well as the traditional carnival rides, games, and food. One admission price of $12 covers the day.
Star Trek fans will be thrilled to learn the 2nd annual Trekonderoga Convention returns to Ticonderoga this summer from August 12-14.
The weekend includes special guided tours of meticulously recreated Enterprise sets, a chance to mix and mingle at Dinner with the Stars, an ice cream social, autographs and photo opps, special presentations, and question-and-answer sessions. Attendees even have the opportunity to get filmed while beaming up in the transporter room.
Also enjoy and Elvis and Blues Brothers shows, and get up close with some iconic pop culture vehicles like the ’66 Batmobile and a special edition James Bond car.
History in Action
History buffs will want to attend the French and Indian War Encampment at the Crown Point State Historic Site on August 13 and 14.
While there you can visit the military camps directly beside two authentic fort ruins — the French Fort St. Frederic and the British Crown Point Fort — both of which are National Historic Landmarks. You will see re-enactors as French soldiers, Canadian militiamen, Native Americans, boatmen, and civilians during tactical weapons demonstrations while enjoying one of the most spectacular Lake Champlain vistas.
Penfield Homestead Museum hosts their 53rd Annual Heritage Day on August 21 this year. Day-long activities begin at 10 a.m. There will be a craft fair and flea market along with live entertainment. The famous, and not to be missed, chicken barbecue begins serving at 1 p.m. Get your tickets early in the day as they often sell out.
I haven’t begun to cover all that is happening this summer, but I hope I’ve given you some tempting ideas for a visit. Keep an eye on our events calendar for even more happenings. I will be back later to tell you about more exciting events we have planned for the late summer and fall!