After a long winter, even a cold-weather fan looks forward to the hot, lazy days of summer. There are few things we love more than a fun-filled summer fair, and it's just about that time of year. So, grab the calendar, pack the sunscreen, and put on your most comfortable shoes because it's festival time! Can you smell the fried dough already?
Want more? We've got roundups of festivals and fairs in Hartford County and New Haven County, too, as well as free concert series in Fairfield County.
Niantic Lobsterfest/Arts and Craft Show
Saturday, July 2-Sunday, July 3, 2016
The Niantic Lions club has cooked up the Lobsterfest and Chicken BBQ into a local, summer, family tradition. Besides the delicious food, peruse 180 vendors and browse amazing works of art at the juried art show.
100 Pennsylvania Avenue (Route 106), Niantic
Friday, July 8-Sunday, July 10, 2016
New London's premiere summer event with over 200 vendors, three stages of entertainment, amusement rides and midway, tall ship tours, and more. Kiddos can enjoy their own entertainment at the children's stage. The highlight of the weekend festival is the Saturday Night fireworks display, one of the largest in the nation, over the Thames River. Skip downtown for fireworks viewing and head over to Fort Trumbull for excellent views and a large area for the kids to run around.
Waterfront Fisherman Pier, New London
Fish Tales, Tugs, and Sails
Saturday, July 23, 2016
A festival just for kids! Head to the New London Waterfront to celebrate children's literature and life on the sea. Meet authors and illustrators, enjoy live entertainment, and plunge your hand into touch tanks. Among the boats available for tours are two, real working tugboats.
New London Waterfront Park, New London
Mystic Outdoor Art Festival
Saturday, August 13-Sunday, August 14, 2016
New England's premiere juried art show, right on the streets of Mystic. Fine artists in oil painting, sculpture, watercolors, photography, and more, will show their work, along with local crafters and artisans. Stop by the Mystic River Park for the Children's Art Park where kids can make their own masterpieces. Don't miss the delicious food vendors, too.
Historic Downtown Mystic, Water Street, Mystic
Friday, September 2-Tuesday, September 5, 2016
It's a Labor Day tradition! Held at the Woodstock Fairgrounds, the Woodstock Fair offers agricultural exhibits (including a birthing center, where you can view a cow birth a calf right before your eyes!), animal and farm equipment competitions, entertainment, music, food, and carnival rides (not to mention, the biggest Ferris wheel around).
Woodstock Fairgrounds, Route 169 and 171, South Woodstock
Friday, September 9-Sunday, September 11, 2016
Pie eating contests, oxen pulls, horseshoe pitching, and celebrating the town of Ledyard. Don't miss the Little Miss Ledyard pageant and the Rabbit and Guinea Pig show. Cassadee Pope and Braiden Sunshine will perform Sunday.
740 Colonel Ledyard Hwy (Route 117), Ledyard
Originally published 6/22/13.