Perched on the Northern shore of the lake that shares its name, Canandaigua is the ultimate location for your next New York Finger Lakes adventure. The town is located in Finger Lakes Wine Country, giving visitors access to a number of well known wineries (and a few under the radar locations) such as Casa Larga Vineyards & Winery, Heron Hill Tasting Room at Bristol, and Inspire Moore Finger Lakes Winery & Vineyard. Travelers should make a stop at the New York Wine and Culinary Center, which features a variety of programs and events that exclusively highlight New York made food and drinks.
The Canandaigua Art & Music Festival has been a popular summer art event in New York since its inception nearly three decades ago, and it will take place July 14 - 16 in Downtown Canandaigua. The event will feature more than 100 local and national artists, selling handmade jewelry, pottery, artisan foods, paintings, and more. A variety of local and regional acts will perform live music throughout the event, and food vendors will be selling popular festival fare, and local food trucks will serve meals, refreshments, and more. The Community Cause-Way will include a variety of games and activities for all ages, as well as information about important community organizations. We got the opportunity to interview Camille Zess, a representative for the event, to learn about this unique showcase of art and music.
RAL: Tell me a bit about the event.
CZ: Visitors have flocked to Historic Downtown Canandaigua for the annual art festival for the past 28 years. The festival showcases talented artists in many different mediums for three days each July. Over the years, the festival has grown, adding music, children’s activities, and food trucks. Each year, around 30,000 people attend the festival from western New York and the New York Finger Lakes region. It is a great event perfect for anyone interested in art, music, and community!
RAL: What makes the event unique?
CZ: There are many unique things about the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival. National and local artist booths line the sidewalks, facing the open shops of downtown, so festival-goers can peruse both the art and the local shops as they stroll. In addition to delicious festival foods, local food trucks form a “food truck rodeo” on Friday, and some also join the festival for Saturday and Sunday as well. Our children’s area is part of our Community Cause-way, a row of local non-profit booths on Saturday and Sunday where people can learn about the important causes in their community and participate in a family fun activity at each booth. Music is also a big part of the festival, and will only feature local performers for all three days.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event.
CZ: Saturday is the busiest day of the festival, with lots of people on the sidewalks, walking and shopping the artist booths and stopping into the merchant's stores along both sides of South Main Street. Be sure to peruse both sides (and use the crosswalks for safety). Next to the music stage, you’ll find all the festival food and food trucks. Head down the street to visit the Community Cause-way to pet the animals at the petting zoo and visit the alpacas.
RAL: What will attendees find for local lodging?
CZ: If you need a place to stay in the area, there are seven fantastic B&B’s in Canandaigua. You can find them at this link. There are also several affordable hotels and motels in the area in Canandaigua, Farmington, Victor and Geneva. Campsites are available at the nearbyCanandaigua KOA Campgrounds. For more accommodations, please follow the link.
RAL: What does the event mean to the community?
CZ: From the local vendors and musicians to the local merchants and nonprofits of the Community Cause-way, the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival is above all a community event. It is also a key project of the Canandaigua Business Improvement District, a nonprofit organization created to promote, beautify and improve downtown for residents, property owners and merchants. Holding the event each year brings attention to downtown Canandaigua and drives business in the community.
RAL: Why should people come?
CZ: Come to the festival if you enjoy browsing and shopping, trying fun foods, live music and summertime in a beautiful historic downtown! If you’re coming in from out of town, stay in town after hours and head down to the great Canandaigua restaurants, the New York Wine & Culinary Center and of course, the scenic lakefront.
For more information about the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, please visit the event website.