Can’t Miss Summer Events in Chautauqua County

School is out, we’ve surpassed the summer solstice and the 2017 Chautauqua Institution season begins Saturday, June 24. Throughout Chautauqua County, communities and attractions are preparing for a fun-filled summer season. There is not a single day on the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau’s calendar that isn’t marked with a special event or activity.

We’ve rounded up a list of “can’t miss” events happening in the coming months. In addition, many towns and villages are hosting weekly or monthly entertainment, Chautauqua Institution has 9 full weeks of programming, Lily Dale Assembly has daily events June 30-September 3, the Bemus Bay Pops are celebrating their 20th year with live music every Saturday and Sunday on the floating stage and the Dunkirk Pier Festivals have planned summer-long events and musical entertainment that is fun for the whole family. Visit TourChautauqua.com to learn more and to request your free 96-page Visitors Guide.

New York State Free Fishing Weekend

Kids fishing at the end of a dock

Free Fishing Weekend,  June 24-25, 2017: It’s the perfect time to try fishing or invite a friend who doesn’t hold a NYS fishing license out with you. Everyone is invited to fish New York’s waterways sans license this weekend only. All other fishing regulations apply. Learn More

Great Blue Heron Music Festival, June 30-July 2, 2017: Three days & nights filled with national and regional acts on three stages highlighting American roots, rock, reggae, zydeco, swing, old time, hip-hop, Celtic and bluegrass styles. The festival takes place on the grounds at Green Heron Growers in Sherman, NY. Swim at the pond, hike or attend a workshop between shows. Learn More

Dunkirk Lake Shore Air SHow

Dunkirk Lake Shore Air Show

Dunkirk Lake Shore Air Show, July 1-2, 2017: Watch professional pilots showoff daring tricks hundreds of feet off the ground and over beautiful Lake Erie. The show features wing-walking, aerobatics, sky divers and more! Learn More

LECOM Health Challenge, a Web.com PGA TOUR Event, July 3-9, 2017: Known as “The Path to PGA TOUR,” players will compete for their PGA Tour Cards and a cash prize. The tournament, WNY’s only professional golf event, will take place at Peek’n Peak Resort’s Upper Course. Daily General Admission Tickets are only $10, or watch all week for $25. Treat yourself to the VIP experience for $75. Learn More

Chautauqua County Fireworks

Fireworks over Bemus Bay as seen from Stow, NY

Fourth of July Celebrations, July 1-4, 2017: Many villages and towns throughout Chautauqua County have planned festivities. Visit the Tour Chautauqua events calendar to learn more.

Chautauqua Craft Alliance Show at Bestor Plaza

Craft Alliance Show at Bestor Plaza

Craft Alliance Shows at Bestor Plaza, July 7-9 and August 11-13, 2017: This annual festival at Chautauqua Institution will feature 67 craftsman & artisans of all media including jewelry, clay, fiber, leather, wood, painting, metal and more. A Gate Pass is required for admission onto the grounds Saturday, but not Sunday. Learn More

Southern Tier Brewing Company Summer Fest, July 15, 2017: Summertime beer & music festival at STBC’s picturesque property in Lakewood, NY. Event is free to the public and will feature live music, house made food and a keg bowling tournament. Learn More

34th Annual World Series of Cars – Car Show and Flea Market, July 23, 2017: Admire the 350-400 cars in attendance each year! Browse antique cars, street rods, sports cars, fire trucks and more! Over 120 trophies will be awarded. Admission for adults is $3, children under 12 are free. Proceeds benefit the Babe Ruth World Series. Learn More

135th Annual Chautauqua County Fair

135th Chautauqua County Fair, July 24-29, 2017: It happens once a year! Combining farming, food and fun for 135 years. Grandstand events, agricultural exhibits and a superb midway will keep everyone entertained. Learn More

Westfield Art’s and Crafts Festival, July 28-29, 2017: With over 150 vendors and artisans, you’re most certainly going to find something that catches your eye. Makers and guests come from all over to attend this 2-day festival, a Chautauqua County tradition! Free admission, free parking and a free shuttle bus. This is a rain or shine event. Learn More

Wild America Nature Festival

Wild America Nature Festival, July 29-30, 2017: Co-hosted by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) and Panama Rocks Scenic Park. Festival features nationally-renowned speakers; a juried fine nature art and craft show and competition; local food cook-off competition & farmer’s market; live music; workshops, and more! Learn More

Gerry Rodeo

Gerry Rodeo, August 2-5, 2017: The oldest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi! PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) events including bareback bronc, saddle bronc, bull riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing. Rain or Shine! Western Beef BBQ every night 5pm-8pm. Learn More

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 3-5, 2017: The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is an annual festival that takes place in Jamestown, NY (Lucy’s hometown). Lucille Ball’s vision was an annual festival of comedy that would support rising comedians in her hometown. The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy started out with the Lucy-Desi Museum and the annual Lucy Comedy Fest and has since grown to include attractions such as the Desilu Studios and The Tropicana Room-a museum and private event venue in tribute to “I Love Lucy,” recently named “Best Television Show of All-Time” and “Best Comedy Show of All-Time” by ABC’s 20/20. This year’s festival lineup includes Jim Gaffigan, Kevin James, Lewis Black, Robert Klein, Kelly Carlin and more! Learn More

America’s Grape County Festival, August 11-13, 2017:  The two and half day festival showcases the best of NY Wines, Agricultural producers, breweries, and distilleries from across the state. The festival is about everything local and features the area’s finest craft artisans and lifestyle companies. Learn about the various companies and products in a fun and entertaining environment with live local music, wine and cooking demonstrations and a classic car show. Learn More

Beach Bash, August 6-7, 2017: Two days of fun for the entire family at Wright Park Beach along Lake Erie. Food vendors, live music, Merritt Estate Winery’s “Slush Bus” and a beer tent! Dunk tank, bounce houses and more! Learn More

Chautauqua Institution Food Festival

Chautauqua Food Festival, August 20-25: A week-long food, craft beverage and entertainment festival in Chautauqua Institution’s Bestor Plaza. This festival features renowned speakers from the culinary world as well as a daily roster of food- and drink-themed events from cooking demonstrations and competitions to interactive experiences and tastings prepared by the best regional restaurants, farms, wineries and breweries. Sunday: Family BBQ, Monday: The Ultimate Chef Experience, Tuesday: A Taste of Chautauqua, Wednesday: Food Truck Rodeo, Thursday: The Ultimate Wine Tasting, Friday: Homesteading & Artisanal Market with an Evening Clambake. Learn More

Chautauqua Gran Fondo

Chautauqua Gran Fondo Riders

Chautauqua Gran Fondo, August 26, 2017: The 42 mile tour around beautiful Chautauqua Lake will direct riders through a number of notable historic destinations including Lucille Ball’s childhood home, Midway State Park and Chautauqua Institution.  The Gran Fondo also features a family-friendly 20 mile half loop that will carry riders across the lake on the Bemus Point – Stow Ferry. Learn More

Summer Long Activities: Chautauqua Institution, Lily Dale Assembly, Bemus Bay Pops and the Dunkirk Pier Festivals have summer-long events and programming. Visit their websites to learn more!


For more information about events and attractions in Chautauqua County, call 1-866-908-4569 to request a free travel packet or visit TourChautauqua.com.

Posted in Events and Festivals, Family Activities, Lakes, Nature and Environment, Outdoors and Recreation, Uncategorized, Wine, Culinary and Craft Beverages Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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