Summer Festivals In CT: Top 23 Most Unique Spots | Stanton House Inn
young people attending one of the best summer festivals in CT

Summer Festivals in CT: Top 23 Most Unique Spots

women at one of the best summer festivals in CTSummer in Connecticut without a summer festival or two is a complete waste.

Every Connecticutian has fond memories of the local summer carnivals and fairs.

If you look forward to summer in New England and the many festivals the warm weather brings, then a trip to Connecticut is in order. Whether you love:

Connecticut is an ideal summer festival destination. And they present the perfect opportunity to visit many of the best places to see in CT throughout the summer.

Here are the top summer festivals in CT to check out this year.

Fourth of July Events throughout Connecticut

Picture this:

  • The air filled with the sweet smell of barbecue

  • The sky bursting into a canvas of fireworks

  • And every town vying to throw the best Independence Day bash

If you’re wondering where to capture that Americana magic, our guide on 4th of July events across Connecticut will steer you right. From Greenwich to Killingly, we’ve rounded up events that promise more sparkles and booms than a superhero comic. Dive into our vibrant tour of celebrations, and plan your Fourth of July to be as explosive as the grand finale above your head!

Summer Festivals in CT near Greenwich, Connecticut

As soon as the Connecticut tulip gardens are popping, the weather’s warm enough to warrant an outdoor festival or two.

And plenty are a short drive from downtown Greenwich, Connecticut.

Bruce Museum Outdoor Crafts Festival – Greenwich

Date: May 18 and 19, 2024

Enjoy fine crafts and music at this museum-quality event at the Bruce Museum of Greenwich. This isn’t your mother’s arts and crafts show. Instead, it focuses on contemporary high-end fine crafts, presented by local artists. You’ll also enjoy a selection of roving performers in hand with the museum’s exhibits.

It’s one of the best things to do in CT in May anywhere in the state!

Greenwich Town Party

Date: May 25, 2024

The Greenwich Town Party has celebrated the community and town history. It’s a way of reigniting the love of the town every summer. People from all around flock to Greenwich to take part in the celebrations. And the organizers spare no expense to make this one of Connecticut’s most happening music festivals.

Concours d’Elegance – Greenwich

classic car on display at a summer festivalDate: May 31 to June 2, 2024

What better way to kick-off June in Connecticut than with an annual event with a fancy name?

A “Concours” is an exhibition or contest focused on classic vehicles in ideal condition. That said, ​​you don’t have to be a classic car buff to enjoy the excitement and history of the Concours d’Elegance Greenwich.

Norwalk Art Festival – Norwalk

A premier cultural event, the Norwalk Art Festival takes place in a lovely park setting. Considering the park is between two museums and a nationally recognized Art Center, it’s ideal. This is a juried fine art and fine craft festival where you can also enjoy performing artists and an international food court. As a high-quality arts experience, over 75 artists display:

  • Photography
  • Drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Jewelry
  • Painting
  • Mixed media
  • Printmaking
  • Fiber
  • Metal sculpture
  • And glass

Norwalk Nice Festival – Norwalk

Date: July 6, 2024

The Norwalk International Cultural Exchange has a long name, shortened to NICE. The organization focuses on the diversity of cultures and people found around the world. The NICE Festival celebrates our differences with a focus on arts and culture and the rich traditions found in our communities.

Experiencing:

  • Music
  • Food
  • And the performing arts

From around the world savoring international cuisine and live dance and music performances makes this a great way to start the month enjoying things to do in CT in July.

Stamford Art Festival – Stamford

Date: July 20 and 21, 2024

Exhibitors are invited to display their work covering a beautiful spectrum of arts including:

  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Wood
  • Wearable and decorative fiber
  • Metalwork
  • Printmaking
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • And art jewelry

Held on the waterfront, exhibiting artists mingle with visitors to discuss the creative process.

Are you looking for unique, one-of-a-kind artwork for your home?

Then the Stamford Art Festival is the perfect place to discover emerging artists.

SoNo Arts Fest – Norwalk

Date: August 3 and 4, 2024

The 2024 SoNo Arts Festival is perhaps one of the best festivals to find original fine arts and crafts. It showcases over 100 juried artists alongside local businesses. The creative energy is palpable here. Browse the many open-air galleries while enjoying the pulse of live music. And, of course, savor a mouthwatering selection of culinary delights from local restaurants. If you love fun and funky art, this is the place to find it.

It’s one of the best things to do in all Connecticut in August!

Connecticut Summer Festivals near New Haven, Connecticut

woman pride summer festivals in ct Summer Festivals in CT: Top 23 Most Unique SpotsThis summer, try to align a visit to New Haven with a summer fair or festival. It’s a fantastic way to take advantage of the best things to do in New Haven, CT.

And save some gas.

International Festival of Arts & Ideas – New Haven

Date: June 14 through June 29, 2024

This festival was borne from the idea of bringing great art and big ideas together. European arts festivals inspire this top summer attraction. The Festival of Arts & Ideas is designed to bring people together to improve social cohesion with a celebration of diversity. Enjoy the works and music of international artists in the lovely city of New Haven.

Fair On The Green – Milford

Date: June 7 and 8, 2024

Enjoy the lovely Milford Green in Milford, CT, during its annual fair, where 130 fine artists and hand‑crafters display their work. You can also stroll the grounds to look for  baked goods, plants and a good old-fashioned Trash & Treasures tag sale. Food booths will tantalize your taste buds, while local talent will perform live music.

Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire – Ansonia

Dates: July 6 and 7, and July 13 and 14; 2024

This unique event creates a fantasy world. There, you’ll encounter magical creatures and live performances from music to magic and comedy to live combat. You’ll also enjoy delicious food and can shop at the booths of period vendors. Interact with people from an ancient era where magic was real and jousting was considered a spectator sport.

Connecticut Summer Festivals near Mystic, Connecticut

man wearing a hat at one of the best outdoor summer festivals in CTAnother major summer destination in Connecticut; there are a ton of things to do in Mystic, Connecticut.

If you’re feeling adventurous, or at least like being surrounded by lots of people, a festival in Mystic is just the ticket for you.

Strawberry Park Cajun-Zydeco Festival – Preston

Date: May 23, 2024

This much-anticipated event is celebrating the 25th anniversary of strawberry picking season in Connecticut. Enjoy a taste of NOLA with irresistible music ideal for people who love to dance. This music comes to Connecticut from Southwest Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole country. Bring your dancing shoes, as no one can resist that infectious beat this coming Memorial Day weekend.

Rose Arts Festival – Norwich

Date: June 29, 2024

Creative stations and the Sara Davis Budding Artist Display feature local budding artists. In fact, it’s a central part of this arts summer festival in CT. The whole city of Norwich, CT, gets into this festival that combines a long list of events in a single day. You can:

  • Participate in a 10k run
  • Enjoy live music from a long list of performers
  • And also chomp on local fare in the evening from the area’s best bars and restaurants

Over 100 artisan vendors and food trucks will also be on hand to feed hungry revelers.

Sailfest – New London

Date: July 13 and 14, 2024

Sailfest is often considered the event to attend in Southeastern Connecticut. The waterfront, and the the nearby streets of New London, provide the venue for Sailfest. You can look at the ships, sample the food and end your day with an impressive fireworks display. This year also features over 200 vendors for an exciting outdoor shopping experience.

Connecticut Summer Festivals near Danbury, Connecticut

Tucked away in the northwest corner of Fairfield County sits Danbury, Connecticut. The area offers a more down-to-earth locale.

And its proximity to the Litchfield Hills makes it ideal for an outdoorsy getaway.

Some of the top things to do in Danbury, Connecticut, especially in the summer months, include local festivals:

Danbury Street Festival – Danbury

Date: June 1, 2024

In the tradition of local street festivals in Connecticut, you can enjoy live music, plenty of activities and a sampling of the best of Danbury fare.

Southbury Strawberry Festival – Southbury

Date: June 8, 2024

Who doesn’t look forward to the sweet ruby red berries of early summer? Celebrate the arrival of this sweet fruit, along with the sounds of live traditional Americana and Bluegrass.

Scarf down a bowl of homemade strawberry shortcake and brag about participating in one of the best fairs in Connecticut.

This Southbury, Connecticut, festival is low-key and casual. That said, whether it is the temptation of the juicy berries or not being able to resist the banjo, this is a quintessential summer festival.

And it’s reached its 46th year, so it has to be an event worth experiencing.

Summer festivals in and around Hartford, Connecticut

amusement park ride at a summer carnivalThe state capital’s Victorian ambience lends itself to summer festivals and fairs.

Tack-on more of the top activities and attractions in and around Hartford, and it’ll be a perfect summertime Connecticut day trip.

Celebrate! West Hartford Art and Craft Show – West Hartford

Date: June 8 and 9, 2024

Admire the work of over 175 artists and crafters. This craft show features an impressive selection representing every major craft category. You can also enjoy live music across a wide selection of bands and sounds, in hand with amusement rides and games. If you are an avid runner, you can also participate in their certified 5k road race. The run is a great way to explore the town.

Willimantic’s Thursday Street Fest – Willimantic

Date: Thursdays throughout the summer

Take in live music performed on six stages along the historic downtown area of Willimantic. The street fest features Regional and Local talent and doesn’t overlook a single genre. Musical styles represented here include:

  • Swing to Americana
  • Alternative to Top Forty/Pop
  • Jazz to Electronic
  • DJ/Dance/Techno to Salsa
  • And Cajun/Zydeco

You’ll enjoy everything from mildly infectious toe-tapping to out and out head-banging noise. It’s one of the best music summer festivals in CT.

Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz – Hartford

Date: July 19 to 21, 2024

This celebration of jazz combines two of your favorite things: good music and good food. Hartford provides the perfect backdrop for up-and-coming talent to showcase their smooth sounds. Discover what local musicians are up to on the jazz scene in one of Connecticut’s most celebrated cities. Music, food, and a vibrant nightlife become even more pleasurable when the evenings are warm and breezy.

Just like the music you’ll enjoy.

Badumpsh.

Berlin Fair

Date: September 12-14, 2024

This event is also located just over an hour from Greenwich, but the large amount of activities are well worth it! Since 1855, the Berlin Fair is a favorite of many central Connecticut locals. The action packed schedule includes a full list of activities the whole family will love including pie-eating contests, frog jumping, live entertainment, and large animal exhibits. It’s a local tradition that you’ll want to come back for each year!

Norfolk Midsummer Farmers Market – Norfolk

Date: Saturdays in the summer

On the northern edge of the Litchfield Hills area, bordering Massachusetts, sits Norfolk. It’s not close to Danbury nor Hartford, but close enough.

Connecticut’s tiny, anyway.

Embrace the Farm to Fork craze by celebrating locally grown food and produce with live music at this farmers market. Vendor stalls are packed with artisanal goods, ideal for local shopping. In fact, everything is locally grown, raised or made, so bring your reusable shopping bags and stock up.

And Norfolk is super cute, anyway. And the lengthy list of attractions, activities, and things to do in Norfolk, CT, is worth a visit in the summer, regardless.

Food Truck Festivals – Throughout Connecticut

Date: All Summer Long

There are too many food truck festivals to list in this short article. Suffice it to say you’ll find a weekend to tantalize your taste buds somewhere in Connecticut this summer.

The entertainment and food trucks might vary from festival to festival. But what you can depend on is a wide assortment of mouthwatering foods to sample from around the world, as well as your all-American favorites. Arrive hungry and indulge in both sweet and savory dishes that will have you heading to the treadmill as soon as you get home.

Here are a few dates you won’t want to miss:

Where to discover even more summer activities in Connecticut

lake compounce amusement park ridesWhile summer festivals in CT are fantastic, there’s so much more to do throughout Connecticut.

A few personal favorite Connecticut summer activities include:

And don’t forget to prepare for Labor Day weekend! Be sure to read our guides to:

And be sure to download a free copy of the Connecticut Travel Guide to see all of the most unique attractions, activities, and things to do in CT.

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