Summer time for me as a child, meant practically living outdoors until school started. We played outside for hours with friends, our parents took us on picnics and hikes… but our favorite was going to festivals. As an adult, I love festivals even more than I did as a child, and my own children love exploring craft and vendor tables for unique handmade treasures or collectables. We plan meal times around visiting the various food vendors at each unique arts or cultural event.
I love handmade crafts and eclectic art, and finding things to bring home and display. More than one or many times actually, I’ve also been known to “accidentally” forget to bring a bag or tote of my own and of course I must buy a new tote, purse or reusable bag to hold all my festival finds in. My family thinks I do it on purpose, because I have a reusable bag obsession… and maybe, they are on to me. LOL!
Here are a few wonderful Arts and Cultural Festivals located in the Capital Region that are worth putting on your calendar and planning to bring your family to and spend the day at.
This article is presented through a content collaboration with ACE and CapNY.
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THE ALBANY LATIN FESTIVAL
August 27th | 11:00 to 6:00
Founded in the early 90’s by Vichente Alfonso, Pedro Diaz, and Carlos Maldonado…. these three visionaries saw the need to “create an event in the Capital Region that would honor the cultural diversity of hispanic performers.” Pedro stated when he shared the groups motivation for this event when I interviewed him on the phone.
This festival has grown into a full day event. It is a “family-oriented festival with musical performances highlighting the diversity of Hispanic musical genres; a wide array of food, arts and crafts vendors; children’s amusements; and community, government, and business information booths.“
There will be great live music, delicious food for sale, and lots of local vendors to support.
“As a cultural event, LATINFEST celebrates the beauty and diversity of the Hispanic cultural heritage and acknowledges the contributions made by Hispanic Americans on local, state, national, and international levels.. It has established a hallmark, traditional cultural event for a burgeoning portion of the local community that is currently underserved and underrepresented, as well as for the larger Albany community.“
This event has been significantly supported by the City of Albany NY as an important part of the cultural landscape and recognized in the past at the Albany NY Bicentennial Celebration.
The Albany Latin Festival Association (ALFA) has offered Latin Festival every year for over 20 years now. ALFA is a non-profit organization that raises funds for this entire event, through donations and sponsorships. The organization’s mission is to promote and develop Hispanic cultural events in the Capital Region of the State of New York, for the purpose of acknowledging the contributions of Hispanic performing artists and promoting an appreciation for multi-cultural diversity.
This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
For more info check out the EVENT PAGE
The festival is staged in Albany’s Washington Park at the end of August each year from 11am to 6pm.
EDITORS NOTE: They do have room for more local Craft Vendors. The application is on their website.
ART IN THE PARK
Saturday, September 17th | 10:00 to 4:00
“The Saratoga Arts Festival is an extension of the Saratoga Arts Center mission, to make the arts accessible to all. The festival is held outside in a communal location and is accessible to someone who may not wander into the gallery. It’s held outside and it’s beautiful. It features so many local artists and brings fine art outside into the community” Olivia Walton, Membership and Development Coordinator, shared with me in a phone interview.
This festival is going to offer a day full of outdoor art exhibits, artist vendors, wonderful local craft vendor tables, kids zone, a community booth in Saratoga Springs’ beautiful and historic Congress Park in Downtown Saratoga. Curated and presented by Saratoga Arts in partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Art in the Park will feature a variety of art and crafted work from local and national artists. The event will also feature live music, artist demos, and MORE!
This event is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
For more info visit the EVENT PAGE
Olivia also shared that the Arts Center also offers week-long summer camps, theater arts classes & various workshops for youth that make it worth traveling to Saratoga County with your children.
Did you know that the Saratoga Arts Center also offers grants or artists? They reported that 39 grants totaling $123,010 have been awarded to support community-based arts events taking place in 2020. Saratoga Arts has awarded over $1,536,000 in grants since these programs began!
Their Grants Coordinator, Mae Hailu, commented: “Since the 1990s, Saratoga Arts has been pursuing the mission of making the arts accessible to all through our regrants program funded by the New York State Council of the Arts, which has provided millions of dollars worth of funding for community arts projects and arts educational programs, as well as directly funding the work of individual artists. The effects of these works have been felt by people from ages 5-99 throughout Saratoga, Fulton, and Montgomery counties.“
MABEE FARM ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL
Saturday, August 27th | 10:00 to 3:00
The Mabee Farms Arts & Crafts Festival is a wonderful event coordinated and run by the Schenectady Historic Society.
“We’re bringing together the very best of the Capital Region’s handcrafted goods! Join us as 85+ artists and crafters spread out over the Mabee Farm grounds with their eclectic, beautifully handcrafted items. All items are handmade here in our region, and include jewelry, home decor, fine art, ceramics, artisan foods and wines, soaps, candles, woodworking, and more! Featuring live music!”
I spoke on the phone with Mike Diana, of the Schenectady Historical Society, and shared with me that the event also will Blacksmith and Carpentry demonstrations during the day. “This is a very juried festival” Mike said when we chatted about the different local vendors that would be at this specific event. Mike also wanted everyone to know that there will still be tours available of the House during the festival as well.
This is truly going to be a wonderful event to bring your entire family to, and worth traveling to Schenectady County.
A VIRTUAL MAP of Mabee Farm is available online.
ADMISSION: is $10 / parked car
For more information check out the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
This event is a fundraiser for the Mabee Farm, a not-for-profit organization.
Mabee Farm Historic Site
The oldest farm in the Mohawk Valley (1705), Mabee Farm Historic Site offers visitors today vibrant educational and recreational opportunities. With its deep history and riverside beauty, it’s the perfect place to explore the Mohawk Valley.
Walk across weathered pine floors in the home of 18th century settlers. Say hello to our resident farm animals. Ogle the hand-pegged Dutch Barn (1760s) or just meander through our orchards, gardens, and forest trails. Tied to the dock or parked behind the Dutch Barn sit our reproduction 18th century bateaux, giving visitors an idea of how goods were shipped up and down the river when Schenectady was America’s frontier.
Mabee Farm is also home year-round to interactive exhibitions, lecture series, workshops, and school programs plus extensive historical collections.