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New York's Falls to the Finger Lakes
New York's Falls to the Finger Lakes

An Eventful Summer on Tap for Orleans County

by Doug Sitler

With winter behind us, it’s now time to celebrate the sun - and the fun - that takes place in beautiful Orleans County during the spring and summertime months.

Making visits to community festivals, live music series, and farmer’s markets are excellent reasons to explore the region’s quaint villages. Sometimes the smallest places, bring out the biggest surprises. Here are some enjoyable event opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Holley's June Fest is held the 1st Saturday of June at Holley Canal Park

Kick off summer right, with these fun fests!

One of the first signs of summer is the Village of Holley’s June Fest, held right on the picturesque banks of the Erie Canal. The Saturday, June 3 event at Holley Canal Park is everything a summer festival should be: food trucks, children’s activities, specialty gift and homemade treat vendors, pony rides, live music and more. The park lends itself well for this event, as it is spacious and never feels crowded.

Albion, NY is right in the middle of strawberry country – where the delicious red berry is grown, consumed (yum!) and celebrated. On June 9-10, the 35th Annual Albion Strawberry Festival takes place throughout the downtown core of the village. Around every corner there are fun activities for all ages. A food court, arts and craft vendors, classic car cruise in, four different areas of live music and a giant parade. A highlight of this year’s festival is the unveiling of the Charles W. Howard bronze statue in Waterman Park. 

A smaller festival that delivers large amounts of fun is The Enchanted Faery Festival with Mystical Creatures event at Rotary Park in Medina on Saturday, June 24th. Many attendees dress up as a faery or mystical creature to get into the spirit of the event. Guests stop at Rotary Park to pick up their scavenger hunt form and participate in several fun activities – such as making faery dust, face-painting and fun photo ops. Participants then go on the hunt to find 12 faeries and 10 faery doors that are hidden at various downtown businesses.

Faeries at the Enchanted Faery Festival in Medina
Find out why Albion celebrates Santa Claus at their annual Strawberry Festival Parade

The Village of Lyndonville is the place to be to celebrate the 4th of July. It starts off with their annual parade, followed by arts & crafts show, the Lions Club Chicken BBQ, live music and ends with one of the largest fireworks display in Western NY at 10 PM. 

Thomas the Train delivers the fun for kids

Here is an event the kids will love! The fantastic Medina Railroad Museum hosts two weekends of Day Out with Thomas on May 20-21 and May 27-28, 2023. Attendees can join Thomas the Tank Engine for a day full of colorful adventures, including an interactive train ride with Thomas to earn a Color Badge. Kids can have fun in the Play Pod with lawn games, fun photo opportunities, live entertainment, a pop-up gift shop and more. The all-day admission price also includes entry to the museum and pretty much the largest miniature train set-up you will ever see…it’s worth the price of admission alone. 

Thomas & Friends comes to Medina in May
Yates Community Library, overlooking Johnson's Creek, hosts Monday night concerts on the lawn
Blues Guitarist Dave Viterna plays to his hometown crowd at Blue Thursdays

Summertime Grooves

Orleans County is blessed with several weekly free summertime music series from early June to late August. Each one provides an array of music at a relaxing location. Grab a lawn chair and see if any of the following music series catch your ear. Most of these musical events take place on or near the water: historic Erie Canal, Oak Orchard River, Johnson's Creek.

Starting on Mondays, the Yates Community Library hosts outdoor concerts overlooking Johnson's Creek from June 26th to the end of August.

One can actually boat in to OONA's Summer Concert Series at the Orleans County Marine Park on the "Oak" in Point Breeze Tuesday nights. Wine, beer and food vendors are on hand as well as a raffle. Admission is $2, $5 for family and proceeds are donated back to the community. June 27 - August 8.

Wednesdays, the Albion Concert Series, Downtown will happen at two places this summer (the "Square" downtown and Bullard Park). The series appeals to music lovers as it features many styles of music from jazz, fusion, blues and rock n’ roll. Food and beverages are sold on-site by the local fire department. June 7 - August 30.

In Medina, Blue Thursdays occur every Thursday at the State Street Park. The canalside music series is dedicated to the blues, and also features local wine, spirits and food as well as a raffle. June 22 - August 10.

On Friday nights, the Holley Concerts on the Canal gets the village rocking with classic rock cover bands during the months of July and August at Holley Canal Park. It is a unique spot to see music, watch watercraft float by, and maybe witness a nearby vertical lift bridge go up and down to allow safe passage along the canal. July 7 - August 25 

The Hoag Library Music Series in Albion hosts concerts on scattered dates throughout spring and summer. The Hoag’s music series is very interesting, as it focuses more on international music. From a Chinese harpist to an African dance and drum outfit, this year’s music schedule looks to stimulate the mind, body and soul. 

Feel good at a Farmer’s Market

Strolling through a farmer’s market offers, is a delightful encounter with a community, their farmers and food producers. Each booth is filled with fresh locally grown or produced food, with often the creator on-hand to answer questions and discuss their products. 

Located in historic Medina, NY, the Canal Village Farmer’s Market is one of WNY’s premier farmers markets Every week, the market offers the finest in locally grown fruits and vegetables, beef and poultry; local wine, mead, bourbon, gin and beer; fresh-made local baked goods, bagels, honey, fresh-cut flowers, live music, kid's scavenger hunts, food trucks along with CBD products, crafts, art, jewelry and much more! Visit the market and then go explore the numerous shops and restaurants in downtown Medina. 

Canal Village Farmers Market in Medina

In Orleans County, let these events be the reason to get out and explore. Not only will the events be fun and entertaining, but there will be so many unexpected discoveries along the way.

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