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Top winter festivals and events in New York State

Celebrate the season with the locals at festivals and events across the state, from winter carnivals to music fests.

Syracuse Winterfest

The holidays are over but there are still reasons to celebrate the season at festivals and events throughout New York State. Check out local and national talent at music festivals near NYC or participate in winter activities—including Lake George’s famous outhouse race!

RECOMMENDED: Winter getaways from NYC

Winter Village Bluegrass Festival, Ithaca
January 25–27, wintervillagebluegrass.org
Catch bands like the Gibson Brothers, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2012 Entertainers of the Year.

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
February 1–10, saranaclakewintercarnival.com
This ten-day fest, now in its 116th year, features music, dancing, athletics and fireworks—all with an Under the Sea theme for 2013.

Lake George Winter Carnival
Saturdays & Sundays in February, lakegeorgewintercarnival.com
What began 30 years ago as a single outhouse race (sort of like a Pinewood Derby, except teams of five—two pushers, two pullers and one sitter—race their outhouses across the ice) has transformed into a monthlong series of events, including tethered hot-air balloon rides, kite flying and, yep, outhouse races!

Syracuse Winterfest
February 14–24, syracusewinterfest.com
For ten days, this fete attracts more than 100,000 people to dozens of displays, parties and competitive events.
Long Island Winterfest
February 9–March 17, liwinterfest.com
From winter to spring, Saturday nights heat up with some cool jazz on Long Island’s East End, when Jazz on the Vine brings top-notch musicians to the area’s storied wine-tasting rooms.

Light in Winter Festival for Science and the Arts, Ithaca
February 22–24, lightinwinter.com
The science fair grows up: Three days of hands-on exhibits include the Hall of Wonders
living museum.