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Fairs & festivals of music, food, comedy, arts, ethnic heritage, and more

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Fairs and festivals include year-round, multiple-day celebrations of music, food, sports, ethnic holidays, crafts, events, delicious food-themed events, and more, both indoors and outdoors. Often, vendors presents great original crafts, gift items, home-made seasonal and regional food and other great gifts and mementos to take home from your Connecticut vacation.

For more fun activities, see Connecticut Events page

The Goshen Fairgrounds, 116 Old Middle Street Goshen, CT Phone:

August 5-6, 2017

Litchfield Jazz Festival presents the best in jazz. Lineup in 2017 includes Ada Rovatti Quartet, Michael Mayo Quintet, Julian Shore Quintet, Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet, Ken Peplowski’s Benny Goodman Tribute, LJO Plays Carly Simon And Carol King with guest Brandon Goldberg, Joe Alterman Trio, Rudresh Mahanthappa Indo-Pak Coalition, and John Pizzarelli Quartet – Plays Sinatra And Jobim.

Waterfront area New London, CT Phone: 860-443-3786

July 7-9, 2017

Sailfest has a major fireworks display, amusement rides, free entertainment, Tall Ships, and 200 vendors lining the downtown streets. Sailfest produces multiple stages of free entertainment with musical genres ranging in rock, Celtic, hip hop, and blues. Children's show and entertainmetn at the City Pier stage. On Saturday night, Sailfest showcases a huge fireworks display above the Thames River, visible from downtown New London and from Groton. Time: Friday, noon to 11 p.m. in Waterfront Park; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts & Lyme Art Association, 96 Lyme Street Old Lyme, CT Phone: 860-434-5542

July 29, 2017

Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival is a town-wide celebration of the arts. The celebration takes place at the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme Art Association, and the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. A favorite event of the day is Market En Plein Air at the museum. This outdoor market features Connecticut-grown flowers, fruits, vegetables, breads, fine cheeses, herbs and specialty foods in a setting modeled after outdoor markets in French villages. Also enjoy the artisan fair, outdoor concert, author talks and sidewalk sales. Time: Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday,9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Bushnell Park, 1 Jewel Street Hartford, CT Phone:

July 14-16, 2017

New England's largest free jazz festival: Contemporary, straight ahead, smooth, Latin, and more. A variety of food and beverage vendors and an arts and crafts marketplace. Lineup in 2017 includes Nelson Garcia, Aziza Miller, Dexter’s Lab – Dexter Pettaway, Sr., Sez Zion Jazz Band, Fo Mo Deep, Groove Project, Side Street, Decades By Dezyne, Toscha Comeaux featuring Rene Toledo, Donald Harrison, Jazz & Strings. Lineup could change. Time: Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m.-midnight; Sunday, 1-9 p.m.

Downtown Norwich, CT Phone:

July 1, 2017

Come to Norwich for a day long festival that begins at 8 a.m. with 5K and 10k races. Live music begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 11 p.m. with over 26 regional bands. One hundred vendors selling delicious food! Enjoy a kid zone, free yoga classes, and free art classes, free dance party for people under age 18. By day the festival is located on beautiful green of Chelsea Parade. By night the party is downtown with a luminary lit walking path that leads you straight to all of the parties. Fun for every age, everybody.