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The Blues on the Beach music festival at Short Beach Park in Stratford.

All information is subject to change. Check with event coordinators for more details, rain dates and other up-to-date information.

If you have additions or corrections for this directory, please email gmoody@connecticutmag.com

June 30-July 1

Niantic Lions Arts & Craft Show, Niantic Town Hall, Niantic, nianticartsandcraftshow.com

The 58th annual Lions Club show will feature paintings, pottery, photos, sculpture and more from more than 160 vendors, plus plenty of tasty treats from the newly expanded food court. The show takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

July 1

Barnumpalooza, Seaside Park, Bridgeport, barnumfestival.com

Bridgeport and surrounding communities will gather for a day of carnival rides, food trucks and live music. Admission is free. Purchases at the event benefit Barnum Festival and its related scholarships. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

July 2

Waterbury Fireworks & Food Truck Fest, Brass Mill Center, Waterbury 

More than 25 food trucks from around Connecticut and beyond will converge on Waterbury for the second annual festival, which culminates with the city’s spectacular fireworks show. Free admission and parking at Brass Mill Center. See their Facebook page for more information. (Rain date July 9.)

July 7

NICE Festival, Oyster Shell Park, Norwalk, norwalknice.org

This one-day festival celebration of world cultures will feature live music and dance performances, arts and crafts, exhibits and international cuisine from more than 50 vendors. The third annual festival takes place from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., with children’s attractions and games until 6 p.m.  Rain or shine.

Community Picnic & Fireworks, Guilford Green & Fairgrounds, Guilford, guilfordparkrec.com

The town will hold its annual community picnic from 4-7 p.m., with kids’ activities and live music on stage, followed by a fireworks display from 7-10 p.m. 

Summer Dance Fest, Lebanon Green, Lebanon

Bring your own picnic or barbecue, or purchase food on site for a day of food, music and family activities under a giant tent. The evening culminates with a huge fireworks display.

July 12-14

Riverfront Food Truck Festival, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, Hartford, riverfront.org

Prizes, live music and more than 25 food trucks will be at this three-day event. Noon-8 p.m.

Tunxis Hose Carnival & Fireman’s Parade, Carnival grounds (behind Union School), Unionville, tunxishose.com

The 125th annual festivities are sure to be a time to remember. Friday night is Family Night, with wristbands for sale good for unlimited carnival rides. The parade starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, and fireworks cap off both Friday and Saturday nights. Carnival grounds open at 6 each night.

July 12-15

North Stonington Agricultural Fair, Stonington Fairgrounds, Stonington, northstoningtonfair.org

Enjoy family fun on the farm with livestock and agricultural exhibitions, contests, a ham and bean dinner and much more, sponsored by the North Stonington Community Grange and the Volunteer Fire Department. Thursday and Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; admission $10, under 12 free, $5 seniors (Saturday only).

July 13-15

Craft Expo 2018, Guilford Art Center, Guilford, guilfordartcenter.org/expo

More than 180 contemporary artists from throughout North America will take part in this three-day juried craft show. Rain or shine, Friday noon-8:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m.

July 14-15

Westport Fine Arts Festival, Main Street, Downtown Westport, westportdma.com/fine-arts-festival

Nationally recognized juried festival with more than 170 artists in at least 10 categories including painting, photography, jewelry and much more. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Connecticut Summer Food Truck Fest, Naugatuck Event Center, Naugatuck

 

Along with more than 20 food trucks, you can enjoy craft beers and cocktails, live music, carnival rides and more. Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Fort Griswold Celebration on the Thames, Fort Griswold State Park, Groton, groton-ct.gov

Celebrate America with a day of food and entertainment, leading up to a fireworks display over the Thames River.

July 18-22

Life. Be in it. Extravaganza, Mill Pond Park, Newington, newingtonct.gov

For five days enjoy great food, live music, arts and crafts, games and more activities for the whole family. Craft beer tasting is back Friday at 6 p.m., and the celebration wraps up Sunday night with a fireworks display over Mill Pond Park. Admission is free; tickets for the beer tasting are $20 in advance, $25 day of event.

July 18-29

Canaan Railroad Days, canaanrailroaddays.com

Learn about train history and enjoy fun family events, including a carnival, car show, live music and fireworks to cap it all off. Check the website for a detailed schedule.

July 20-22

Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Bushnell Park, Hartford, hartfordjazz.org

Billing itself as the largest free event of its type in New England, the festival is expected to again bring in some of the best jazz musicians around in this, its 27th year. Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday; music starts at 7 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

July 21

Celebrate East Lyme Festival, Main Street, Niantic, celebrateeastlyme.com

The village of Niantic will host more than 200 local food and product vendors, live music, cooking demos, a sand castle competition, raft races and a fireworks show off the Niantic Bay. Main Street will be closed to vehicles beginning at 3 p.m.

Connecticut Wine Festival, Goshen Fairgrounds, Goshen, ctwine.com

Sample the sweetest fruits from the state’s wineries and enjoy locally produced special foods and live music. Tickets purchased before July 14 are $32 for Saturday and $27 for Sunday, and $40/$35 thereafter. Saturday noon-7 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m.

July 21-22

Norwalk Food Truck Festival, Oyster Shell Park, Norwalk,

In addition to food trucks there will be craft beer and wine, activities for the kids and plenty of shopping vendors. Admission $5, 12 and under free.

July 27-28

Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, florencegriswoldmuseum.org

Friday night enjoy art open houses and the annual Midsummer Free Concert at 7 p.m. along the Lieutenant River. A full slate of activities for Saturday includes a street fair and food truck court, a dog show, family-friendly crafts and activities and a magic show.

July 28

Blues on the Beach, Short Beach Park, Stratford, townofstratford.com/bluesonthebeach

Enjoy a day of fun in the sun at Stratford’s premier outdoor summer music festival. 1-10 p.m. 

Westside Reggae Festival, Ives Concert Park, Danbury, ivesconcertpark.com

The seventh annual reggae festival will feature performances by Mykal Rose, Culture, Wayne Wonder and more. Doors open at 1 p.m.

Rock the Summer, Nolan Field, Ansonia, facebook.com/rtsansonia

NRBQ and Deep Banana Blackount will perform at this year's concert, which helps support Banko's Music Foundation and music education. $10 suggested donation.

July 28-29

Litchfield Jazz Festival, Goshen Fairgrounds, Goshen, litchfieldjazzfest.com

Hot jazz with a stunning view of the Litchfield Hills, with a lineup including Dan Brubeck & Friends, the Jeff Tain Watts Trio, Orrin Evans and many more. Tickets are $20-$500, starting with single-day lawn seating for students and ranging up to tent and reserved seating, participation in a jazz brunch on Saturday and a backstage VIP pass.


This article appeared in the July 2018 issue of Connecticut Magazine. Did you like what you read? You can subscribe here.