Best Annual Events in Skaneateles Lake

Best Annual Events in Skaneateles Lake

  • Ellen O'Connor
  • 09/4/23

Known for its emerald blue waters, Skaneateles Lake is one of the Finger Lakes just southwest of Syracuse. Because it's highest in elevation, residents often call it "the roof garden of the lakes." It's also the cleanest of the Finger Lakes. The water is so pure it's used unfiltered by the city of Syracuse, which spends $2.3 million to preserve and protect the lake and water quality. Skaneateles is one of the most affluent towns in central New York. Just 20 miles from Syracuse, it offers the best of both worlds, a tranquil lakeside lifestyle while being a short drive away from a metropolitan center with convenient amenities and entertainment.

Luxurious lake homes surround the lake and are among the most coveted waterfront properties in the area. Skaneateles Lake real estate also features charming cottages, resort-style condominiums, and modern single-family homes. There are well-preserved 19th-century buildings closer to its vibrant downtown. Tree-lined streets, rolling hills, and picturesque vistas contribute to the beautiful natural environment. The town hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. The vibrant cultural scene constantly brings the community together and even attracts newcomers and tourists to the area. Here are the best annual events in Skaneateles Lake.

Skaneateles Festival

97 E Genesee St, Skaneateles, NY 13152

For four weeks over the summer, Skaneateles Lake becomes a festival ground for live music of different genres. It features performances from acclaimed musicians from all over the world. Although classical music is the predominant genre, there’s also jazz, contemporary, bluegrass, chamber music, brass bands, and so much more.

In addition to musical concerts, the Skaneateles Festival provides educational and community outreach initiatives. It hosts open rehearsals, collaborations, master classes, and workshops. It works with local schools and organizations to further promote music and culture. It’s held over several stages and venues, including outdoor pavilions, vineyards, and churches. Typically held around July and August, the festival draws over 7,000 attendees.

Skaneateles Antique and Classic Boat Show

15 W Genesee St, Skaneateles, NY 13152

Skaneateles Lake is the unofficial home of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS). Along with the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, they host the annual Skaneateles Antique and Classic Boat Show. Held the last full weekend of July, it’s become one of the most anticipated events in town. Celebrating the town’s rich maritime history, you’ll find an impressive display of boats representing a range of styles, sizes, and types. There are usually over 40 in-water displays of antique and classic boats. The boats are synchronized by their owners during the parade and showcase certain aspects of vintage boating.

The atmosphere is festive and lively. There are all-day activities in addition to the boat show. Attendees can enjoy live music, performers, and food vendors throughout the event. It attracts 10,000 people from all over, and the crowd is a mix of boat owners, collectors, enthusiasts, tourists, and families.

Dickens Christmas in Skaneateles

Helping kick off the holiday season in style, the town of Skaneateles transforms into a charming Victorian-era village inspired by “A Christmas Carol” and other works by Charles Dickens. Many local shops and boutiques get into the spirit by decorating their businesses for the season. Some even provide treats and beverages to customers.

The month-long festival also features street performers, live music, costumed characters, carolers, and carriage rides. The Christmas carolers are an especially beloved tradition. Dressed in Victorian attire, they help spread cheer and warmth throughout the season. Local singers, musicians, bands, and choirs perform at various locations and venues. Horse-drawn carriage rides are just as popular. The experience adds to the old-world charm of Christmas-time Skaneateles.

Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival

What started as a chance meeting became the annual Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival. When artistic director and conductor of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Richard Auldon Clark, and Joyce Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards met at the New York State Fair in 2001, they quickly learned that they both have passions for classical music and the Finger Lakes Wine Country. Richard suggested he bring the Manhattan Chamber, and Joyce generously offered her venue.

With their mission to bring the world’s greatest music through live performances, they have reached a wide audience. Concertgoers of all ages love going to their shows. They also host educational programs, including music camps, master classes, and outreach.

Finger Lakes Wine Festival

2790 County Route 16, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is renowned for its picturesque vineyards and thriving wineries. Held at Watkins Glen International, the Finger Lakes Wine Festival is always highly-anticipated. With dozens of wineries and hundreds of wines, the weekend-long event draws wine enthusiasts from all over the state and beyond. It starts with their "Launch of the Lakes" party, where guests can come dressed as Bacchus, the god of wine. Prizes are awarded to the best costumed, and everyone can enjoy wine samples, live music, and fireworks.

In addition to wine tastings, the weekend is filled with additional events, a taster's banquet, concerts, and performances. Industry experts and wine connoisseurs also offer educational seminars and workshops for beginners or anyone who wants to learn more about wine. You can meet winemakers and ask them questions. For those interested in exploring more than wine, the festival includes craft beers, distilled spirits, and other beverage companies. Artisanal vendors selling handcrafted goods will also be there.

Discover the best of Skaneateles Lake

As a lifelong resident of the area, Ellen O'Connor can give you insights into the local lifestyle and all the fun things to do at Skaneateles Lake. As a real estate expert, she has helped many clients find their dream homes, sell their property, renovate their houses, and reach their real estate goals. With over 18 years of experience, she brings with her a level of industry knowledge that has made her one of the top agents in the area. Contact Ellen today to find out more about the amazing town of Skaneateles Lake.

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