As summer heats up, so does the festival scene in Buffalo. July is the month of heavyweight celebrations centered around our fantastic local food, rich musical culture, neighborhood diversity and the wonders of nature right in our own backyard(s). When you’re making plans to come to town, be sure to put these events at the top of your Buffalo summer checklist!
French & Indian War Encampment, July 1st – July 3rd
Old Fort Niagara’s largest event of the year recreates the historic siege of 1759 when British forces and their Native allies besieged Fort Niagara’s French garrison. This event features hundreds of reenactors, large scale battle reenactments, siege demonstrations, military music, large living history camps, period merchants and artisans, Native councils and much more.
Fourth of July Celebrations, July 3rd – July 4th
Once the sun sets, the skies of Erie county will be bursting with the rocket’s red glare. While nearly every local town and village has their own fireworks displays, the city of Buffalo hosts two special events that are guaranteed to amaze. For a special experience, check out the Buffalo Bisons team up with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for Independence Day Eve on July 3rd and enjoy fireworks over the water at Canalside‘s 4th of July display.
Jam in the Valley, July 6th – July 8th
Jam in the Valley is a country music concert, fireworks celebration and a pretty wild party. With the beautiful hills of Wyoming County as a backdrop, Jam in the Valley takes place at Buffalo Hill Village Campgrounds, a 30-minute drive from downtown Buffalo, NY. Pitch your tent and enjoy concerts from national country acts like Old Dominion, Brett Eldredge.
Taste of Buffalo, July 8th – July 9th
Bigger, better and foodier than ever, the Taste of Buffalo is back! The largest two-day food festival in the United States, join nearly a half million hungry visitors on the streets of beautiful downtown Buffalo and sample the culinary creations of over 50 local restaurants, breweries and wineries. In addition to live music, family friendly activities, vendors and even a kale eating contest, there will be tasty demonstrations so you can become a chef in your own home. This is the most mouth-watering festival of the year!
Williamsville Old Home Days, July 11th – July 14th
A weekend of reunions, parades and all around good times await in the historic Village of Williamsville. Visit the beer tents, chow down on a delicious Chiavetta’s chicken BBQ (a Buffalo staple), groove to the music of local bands like Hit N Run and Tom Stahl & the Dangerfields and lots more.
Galbani Italian Heritage Festival, July 13th – July 16th
Mangia, mangia, mangia! For its first year at the Outer Harbor, the Italian community comes together to celebrate food, fun and, most of all, heritage. For what seems like miles and miles, food vendors will line up with delicious pasta and dessert delicacies. Find your inner-Italian and dine on sweet cannolis and saucy fried ravioli all while taking in traditional Italian music, dancing and grape stomping contests. Everyone is Italian during the Italian Fest!
Cobblestone Live!, July 15th – July 16th
Cobblestone Live! Music and Arts Festival, conveniently located in the heart of the Historic Cobblestone district in downtown Buffalo, consists of three stages located outside on Illinois Street, inside Buffalo Iron Works, and inside Lockhouse Distillery. Nearly 40 bands, including Real Estate, Aqueous and Delicate Steve will rock your socks off!
Waldfest, July 16th
Don your lederhosen, reserve your table and a keg and prepare for the boisterous event that is Waldfest – also known as the Festival in the Woods. Taking place at Spring Garden State Park near East Aurora, this German-style celebration is filled with dancers, music, flowing beer and good company.
Canal Fest of the Tonawandas, July 16th – July 23rd
This two-town celebration between Tonawanda and North Tonawanda is the biggest festival of its kind – all in honor of the great Erie Canal. After the traditional inaugural cannon’s blast, the 35th year of this week long festival will be underway – filled with car cruises, pie-eating contests, talent shows and basketball tournaments. Whether you’re looking to peruse the local businesses of the Tonawandas or explore the waters of the legendary Erie Canal, Canal Fest is the place to be!
Grease Pole Festival, July 21 – July 23
The longest running ethnic festival in Buffalo, the 48th Annual Grease Pole Festival (“El Palo Encebado”) kicks off at the Olivencia Community Center on the city’s East Side. This unique celebration of Hispanic culture features a huge blend of ethnic eats from local food trucks to vendors (try the pastelillos), tons of music and dancing and, of course, the grease pole competition. Teams of climbers strategize a way to slip and slide their way up a greased telephone pole to compete for the fastest time. Just make sure you don’t get splashed!
Masten Jazz Festival, July 23rd & July 30th
Stretching across two weekends, the 22nd Annual Masten Jazz Festival honors the prominence of local jazz great, Pappy Martin. This grassroots festival, held on the lawn of the Buffalo Museum of Science, is bringing some of the best names in jazz to Buffalo. From Wallace Roney, Camille Thurman, Freddie Hendrix, and Vanessa Rubin, this is guaranteed to be one of the coolest music events of the summer.
Colored Musicians Club Jazz Fest, July 24th – July 29th
Commemorating One. Hundred. Years! The historic Colored Musicians Club is kicking it up a notch with this year’s Jazz Fest with a week full of the Queen City’s best jazz. Join in on the fun and relax to the soothing jazz sounds of [act name here]. Make sure you step inside the Club and take a journey through time to explore Buffalo’s roots as a stepping stone for many musicians, past and present.
Infringement Festival, July 27th – August 6th
Eleven days of eclectic art, performance and music take over all of Buffalo’s neighborhoods for the sprawling indoor/outdoor Infringement Festival. From the top art museums to the smaller community galleries, the entire Buffalo art collective joins forces to put Buffalo creative spirit on display.
enLIGHTen, July 28th
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra illuminates the night to celebrate the renaissance of the Richardson Olmsted Campus. Music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Rachmaninoff and more will be choreographed to a brilliant display of color, images and light created by Projex with artistic direction by Keith Harrington and projected onto the iconic Richardson Towers. The concert is free, but tickets are required.
Garden Walk Buffalo, July 29th – July 30th
Our local green thumbs having been prepping all year for this – the culmination of countless hours of tilling, planting and watering – Garden Walk Buffalo! One of the largest festivals of its kind, Garden Walk Buffalo showcases the beauty and artistry of over 400 local private and public gardens. This all-access celebration of botany affords visitors the opportunity to explore our neighborhoods, bursting forth with nature’s colorful majesty.