15 Ways to Kickoff June in CNY

June has arrived and there are already so many events to consider. Between festivals and shows, how can you choose? It’s up to your own discretion, but here are some activities and five festivals you should be considering.


Singles Mingle & Wine Tasting

The first Thursday of every month, Central New York singles are able to come enjoy the offerings of this Downtown wine store. It’s not only a great chance to see the specialty wines Vinomania has to offer and enjoy a wine tasting, but it will give singles an opportunity to meet other singles.

Where: Vinomania, 313 E. Willow Street, Syracuse (Entrance: Pearl Street)
Thursday, June 3, 5 – 7 p.m.


Syracuse Improv Collective: The June Bank Show

When you think of improv, you may think of Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, or Whose Line is it Anyway? to name a few. The Syracuse Improv Collective’s monthly show is happening at the Central New York Playhouse on Friday evening. Instead of what you may have seen on television, the collective specializes in long form: creating scenes and “short plays” that are off-the-cuff and inspired by audience suggestion.

Where: The Central New York Playhouse in Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse
Friday, June 5, from 8 – 10 p.m. 

Photo from State of Ithaca's website

Image from State of Ithaca’s website


Buddy Guy

The legendary blues musician takes the stage at the classically elegant State Theatre in Ithaca. Ithaca is a perfect place to easily spend an entire day there, especially when you cap off the evening with a soulful set.

Where: State Theatre, 107 W. State Street, Ithaca
When: Saturday, June 5, at 8 p.m.
Cost: $45, $55, $65

Creek Float

The Creek Float is returning this Saturday, so swing by Armory Square and follow the creek to Franklin Square, admiring what participants around Central New York have designed. It’s a free, family-friendly public art show that encourages both creativity and enjoyment of our city.

Where: Onondaga Creek Walk from Armory Square to Franklin Square 
When: Saturday, June 6 at 3 p.m.

Don’t Feed the Actors

The longest running improv show in Central New York specializes in short-form improv to what you see on Whose Line is it Anyway?, and they specialize in the fundamentals of improvisation.

Where: The Central New York Playhouse in Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse
Saturday, June 6; Dinner at 6:30 p.m., Show at 8 p.m. 
$25 (dinner & show); $12 (show)

Paige’s Butterfly Run

The annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and patient programs at Golisano Children’s Hospital will take place this Saturday, coinciding with the Taste of Syracuse. While out and about, please come down, participate, and support this wonderful cause. To donate, head over to

Where: Saturday, June 6
When: James M. Hanley Federal Building, 100 S. Clinton Street, Syracuse
Cost: $35 registration at Fleet Feet on Bridge Street (Thursday, June 4); $40 day-of registration


Ice Cream Sundays

You don’t need an excuse to eat ice cream, so after an active weekend of running around and enjoying what Central New York has to offer, sometimes a great tasting ice cream is what you need. There are plenty of places that you can grab a frosty treat, but here are two of them:

Gannon’s Isle

Where: 1525 Valley Drive, 401 S. Salina Street, 4800 McDonald Road
Valley: Noon – 10 p.m.; Downtown closed on Sundays; Shady Brook closed for season

Arctic Island

Where: 210 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.


George and Rebecca Barnes Foundation: Save the Mansion Weekend

The nonprofit’s annual fundraiser is a three-day event, beginning with a 1950s-themed evening cocktail party on Thursday. On Friday, a garden party will be held at the Thomasmeyer’s home in Sedgwick. On Saturday, the 10th Annual Save the Mansion Tour will take place at the historic mansion, and tours of five homes in the Sedgwick neighborhood. Prices for each event varies.

Where: The Barnes Hiscock Mansion, 930 James Street (Thurs.), Syracuse; 206 Brattle Road (Fri.); The Barnes Hiscock Mansion (Sat.)
Thursday, June 4, from 4 – 8 p.m.; Friday, June 5, from 6 – 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 6 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
Thursday: $30; Friday: $40; Saturday: $15 (members)/$20 (non-members)

Marcellus Olde Home Days Parade. Photo from Marcellus Olde Home Days Parade's Facebook

Marcellus Olde Home Days Parade.
Photo from Marcellus Olde Home Days Parade’s Facebook

Marcellus Olde Home Days

The annual event is taking place Friday to Sunday, June 4 to 6, between the Marcellus Park and the Village of Marcellus. The three-day celebration is filled with everything great about small towns in Upstate New York. Enjoy local vendors, listen to live music, check out the classic cars, play games, enjoy rides, and have fun with family and friends. On Saturday at 3 p.m., the parade will be taking place through the Village. Fireworks will be held that same evening.

Where: Village of Marcellus, Marcellus Park
Friday, June 4: 4 – 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 5: 7 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 6: 1- 5 p.m. 

Mountain Jam

The 11th Annual Mountain Jam music festival is returning to Hunter Mountain. The lineup is as clutch as ever, featuring: Moe., The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Railroad Earth, Grace Potter, Gov’t Mule, Robert Plant and several more.

Where: Hunter Mountain, 64 Klein Avenue, Hunter
Thursday to Sunday, June 4 – 7
Day passes: $49, $79, & 89; Festival Passes: $215 – $269


Overhead view of the Taste of Syracuse.
Photo from Taste of Syracuse’s Facebook.

Taste of Syracuse

While you’re waiting in line for your samples, you’ll need to keep your mind occupied if your friends or family members decide to venture elsewhere. But who can turn down Polish delights from Eva’s European Sweets? Music is a big draw at ToS, so here are the lineups. However, to go along with the number of vendors, there is so much music that it would be obnoxious to list it all. Here are Events Editor Christopher Malone’s picks for the festival:


Express Mart Stage: Soul Risin’ (6 p.m.), Shining Star Band (7:35 p.m.), Sophistaphunk (9:30 p.m.)
Delta Air Lines Stage: Just Joe (noon); Tim Herron (4:35 p.m.); Stroke (9:30)


Kwik Fill Main Stage: Carolyn Kelly Band (1 p.m.), Fabulous Ripcords (2:15 p.m.); The Nighthawks (3:45 p.m.)
Express Mart Stage: Colin Aberdeen (noon), Last Daze (1:45 p.m.), The Barndogs Plus (3:05 p.m.), Castle Creek (4:45 p.m.), Pale Green Stars (6 p.m.), Annie in the Water (7:30 p.m.), Joe Driscoll (9:20 p.m.)… Yep, the whole day.

Where: Downtown Syracuse
Friday & Saturday, June 5 & 6; noon – 11 p.m. (both nights)

Thousand Islands Bluegrass Festival 

The 25th season of the music festival will be taking place through efforts of Bill Knowlton and the Thousand Islands Bluegrass Preservation Society. If you want to live it rough, camping is free. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own instruments (BYOI).

Where: Stone Mills Agriculture Museum, Route 180, Lafargeville
Thursday to Saturday, June 4 – 6
Weekend pass: $50 (advance) / $55 (gate); Thurs. $10, Fri. $25, Sat. $25

Westcott Art Trail

The 15th Annual Westcott Trail will feature 16 different stops throughout the Westcott Nation this weekend, featuring the artwork of over 60 local artists. It will be a great weekend event for the family to enjoy another Syracuse-based festival filled with food and music to be enjoyed as well. The event will help raise money for the Westcott Community Center and honor Lauren Ritchie.

Where: Westcott Street and Euclid Avenue
When: Saturday and Sunday, June 6 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and June 7 (noon – 5 p.m.)
Cost: Free

Up to bat with the Chiefs

Michael Davis Photo | Syracuse New Times

Michael Davis Photo | Syracuse New Times

Dollar Thursday / Reggy the Purple Party Dude

Enjoy $ Hofmann hot dogs, $1 Coca-Cola products, pick up $1 programs, & $2 Bud, Labatt, Saranac, and 1911 drafts. Also, Pops and Scootch have a visitor from out of town, Reggy, one of the most popular traveling characters in sports.

When: Thursday, June 4
Versus: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Game: 7:05 p.m.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Night

Come enjoy a Boy Scout parade before the game and chat with WWE Champion Hurricane Helms, who will be signing autographs. Reggy will be back in full swing, and Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure will be raising money and awareness for prostate cancer.  Gates open at 5 p.m. for Happy Hour with live music from Simplelife. Fireworks will be provided after the game.

When: Friday, June 5
Versus: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Game: 7:05 p.m.; Happy Hour 5 – 7 p.m.

Little League Appreciation Night

There will be a batting helmet giveaway for the first 1,000 patrons 12 and under. Fireworks will immediately follow the game.

When: Friday, June 6
Versus: Pawtucket Red Sox
Game: 7:05 p.m.

NBT Family Sunday: Video Game Day

Gates will open at noon for families to come and enjoy the Games-on-a-roll Truck in the Driver’s Village Family Fun Park.

When: Sunday, June 7
Versus: Pawtucket Red Sox
Game: 1:05 p.m.; Gates open at noon

This weekend at the Fairgrounds

Empire State Quarter Horse Association: “Spring into Summer Show:

Where: Toyota Coliseum
Friday – Sunday, June 5 – 7
Cost: Free

New York State Dairy Goat Breeders Association: Annual Show

Where: Goat, Llama, & Swine Barn
Saturday, June 6

Bridle Path Manor Open English Horse Show

Where: 4-H Arena
Saturday – Sunday, June 6 – 7

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