From Native Americans to early pioneers, Connecticut celebrates its old and rich roots in a number of cultural festivals each year. The schedule runs mainly during the warm season from May through October, combining the arts, craftsmanship, music, and exercise. For such a small state, Connecticut holidays maintain a diverse roster of special events.
St Patrick’s Day Parade
When St Paddy’s Day rolls around each March, Connecticut goes all out to create one of the country’s top Irish parades. By far the biggest annual event in New Haven, St. Pat’s sees up to 250,000 people converge on the city to enjoy America’s sixth-oldest St Patrick’s Day parade. The parade is just the kick off of a long weekend of major partying at bars across New Haven.
Sea Music Festival
Every year in June, Mystic Seaport lures around 5,000 visitors to enjoy live music of all kinds in its wonderful complex. The emphasis is the traditional music of seafarers from the region’s golden era of sailing. Seven stages are set up around the seaport and a solid range of international performers are invited to come and play. It’s a one-of-a-kind music event that combines old-world charm with new world performers.
Greater Hartford Festival
The Connecticut capital’s main event of the year brings loads of free jazz to Bushnell Park located in the heart of the city. For several days in July, the park hosts a steady stream of jazz performances by big names and up-and-comers. The balmy weather and lush greenery make for an ideal environment to sit in your lounge chair and dig the beats.
Native American Festival
In September, the town of Ridgefield hosts a special event to showcase the region’s Native American heritage and traditions. This fun and interesting event takes place over one day in Ballad Park and features traditional dances, music, and incredibly tasty native food like corncakes and fry bread. This festival is especially fun for kids, as there is a special kids’ teepee village with all kinds of fun arts, crafts, and activities.
Artists in the Country
The rural town of Woodstock is the site of one of Connecticut’s most popular folksy arts and crafts festivals. This state has a rich tradition of creative local artists, and each September people travel from all around to enjoy the crisp fall scenery and check out the latest artwork and creations by the residents.
Discover Hartford Bicycle and Walking Tour
Every October, the capital of Hartford takes a day off from the world of motorized travel and transforms the downtown into a pedestrianized playground for walkers and bikers. Beginning at the popular Bushnell Park, special loops of 10, 25, and 40-mile routes are set up, winding around Hartford and ending back at the park. Touring these trails is a fantastic way to get intimate with Connecticut without the distraction of cars.