Connecticut’s Best Festivals: A Guide To The State’s Top Celebrations

Connecticut is a state rich in history, culture, and festivals. Every year, Connecticut plays host to a diverse range of festivals that celebrate food, music, dance, and art. From traditional regional celebrations to modern events, the state offers something for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the best festivals in Connecticut.

1. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire

The Connecticut Renaissance Faire is an event that takes place in September and October at the Lebanon County Fairgrounds. The fair is a blast from the past, designed as a recreation of an Elizabethan-era marketplace. The fair features games, rides, and activities typical of the time, such as jousting, archery, and falconry. The event is complete with actors dressed in period costume, creating a unique and immersive atmosphere.

2. The Mystic Irish Parade

The Mystic Irish Parade is hailed as one of the state’s most celebrated events, taking place every year in early March. The parade celebrates the Irish culture and heritage that is deeply rooted in the region. People line the streets of Mystic as colorful floats, bagpipers, and marching bands parade by. The Mystic Irish Parade has something for the whole family, with lively entertainment, food, and drink available.

3. The Durham Agricultural Fair

The Durham Agricultural Fair is one of the oldest fairs in the state, dating back to 1916. The fair takes place in September and features exhibits, competitions, shows, and activities for the whole family. Visitors can watch stock car racing, horse pulling competitions, and talent shows. There are also food vendors, amusement rides, and farm animals for young children to pet and feed.

4. The International Festival of Arts and Ideas

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas is a world-renowned event that takes place in June in New Haven. The festival brings together artists from around the world to offer a diverse range of performances, exhibitions, and talks. Visitors to the festival can expect to see theatre, dance, visual arts, and music performances, as well as lectures and discussions that explore different ideas and cultures.

5. The Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival

The Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival takes place in June and is one of the more unique events in Connecticut. The festival celebrates traditional sea shanties and maritime music, with performers from around the world taking to the stage. There are also workshops, demonstrations, and talks that explore maritime history and culture.

6. The Apple Harvest Festival

The Apple Harvest Festival is a fun family event that takes place in October in Southington. The festival’s main event is the apple pie eating contest, but there are also musical performances, arts and crafts booths, and hayrides. Visitors can also sample local foods made with apples, such as cider, donuts, and pies.

7. The Litchfield Jazz Festival

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is an annual event held in August at the Goshen Fairgrounds. The festival showcases some of the best jazz musicians in the country, with performances from legendary artists and up-and-comers. Visitors can also attend workshops and classes that teach them about jazz music and its history.

8. The Chester Fair

The Chester Fair is an old-fashioned, country fair that takes place in August. The fair features traditional agricultural attractions, such as animal shows and vegetable competitions. In addition, there are carnival rides, live entertainment, and a midway full of food and crafts vendors.

9. The Connecticut Garlic and Harvest Festival

The Connecticut Garlic and Harvest Festival is an ode to the culinary magic of garlic. The festival takes place in October and showcases local vendors and chefs who feature garlic in their dishes. There are contests, live music, and cooking demonstrations to entertain visitors.

10. The Taste of Mystic

The Taste of Mystic is a food festival that takes place in September and celebrates the best food in the Mystic region. Visitors can sample food from local restaurants and vendors, watch cooking demonstrations, and listen to live music.


Connecticut is a state that loves to celebrate, and there is no shortage of festivals for locals and visitors to enjoy. The festivals we’ve explored in this article are just a small selection of events that take place across the state. Whether you’re into cultural celebrations or simply want to experience something new, Connecticut’s festivals have something for everyone.

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