Each fall, outdoor arts festivals call to arts lovers like a beacon in the night. For many, these festivals are like a ritual to welcome in the changing leaves, flannel shirts and hot cocoa binging. Now, after several years of distancing, people are slowly but surely returning to the arts. September and October are ripe with cultural offerings to be enjoyed safely outdoors. Here are some to mark on your calendars:
1. September 3
Arts & Crafts Hudson River Festival
presented by Croton Council on the Arts
After a three-year break, the arts return to Senasqua Park in Croton-on-Hudson. Local artists, crafters and vendors will present their wears and creations with a backdrop of live music and panoramic views of the Hudson. According to Croton Council on the Arts President Jim Christensen, the daylong event aims to fulfill the Council’s mission of bringing the arts community back together again.
2. September 14-18
JazzFest White Plains
presented by ArtsWestchester, White Plains BID, the City of White Plains
Now in its 11th year, JazzFest White Plains will once again bring the brightest stars of the jazz scene to downtown White Plains. This year’s five-day festival boasts jazz legend Buster Williams, fast-emerging pianist Joey Alexander, funky saxophonist Grace Kelly and more. The festival includes free daytime performances, intimate nighttime concerts and culminates in the White Plains Jazz & Food Festival on its final day. The outdoor festivities on September 18 include a full day of free performances on Mamaroneck Avenue headlined by the soulful vibes of flutist and vocalist Ragan Whiteside.
3. September 16-18
Crafts at Lyndhurst
presented by Artrider
Visitors to Crafts at Lyndhurst will peruse the artworks of hundreds of artists who specialize in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, printmaking, drawing, photography, jewelry and more. In addition to gourmet food options and a beer and wine truck, the day is rounded out by craft demonstrations and family activities such as face painting and an interactive puppet theater. Guests can also explore the lush 67-acre grounds of Lyndhurst Mansion and its scenic views of the Hudson. For an additional fee, they can extend the day’s offerings with a tour of the Mansion.
4. October 1 & 2
Armonk Outdoor Art Show
presented by Armonk Outdoor Art Show
Celebrating its 60th year, this Armonk mainstay has become a staple in its community. Not only does the show include 140 juried artists, but it is also run and organized almost exclusively by volunteers, and its proceeds benefit the local North Castle Public Library. In celebration of this connection with the library, a new-this-year exhibition will feature works that utilize a book as the artist’s “canvas.” Along the lawn of Community Park, works will range in price, size and style, with 12 mediums represented, including paintings, sculpture, photography, wearable art, fine crafts and more. Arts activities for the family, as well as food vendors, will be offered throughout the day.
5. October 12-16
Serious Fun Arts Fest
presented by ArtsWestchester
This five-day festival will take over the streets of White Plains with public art, live music, pop-up dance performances, an art fair, gallery events and more. The week will also see the unveiling of artist Amanda Browder’s Metropolis Sunrise community art project, which will result in a fabric installation being draped along the façade of ArtsWestchester’s nine-story building. A Saturday Block party will include a lineup of free performances throughout the day, while a Sunday concert celebration will be headlined by on-the-rise Brooklyn band Sammy Rae & the Friends.
6. October 20-23
presented by New Rochelle Council on the Arts
ArtsFest has become a stalwart festival of the New Rochelle and Pelham area over the years. The 2022 festival will kick off with the world premiere of new music from Copland House resident composer Steven Snowden, and the festivities take off from there. The weekend includes the ArtsFest Music Festival at New Ro Parc, as well as the ArtsFest Dance Festival, open artist studios, free guided trolley tours of recently installed murals throughout the City, and family art-making workshops at the ArtsMobile. An Artisan Market on the grounds of the historic Thomas Paine Cottage will give visitors an opportunity to purchase works from local artisans while enjoying live music and food trucks.
MORE FALL FESTIVALS:
A version of this article first appeared in the September 2022 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.