The Calendar: What To Do In Saratoga Springs This Weekend

All the top weekend events, including the Adirondack Balloon Festival, Saratoga Auto Auction and the Outlaw Music Festival.

Adirondack Balloon Festival
A scene from the 2014 Adirondack Balloon Festival. (Jim Duell)

As is often the case in Saratoga, there’s so much going on over the weekend that it’s almost impossible to choose what to do. We here at saratoga living understand your dilemma, which is why this weekend, we had to choose three events to highlight. (Teasing out a single “Editor’s Pick” was just too difficult.)

First up: For those who love hot-air balloons, today (Thursday, September 20) marks the first day of the internationally renowned Adirondack Balloon Festival in Glens Falls. Free to the public, this incredible celebration of ballooning will feature hundreds of hot-air balloon flights (including at night) spread out over four days (September 20-23) and at two different locations! The festival’s smaller, opening balloon launches will take place at Crandall Park in Glens Falls Thursday and Sunday, and the larger demonstrations (up to 100 flights at a time) will be at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury Friday through Sunday. The festival has become so popular in recent years that it’s launched partnerships with sister-ballooning cities such as Saga, Japan, and Gatineau, Québec, which hold similar events.

Next, if you’re still beaming from the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival’s incredible Bugatti showcase, maybe it’s time you bought your own classic ride. This Friday and Saturday at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), you can take part in the Saratoga Auto Auction, which will be showcasing a number of automobiles (nothing as pricey as those Bugattis, but still tons of great investment cars or weekend wonders), and should be fun for all involved. Heck, even if you just want to show up and watch, that’s cool, too.

And while you’re at or thinking about SPAC, we highly recommend heading over there on Sunday for the Outlaw Music Festival. This one-day showcase of country, rock and folk music features some of the most legendary names in the industry, including co-headliners Willie Nelson, a member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame since 1993, and Neil Young, a two-time inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (once in ’95 as a solo artist and again in ’97 as a member of Buffalo Springfield). The Festival’s lineup will also include recent Grammy-winning country star Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats and Nelson’s own son, Lukas, and his band Promise of the Real (who’ll serve as Young’s backing band during his set).

And if you’ve got time for even more fun activities and events then, as always, just check out the list below.

Friday, September 21

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra – 7:30pm at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
Conversation/Q&A with Sean Penn – 7:30pm at Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, University at Albany.
Mardi Gras Dinner Cruise – 7-9pm at Lake George Village.

Saturday, September 22

28th Annual Hudson Mohawk Antique Truck Show – 8:30 – 4pm at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds.
20th Annual Art in the Park – 10am-4pm at Congress Park.
Bolton Landing Boats and Boating Festival9am-5pm at the docks at Rogers Memorial Park.
Adirondack Wool & Arts Festival10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday at the Washington County Fairgrounds, 392 Old Schuylerville Road, Greenwich.
LarkFEST 2018 – New York’s largest one-day street festival, 10:30am-5:30pm at Lark Street, Albany.

Sunday, September 23

Bike Tour of Spa State Park10:30am – 12:30pm, starting at the National Museum of Dance.
19th Annual Lakeside Farm Antiques Show9am-4pm at Lakeside Farms Cider Mill, 336 Schauber Road, Ballston Lake.

Jeff Dingler
Jeff Dingler

Jeff Dingler is saratoga living's Senior Writer. He's a graduate of Skidmore College and a professional musician.

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