The Calendar: What’s Going On In Saratoga Springs Over Jazz Fest Weekend

Another week and another mountain of wonderful events to choose from. Sadly I cannot shine a light on all of them, but with temps in the 80s and lots and lots of sunshine in the forecast, it finally feels like summertime in Saratoga Springs. For this reason, we’re going with lots of outdoorsy, summery picks this weekend. So for the editor’s choice, I want you to put on your straw boater hat and don your flapper best, because the 41st Annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival is coming to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this weekend, June 22-23.

This year’s Jazz Fest promises to be bigger than ever as SPAC has collaborated with a whole host of local businesses to offer fans a third day of music and special events on Friday, June 21. Freihofer’s Jazz Fest Friday, as it’s being called, doesn’t take place at SPAC, but rather, Downtown Saratoga, where fans can catch live music, themed dining and social dances at a range of locations. Participating restaurants and venues will include Caffè Lena, the National Museum of Dance, the Northshire Bookstore, The Adelphi Hotel, The Local, Sperry’s, The Gideon Putnam and many more. And to cap off the inaugural Jazz Fest Friday is another brand new event: “A Night on Bourbon Street,” a speakeasy-styled party and fundraiser presented by SPAC’s action counsel to benefit educational programming. “A Night on Bourbon Street” will boast lots of bathtub gin, fresh Cajun-inspired food and a performance by awarding-winning jazz vocalist and trumpeter, Bria Skonberg.

And that’s just the opening act. The rest of the weekend will be filled with a wide array of the best jazz imaginable: The Saratoga Jazz Festival will include a lineup featuring legends, such as Jon Batiste, Herbie Hancock, Gregory Porter, Chris Botti and gospel and R&B singer Mavis Staples. The festival is recognized for highlighting new talent as well, and will feature up-and-comers such as José James, Scott Sharrard & The Brickyard Band, Lakecia Benjamin and SoulSquad, Jazzmeia, among others. Still not enough for ya? Then check out these other great events going on this weekend.

Friday, June 22

Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show – The Classic is going on all weekend, June 20-24 – White Hollow Farm, 28 Brickhouse Road, Stillwater.
5th Annual Saratoga Balloon & BBQ Festival – Formerly the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival, this new iteration features lots of beer, barbecue and balloons (like, the kind you ride in) – Saratoga County Fairgrounds, Ballston Spa.
Movies Under the Stars: The Lion King – free admission, live music and family activities – The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Avenue, Albany.

Saturday, June 23

Adirondack Wine & Food Festival – This two-day event kicks off on Saturday and includes the participation of more than 80 different New York wineries and craft breweries – Charles R. Wood Theater Festival Commons, Lake George Village.
Freedom Park Summer Concert Series – Free summer concert series featuring performers from all over the Capital Region, Saturday and Sunday – Freedom Park,  5 Schonowee Avenue, Scotia.
Wilton’s bicentennial and play a discounted round of golf ($18.18 per person, the year of Wilton’s founding) – McGregor Links, 359 Northern Pines Road, Wilton.
Shmaltz Brewing Company’s 5th Anniversary Beer Bash – $25 will get you lots of suds for all your buds – Shmaltz Brewing Company, 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park, NY.

Sunday, June 24

Howlin’ at the Moon Concert Series: The Big Howl – American music festival on the banks of the Mohawk River – Mabee Farm Historic Site,  1080 Main Street (Route 55), Rotterdam Junction.
Yoga in the Park – $5 per person for an hour of yoga at Indian Meadows Park; can’t beat that deal – Glenville.

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