If you've been looking for something to do with your dad on Father's Day, Ithaca's latest festival is perfect!

The Experience! The FingerLakes Culinary Festival is a celebration to mark the tourism company's 10th year in Ithaca. The festival aims to promote eating and drinking local and will feature over 20 Finger Lakes artisan beverage and food producers.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased on the organization's website.

The Ithaca Commons will house the event and festival-goers will be able to experience "tasting trios" of their favorite Finger Lakes wines, ciders, beers, spirits, cheeses, and other food items.

Different vendors will be featured at the festival, and if you love any of the following, it's a must-have to add to your summer calendar:


Several different Finger Lakes wineries will be taking part in the festival, including: Barry Family Cellars, Bet The Farm Winery, Damiani Wine Cellars, Hermann J Wiemer Vineyard, and more.

Beers, Ciders & Spirits

Beers will be provided by both Hopshire Farm Brewing and Wagner Valley Brewing, and ciders will be provided by Finger Lakes Cider House. Spirits will be provided by Finger Lakes Distilling.

Coffees and Teas

Coffees and teas will be provided by the local branch of Gimme! Coffee as well as the Ithaca Coffee Company.


dairy product, Roquefort, milk, dairy, grape, wine, cheese
Tara Stacy

Cheeses for wine pairings and tasting trios will be provided by the Lively Run Dairy and Tumino Cheese Company.


Charcuterie will be provided by The Piggery.

Artisan Sweets

There will also be sweets provided by the local establishments Purity Ice Cream and Life’s So Sweet Chocolates, as well as the local company Emmy’s Organics.


The festival on the Commons will feature live demonstrations and music:

12:30pm — Live musical performance from the Newlyweds, a duo from The Destination

Tara Stacy

2:00pm — Cooking Demonstration by Ithaca’s own Food Network Star finalist, Emma Frisch.

4:00pm — Cocktail Making Demonstration by Stonecat Cafe’s Sommelier and Garden-to-Glass cocktail magician, Josh Carlsen.

There will also be a VIP Culinary Experience sponsored by Coltivare. The VIP experience will feature a selection of cooking or wine pairing demonstrations at the Coltivare Presentation Amphitheater:

Tara Stacy

10:30-11:15am — Cooking demonstration from Suzanne Stack, Co-Owner and Chef, Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine.

Suzanne will be presenting a soufflé paired with a Hermann Wiemer Sparkling Brut. (Note that this demonstration will have eggs and dairy)

coffee, tea
Tara Stacy

11:45-12:30pm — Cooking demonstration from Emma Frisch, Co-Founder and Culinary Director, Firelight Camps.

Emma will be presenting dips and spreads with charred bread paired with Damiani Cabernet. (Note that this demonstration will be vegetarian friendly)

tea, wine, gastronomy, coffee
Tara Stacy

1:00-1:45pm — Cooking demonstration from Brud Holland, Owner and Chef, Finger Lakes Made.

Brud will be presenting the Prime and the Lesser Cut: Honey cured pork loin and Riesling braised shoulder paired with Silver Thread Gewurtztraminer.

2:15-3:00pm — Wine pairing presentation from Josh Carlsen, Sommelier and Bar Manager, Stone Cat Cafe

pizza, beer, coffee
Tara Stacy

3:30-4:15pm — Cooking demonstration from John Corbin, Head Chef at Coltivare.

John will be preparing assorted pickles and chutneys paired with a Six Mile Creek Vignoles. 

(Note that this presentation will be vegetarian and gluten free)

Tara Stacy

4:45-5:30pm — Dessert Pairing Presentation from Laura Winter Falk, Sommelier and Co-Owner, Experience! The Finger Lakes.

Laura will be presenting Emmy’s Lemon Ginger Coconut Cookies paired with Semi-dry Riesling, Silver Queen Farm fresh strawberries and cream with Rose’ and chocolate paired with Ports of NY Red Meleau (Note that this presentation will be vegetarian and gluten free)

The first 1,000 festival-goers who purchase their tickets online will receive a complimentary wine tote bag and an Experience! The Finger Lakes Explorers loyalty card that is good for discounts across the region.

If you're in Ithaca area for the summer and your parents are looking for an excuse to visit you, this is it!