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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

What to Do in the Capital Region This Winter

Twelve mid-winter happenings around upstate New York.

January 22
Brides-to-be dream about their wedding day and the perfect ceremony, but it can be difficult and overwhelming to know where to start. That’s where Albany’s Bridal and Wedding Expo comes in! From 1pm to 5pm on January 22, the Albany Capital Center will host a wide variety of wedding professionals who can help you in a variety of subjects. Need tents? Florists? Do you want to know the best place to get accessories or who should film or photograph your wedding? There are experts on all that and more at the expo. You can also enjoy a bridal fashion show, food tastings, and even cash prize giveaways. bridalshowsny.com 

January 22
Are you a fan of the scalier, smaller creatures of our planet? If so, consider hitting up the Saratoga City Center, which will host the Saratoga Reptile show January 22 from 9am to 4pm. The event will have more than 40 reputable vendors and educators in Herpetoculture (the live keeping of reptiles and amphibians), offering everything from the teaching of how to care for an animal to the sale of them; if you’re looking to expand your collection, there will be hundreds of healthy, captive and ethically bred reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates to choose from. saratogareptileshow.com 

January 26-28
Sometimes we need an evening to relax, unwind, drink some wine and eat 5 star-worthy food. The Albany Wine Festival gives you this opportunity, with three days of events including the Mayor’s Reception and Kickoff, the Grand Tastings and Slider Slam January 27, and the next day’s farewell Grand Gala dinner. Some of the happenings over the three days will consist of “the battle of the bartenders,” VIP lounges, auctions and a chance to win one of five amazing travel experiences (with the purchase of a VIP ticket). Still on the fence? Keep in mind that this is all for a good cause. Since the pandemic started, Coivd has greatly impacted the arts, which is why 100 percent of the proceeds from the Grand Gala go to providing funding for the not-for-profit arts community in Albany. albanywinefest.com

February 4-26
Winter can really drag on in Upstate New York—and by February most of us are looking for a reason to be outside having a good time. Enter: the Winter Carnival in Lake George, which will take place every weekend throughout February. The opening event will be held at Shepherds Park, where carnival enthusiasts will gather to kick off the month-long celebration. Next up is the chili judging contest, an outhouse race and fireworks. Every following weekend in the mornings there’ll be a human foosball tournament, and each Sunday you can make your own ice-cream, plus there will be puzzles, scavenger hunts, snow hockey and puppet theater for kids and families. Some must-see events will be dog sled-races, a keg toss, a polar plunge and car/ATV/motorcycle races. lakegeorgewintercarnival.com

February 11
The highly anticipated 24th Saratoga Chowderfest will start at 11am and end at 4pm on Saturday, February 11. There are more than 80 restaurants participating this year, with each one competing to win the best chowder title and bragging rights for the year! Participants include Cantina, Dizzy Chicken, Forno Bistro and many more restaurants all around Saratoga County. Fifty percent of all proceeds benefit Franklin Community Center. So grab a warm coat and make your way around Saratoga to sample four-ounce cups of delicious chowder—don’t forget to vote for your favorite on the official Chowderfest website! discoversaratoga.org/events/chowderfest

February 25
Beer, good food and live music—if that sounds like your idea of a good time, check out the Saratoga Beer Summit coming to the Saratoga City Center on February 25 from 12pm to 8pm. As an impressive line-up of bands play, try more than 125 craft beers, and don’t forget to hit up vendors with ciders, hard seltzers and food. There are general admission and VIP ticket options, with a $10 ticket available for designated drivers on the scene. saratogabeerweek.com 

March 10
The Belanger Nursing Program and Siena College Student Nurses Association are hosting a fabulous runway show to raise money and awareness for people affected by glioblastoma. Medical experts will discuss how this disease impacts the more than 10,000 people a year diagnosed with it, and student nurses will model looks from local stores and boutiques. The event starts at 7pm and ends at 9pm, with proceeds going to GLIO Leo, an organization dedicated to helping those with glioblastoma. Catwalk for a Cure on Eventbrite 

March 4
Adirondack Brewery in Lake George is hosting its 11th annual Barrel Fest from 1pm to 4pm on March 4. Since the brewery tends to boast some high-ABV drinks, going to the event’s breakfast, Kegs and Eggs, is strongly suggested. Then indulge in exclusively barrel-crafted beers, ciders, wines and more. Along with the drinks, there will be live music and snacks to enjoy at a giant bonfire with fireworks. The purchase of VIP and general admission tickets includes a souvenir tasting glass and three hours of sampling the aged-barrel beverages. barrelfestlg.com

March 9
This winter, The Planter Bar in Cohoes is one of several local bars hosting a Bonsai Bar, where you and your friends get to drink, plant tiny trees and learn the basic skills and fundamentals of Bonsai care. The teachers will help guide you through potting, pruning and designing your own Dwarf Jade tree while you sip on your favorite beverage. The best part? They guarantee that you can keep it alive after this session, so if it dies, they’ll help replace it. bonsaibar.com/ny-events

March 11-12
The annual Albany Monster Jam will take your family fun from zero to 100 in record time, with its 12,000-pound monster trucks and death-defying tricks. At this event, you will witness world-class drivers jumping huge ditches, racing and more as they compete for the champion title. Globally loved trucks such as Grave Digger, Mighty Megalodon and El Toro Loco will take to the MVP Arena floor for freestyle events…And if they flip? A giant crane will come out to help right the giant beasts back on four wheels. Experience one of three ground-shaking, bleacher-trembling shows coming this March 11 and 12. monsterjam.com 

March 14
Bruce Springsteen at MVP Arena
Back from their 2017 hiatus, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band will perform in Albany at the MVP Arena at 7:30pm on March 14. Springsteen, who grew up in New Jersey, started his career in 1972 and skyrocketed to stardom; this is your chance to see the rock legend in action. The setlist includes classics such as “Born to Run,” “I’m on Fire” and “Glory Days.” Grab your tickets now before they run out! mvparena.com 

March 14-26
‘Hamilton’ at Proctors
Last time Hamilton came to Proctors, tickets sold out in minutes, so this encore performance is your chance to catch one of Broadway’s biggest shows at long last. The New York Times hailed the musical, which teaches about an important time in American history through hip-hop and dance, as a “theatrical landmark that has transformed theater and the way we think about history.” proctors.org    

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