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Summer's heating up

Summer in the Whiteface Region says goodbye to the familiar white blanket that covers the local High Peaks, and transforms into a green outdoor oasis, from our farms down below to the tops of our local giants! Your reward for bundling up day after day, trudging through snow and ice all those months? An events calendar jam-packed with outdoor races, festivals, and summer fun coming in all shapes and sizes. 

In the valleys, our farms and crops blossom in brilliant green sweeps, while above, Whiteface Mountain prepares itself for another season of racing, welcoming runners and cyclists to scale its winding highway. Fans will swarm Wilmington this season, coming from far and wide to experience the unique 360° views of the surrounding Adirondacks, while cheering on their athletes! 

When hearts aren’t racing to make it to the finish line, you’ll find festivals and celebrations around the region, ringing in the warm weather and basking in good food and live music. Take a peak at all we have in store this summer! 

An aerial view of the top of Whiteface Mountain and the highway carved into its side.

Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run - a history 

Let’s give you a quick history lesson before we dig into the next two events on the docket this summer. What the heck is going on with the Whiteface Region and whiskey? Well, the Whiteface Region has a colorful history involving liquor! During the War of 1812, Wilmington supplied good rye whiskey to the American troops at the Battle of Plattsburgh as part of their daily ration. During prohibition, with its proximity to Canada, Wilmington residents provided a temporary haven for bootleggers crossing the border, and until recently, Wilmington was home to US Barrel, a whiskey barrel cooperage, the perfect backdrop for a whiskey run; according to the Wilmington Historical Society and everyone else. 

Three older women take a photo for the Wilmington Whiskey Run.

Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run - June 15, 2024 

The region welcomes whiskey lovers, runners, and everyone in between for the annual Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run 5k and 10k Race. The run benefits the Wilmington Historical Society’s building fund and takes place at Preston Field in Wilmington. Race options include a 5K and a 10 K race, and for those who can’t make it to Wilmington, there is a virtual option available to lessen the blow of FOMO.

If you need extra motivation to put on your running shoes, in addition to the beautiful scenery and supportive crowd, as a participant, you will also receive a t-shirt, a race completion medal, and promotional items from local businesses! Awards are given in men’s and women’s categories for the 5K and 10K races for first, second, and third places. Stick around after the run for the awards ceremony and have some fun at the Whiskey Run Festival. 

A group of runners start a race under a white amd blue archway.

Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run Festival - June 15, 2024 

Following the run, a festival will be held from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Preston Festival Field. The festivities will include a craft show, food trucks, live music, and entertainment; and in keeping with its historical ties, Battle of Plattsburgh re-enactors in period clothing will take to the field, setting up tents and demos to spectate (whiskey was very important to the soldiers at the Battle of Plattsburgh). Additionally, witness a Wilmington history display, raffles, and more. Even if you have no stake in the race, simply come for a good time and a fun celebration!

A man tends a whiskey stand serving samples of liquor.

Ride for the River - July 16, 2024

For over a decade, Ride for the River has stood as a celebration of the stunning Ausable River watershed. Featuring two breathtaking routes with distances of 30 and 45 miles, the event will directly support the important work of the nonprofit Ausable River Association to protect the clean waters, healthy streams, biodiverse habitats, and scenic beauty of the Ausable River watershed. Highlights for this year's main event include catered food, craft beverages, and live music! Just as with other races around the region, if you can’t make it up to the mountains, join virtually!

Ride for the river from above.

Wilmington Mountain Music Fest - July 27, 2024

Off the mountains and down below in the valley, turn up the volume with the third annual Wilmington Mountain Music Fest! Featuring Completely Unchained & Don Jovi as a one-of-a-kind Legends of Rock Show, Taylor Lavalley, MerleJam, and Midnight Stargazers will also be making appearances! 

In addition to musicians, The Smoke Show, presented by Scarlet Foxx Entertainment, will add a bit of dazzling pyrotechnic displays to the setlist. Gates to the festival will open at 1:30 p.m., with local food, beer, wine, and coffee vendors on site. This is the perfect time to introduce yourself to the unique crafters of the region while vibing to groovy stage performances. 

A group of three older men perform rock music under bright stage lights with green fog.

Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival -  Aug 30 - Sept 1, 2024

Just as the sun sets on summer in the Adirondacks, we round out the season with a bang, in the form of the Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival! This three-day event celebrates all things mountain biking in the region, with on-site camping, live music by The Outcrops, and group rides for all abilities. On night one tuck into a heart-pumping group ride, and get your beauty sleep for two more days of shuttles, group rides, and clinics! Saturday brings the party with Beer & Food by Hex & HopTwo Jerks BBQ and Island Vybz, with Live music by St.Vith and a bonfire. The kiddos can get in on the action Sunday, with the Hardy Kids MTB Race. You won't want to miss it!

A man and woman crouch for a photo with their small child on a mountain bike.

Clear your calendars!

Get out into the mountains this summer and partake in some racing, music festing, or just some good old relaxing in the shadow of Whiteface Mountain. Don't forget to check out any of the more low-key events around the region, like concerts at the Wilmington Town Beach and on the Jay Village Green, and happenings all season long at private businesses and venues. As you’re relaxing those race muscles or wrapping up a weekend of spectating, discover the attractions that make the region sparkle, our farms that fill local restaurant menus, or famous trailheads waiting in the wings. There are no rules on how you spend your summer in the Whiteface Region.


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