> VT / LAKE CHAMPLAIN MARITIME FESTIVAL
For Saturday’s 5K run/walk along the Burlington bike path, folks don pirate garb. That sense of fun prevails throughout the festival, with lake cruises, stand-up paddleboarding, live music, biplane exhibitions, a huge boat show, and dedicated activity areas for kids and dogs. Waterfront, Burlington, 802-482-3313, lcmfestival.com
> VT / BARNS & BRIDGES OF THE MAD RIVER VALLEY
This self-guided driving tour through gorgeous Mad River Valley is just one event in the monthlong Vermont Festival of the Arts. All the covered bridges along the way still carry traffic, and though some barns have been repurposed, others are on working farms and not normally open to the public. Bring a camera: Signs at each stop provide photo tips. Festival Gallery (for maps), 5031 Main Street, Waitsfield, 802-496-6682, vermontartfest.com
> ME / BLISTERED FINGERS FAMILY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
Bluegrass never goes out of style. Just ask folks who grew up at this family-friendly festival and are now bringing their own kids. Musicians from all over the US and Canada are on the roster, and many are happy to share a few tricks with aspiring performers. The youngsters take to the stage on Saturday afternoon. Litchfield Fairgrounds, 30 Plains Road, Litchfield, 207-873-6539, blisteredfingers.com
AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 2
> MA / 35th ANNUAL NEW ENGLAND ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL
AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 2
Some artisans here fashion handbags from worn-out jeans, felted mittens from old sweaters, and jewelry from broken china. Call it good old New England thrift or, as the organizers do, “vintage chic.” Artful food creations include jams, jellies, hot sauces, and honey. Craft demonstrations, live music, and puppet and magic shows for the kids round out the attractions. Topsfield Fairgrounds, 207 Boston Street, Topsfield, 603-332-2616, castleberryfairs.com
> CT / CONSTITUTION STATE FEIS
AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 1
Expect lots of flashy footwork at this Irish dance competition that draws more than 800 competitors from the United States and abroad. Live music accompanies two days of nonstop dance, featuring everyone from 3-year-old beginners to step-dancing world champions. It all takes place in a lakeside open-air theater at Quassy Amusement Park. 2132 Middlebury Road, Middlebury, 203-758-1885, horganacademy.webs.com
“I actually think we’ll see July 3 as an extremely heavy travel day, perhaps the heaviest of the season,” says Mary Maguire, spokeswoman for AAA Southern New England. Blame the fact that July 4 falls on a Thursday, practically demanding scheduling of a five-day-long weekend. Many will still work on the third, and probably not happily, so best to avoid rush hour.
Thanks to a relatively wet and cool May, “we will see a lot of activity during June,” explains Sam R. Telford III, a Lyme disease expert at Tufts University. But Telford doesn’t expect higher tick populations than usual later this summer. Nevertheless, he says, always use DEET-based repellents, conduct tick checks, and visit a doctor for any fever that lasts more than two days.
After a rainy June, says the venerable Old Farmer’s Almanac, expect a summer that is “drier than normal, with near-normal temperatures.” With any luck, warmer and drier than average weather this autumn will pay off in good leaf peeping.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average per-gallon price for regular gas expected at US pumps this summer will be $3.53, 16 cents less than last summer. And remember this AAA pro tip: Compared with Massachusetts average prices, gas tends to be cheaper in New Hampshire; it’s always more expensive in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Patricia Harris and David Lyon write about food, travel, and art from Cambridge. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org .