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Visiting in Summer

The sunflower field at September Farms in Honeybrook is a spectacle to behold (and makes a nice photo op for your vacation scrapbook or social media).
The sunflower field at September Farms in Honeybrook is a spectacle to behold (and makes a nice photo op for your vacation scrapbook or social media).
Summer is a wonderful time to visit New Holland. You’ll certainly have no trouble finding outdoor activities around Lancaster County, but there are also several festivals and seasonal events to explore.

Starting on first Saturday in June is the annual Lancaster VegFest which is a two-day focus on everything vegan from food to clothes to advocacy. Whether you’ve been plant-based for decades or you’re just curious about veg street food, it’s a great time to be out in the park and sampling everything (be sure to try the indulgent brownies from BVH Bakery).

Just over a mile east of the Country Hearth is the New Holland Park which hosts live entertainment throughout the summer including a craft show in June, an Independence Day celebration in July with music by the New Holland Band, an antique car show and a BBQ competition, as well as music most Wednesdays and weekends.

While they’re open year-round, summer is a particulary nice time to explore the weekly markets like the Green Dragon Market (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday; 15 minutes north in Ephrata) and Root’s Country Market (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday; 30 minutes west in Manheim).

Roadside produce and flower stands are scattered along winding roads throughout the countryside and change throughout the year as different crops mature. Some put out crafts or baked goods to extend the selling season. Larger, more permanent shops are also plentiful. If you’re hoping to get a particular crop farm-fresh, PennState Extension has published a handy harvest calendar.

June is LGBTQ+ Pride month and Lancaster County is home to a number of groups that organize events to honor and celebrate the month. In Lancaster city, the Lancaster Pride group organizes Pride Fest with hundreds of vendors and several thousands of attendees each year; tickets are required but prices are kept very low. Their plans extend beyond the festival, too, with a flag raising ceremony, pool party, drag shows, pet parade, vigils, networking events and more. Up in Lititz, an outdoor festival hosted by Lititz Chooses Love also draws a large crowd for its free event in the Lititz Springs Park.

Craft show lovers can find several browsing opportunities in the area. None, however, can compete with the Rotary Club of Lititz Craft Show that takes over much of the town of Lititz on the second Saturday of August each year (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). We’ve spent hours walking around and we never quite make it to all 500+ vendors before calling it quits. While not as massive, the Heart of Lancaster Arts and Craft Show is held twice a year (May and August) at the Root’s Market in Manheim with hundreds of vendors and artists. And Creatively Lancaster hosts maker’s markets around the county throughout the year (check the Creative Lancaster Facebook page for updates on their upcoming events).

Fireworks fans can find Independence Day fireworks not just here in New Holland but throughout the region from late June through mid July.

The Bareville Fire Company’s annual consignment auction or Mud Sale will be Saturday, August 24, 2024.

Strasburg Railroad is hosting date night concerts in June and July along with their usual wine and cheese train rides and escape room events.

Summer Events and Attractions

OK, so a train ride isn’t exactly outdoors, but if you take a ride in one of their open-air cars you’ll get the best of both worlds!
The Strasburg Railroad features a 45 minute ride through the countryside.
The passenger car interior feels like stepping into the past. Informational signs dot the platform while you wait to board. Seats are reversable, which is great for the return trip.
Lancaster VegFest is held the first Saturday of June each year (and the following Sunday). Dozens of vegan food trucks and an array of vegan-aligned vendors fill the park. Musicians and speakers add to the experience.
The main stage at Lancaster VegFest hosts educational speakers and entertainers.
Cauliflower taco and tots from Bala Saahas. Mushroom Cheezsteak and some Mac and Cheez from Cheezy Vegan. Look at all the vendors to visit. Vegan fudge, pierogi, and Secret Vegan Kitchen.
Lancaster Pride Fest is held mid June each year and is host to hundreds of vendors and various entertainers. The organizers also hold other events throughout the month of June.
Lancaster Pride Festival
More than 500 vendors fill Lititz Springs Park and the adjoining streets which are closed to cars during the show.
Crocheted hats are among the many items you'll find at the craft show.
Streets fill with crowds quite early. The stream through the Lititz Springs Park is home to ducks who don't seem to mind the hustle and bustle. Vendors stretch as far as the eye can see down East Main Street. The August heat is a bit less demanding under the park trees.