KettleFest 2016 Preview

Only 30 days to go before KettleFest! 

For those of you who attended the inaugural KettleFest in 2015, don’t worry, this year’s KettleFest, although a bit bigger, promises to serve up the same ambience you enjoyed last September. We are excited to have many of the same vendors and musicians, along with some unique and interesting additions.


We’re pleased to announce that two of Rochester’s favorite bands—The Honey Smugglers and Jackson Cavalier & The Fevertones—are returning to KettleFest!
The Honey Smugglers come to the main stage at 12 noon with an exciting brand of original music described as “folkrock, jamgrass, and acoustic Americana.”
Jackson Cavalier follows at 1:45pm. Nobody is more original than troubadour Jackson. Nobody.

To kick things off on the main stage at 10:30am we have the String Chickens. This group plays traditional fiddle music with fantastic energy and skill. For even more of their music, you will find them on the porch stage beginning at noon.
Thurlow will wrap things up on the main stage, beginning at 3:30pm. Just sit back on your hay bale to enjoy their original instrumental music. Or get up and bust out your air guitar or saxophone. Either way.

For something a little different, the porch stage offers up a barbershop quartet called Four Tune Chasers at 3:30pm. Last time I spoke with them, they were competing in Nashville. I suppose competitions are big for barbershop quartets.
We still have open slots on the porch stage at 10am and 1pm. If you know any local musicians who would like to do some no- or low-amplified “busking” on the porch stage, please let us know.

Food & Drink

No one goes hungry or thirsty at KettleFest. And the best part is that everything is local! McCann’s Local Meats will be firing up beer can chickens on the grill, the Finger Lakes Food Cart with hots, hams, sausages and garbage plates, and the New York Wine & Culinary Center will provide a variety of sandwiches and wraps to suit any taste.
Adults will be able to enjoy pints of beer or cider from VB Brewery, wine from Three Brothers Winery, and samples of spirits from Honeyone Falls Distillery.
Coffee and coffee drinks will be available throughout the day from Glen Edith Coffee, while Starla Bakery will be offering fresh baked goodies.

Artisan Vendors

We have so many top-tier artisans coming to KettleFest that we can hardly contain ourselves. Several were at KettleFest in 2015 while others will be new to the festival. Feel free to take a look at the details page at and click through to the artisans’ own website to see what they offer. And be ready to spend some money! You will find all sorts of things for yourself and for others (the holidays are coming!).

Workshops & Demonstrations

Our workshops and trail walks were very popular in 2015 and we expect the same for this year. Our favorite chef, Jeff Christiano will be back to demonstrate how to cook with honey and maple, while DEC Forester Brice June will again be offering trail walks and info about mushroom cultivation.
Our new workshops offer up knowledge about birding (birding author Hans Kunze), permaculture (expert Patty Love from the Rochester Permaculture Center), and native plants (Jim Engel from White Oak Nursery).
Speaking of native plants, we have purchased many potted plants over the years from a variety of sources, and the survival rate of plants from White Oak Nursery far exceeds any other source. Jim Engel has some sort of secret to growing great native plants.
Of course, Chris and Joe from Kettle Ridge Farm will be demonstrating our production of maple syrup and honey throughout the day.

Kid Friendly

Kids are sure to have a memorable KettleFest, with several activities found nowhere else.
Topping the list are the famous KettleFest chicken races. Your child will have the opportunity to select their favorite chicken before the hens race through a 50-yard wire tunnel to the finish line. It’s an absolute riot. The races are scheduled at three different times during the day.
This year we have reached out to some guests to “call” the chicken races. One of them is State Senator Rich Funke, who chairs the Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation Committee and who knows a thing or two about sports (if you can call chicken racing a sport).
A new activity this year is our beehive painting contest. Kids are invited to paint flower, insects, or other pleasant scenes on the sides of our beehive boxes. Prizes will be awarded. And after the festival, we will actually place the painted boxes in our bee yards.

Thanks To Our Sponsors

KettleFest would not be possible without the sponsorship support from many local companies. The sponsors are listed on the home page. Many of these companies are also sponsors in the chicken races. We are especially grateful to our title sponsor: Victor Chevrolet. Not only are they helping to cover a good chunk of our costs, but they will also be providing shuttle service to the overflow parking lot if needed.

See you at KettleFest!