Syracuse Winterfest | Things to Do in Syracuse | New York By Rail

february, 2024

15febAll Day25Syracuse Winterfest 2024(All Day) EST Syracuse, NY, Various Locations throughout Syracuse, NY

Event Details

Syracuse Winterfest

Experience the grandest winter event in Central New York, and join over 100,000 attendees for 11 days of fun-filled events.

Enjoy one of America’s snowiest cities and all it has to offer from February 15-25 at the Syracuse Winterfest, in Syracuse, NY. First celebrated in 1985, Winterfest brings community and cultural organizations together for almost a week’s worth of food, fun, and entertainment. 

Key Events at the Festival 

The festival spans eleven days and draws the second largest audience in central New York, with hundreds of people enjoying dozens of different activities. Winterfest-goers can relish in both indoor and outdoor events. Take part in the corn hole tournament or enter in a cook-off or one of five mix-offs to showcase your signature dish or cocktail. Prefer to sit back and enjoy the cuisine? Food and drink tickets will be provided by select establishments, allowing attendees to sample recipes, from chili to chowder, and vote for their favorites. And be sure to check out the free shuttle service for beer tasting, too. 

If you’re not that much of a foodie, you can still have plenty of fun.  Participate in the annual treasure hunt, which begins on February 15th, for the chance to win a prize of $2,000! More happenings include ice skating, ice carving, and a human dog sled race which benefits Helping Hounds Dog Rescue. Pay a visit to the music and library events at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and the Onondaga County Public Library, and don’t miss the fireworks that kick off the start of the festival on February 16th at 8:30 pm. 

History of the Winter Festival 

The first Winterfest was celebrated in 1985 by a small group of Syracuse natives, known as the Updowntowners, who were committed to creating a fun event during the winter months in Syracuse and Onondaga County. Over time, the volunteers and staff grew, as well as the festival. During the Winterfest’s third year, the celebration received full support from county and city officials, including It was the third year of celebration of Syracuse Winterfest when the Updowntowners of Syracuse gained the full support of the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County and The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. 

In the 1987-88 season, the festival was deemed as New York State’s “Winter Festival Capital.” The festival then expanded from a weekend event to its current two weeks, thanks to public support and enthusiasm. 

Syracuse Winterfest continues to be a great attraction in Central New York. It has grown to be the largest event of its kind in the Northeast. 

Syracuse Winterfest Tickets and Registration 

Enjoy Syracuse Winterfest with day-of purchasing and registration. Event prices vary, so be sure to look at the Winterfest event calendar for more information. 

Syracuse Winterfest

Festival attendees dash to the finish in a sled pulling race. | Photo from Syracuse Winterfest

Syracuse Winterfest

Grab a photo with the Winterfest mascots! | Photo from Syracuse Winterfest

Take Amtrak to Syracuse Winterfest

Experience this great winter festival via Amtrak to Syracuse Station in Syracuse, NY. —Don’t forget to use the Amtrak See New York and Save 15% discount!

Get picked up from Syracuse Station and taken to your reserved NYTRAIN Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Click here to reserve your car or call the Syracuse office today at: 315-423-0022.


february 15 (Thursday) - 25 (Sunday) EST


Syracuse, NY

Various Locations throughout Syracuse, NY