2014 Calendar of Events Brochure Available
What’s there to do? When are the festivals happening? When and where can I go to a concert? Now available, the 2014 Tioga County Calendar of Events brochure has been printed.
The brightly-colored fold-out brochure provides lists, dates and descriptions of over 100 events and festivals to be held this year in Tioga County, NY. Keep abreast of what’s happening in your backyard, and call or email us for the free brochure or stop in to the Visitor’s Center at 80 North Avenue, Owego.
The brochure can also be picked up at various brochure racks around the county as well.
Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Brochure
Finger Lakes cheesemakers use fresh, farmstead raw milk to make several artisan cheese styles, including European, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and much more. Visit their businesses to meet the farm animals, learn how the cheese is made, and of course – purchase cheese directly from the source. Many of the farms have varying hours of operation, so you may want to call ahead to confirm their daily hours.
Tioga County Map
Experience Tioga – “It’s All Good” An Undiscovered Pearl in the Finger Lakes Region
Your Passage to the Region in Upstate NY
Whether you are heading north to the Finger Lakes, East to Manhattan, West to Niagara Falls or South to Pennsylvania, there is one place where you must stop to eat, shop, enjoy nature, or just relax. Tioga County, New York is one of New York‟s finest areas to indulge in all the elements, an undiscovered pearl in the southern part of the Finger Lakes Region. From agritourism to fine dining, this mountainous river country offers sporting for the nature lover, performing arts for all generations, dining on the river or by the countryside, and plenty of unique shopping. Easily accessible from the Southern Tier Expressway Rt 17 (I-86), Tioga County allows travelers to relax in a unique and quaint, yet entertaining environment.
Upon arrival into Tioga County, an observance can be made to the only lighthouse this side of the Chesapeake Bay. The Lighthouse can be seen from the Rt. 17 (I-86) highway, marking an entrance into the beautiful historic district and marketplace center. This landmark also represents the only remaining Treadway Inn in existence. This family-run business bears a well-known trademark, a colonial watchman. This trademark is intended to signify old-fashioned hospitality, and the Treadway Inn offers the warm welcome, comfort, and good food of the inns of earlier days. In 1912, Mr. L.G. Treadway, who had worked his way through Dartmouth by waiting tables in a restaurant, took over the management of the Williams Inn in Williamstown, MA. He became a management consultant of great independence and with very definite ideas on the inn and restaurant. Mr. L. G. Treadway retired from active participation in the business with an eventual closing of his one-time 18 inns under the Treadway management. Today, the Treadway Inn in Owego, New York continues to carry out the same philosophies developed and designed by Mr. L. G. Treadway. When you see the familiar black-figured colonial watchman, you can be sure that the good food, relaxing atmosphere, and an impressive variety of history, scenery, and recreation await you.
Formed in 1781, Tioga County is New York’s 20th county. Made up of 9 towns and six villages, the name is Iroquois, meaning “at the forks.” The forks represent the many tributaries and the juncture of the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers at Tioga Point near Athens, Pennsylvania, a bordering village. By the American Colonial period, the Cayuga and Onondaga tribes of the Iroquois nation settled in Tioga County. Near the end of the Revolutionary War, the armies of Generals Sullivan and Clinton burned the small Indian village at Owego as they made their way west. Some of the soldiers discovered the areas rich farmland and valuable resources, thus deciding to return with their families and make Tioga County their home. The main highway, during that time, was the Susquehanna River. The first industries were lumber and farming. Large constructed rafts would load goods and pole to ports in Pennsylvania as far as the Chesapeake Bay. Later, roads were developed and the trains came through. This led into the 1828 charter of the Ithaca and Owego Railroad, the 2nd railroad in New York State. As transportation improved, businesses from pianos to peanut factories flourished. Many notable people were born and lived in Tioga County which included John D. Rockefeller and Benjamin Tracy, Secretary of the Navy in President Harrison’s cabinet, and General Henry Martyn Robert, originator of One of the most unique features of Tioga County is the preservation that has taken place as time evolved. Throughout the County are villages designed to create a unique dining and shopping experience. Historic Owego Marketplace has prided itself on the preservation of buildings throughout the district and its beautification efforts. An annual summer event, entitled the “Strawberry Festival,” attracts thousands to the Historic Marketplace District. Merchants showcase their items under tents by the roadside as guests stroll the streets filled with entertainment and music. This event is representative of the cultural spirit that exists within the Village. With everything from music in the street to strolling banjo players, the residents of Tioga County gather to join and greet their visitors.
Nearby the Marketplace District is the Owego Courthouse. The 19th Century structure has a great history within the region and is positioned in the square that adjoins access to the highway, marketplace, and the river. With a newly constructed bridge that lights a brilliant path into the Village of Owego, the Courthouse has remained a gathering place for memorial and music celebrations for many years. Parallel to the Courthouse and entrance to Owego is an old jail that became a preservation project for a young motorcycle enthusiast. Now open as the Jailbird Restaurant, the 1910 structure that once served as housing for inmates is now serving delicious food and hospitality. As you enter the restaurant, you will witness how cell blocks are transformed into dining areas. To enhance the dining experience at the Jailbird Restaurant, the owners left one of the cell blocks intact to allow visitors to view what life was like for the inmates at this one time public safety facility. During the warmer months, guests can dine outdoors on the Jailbird patio and watch the activities on the Courthouse Square. The entire structure, with its dining and historic ambience, has been featured in national, regional, and local news media. The Jailbird Restaurant has been recognized locally for its historic preservation as well as its beautification to the marketplace district.
The dining does not end at the Jailhouse as the cell blocks release you to continue your journey. Along the river‟s side in the Marketplace District is a row of shops that are brimming with charm and character. The uniquely lined row of buildings is more commonly referred to as Riverow. For a riverside dining experience, you will find two restaurants in the heart of Riverow that are sure to offer a memorable experience. Adjoined to a shop filled with gifts, collectibles, gourmet foods, and antiques, is the River Rose Café. Guests can dine inside the decorative café or on the riverfront deck that offers a view of the historically constructed Court Street Bridge. The adjoining shop, called the Hand of Man, is a charming old-world shop that allows shoppers to indulge in the beauty of its collection while enjoying the aroma of gourmet foods and coffee. You can also dine on the river at the Cellar Restaurant, also located on Riverow in the heart of the Marketplace District. Dining areas can be intimate or opened to accommodate up to 100 as delicious meals are prepared by the chef/owner. The riverside porch at the Cellar seats an additional 40 people and offers a close-up view of the river’s edge as well as the nature that surrounds it.
Moving away from the Marketplace District will take you to other historic points that offer a unique dining experience. Grand Central Restaurant, which is only minutes away from the Marketplace District, offers dining within a railway station that is nestled along the tracks. Its great food and preserved qualities, Grand Central offers guests a journey into the past as trains continue to go by the station on a regular basis. According to the owners, guests will see a train pass at least once while they are enjoying their meal.
For the sportsman, Turkey Trot Acres, which is located on the Finger Lakes border town of Candor, offers serious steaks, fresh seafood, and their famous “Badlands Buffet” on Friday and Saturday evening during the months of July and August. Iron Kettle Farm, along Rt. 96 in Candor, will wow you and your family during the fall season when they transform their pumpkins into delightful full-size nursery rhyme characters and scenes.
Tioga County is home to the largest area of 19th century historic homes in the Finger Lakes Region. Most of the 151 homes in the historic district are located in downtown Owego. An annual Historic Home Tour is offered the first weekend of December through the Arts Council. A wealth of Bed and Breakfast Suites has also been historically preserved. The most notable of the Bed and Breakfast Suites for its historic preservation and value is The Glenmary Inn. Located on the edge of a hill, and bearing the edge of time, this renovated 1840‟s Italianate once served as a sanitarium. Salvaged from demolition, the Glenmary Inn features nine overnight rooms and private baths, and offers a peaceful, as well as unique, atmosphere. Guests at the inn will enjoy the countryside atmosphere that is only minutes from the nearby village as well as the highway that points to the Finger Lakes region.
The Pumpelly House, located on the edge of the Susquehanna River, have also maintained their Victorian Beauty. This lovely Bed & Breakfast offers home-cooked breakfasts for guests, an in-ground pool, and is in walking distance to the heart of the Historic Owego Marketplace. Many weddings take place at the Pumpelly House as the beautiful Carriage House becomes transformed into the perfect setting for that special day. Tioga County boasts its natural resources and beauty. For the nature lover, the opportunities are endless. As you enter Tioga County, you will find Hickories Park in Owego.
This 100-acre site allows guests to enjoy picnics, volleyball, softball, walking, cross-country skiing, fishing, boating, camping, and outdoor concerts at the bandshell in the park. To take your adventure a step further, only minutes down the road is the access to Hiawatha Island. Operated through Waterman Conservation Center, the island that once housed a large farm and Inn has been preserved to offer hiking and tours. With transportation offered from its Marshland Road boat access, nature lovers will embrace the outdoors as they travel through time on this 112 acre island refuge. Waterman Conservation also offers miles of trails on 95-acres of forest as well as nature related programs. Tioga County is also bordered by over a dozen preserved forests, some of them now incorporated into the Finger Lakes Trail. For the fisherman, the river is your hotspot. While visiting Tioga County, you are sure to make a catch at any of the access areas offered throughout the region. An area to watch for is between Hiawatha Island and Owego. Walleye, smallmouth bass and tiger muskies up to 40 pounds have made this area their home. For our international visitors, the catfish are bountiful in the Susquehanna River. With bait and tackle shops located throughout the County, fishing has attracted visitors to Tioga County from around the world. The depths of your experience have only begun to be realized.
If your preference is to fish or sport on the water, Tioga County contains a wealth of boating possibilities. You can visit Route 96 Power and Paddle in Candor, New York. This kayak superstore stocks hundreds of kayaks and canoes including pedal and sailing kayaks. Free on water demonstrations are offered to the beginner. With eight boat access sites along the Susquehanna in Tioga County, water sporting is readily accessible to visitors throughout the year. The water sport opportunities are endless as our river offers everything from competitive rowing to recreational canoeing. It is said that “to put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together.” Tioga County offers visitors to the area this ultimate experience. Tioga County is very rich in nature and diverse in experience. An arts community has grown-up within the County as performing arts centers and the music community have unfolded. An annual event, Hickory Smoked Music Festival, offers the best in blues entertainment each year at Hickories Park in Owego. But the performing artist community exceeds its limits as artists offers guests an En Plein Air Art Show, the Third Friday Art Walk, as well as outdoor performances through the village and its surrounding communities. One of the oldest performing groups of community artists have recently built their own theater in the heart of Owego. The Ti-Ahwaga Community Players offer performances ranging from the musical “Grease,” to “A Christmas Story” during the holiday season.
With festivals throughout the year, visitors and guests go through a passage in time as they relive history. This living history can be found during Hiawatha Island‟s “Walk Thru Time,” at “Rudin‟s Olde Tyme Farm Days,” or the Bement-Billings Farmstead in Newark Valley, the only living history museum in the Southern Tier. Each living history event carries guests through the ultimate historic experience.
Tioga County has also watched as a racing community has built up around them. The recently built “Skyview Drags” has replaced a venue that historically served as an amusement park in the Town of Tioga. The ¼ mile drag strip is now feature to 10,000 horsepower of muscle and speed. Next to this dragstrip, a new racetrack, “Shangri-La II, has emerged at its top of the hill location. An exciting new attraction to the Southern Tier in the town of Nichols, NY, opened in 2006 is Tioga Downs Casino. This brand new facility can be seen from Rt. 17 (I-86) and brings a unique brand of fun and excitement to the area with harness racing, 750 video lottery terminals, simulcast racing, entertainment, sports bars and lounge, buffet restaurant and family fun year „round. It is open 7 days/week.
Whether it’s biking, racing, hiking, x-c skiing, shopping, dining, reminiscing, entertainment, or paddling, Tioga County offers something for everyone.