Albany  celebrates its Dutch heritage with the impressive Tulip Festival and Pinksterfest (518/434-1217), held concurrently on the second weekend of May. Pinksterfest commemorates the day Fort Orange’s African American slaves were freed by the Dutch.
Throughout the summer, free concerts (518/474-2418) and other special events are staged at the Empire State Plaza . The Park Playhouse (518/434-2035) presents free plays and other events at the Lake House in Washington Park  in July and August.
The fairgrounds in the nearby village of Altamont host some of the region’s top special events. Among them are the Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance in June, the 100-year-old Altamont Fair in August, and the Capital District Scottish Games in early September. Call 518/434-1217 or visit www.albany.org  for more information.