The end of summer gives us the blues so we celebrate with a pair of music festivals timed around Labor Day Weekend each year. Blues music carries throughout downtown Alexandria Bay, New York, all weekend long from more than a half-dozen acts staged where the village meets the water. Hundreds bring along lawn chairs and gather beneath the tents to hear guitars rifts, bass beats and soulful wailing…with the waves of the St. Lawrence River just feet away.

Businesses throughout town get in the act by staging blues acts at various restaurants, bars and more. Blues in the Bay draws a laidback crowd looking to tap their feet and occasionally get up and dance to the end-of-summer blues.

Across the border in Kingston, Ontario, the Limestone City Blues Fest attracts thousands over the long weekend to hear more than a dozen acts including traveling headliners who perform at downtown Market Square and venues throughout this small historic city along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Kingston was Canada’s first capital and played a significant role in the country’s founding. The architecture lives up to that lofty status and the city is known as a foodie hub, blending just enough gourmet, modern-city offerings while maintaining a smalltown vibe. The city has produced several major music acts over the years, making the Limestone City Blues Fest a natural for this hub of musicians.