By Roger Chambers
- Holidays and Observances in August
August 2 Friendship Day
- August 3 Ernie Pyle Day in New Mexico
- August 4 Coast Guard Day
- August 12 Atlantic Charter Day
- August 16 National Airborne Day
- August 19 National Aviation Day
- August 26 Women’s Equality Day
- August is a late summer month, though not usually as hot as July. Daytime temperatures are generally in the 70s and 80s, occasionally in the 90s.
- Late in the month, thoughts turn to the return of students. Most colleges begin classes late in the month, and back to school sales for students are common who return to school after Labor Day.
- While there are no major holidays during the month, summer festivals abound in the region during August. There are several county fairs, a Canal Fest in Little Falls, a film festival and Drums Along the Mohawk Drum and Bugle Corps competition in Rome, a large antique show in Madison County, and an arts festival in Clinton. The State Fair in Syracuse ends the month and summer season in nearby Syracuse in late August to Labor Day.
Regional Festivals in August
- July 31-August 5 Otsego County Fair, Morris
- August 2 Drums Along the Mohawk, Drum and Bugle Corps Competition, Rome
- August 6 Oriskany Monument Annual Celebration of Battle of Oriskany
- August 7-12 Chenango County Fair, Norwich
- August 7-12 Schoharie County Sunshine Fair, Cobleskill
- August 7-13 Canal Festival, Little Falls
- August 8-12 Oswego County Fair, Sandy Creek
- August 10-12 Capital Silent Film Fest, Capitol Theater, Rome
- August 13-19 Madison-Bouckville Antique Show, Madison County
- August 14-19 Herkimer Country Fair, Frankfort
- August 17-18 Chenango Blues Festival, Norwich
- August 17-19 Woodsmen Field Days, Boonville
- August 25 Clinton Arts Festival
- August 25 Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown
- August 22-September 3 New York State Fair, Syracuse
- In the garden, tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables are at their peak, as well as fruits like pears, peaches, and it begins apple season. The many regional farmer’s markets have wide varieties of fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.
- Camping and other outdoor activities are popular, though sunset is earlier now than solstice season and early July. Evenings occasionally are cool enough for a sweater or light jacket.
- Women’s Equality Day is August 26, marking the adoption of the right to vote for women in 1920. This may be observed more prominently this year, with already record numbers of women running for Congress and other political offices during these trying political times.
- Of local historical interest is the 241st anniversary of the Battle of Oriskany on August 6. General Nicholas Herkimer and the Tryon County Militia were ambushed near present-day Oriskany by the British and Indian allies as they were attempting to relieve the siege at Fort Stanwix in what became the bloodiest battle of the Revolutionary War. In recent years, there has been a gathering to commemorate this important event at the Oriskany Monument, east of Rome.As the summer season gradually winds down, take some time to enjoy some of the regional festivals occurring in the greater Mohawk Valley.
- In the Night Skies
Phases of the Moon for August
August 4 Last Quarter
- August 11 New Moon
- August 18 First Quarter
- August 26 Full Sturgeon Moon
Rising and Setting Times of the Sun, Moon, and Visible Planets August 12 during the Perseid Meteor Shower
- Sunrise 6:04 A.M.
- Sunset 8:07 P.M.
Moon Rises 7:21 A.M.
- Moon Sets 9:14 P.M.
(Waxing Crescent Moon)
Mercury Rises 5:48 A.M.
- Venus Venus Sets 9:46 P.M.
Mars Rises 7:38 P.M.
- Mars Sets 4:06 A.M.
- Jupiter Sets 11:29 P.M.
- Saturn Sets 2:23 A.M.
- The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks August 11-13th. The Moon does not interfere as it is near New Moon with ideal conditions for observing the best meteor shower of the year. There could be as many as 50 meteors an hour, best seen between midnight and dawn. Conjunctions in August include Venus below the Moon on the 14th, Jupiter near the Moon on the 16th and 17th, and Saturn to the Moon’s left on the 20th.
- The Moon is above low lying Mars on the 22nd and 23rd. While low in the southern sky, Mars is brighter than Jupiter all month. Mercury is visible in the eastern pre-dawn sky starting on the 24th. The Full Moon of August, this year on August 26, went by several different names among indigenous peoples, known as the Sturgeon Moon, Green Corn Moon, Red Moon, or Hay Moon.