This Weekend Beyond the Craft Fairs

Palm Schwenkfelder Church (833 Gravel Road, Palm, PA) hosts their annual Ladies’ Aid Holiday Bazaar and The North Penn Holiday Craft Fair – a juried arts and crafts show – (1340 S Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA) are both taking place on Saturday, November 18, 2017 (9-3 at Palm and 9:30-4:30 at North Penn). Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt and Philadelphia’s outdoor Christmas Market also open this weekend. You can read more about these events in last week’s blog post.

Much more is happening this weekend beyond the craft fairs.

Pennsburg’s own WC (Bill) Clinton will be signing and selling his book of short stories at the Local Author Fair happening at Quakertown’s public library; the James A Michener Branch, Fourth and Mill Streets, Quakertown, PA. Twenty authors, whose works range from fantasy to Young Adult to children’s picture books to non-fiction and more, will be in attendance from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, giving them the opportunity to talk to the authors, hear about their books, and purchase any that are of interest.

Sondheim’s musical will be presented as  Sweeney Todd in Concert  by Friends of Cedar Crest Performing Arts twice on Saturday, November 18, 2017; at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., at Cedar Crest College’s Samuels Theatre in Allentown, PA (100 College Drive, Allentown – on Cedar Crest College campus).

FCCPA’s production will be presented concert-style with minimal sets and costumes. In addition to Tracy-Fusco www as Mrs. Lovett, Matthew Geist of Alburtis will play Sweeney Todd; Cedar Crest sophomore Emma Gerstein is Johanna and Rhys Williams of Emmaus is Anthony.The cast also includes Bruce McKillip of Easton as Judge Turpin, Ben Yenser of Slatington as Beadle Bamford, Jasmyn Maree Davis, a Cedar Crest senior, as Lucy/beggar woman, Lauren Jorgensen of Quakertown as Tobias and Florence Taylor of Allentown as Signor Pirelli. Kerri-Leigh Taylor directs and Trevor Davis is musical director.

This weekend you can check out artists’ studios in our area via the self-guided tour Fall into Winter 2017;

Enjoy touring the spaces of well-known local artists in Boyertown, Oley, Barto, and the surrounding areas, in this annual driving tour.  Finish your holiday shopping early with everything from fine art in all media, sculpture, pottery, glass, metalwork, fibers, and jewelry to bakery items and artisan brews.

Follow the map from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19, 2017.

The Choristers’ Saturday night (November 18) concert, Shades of Light begins at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Main Street, Lansdale, PA. Several of the works performed will be accompanied by an orchestra, including Morton Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. Additional works on the concert program include pieces by Ellington, Bach, Mahler, Schubert, and more.

Reverberations: Sound Sculptures by Harry Bertoia is the newest exhibit at the Allentown Art Museum ; opening on Sunday, November 19, 2017 and continuing through January 7, 2018. The museum offers free admission on Sundays afternoons (noon – 4) and Thursday evenings (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.). Bertoia’s musical sculptures were made in his studio in Bally, PA (where his son still works and creates sculptures of his own). The Morning Call recently published an excellent article about the sculptor, his works, and the exhibit; Bertoia sound sculptures reverberate in Allentown.

Intrigued by this sound, Bertoia began experimenting with varying metals, eventually creating “sound sculptures,” free-standing works that were not only beautiful to look at, but could also be played like musical instruments that, like wind chimes, filled the air with music as the metal clanged and vibrated.

In the next 10 years, Bertoia made about 1,500 sound sculptures, and coined the word “sonambient” to describe the sound environments his art created.

The Allentown Art Museum is celebrating these works with “Reverberations: Sound Sculptures by Harry Bertoia,” an exhibit running Nov. 19 through Jan. 7. It includes 10 sound sculptures, including nine that were used in a collaboration between the Allentown Art Museum and Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Muhlenberg College professor of music Douglas Ovens created a composition, “Visible Music,” which he premiered with the sound sculptures and the orchestra Nov. 4 and 5.

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Contemporary Crafts Shows and Holiday Bazaars – Now through Dec 24th!

The Philadelphia Art Museum Contemporary Craft Show opens on Thursday, November 9th and continues through the weekend, closing on Sunday, November 12th, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA; featuring 195 contemporary craft artists from 31 states who’ve been selected to participate in the 41st Annual Craft Show.

The first holiday bazaar in the Upper Perk Valley is being held this Saturday, November 11th at Hereford Elementary School (1043 Gravel Pike, Hereford, PA) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Take yourself on the free, self-guided, Hidden Treasure Studio Tour and Sale, held from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on November 11 and 12, 2017, in Allentown, Bethlehem, Center Valley and Zionsville, PA.

This year marks our 23rd year of the Hidden Treasures tour.  As always, you will find your favorite artists with their latest creations along with exciting additions from our new artists. We invite you to join us for this unique shopping experience where you travel to various artist studios and buy directly from the artisans who created the items themselves.  Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, talk to the artists and learn how their pieces are created. You set the pace, visit all of the studios or just the ones that interest you most.

Palm Schwenkfelder Church (833 Gravel Road, Palm, PA) hosts their annual Ladies’ Aid Holiday Bazaar the following week on Saturday, November 18th, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Home baked goods and homemade soup, along with other food and drink, will be for sale at the bazaar.

And just down the road on the same Saturday, November 18th, you can check out the juried arts and crafts show at North Penn High School, 1340 S Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA, between 9:30 a.m and 4:30 p.m. The North Penn Holiday Craft Fair started in 1987 and includes over 95 artists and feature fine and unusual pottery, jewelry, fiber, dried flowers, fraktur, tinware, baskets, folk art, theorem, quilts, appliqués, furniture, painted scissor cuttings, ceramics, scherenschnitte, embroidery, children’s clothing, dolls, rug weaving, decoys, calligraphy, leather, band boxes, iron work, toys, wood carvings, wooden spoons, and much more. You can also purchase lunch at the show.

If you can’t wait until Thanksgiving weekend, you can walk through the Christmas Village at Love Park in Philadelphia (1500 Arch Street), across from City Hall, during the “sneak preview” weekend on Saturday, November 18th and Sunday, November 19th, 2017. The Village does its best to recreate the look and feel of German Christmas Markets, with over 80 wooden booths and food and mugs of gluhwein (hot mulled wine) for sale. There is no admission charge any day of the week, and starting on November 23rd the Christmas Village will be open seven days a week through December 24, 2017.

The 25th Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem begins on Friday, November 17th and runs weekends (Thursday through Sunday) until December 23rd. The four heated tents that hold over 150 artisan booths, food and drink stands, Käthe Wohlfarht (offering handmade ornaments, nutcrackers and collectibles from Germany), live Christmas music, and more, are set up by the SteelStacks on the South Side (101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA). Tickets and season passes may be purchased online.  The artisan merchants rotate over the length of Christkindlmarkt. You can also see ice carving and glassblowing demonstrations, and even make your own blown glass ornaments!

The Boyertown Area Historical Society’s annual Der Belsnickel juried craft show is, as always, the weekend after Thanksgiving; Friday and Saturday, November 24 (11 a.m – 6 p.m.) and 25 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), 2017. The Historical Society is very strict, requiring of the artisans that 90% of the craft must be made by the participant.  

The Marlborough Elementary School Craft Fair (1450 Gravel Pike, Green Lane, PA) is scheduled for Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

St. John’s Lutheran Church in Green Lane (3105 Main Street) hosts their annual Christmas Bazaar and Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 9, 2017, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.



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Pennsburg Quilt Show Saturday and East Greenville Organ Concert on Sunday

The Keystone Quilters are hosting their annual Quilt Show in Pennsburg this year, at the Finland Mennonite Church (1750 Ziegler Road, Pennsburg, PA) this Saturday, October 14, 2017. Admission charge is $7 (12 and under are free), and the show is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. today. The show exhibits consist of a mix of traditional and modern quilt designs.

On September 24, 1983, a group of 15 women from Quakertown, Springtown, Sellersville, Pleasant Valley, and Perkasie, Pennsylvania met for the first time in the basement of Quakertown’s historic Burgess Foulke House.  Our co-founders, Vicki Derenick & Brenda Kalata, wanted to provide a forum for area quilters to come together trying and evaluating new techniques, trouble-shoot quilting issues, as well as stimulate, challenge and expanded their quilting skills … the group called themselves “Keystone Quilters.”

Our show also has special exhibits, free demonstrations, door prizes, vendors, a guild sponsored boutique and to round off your Quilt Show experience … we have the famous “Keystone Cafe.”

The 290th Anniversary Year Organ Recital with Gordon Turk begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, 2017. The free public concert is at New Goshenhoppen Church (1070 Church Road, East Greenville, PA) in the sanctuary. A free will offering and reception will be be held after the program. This concert is one of the events scheduled to celebrate the 290th anniversary of the New Goshenhoppen Church. All are welcome.

Gordon Turk is a prominent American concert organist. He has played throughout the United States, made two concert tours in Japan, and performed frequently in Europe, including the Ukraine and Russia, both as solo organist and with orchestra.

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Skippack Days; Rain or Shine

If the rain stops later today, or even if it doesn’t, it’s always worth the short drive to Skippack Village to walk around their Main Street checking out the eclectic mix of shops, bakeries, and restaurants, especially when the annual outdoor Arts and Crafts show is happening. This weekend, October 7th and 8th, the event known as Skippack Days takes over the town from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; “Skippack Days features artwork and crafts, jewelry, candles, food and fun from a variety of local crafters, designers, artists and retail shops.” 

This is the town’s biggest festival of arts and crafts, where makers and creators of all kinds gather in the town to sell their wares over a weekend. A field of vendor tents takes over the city as more than seventy different craft-makers set up temporary structures, and there is live music and local food available to purchase for those that need a break during their hunt for the next great buy.


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A Tale of 3 Authors

The author of How To Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell, will be making one stop in Pennsylvania with her new book, The Wizards of Once in EMMAUS! Yes, the “Philadelphia, PA stop listed on her poster is actually Emmaus High School, 500 Macungie Avenue, Emmaus Pa !  Let’s Play Books! – the wonderful independent bookstore on Main Street in Emmaus – has arranged the event, and thanks to the English Department and the Collage Club of Emmaus High School who are sponsoring this event, admission is free of charge. Tickets are required – just pre-register at no cost on the website. The event begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, 2017, and is appropriate for all ages.


Books may be purchased at a discount before the event at Let’s Play Books Bookstore, or on-site. Only books purchased from Let’s Play Books Bookstore will be eligible to be signed, two books per person.

Pennsburg author (and Make Music Upper Perk volunteer!) Terri Kuenzer, was recently written up in the newspaper about the inclusion of her short story, The Understudy, which will appear in the anthology, Beach ReadsThe publisher, Cat and Mouse Press, is hosting a book launch party on November 12, 2017, at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE. This is a great opportunity for the public to meet the authors, get the book (and get it signed), and have some cake! The event will be held from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Terri’s published works appear under her pen name, Terri Kiral.

In case you missed it, Australian author (and recent visitor to the Upper Perk Valley), Laura Goodin is virtual writer in residence at Diehl’s Real Teas (Main Street, East Greenville, PA), is running an online discussion group for writers, and has offered to Skype with writing groups meeting at Diehl’s Real Teas. Laura is writing short stories just for Diehl’s, which can be found at their website on the “virtual writer in residence” page.

Hi, fellow writers —

Just a reminder that EVERYONE is welcome in this group. They don’t have to live in the area. So if you have other writer friends, no matter where they live, please go right ahead and ask them if they’d like to join.

Moreover, NaNoWriMo is fast approaching (see if you’re not sure what I’m talking about), and I’d love to set up a real-time write-in during November at Diehl’s Real Teas, perhaps even with a Skype link between me in Australia and y’all in the tea shop so we could all write together. Who’s interested?

Your Virtual Writer-in-Residence,


The discussion group for writers who come and drink tea (and write) at Diehl’s Real Teas in East Greenville, PA. Associated with the Virtual Writer-in-Residence project, run by writer Laura E. Goodin in conjunction with owners Kevin and Fenny.

Laura Goodin is author of several plays, librettos, poems, short stories, and two published novels, After the Bloodwood Staff, and Mud and Glass.


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This Weekend’s Fall Festivals and Seasonal Concerts

Many plays are opening locally tonight, but this blog post is going to focus on fall festivals and concerts being held this weekend and next. Go to the theatre page to see what shows are on nearby stages.

Specters, Sorcerers, and the Supernatural is the title and theme of Illumine’s concert series this month, starting tonight, Friday, October 6, 2017,  in Pottstown at Shenkel United Church of Christ (1580 Shenkel Road, Pottstown, PA). Admission is free; a donation is suggested.

Is it possible to be frightened by a piece of music? We intend to find out in this fitting commencement to the Halloween season. Throughout human history, music has been an outlet for expressing fear of the uncanny and the unexplainable. This October, we will use every resource we have – including unconventional instruments and improvisation – to evoke both mysticism and the terrifying. By the way… are you brave enough to come on Friday the 13th?

Compositions by Brown, Falla, and Verdi

More music can be heard, for free, on the SouthSide of Bethlehem, PA tonight, as part of this month’s First Friday. 

Start your Halloween season on the SouthSide this Friday, October 6th. A fresh line-up of live musicians provided by the Lehigh Valley Underground Concert Series, extended happy hour drink and appetizer specials, fun Halloween themed kids crafts and games, and ultramodern art gallery openings are sure to spark conversation and your imagination.

We’re proud to announce that Dave Fry, local legend and folk musician will be opening the evening at Godfrey Daniels at 6:30pm, followed by Acousitc Kitty Project at 7:30pm and closing the evening at Godfrey’s will be the Billy Bauer Band at 8:30pm.

The Banana Factory will be joining the concert venue list showcasing two acts, singer/songwriter Brittany Ramaglia at 5:30pm and soul duo January Noon at 7pm.

Returning concert hot spots include Color Me Mine Lehigh Valley, the Comfort Suites Hill to Hill Grille, Molly’s Irish Grille & Sports Pub and SouthSide 313 Bar & Grille – all featuring musicians from 6pm – 9pm across the SouthSide.

And if you are heading over to Bethlehem tonight, or anytime this weekend, don’t forget about Oktoberfest at SteelStacks; October 6-8 and 13-15, 2017, Fridays 5 – 10 p.m., Saturdays noon – 10 p.m. and Sundays noon – 6 p.m.

Now in its 7th year, Oktoberfest is a free festival that features brew samples, authentic German food, beer and live music, as well as attractions like the axe-wielding lumberjacks of the Great Lakes Timber Show, the exciting Beer-Lympics competition, the Hobby Horse Bonanza, the popular dachshund races, local artisans and more.

Also on Saturday, October 7, 2017, in Emmaus, will be the juried craft show and fall festival, A Very Merrie Halloween is set to begin at 10 a.m. and continues through 4 p.m. at the 1803 House, 55 S. Keystone Avenue, Emmaus. Free admission.

On the way to Emmaus from the Valley, you might stop by Stahl’s Pottery Festival in Zionsville (along Route 100/29), held rain or shine from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and celebrating their 30th year!

The 2017 Fall Pottery Festival features:

  • Over 20 local potters displaying and selling traditional & contemporary pottery

Several of the participating potters will demonstrate turning pottery on the potter’s wheel and other pottery making techniques during the Festival.  Raku pottery demonstrations will be performed periodically throughout the Festival.

I know I haven’t listed everything happening this weekend, but hopefully there are enough good ideas here to keep folks happy and out of trouble. Tomorrow’s Bark N Bacon event in East Greenville and the Native American Heritage Day at the Museum of Indian Culture on Fish Hatchery Road just outside of Allentown both require pre-registration and the posted deadline has come and gone (sorry!).

And Saturday night is Open Mic night at Wing Man Bar and Grill, Route 29, East Greenville, PA (by Walmart); 7:30 – 11:30 p.m.

Come out and showcase your musical talents at Open Mic Night hosted by Phil Stahl! 

PA system, lights, bass amp are supplied.


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First Day in October!

On this first day of October, this crisp fall Sunday, Allentown has two free Arts Festivals (taking place inside and outside), and the 22nd Collegiate Marching Band Competition (a ticketed event) all happening this afternoon, while down in Perkasie, PA, their Fall Festival starts at noon at Menlo Park and Perkasie Town Center (a free trolley connects the Park and Town Center).

Featuring “fringe and outsider art” along with live music ranging from reggae to hip-hop to folk to indie rock to jazz and beyond, children’s craft activities, break-dancing, skate park, graffiti mural painting, and a tech arts area with VR, video games, and 3D printing, the Allentown Arts Fest at Cedar Beach Park (between Hamilton and Linden Street, Allentown, PA) is bigger and better than ever, and free! The final day of the event on Sunday, October 1st, is scheduled from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Just a dozen or so blocks away, the Allentown Art Museum (31 N. 5th Street) is hosting their own Fall Festival today, October 1st, from noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the museum, all exhibits and all activities  will be free this afternoon; including a special screening of short children’s films that were shown at the NY Children’s Film Festival from 12:30 – 3:30 (most films are 2-5 minutes long, so come and go as you please; stay to see one or see twenty-two, as time permits). The first set of primarily animated films is recommended for ages 3 – 7, while the second set of films is suggested for ages 8 – adult. As part of the Festival, outside the Art Museum today, at 5th Street and in Arts Park, there will be free yoga (for kids and for adults), en plein air sketching;

Follow the lead of Hudson River School artists, who created small plein air sketches in the wilderness before heading back to their studios to complete their paintings. With a Museum educator guiding the experience, kids can explore Arts Park and make sketches, then return to an outdoor tent to add finishing touches using watercolors or markers.

and an opportunity to make sun prints;

Aspiring artists of all ages can make unique prints using natural materials and the power of the sun. Arrange flowers, leaves, sticks, and other items on special sun-sensitive paper, and after exposing the paper to sunlight, a ghost image of the natural objects will appear.

The 22nd Collegiate Marching Band Festival is also today in Allentown, at the J Birney Crum Stadium (20th and Linden); tickets go on sale at the gate at 10 a.m., gates open at 11 a.m. and the first band takes the field at noon. The event will run for approximately five hours, with twenty college bands scheduled to perform. And won’t it be a beautiful day to sit in the stands and watch the flags fly, the intricate marching patterns, and hear the sound of drums, trumpets, and the rest of the band!

But if you prefer more of a small town feel for the day, but would still like to get and about and enjoy some fresh air without working in the yard; head down to the Perkasie Fall Festival, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.;

In its 16th year, Perkasie’s Fall Festival offers fun for the whole family. Menlo Park plays host to pony rides, a petting zoo, inflatables, face painting, scarecrow making and a host of children’s entertainers and other activities.

Perkasie town center has a craft and vendor show, pumpkin decorating, food, musicians and train rides. New this year, a large covered tent and event area features Harry Potter crafts, games and entertainment.

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