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 nanowrimo.org 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.


Posted in authors, books, for children, weekend highlights, workshops, writing | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in art shows, concerts, craft fairs, festivals, food, local musicians, theater, weekend highlights | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in art shows, concerts, craft fairs, festivals, films, for children, weekend highlights, workshops | Leave a comment

Acoustic Blues; Friday night in Allentown

Our friend Tom Cooney and his group, Acoustic Blues Project (ABP), will be playing in Allentown tonight, Friday, September 22nd, 2017, at HiJinx Brewing Company, 905 Harrison Street, Allentown, PA.

Enjoy a Friday evening of great beers and blues at HiJinx Brewing Company. The “ABP” with special guest bass player Warren Snead covering for Leon Bonam. We’re on from 6-9 pm. Come on by!

Posted in concerts, local musicians, MMUP News, weekend highlights | Tagged | Leave a comment

Free “Kindness Rocks” Painting Event

HP kindness rock

Perhaps you’ve seen brightly colored painted rocks laying on the ground while you were out walking, or in someone’s garden, (or in a Little Free Library), and wondered about them, and hopefully they served to bring a smile to your face and brighten your day for just a moment (or longer). Maybe it had a saying written on it, maybe it was just a colorful design, or maybe it was a familiar face, like the Harry Potter kindness rock that showed up in the Washington Street Free Library in East Greenville, the other day. These pocket size painted “kindness rocks ” have been showing up all over the country and local areas.

Now you can be a part of brightening someone’s day with a random piece of rock art, without having to go to the trouble of finding the rocks or buying any paint. Tomorrow, the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center is hosting a free Kindness Rock painting event in the afternoon from noon to 2 p.m. (Saturday, September 23, 2017). According to the Town and Country newspaper, “The completed rocks will be collected and placed around town for people to found and keep.” Schwenkfelder Library, 105 Seminary Avenue, Pennsburg, PA. Free admission.

Posted in for children, weekend highlights, workshops | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bethlehem Celtic Classic (& last chance to see Burning Bridget Cleary!) – Sept. 22-24, 2017

The Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival  in Bethlehem, PA, begins this Friday, and runs through Sunday; September 22-24, 2017. This is the 30th year for the outdoors festival, which is free, and open to the public, and features craft tents; a pipe band competition (1:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday), a drum major competition (5:45 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday), Highland Dance competition, Celtic Classic Youth Fiddle Competition (from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday morning; at least one local student from our area will be competing!), and more; five stages with live musical performances by an assortment of Irish and Scottish bands and groups (over the course of three days) including Blackwater, Seamus Kennedy, Glengarry Bhoys, Timlin and Kane, and Steel City Rovers, to name just a few. The Celtic Heritage Hollow is a “kids and cultural area” with children’s theatre, children’s activities, music and dance, storytellers and demonstrations from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will be food, and assorted beverages (for kids and adults) for sale at various locations at the event.

And this is your last chance, after almost twelve years and five recorded albums, to see the local Celtic band (Harleysville) Burning Bridget Cleary, whose members are going on “an indefinite leave of absence” at the end of this year in order to pursue separate musical paths. The group is schedule to play four different sets throughout the weekend;  on Friday, September 22nd – 4:15 p.m. on the Grand Pavilion and at 8:15 p.m. on the Celtic River Stage; on Saturday, September 23rd 4:30 p.m. on the Grand Pavilion; and on Sunday, September 23rd at 12 noon in the Ice House. All the concerts are free and in Bethlehem on the Celtic Classic grounds (in historic Bethlehem, below the Hotel Bethlehem).



Posted in concerts, craft fairs, educational programs, festivals, food, for children, local musicians, weekend highlights | Leave a comment

Opening Weekend at DCP Theater, Montgomery Theater, and McCoole’s in Quakertown

The Last 5 Years opens at DCP Theater, (795 Ridge Road, Telford, PA) on September 15 and runs through 30, 2017.

The Last Five Years is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy, a struggling actress, telling her story backwards while Jamie, a successful novelist, tells his story chronologically. By Jason Robert Brown, this musical will touch your heart.

The Gin Game opened last night, September 14th and continues on stage at Montgomery Theater (124 Main Street, Souderton, PA) until October 8, 2017

This Pulitzer Prize winning play is about two elderly residents at a nursing home who strike up an acquaintance. Neither seems to have any other friends, and they start to enjoy each other’s company. Weller offers to teach Fonsia how to play gin rummy, and they begin playing a series of games that Fonsia always wins. Weller’s inability to win a single hand becomes increasingly frustrating to him, while Fonsia becomes increasingly confident.

The classic story turned into a Broadway musical, Jeckyll and Hydetakes the stage at McCoole’s Arts & Events Place in Quakertown, PA (10 S. Main Street) tomorrow evening, September 15, 2017 and will continue its run through the end of the month, September 30, 2017. Tickets may be bought at the door or online.

Posted in theater, weekend highlights | Leave a comment