Don't bother trying to get a hotel room in the Lehigh Valley this weekend if you don't have one already. There's no room at the Inn because the Valley is bursting with entertainment, nostalgia and action. This ladies and gentlemen is NOT a boring weekend by any stretch of the imagination. Far from it.
In 1984 a music event was introduced in historic Bethlehem's downtown area. It was attended by nearly 182,000 people watching 118 performers of various musical persuasions. Back then folks had no idea of what this 'Musikfest' thing would become. Today 25 yearslater it's HUGE! There are over 300 performers from across the country and around the globe that gather to entertain, playing virtually any type of music you can possible imagine. A few others that you may have never heard before. The food is wonderful and the beverages abundant. The price of admission is right, free. That's right, FREE! Walk around downtown Bethlehem and stop at the various venues or 'Platz', to hear various musical performers provide entertainment absolutely free. Of course for the headliners in the evening you'll need to buy a ticket. This years headline acts include, Crosby Stills and Nash, George Thorogood, Yes, Asia,Pet Benetar, Blondie, The B-52's, Joan Jett and the Black Hearts, Third Eye Blind, Puddle of Mudjust to name a few. I've attended several shows over the years and always enjoyed them. However, the hidden gems are in the free venues scattered throughout the city. For example, some 12-14 years ago I found a band from Atlanta GA called The Floating Men. This band played as rain fell during the night and they played their hearts out. They've been on my play list ever since. Musikfest is truly a place where the miracles fly!
What? Music isn't your cup of tea? How about Antique or Classic cars? In the quaint community of Macungie PA you'll find in its 45th year, Das Awkscht Fescht. Admission is $7.00 for adults and $2.00 for children. This event is worth every penny of the price of admission. Over 42 acres you'll find all makes and models of antique and classic cars. Every time I go I have to check out the 62 Pontiac Lemans (my first car), the 64 Olds 442 (my dads fun car), the 65 Buick Riviera (G-Pops car) and several others too numerous to mention here. Sure, the condition of the cars is incredible. The owners keep these treasures from yesteryear in show room shape. More amazing is the quick trip to various points in your life when the car your looking at transports you to the memories of smells, sights and sounds associated with that vehicle. Heck, you'll even see cars you may not have known were even built. Or, forgot were built. Remember the Nash, the Plymouth Satelite? This is a can't miss event for the auto enthusiast.
If Marching Bands are your thing, for the 31st year, J Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown will host the DCI Eastern Classic Drum and Bugle Corps Championship. The gates open at 5 both Friday and Saturday featuring 11 performances Friday and 10 on Saturday. Bands come from across the country to compete. Although I haven't been to Drum and Bugle competition in years, I live close enough to the stadium to know the music from the bands is exceptional. I remember being really impressed with the show the bands put on. That was many years ago. I can only imagine how the shows have evolved. The Corps performing and competing are:
|Blue Devils - Concord, CA|
|Holy Name Cadets - Allentown, PA|
|The Cavaliers - Rosemont, IL|
|Bluecoats - Canton, OH|
|Glassmen - Toledo, OH|
|Troopers - Casper, WY|
|The Academy - Tempe, AZ|
|Pacific Crest - Diamond Bar, CA|
|Mandarins - Sacramento, CA|
|Pioneer - Milwaukee, WI|
|Cascades - Seattle, WA|
OK, your ready for some FOOTBALL!!! Over in Bethlehem at the Lehigh University Athletic Fields you find the training camp of our Philadelphia Eagles. Admission to the practices is still free. Yes that's right, I said FREE. The schedule of each day are posted on the Eagles web site. Generally there are what I remember as my favorite practices in High School and College, the dreaded two-a-days! Morning and afternoon practices are most all open to the public. Check the schedule to ensure your not planning on attending a closed practice. For an Eagle fan this is a can't miss event. 2 years ago I went to check out this rookie line backer from Nebraska, Stewart Bradley. After watching 1 day of practice, I knew this guy was the real deal. Now, he's our starting middle line backer and I believe a rising star in the NFL. This years target is a draft pick from Virginia Tech playing corner back, Macho Harris. Tell me a better football name than Macho Harris! Now lets just hope he's really good. That name is just too much fun!
So there you have it! So now there is absolutely no excuse not to get out and about to enjoy all that the Lehigh Valley has to offer this weekend. Perhaps I'll see you at one of these events. Just look for the guy with a funnel cake ....er, a sausage sandwich......ah, make that a frosty cold adult malt beverage....Scratch that, I'll wear my eagles tee shirt and green plaid pants. If you see me, say hi! Have fun! Be safe and enjoy!
Ain't this Valley great????