First Friday In Lancaster City Draws Thousands To Downtown For Food, Music and Shopping

Another great First Friday in Lancaster City.  The day appeared to possibly be “iffy” weather wise but despite some ominous looking clouds at one point in the afternoon, the sky cleared in the early evening and the sun came back out.

There were a bevy of food trucks on the plaza next to the Hotel Lancaster. Musicians lined the streets. The pianos are back and we didn’t pass one that somebody was playing.  We even heard some very good jazz being played in Lancaster Square.  People from many cultures mingled and enjoyed the entertainment, shopping, eating and warmer weather.  The Lancaster Police Department was present along with the Ambassadors ensuring everyone behaved themselves.  There was even a break dancing competition going on next to the food trucks that drew a very large crowd.

We also checked out the new pop up pocket park on Prince Street before the First Friday throng arrived. What a nice thing for tourists and city residents, alike.  A coffee company and an ice cream vendor (selling Carmen & David’s ice cream) have set up shop here.  The park makes use of a parking lot which eventually will be a boutique hotel.  The asphalt was been painted, trees and flowers and seating were added.  There was even a television crew there from Blue Ridge Cable TV who were filming and interviewing the vendors.  Many people were checking this out.  When we went by much later in the day it was very full!  People were really liking the space!

Lancaster is such a great example of what revitalization can do for a downtown.  Up until the 90’s there was no reason go to downtown (other than Central Market).  Now, it’s full of shops and restaurants. There are always people on the streets taking advantage of all downtown has to offer.  There is nothing better than spending time in a vibrant city!

To check out Passenger Coffee Roasters, click on

http://www.passengercoffee.com/

ArtFusion Gets Jazzy Again

TheJazz5Pack

Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is proud to announce the return of one of their most popular fundraisers. Jazz Nite returns on Saturday, June 27. Guests will enjoy an amazing concert by The Jazz 5 Pack in ArtFusion’s beautiful main gallery. The music will play from 7-9:30pm. Light refreshments will be available for purchase, and the event is BYOB for those over 21.

The Jazz 5 Pack is comprised of musicians from the Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Reading areas. Trumpeter Rob Diener and trombonist John Loos form the front line and co-lead the group. The rhythm section includes pianist John Clionsky, Ryan Leaver on bass and Paul Gallello on drums.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online at artfusion19464.org, or at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location during regular business hours: Tuesday-Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-3pm. As this event has sold out in the past, they do recommend purchasing tickets as soon as possible. On the night of the performance, visitors are asked to use ArtFusion’s back entrance and arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain time. If you need specific directions, please call them at 610-326-2506 or email info@artfusion19464.org.

The Jazz 5 Pack performs many of the beautiful and timeless melodies from the Great American Songbook, as well as bebop from the 1940s. The music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart, Miles Davis, Benny Golson, Duke Ellington and many other prolific composers from this exciting era are staples of The Jazz 5 Pack’s repertoire. Whatever is being performed, the emphasis is always on traditional jazz harmonies and improvisation.

The Jazz 5 Pack has been together for the past two years and collectively, the members have performed together in many other groups for the better part of the last decade. They have performed concerts at The Miller Center for the Arts in Reading, PA to benefit the Reading School district music department, and was very well received at The Reading Planetarium Jazz Under the Stars Series.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

10 Reasons To Visit Downtown York This Summer

If you love bacon, beer and the beach, then a trip to York City might be worth your while this summer.

Downtown York might not be the island vacation you’ve been dreaming about, but you will be able to feel the sand between your toes during at least one York event this summer.

We spoke with Downtown Inc. marketing director Meagan Feeser and some downtown businesses about some of the events, attractions and activities coming to the city in the next few months.

See all ten reasons by clicking here:

http://www.flipsidepa.com/region-yorkhanover/ci_28145589/10-reasons-visit-downtown-york-this-summer?source=most_viewed

A MATCH MADE IN…….POTTSTOWN!

#1In the fall of 2008 Ron Garza, chef-proprietor of Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine on High Street in Pottstown, was scouting locations to realize his dream of opening a fine dining restaurant.  Classical guitarist Russell Ferrara was, at that time, in the eighth year of disability from his lifelong music career. He was taking baby steps, post spinal surgery, to reactivate his performance activities.  He had just accepted an invitation join the music faculty of the soon to be opened Steel River Playhouse.

In early 2009 Ferrara began to notice construction activity at the northwest corner of High and Penn Streets just three doors down from Steel River Playhouse.  Spring brought signage which indicated that the storefront was becoming a Mexican restaurant. When work was nearly complete he walked in unannounced and began playing amidst the construction. Garza hired him on the spot and the two have remained close since.  Ferrara returned to Juan Carlos on Friday nights a few weeks ago after an eight-month absence during which he was on the road with his group Lackawanna Sky featuring Native American Flute player David Rose. Lackawanna Sky broke out at the April 2014 Launch Festival in Lancaster, PA where they were signed by Spirit Wind Records.  They subsequently toured in Georgia and Wisconsin, returning to PA to perform at the Kipona and Spirit of Oneness festivals in Harrisburg and in a continuing series of weekend performances in the Central Market of Lancaster. They are finishing up their first album and will return to Georgia in June.  Surprisingly, Ferrara credits much of this success to his tenure at Juan Carlos.

“I was introduced to the Native American flute at Juan Carlos,” Ferrara states. “On a quiet night I noticed a woman had lingered long past dessert. She approached me asking if I could wait ten minutes until she returned. She returned with a case full of flutes, chose one, announced the key and off we went!”  Within three weeks, the duo had made a demo and been accepted to perform at the 2010 International Native American Flute Association festival.”  That partnership did not work out long term but the recordings circulated and came to the attention of David Rose of Elizabethtown. Ferrara again: “David contacted me in June of 2013 as I was leaving for a tour with Candace Keach, Principal Flute of the Macon Symphony. Not long after I returned David and I gave our first ever performance at Juan Carlos.”

For his part, Garza was busy during Ferrara’s absence as well. Juan Carlos was nominated in two categories of the WPHL 17 ‘Hot List’ competition.  Garza brought home a win in the “Best Mexican” category as well as a second place in the “Best BYOB” category.  In addition, Garza collaborated with Steve Armstrong of Armstrong Ales in East Pikeland to create the first ever Mexican-style lager brewed in Pennsylvania.  Garza credits Ferrara with lending a hand in the first year the restaurant was open. “I guess we were a little green when we first opened.” Garza stated. “Russ introduced me to Anthony Bellapigna of sister restaurants Ariano and Fellini’s in Media, PA.  We met with him on a night that Russ was playing at Ariano.  Anthony helped me to streamline the menu.  He sent one of his best managers to Juan Carlos and made lots of great suggestions. Russ has been with me since the beginning.”

The two often talk about their goals and display a genuine regard for each other’s artistry. “I’m a foody,” Ferrara states. “My father owned restaurants and cooking is my hobby. I immediately noticed the passion and creativity that Ron displays in the kitchen.” Garza’s response to that was simply, “Yes, Russ and I are the same in that way.”

Juan Carlos, 235 E High St. Pottstown is open 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Catering is available anytime in the Wine Cellar.  Ferrara holds forth every Friday night.

Event Packed Weekend In Pottstown

Every now and then there are those weekends that are jam-packed with activities.  This warm and sunny weekend was just such a time.  If you live in the TriCounty Area here’s what went on.

Saturday and Sunday in Memorial Park a Native American Powwow took place.  There was music, dancing, food etc…  Nice write up in the Mercury about it with pictures:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150502/pottstown-jam-packed-with-saturday-full-of-fun

Saturday night was the first Nostalgia Night of the season on High Street, downtown Pottsown.  The first Saturday of May, June, July, August and September you can find hundreds of classic cars downtown along with music and food.  To learn more about Nostagia Nights, click here:

http://www.pottstownclassics.com/

This weekend was the opening weekend for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at the Steel River Playhouse in downtown Pottstown.  The show continues next weekend.  Click here for details and to buy tickets: http://www.steelriver.org/current-season/4438-2/

Today, Sly Fox Brewing Company held their annual Bock Fest and Goat Races in Pottstown at the site of their brewery on the Circle of Progress.  Thousands of people attended.  The event featured live music, food, beer and goat races.  Here are some pictures from this afternoon:

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Hotel Bethlehem Named Among Top 100 U.S. Brunch Restaurants

Hotel Bethlehem has earned a hat trick of brunch awards.

For the third year, the hotel’s Sunday Musical Brunch in the Tap Room has earned a spot in the top 100 brunches list from OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards.

The list is compiled by five million reviews through the last year from OpenTable diners, according to a news release.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2015/04/hotel_bethlehem_named_among_to.html

Creepy ‘Spies’ Killing Live Music At Local Venues?

THREE-FIFTHS OF Chris Aschman’s jazz quintet managed to fit onto the tiny stage upstairs at Jose Pistola’s, where the crimson glow makes musicians look like they’re playing in Amsterdam’s red-light district.

Aschman, a 29-year-old trumpet player, stayed on the floor, next to the saxophonist.

Then, the bassist reached overhead and turned off the TV and the audience of 20-somethings switched their attention from NCAA basketball to a funky, odd-time-signature groove driven by a young drummer in a Phillies cap who stomps on the kick drum like he’s got something to prove.

The song, called “UCB,” short for “Undercover Brother,” is an Aschman original, as were nine of the 11 songs his group played at the Center City bar earlier this month.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150329_The_day_the_music_____spied.html#ys60mkcLZjZ5hOTi.99

Valentine’s Day At iCreate Cafe In Pottstown

This Saturday at 7:00pm
Originals with Michael Reddy
Make it a Special Valentine’s Day

For more information: http://www.icreatecafe.org   

Call for reservations (484) 312-0404

iCreate Valentine's Day

Clarks Summit Festival Of Ice Kicks Off This Weekend

Clarks Summit will be a winter wonderland this weekend for the annual Festival of Ice.

“Frozen Fairy Tales” will mark the 11th year of the ice festival, with nearly 60 fairy-tale-themed ice sculptures around the borough’s downtown.

The sculptures, with themes like “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Brothers Grimm” and “Cinderella,” will all be done by Lakeville-based Sculpted Ice Works.

The large number of sculptures and free admission are the main draws for people from all over Northeast Pennsylvania, said Abington Business and Professional Association Executive Director Laura Ancherani. Depending on the weather, the festival averages about 25,000 to 30,000 people over the weekend.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/clarks-summit-festival-of-ice-kicks-off-this-weekend-1.1830500

CANJAM 2014 Brings Music And Games To Pottstown

Sly Fox Beer, brewed in Pottstown

Sly Fox Beer, brewed in Pottstown

Slyfox’s CANJAM seems to be growing in popularity every year — it’s a twofold event featuring live music in a lush pasture next the brewery and the world’s largest Kan Jam™. competition. The outdoor game for four players is sweeping the nation with weekend warriors voraciously playing pick-up games on suburban lawns, parking lot tailgates and anywhere else they can find room.

Add to that, the brewery’s portfolio of authentic and original beers and a free music festival and you have the fixings for a great outdoor event.

The lineup for the music festival begins at 2 p.m, and features American Babies, Cheerleader, Hoots & Hellmouth, Shrimpboat and the Whiskeyhickon Boys. The bands represent many genres and styles guaranteed to please festival goers of all ages.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/arts-and-entertainment/20140924/canjam-2014-brings-music-and-games-to-pottstown

Lancaster Craft Beerfest – Saturday, September 6th

Lancaster SquareBringing a great beer event to Lancaster, Pa.

On September 6th, the second annual Lancaster Craft Beerfest is returning to the vibrant, growing, and creative city of Lancaster. Last year was a huge success with a sold out crowd of over 2,000 attendees, and this year it’s going to be bigger and better. Like last year, our goal is to provide craft beer drinkers with an amazing selection of unique beers so they can discover new and old favorites. There will be dozens of options from some of the best breweries, including those right in our neighborhood and from across the country. Not only will there be craft beer, there will be great food and live music to enjoy as well.

To check out the website for all the festival information, click here: http://lancastercraftbeerfest.com/

180 Bands Set To Rock Gettysburg This Weekend

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Adams County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Adams County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A three-day music festival will kick off Aug. 8 in Adams County, bringing 180 bands to Gettysburg from 14 states and Washington.

Gettysburg Rocks will feature multiple genres of music including rock, country, blues, folk, ska and reggae, according to Rob Simon, the brainchild of the upcoming festival.

Simon, host of “Under The Radar” on 105.7 The X in Harrisburg, said he got the idea for Gettysburg Rocks from his daughter, Ashley, who was planning a fundraiser for Penn State Mont Alto’s THON group.

Read more: http://www.flipsidepa.com/concerts/ci_26215565/180-bands-set-rock-gettysburg

Food Fridays In Downtown Pottstown, June 27th

Smith Family Plaza – 100 E High Street, Pottstown

Come Downtown and “Eat Like A Local!” 

Join our downtown restaurants, Argento’s, Grumpy’s, Lily’s Grill & The Milkmen Lunch Co. for a taste of their fare, LIVE music by ‘Bees in a Bottle’ and your community for lunch outdoors THIS FRIDAY, June 27th, between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm (music between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm)

We promise nice weather and the perfect scenery to enjoy lunch, friends and neighbors!

p.s. The RESTAURANTS WILL ALSO BE OPEN if you want to visit them inside as well!

ADDITIONAL DATES PLANNED – July 18, August 15 & September 19th

We are looking for additional local bands – if you know someone and they can play any of the above

dates, please let Sheila Dugan know – 610-323-5400 / sheiladugan@comcast.net

Sponsored by Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority

Easter Brunch at the Musikfest Cafe: 4/20

Start a tradition and join us for Easter brunch at the Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling!

Showcasing a delicious buffet of breakfast and lunch options, our brunch also features a special guest – The Easter Bunny will be greeting guests at the beginning of each seating! Oh yeah, there’s also musical entertainment by Tony Gairo!

Two Seatings: 10am and 12:30pm | View the menu

Call 610-332-3378 for reservations!

Stay for the PEEPS® Hunt in the afternoon!

Bring the kids to search for Just Born PEEPS® Chicks and enjoy a visit from the Easter Bunny! It’s free!

Ages 3 and under: 1:00pm
Ages 4-7: 1:30pm
Ages 8 and older: 2:00pm

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Music To Soar Out Of Old Fraternal Order Of Eagles Building In Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — If the arts are truly a driving force behind downtown revitalization, then strike up the band because an established musical venue from Philadelphia has plans to move its entire operation to 310 High St.

For the last 10 years, Jamey Reilly has opened the doors of his large Overbrook Avenue Home to musical artists of all styles and genres.

Known as Jamey’s House of Music, the once informal sessions became more and more popular until, on Dec. 6, “we were visited by a phalanx of Philadelphia Licensing and Inspection Officers and members of the Philadelphia Police department, armed with orders to shut us down on the spot because our house concerts are considered by the city to be an illegal night club in a residential neighborhood,” as described on the organization’s website.

“They had apparently received complaints from an unnamed party who wished to see us put out of business,” according to the site. “It did not matter that the city had previously issued us a license for commercial activity at this location. Thus, in one fell swoop, ten years of the finest entertainment from around the world came to a full stop.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140118/music-to-soar-out-of-old-fraternal-order-of-eagles-building-in-pottstown

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Tinseltown: First Night Scranton Returns With Hollywood Theme

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scranton will roll out the red carpet to welcome the new year.

First Night Scranton will once again keep the city’s downtown abuzz on New Year’s Eve with live music, family-friendly activities and fireworks, and this time it will do so with Hollywood-style flair.

“It’s our 15th anniversary, so I thought, well, you know what? We’ve got to do something big,” said Paige Balitski, one of the event organizers. “What’s bigger than Hollywood? It’s fun. You can play off of movie stars and films.”

The different activities taking place throughout the night will touch on the Hollywood theme, with musicians set to perform movie themes and love songs and other activities drawing inspiration from films. Costumed characters from popular movies will greet guests, for instance, Ms. Baltiski said.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/lifestyles/tinseltown-first-night-scranton-returns-with-hollywood-theme-1.1606227

Families Flock To Downtown Pittsburgh For Annual Light Up Night Festivities

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They filtered into the city, slowly at first, late on Friday afternoon, some pushing strollers, others holding hands and huddling under umbrellas.

They were determined to celebrate Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night.

Before nightfall, the rain stopped, the crowds swelled and Pittsburgh did not disappoint, putting on a show that began with the lighting of eight Christmas trees across Downtown and ending with a fireworks spectacular.

The holiday kickoff got under way early in the afternoon at the courthouse, where Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald lit LED lights installed at the top of the 325-foot tower. A crowd gathered at the corner of Grant Street and Forbes Avenue at noon to watch the tower shine red and green for the first time in its 125-year history.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5110417-74/christmas-downtown-anna#ixzz2lU4sOBiA
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