News Column

Free summer fun in the Lehigh Valley

June 14, 2014

By Kathy Lauer-Williams, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

June 14--FESTIVALS AND FAIRS

-- ¡Sabor! Latin Festival: This celebration of the region's Latin culture features live music by local, regional and national musical acts, cultural programming by community organizations, Latin food and activities for kids: June 20-22, SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

-- Freak Out: The downtown Allentown event returns for its fifth year at 8 p.m.June 20 and 3 p.m.June 21 at various locations. Acts include fire performances, burlesque acts, belly dancing, comedy, live music and the Miss Freak-Out pageant. http://www.allentownfreakout.com.

-- Lehigh Valley SportsFest: Watch thousands of amateur athletes compete in more than 35 sports, from boxing to basketball to dog agility, July 17-20. Most events are at Cedar Beach in Allentown, but there are competitions in other venues. http://www.sportsfest.org.

-- Musikfest: The 10-day entertainment extravaganza returns Aug. 1-10 with hundreds of performances and activities for adults and children in downtown Bethlehem and at SteelStacks. It's the nation's largest free, non-gated music festival. Tickets are required for headliners such as Jason Derulo, Weezer and All American Rejects. http://www.musikfest.org, 610-332-FEST.

-- Allentown Fair: The end-of-summer bash is Aug. 26-Sept. 1. While there is an admission fee -- and amusement rides are extra -- you can get in free noon-2 p.m.Aug. 27, 28 and 29 and for kids 12 and under every day. On opening day 4-11 p.m.Aug. 26, admission is now $3 or bring a food item for Second Harvest Food Bank and pay $1. http://www.allentownfairpa.org, 610-433-7541.

MUSIC

-- CONCERTS AT LEVITT PAVILION STEELSTACKS

Bring a chair or blanket to sit on the lawn at ArtsQuest's cultural campus in Bethlehem and enjoy some great free acts for adults and kids. Adult shows are at 7 p.m. Kids shows are part of the free Peas & Q's family series, which moves outside for the summer, with shows at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays. Info: http://www.artsquest.org

Here are some highlights of the dozens of free summer concerts:

ADULTS

The Dustbowl Revival: Venice, Calif. collective merges old-school bluegrass, gospel, jug-band, swamp blues and the hot swing of the 1930s: June 26.

The Sofa Kings: High energy 10-piece band from southeastern Pennsylvania that has been called a new-generation cover band: July 5.

Casey Abrams: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who was a finalist on "American Idol" embodies pop culture by combining fluid vocals with an engaging stage presence: July 11.

Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband: The light-hearted bluegrass quintet creates an electric acoustic sound by blending instruments like a fiddle, banjo and mandolin with more conventional, guitar and drums: July 17.

The Duprees: Known for their romantic interpretations of the most beautiful love songs ever written, The Duprees have an unusual sound and outstanding vocal harmonies: July 19.

The Cowsills: The real-life inspiration behind the hit television series "The Partridge Family," the Cowsills were one of the biggest pop acts of the late '60s: Aug. 30.

KIDS

Scheduled are Mister G, June 21; Ernie and Neal, June 28; Ed McDade, July 5; Rolie Polie Guacamole, July 12; The Plants, July 19; Alex & the Kaleidoscope Band, July 26; Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke, Aug. 16; Joe Keppel, Aug. 23; Lou Gallo, Aug. 30; Two of a Kind, Sept. 6.

-- OTHER MUSIC SERIES

Lively Lunches in the Parks: Live acoustic music in Allentown'sArts Park, Sixth and Linden streets, noon-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Paulie Knakk, June 17 and July 15; Tim Harakal, June 24 and Aug. 26; Lillian Hector and Winston James, July 1; James Supra and the Hillbilly Souls, July 8; Kendal Conrad, July 22 and Aug. 19; Mike Pilgermayer, July 29; Robin and Jim, Aug. 5; Billy Bauer, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9; James Supra, Sept. 2; Steve Brosky, Sept. 16 and Kato, Sept. 23.

Summer in the City: Lunchtime concerts, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Thursdays at PPL Plaza, Ninth and Hamilton streets, Allentown. Dave Fry, June 19; Fusion Jazz Trio, June 26; Steve Brosky & Jimmy Meyer, July 3; Yancarlos Sanchez, July 10; Todd Wolfe Band, July 17; Riverside Jazz Explosion, July 24; Tavern Tan, July 31; School of Rock, Aug. 7; Real West, Aug. 14; James Supra & Sarah Ayers Quartet, Aug. 21; Billy Patrick, Aug. 28; The Large Flowerheads, Sept. 4; Dynamic Duo, Sept. 11; Marlene Gilley Swingtet, Sept.18; Hector Rosado Y Siete, Sept. 25.

Noches de Ritmo: Concerts with a Latin theme 4-7 p.m. second Saturdays at several Allentown parks. July 12 at West Park, Aug. 9 at the Arts Park and Sept. 13 at Jordan Park. Rain dates are the next day.

Saturday Music Showcase: Concerts take place 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturdays in the summer lounge at the Outdoor Shops in the Lehigh Valley Mall's Lifestyle Center. Sunshine Symphony, June 21; The Large Flowerheads, June 28.

Tunes at Twilight, Bethlehem: Performances 6-8 p.m. Thursdays at the Sun Inn Courtyard, 556 Main St., Bethlehem. Trouble City All-Stars, June 19; James Supra and Sarah Ayers Quartet, June 26; Supra Gorin Baptista Trio, July 3; "Tunes de Italia," July 10.

Bethlehem Sculpture Garden Concerts: Performances are 6-8 p.m. in the garden, 10 E. Church St., next to City Hall. The Tom Goehring Quintet, June 20; Philadelphia Funk Authority, June 27; Dave Fry's Fabulous Fractal Folk, July 11; Hector Rosado and his Orchestra Hache: "A Tribute to Linny Fowler," July 18. http://www.bfac-lv.org.

Tunes at Noon: Live music in Easton'sCentre Square at noon Fridays in June. Karen and Amy Jones, June 20; Leah Fuls, June 27.

Live in the Square: Live music in Easton'sCentre Square at 7:30 p.m. on selected Fridays. Trouble City All-Stars, June 27; Stinking Badges, July 25; Quimby Mountain Band, Aug. 29; Madame Freak, Sept. 26.

Live at Riverside: Local bands play 7:30-9:30 p.m. first Fridays at Riverside Park Amphitheatre, Easton. A Few Good Men with School of Rock, July 11; Joyous, Aug. 1; Slicked-Up 9s, Sept. 5. http://www.eastonmainstreet.org.

At The Promenade: Concerts Fridays at 7 p.m. at Town Square, Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. The Ritz Band, June 20; Blue Jean, June 27; Presti, July 11; Jordan White, July 18. http://www.thepromenadeshopsatsauconvalley.com.

Catasauqua Park Summer Concerts: Music begins at 7 p.m. at Catasauqua Borough Park, St. John and American streets. Large Flowerheads, 6:30 p.m., June 27; Toga Party Band, July 11; Phat Boys, July 18; Prugal, July 25; That Being Said, Aug. 1; James Supra, Aug. 8; Easton School of Rock, Aug. 15; Steel Creek, Aug. 22; Common Bond, Aug. 29.

Emmaus Summer Concert Series: Concerts begin 6 p.m. at the Emmaus Community Park Arts Pavilion. Nicole Donatone and the Hawks, June 15; "Community Day!" featuring Alias, June 22; Joseph Kroboth Band, June 29; The Pioneer Band of Allentown, July 4; Groovitude, July 6; Crazy Hearts, July 13; Ultra Kings, July 20; Dave Fry, 5 p.m., July 27; Carnival featuring Peter Pitchford, Magic by Manipulation, 4 p.m.Aug. 3; Acoustic Project, Aug. 10; Billy Bauer Band, Aug. 17; The Midnight Special Band, Aug. 24; Macungie Band, Aug. 31.

Municipal band concerts: The Allentown Band, the oldest civilian concert band in the United States, and many other municipal bands in Bethlehem, Easton, Quakertown and beyond perform many free outdoor concerts throughout the summer.

Music jams/open mikes: Clubs and restaurants throughout the region offer free drop-in music events for participants and listeners. The area's ultimate traditional listening room is Godfrey Daniels at 7 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem, which hosts jams for many styles of music. They include: Ramble featuring roots music, blues and other genres, hosted by Dana Gaynor and Friends 8 p.m.June 24, July 22 and Aug. 26; improv comedy with The Flighty Ducks, 7:30 p.m.June 18 and July 16; swing jam hosted by Jeff Biro, 8 p.m.June 17 and July 15; old-time jam hosted by Tom and Betty Druckenmiller7 p.m.July 1; Irish seisiun, hosted by Ed Saultz, Fred Gilmartin and Terry Hartzell, 7:30 p.m.July 2. http://www.godfreydaniels.org.

MOVIES

They're not first-run films, but there are plenty of free movies on big screens at parks and in movie theaters. For outdoor movies, shows start at dusk.

-- Allentown: "The Rookie," June 20, Percy Ruhe Park; "Despicable Me 2," July 11, Roosevelt Park; "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," Aug. 1, Jordan Park; "Gravity," Aug. 16, West Park and "Space Jam," Oct. 17, East Side Youth Center, 1140 E Clair St. Info: 610-437-7750.

-- Bethlehem: "Despicable Me 2," June 24, Higbee Park; "Frozen," July 8, Rose Garden; "Muppets Most Wanted," July 15, Clearview Park; "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," July 23, Bernie Fritz Park; "Gravity," July 29, Rockland Park. Info: 610-865-7081.

-- SteelStacks: Free family movies under the stars at Levitt Pavilion in Bethlehem are at 8 p.m. Before the start of each movie, there will be family activities, including trivia, hula hoop contests, water balloon tosses, dance-offs and more. Movies are: "One Direction: This Is Us," June 18; "Despicable Me 2," June 25; "Miracle," July 2; "Frozen," July 9; "Charlotte's Web," July 16; "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2," July 23; "The Lego Movie," Aug. 13; "Monsters University," Aug. 20. Info: http://www.artsquest.org.

-- Upper Macungie Township: "Walking with Dinosaurs," July 11, Breinigsville Park; "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: Dog Days," Aug. 8, Grange Park.

THEATER

-- Shakespeare In The Park: "Othello": Shakespeare in the Park returns to the amphitheater at Allentown'sJoseph S. Daddona Lake & Terrace, South Elmo and Union streets, with a production of the Bard's tragedy of jealousy and betrayal 8 p.m.Aug. 8, and 2 and 8 p.m.Aug. 9 and 10. Info: http://www.facebook.com/allentownshakespeareinthepark.

-- Allentown Public Theatre: "Jungle Book": The company presents a modern adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's stories about the boy Mowgli, who is raised by wolves in a jungle in India. Dates are Aug. 8-10 and 15-17 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 417 N. Seventh St., Allentown. The show is free for children 12 and under and pay-what-you-will for adults. The group also is holding free theater workshops for children July 12, 19, 26 and Aug. 2 at the church. http://www.allentownpublictheatre.com.

ART, SCIENCE AND HISTORY

-- Allentown Art Museum: This summer, admission to the Allentown Art Museum is free. That means free entry to the blockbuster summer exhibit "Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Paintings from Glasgow Museums" and most of the associated programming, including tours for adults and actitivies for kids. The museum also offers Artventures on Sundays, a free drop-in workshop in its Crayola Learning Center with monthly themed art projects for children, in-gallery art activities and more. Info: http://www.allentownartmuseum.org.

-- First Friday: On first Fridays, artists at the Banana Factory in south Bethlehem open their studios, and stores and galleries in the neighboring streets feature live music, refreshments and exhibits. 6-10 p.m. Info: http://www.firstfridaybethlehem.com.

-- Historic District ArtWalk: From 4-8 p.m.June 28, July 26 and Aug. 30, artists and musicians will line the sidewalks of Bethlehem's Main and Broad streets. Info: http://www.downtownbethlehemassociation.com.

-- America on Wheels: On Sundays, kids 12 and under get free admission. Learn about the history of transportation industry and check out "Orphan Cars," an exhibition of cars built by manufacturers that have stopped production and gone out of business. Info: http://www.americaonwheels.org.

-- Dolly & Me: Hands-on fun for children ages 3-7 presented by Historic Bethlehem 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on fourth Saturdays at Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, 427 N. New St., Bethlehem. Free for children with adult admission of $12. Upcoming programs are Portraits, June 28; Stirring up Colorful Fun, July 26; City Life Stories, Aug. 23.

-- Hunt for History Club: Also offered by Historic Bethlehem, noon-4 p.m. the first Saturday of the month, kids learn about history though games, stories and crafts at one of Bethlehem's historic sites. Free for children with adult admission of $12. Programs are glass painting July 5; portraits, Aug. 2; book it, Sept. 6; hats off to you, Oct. 4. http://www.historicbethlehem.org.

-- Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society: The South Mountain observatory hosts free star parties once a month at the observatory at 620B E. Rock Road, Allentown. Parties include a talk at 7 p.m. followed by planetarium shows at 8 and 9 p.m. Upcoming parties are Aug. 2; Sept. 6; Oct. 4; Nov. 1. While admission is free; donations are requested. Info: http://www.lvaas.org.

-- Liberty Bell Shrine: The museum in the basement of Zion's UCC Church on Hamilton Street in Allentown houses a full-size cast replica of the Liberty Bell that commemorates the time when the bell was brought from Philadelphia to be hidden in Allentown in 1777. No admission charge; donations appreciated. Info: http://www.libertybellmuseum.org.

-- Museums on Us: More than 150 museums nationwide offer free admission the first weekend of each month for Bank of America debit or credit card members. Upcoming dates are July 5 and 6, Aug. 2 and 3 and Sept. 6 and 7. Museums include Allentown Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Constitution Center, African-American Museum and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, all in Philadelphia, Garden State Discovery Museum, Cherry Hill, N.J., and Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J. Details at museums.bankofamerica.com.

SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES

-- Kids Run: The Lehigh Valley Road Runners sponsors a running series for ages 3-14 on June 21, July 5, 19 and Aug. 2 in Allentown'sLehigh Parkway. Races start at 9:45 a.m., warm-ups at 9:35 a.m.Register at http://www.lvrr.org.

-- Bike rides: Genesis Bicycle, 126 Bushkill St., Easton, offers free guided bike rides, including its Ice Cream Ride at 6 p.m. every Thursday during the summer. Open to all ages, skill levels and bikes and includes free ice cream at Bank Street Creamery. Other rides available. Info: http://www.meetup.com/lehighvalleybikerides.

-- Air Products Developmental Cycling Program: Free bicycle training for ages 5-18 at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown. Sessions designed to teach track cycling for three age groups are at various times through Aug. 30. Info: thevelodrome.com.

-- Pee Wee Pedalers: A separate Air Products program for ages 5-8 teaches basic skills at 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday mornings through Aug. 29. Register at http://www.thevelodrome.com.

-- Walking and riding trails: There are many trails around the Lehigh Valley for biking and walking and running such as the Rodale Fitness Park in Trexlertown; the Ironton Rail Trail in Whitehall, Coplay and North Whitehall and the Lehigh Canal Towpath from Allentown to Freemansburg.

-- Spray parks: In Allentown, you can cool off on a hot day for free at spray parks at Buck Boyle Park, 10 Pump Place, and the Fifth and Allen streets park, noon-7 p.m. daily. City pools will also waive admission fees on very hot days.

-- Family Water Safety Day: Learn how to stay safe in and around water at Allentown's Cedar Beach pool 10 a.m.June 27. All who attend the two-hour program can swim free at the pool for the rest of the day. http://www.allentownpa.gov.

-- Skateaway Roller Rink: Admission is free at the 3860 Lehigh St., Whitehall, rink 6-9 p.m. during Wacky Wednesdays in exchange for items listed at http://www.skateaway.biz such as paper towels or hand soap. The rink also admits scouts and their families free the first Wednesday of the month.

-- Kids Bowl Free: Children ages 15 and under can bowl two free games a day through Aug. 31. Area lanes include Haja Rose Bowl, 801 N. 15th St., Allentown; Town N Country Bowling Lanes, 1770 Stefko Blvd., Bethlehem; Hampton Lanes, 326 Main St., Northampton. Register at http://www.kidsbowlfree.com and receive vouchers by email.

-- AMF Bowling Centers: AMF Parkway Lanes, 1630 S. 12th St., Allentown, participates in a free program called Summer Games. Registerhttp://www.freesummergames.amf.com and children up to age 14 get three free games a day until 6 p.m. through Labor Day.

-- Annual Model Sailboat Race: The City of Allentown provides materials to build your own model sailboat and race it at the Rose Garden at 11 a.m.July 5. http://www.allentownpa.gov.

SUMMER PROGRAMS

-- Camp Imagine: Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre hosts the arts camp for grades 6-8, which is free for Allentown School District students June 30-July 25, with no session July 4. The camp is 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily and exposes kids to acting, music, and dance, with a performance showcase on July 26. Lunch is provided, as is bus transportation from all four Allentown School District middle schools. For students not enrolled in the ASD, tuition is $395. http://www.muhlenberg.edu/camp, 484-664-3693.

-- Allentown Summer Playground Program: Certified instructors lead children ages 7-15 in activities, including basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming and crafts. The program is 1-3:30 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Runs June 23 through Aug. 14. Lunch is provided. Includes Romper Day at 7 p.m.Aug. 11 at J. Birney Crum Stadium. Register at Allentown schools or parks. 610-437-7581.

READING ACTIVITIES

-- Moravian Book Shop: America's oldest bookstore, on Main Street in Bethlehem, is holding Reading is Magical kids' summer reading program. Kids can sign up before July 31 to get a scorecard to track their reading progress, and then turn it in by Aug. 31. Participants get prizes and discounts on books. 610-866-5481 http://www.moravianbookshop.com.

-- Libraries: Most area libraries have a free summer reading program, and many are participating in the national Collaborative Summer Library Program "Fizz, Boom, Read" for younger children, and "Spark a Reaction" for teens, which offers incentives for students to read.

-- Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child program: Statewide program focuses on preschool children and provides free copies of the book "Stripes of All Types" and related programming through participating libraries. Contact your library.

-- Cops 'n' Kids Reading Room: The reading room on the fourth floor of the Northampton Community College Fowler Family Center, 511 E. Third St., Bethlehem, is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Enjoy Summer Story Time with stories and activities at 10 a.m. Runs through Aug. 20, when there will be an ice cream social. Kids also can take home up to five books for free. 610-861-5526, http://www.copsnkidslv.org. Cops 'n' Kids also has a reading room at the Easton Area Community Center, 901 Washington St. It's open 2-5 p.m. Thursdays. http://www.copsnkidseaston.org.

-- Community Services for Children, 1520 Hanover Ave, Allentown, is holding a free summer reading program for children up to age 12 called "Rumble in the Jungle." The program includes story time, crafts and snacks and prizes related to a jungle theme at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. Thursdays through Aug. 9. Info: 610-437-6000, x 3140.

-- Barnes & Noble: The summer reading program gives children age 6-12 a chance to earn a free book by reading eight books and turning in a completed journal sheet through Sept. 2. Go to stores or http://www.bn.com/summerreading.

CRAFTS

-- Home Depot: On first Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, kids 5-12 can create toy trucks, bird houses and planters in woodworking workshops. Kids also get an apron and pin. The next project July 5 is a bug house. workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops

-- Lowe's: Build and Grow kids' clinics are offered 10 a.m. every other Saturday. Kids can make woodworking projects such as trucks or a spinning toy. The next project, June 28 is a sheep drop game. http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com.

kathy.lauer@mcall.com

610-778-2235.

___

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