Category Archives: Culture

Lehigh Valley Music Awards to be held Sunday at Bethlehem’s ArtsQuest Center

(graphic: LVMA)The 13th annual Lehigh Valley Music Awards (LVMA) is scheduled to be held this Sunday, December 4 at the ArtsQuest MusikFest Café located on the SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem. This annual ceremony seeks to honor and showcase the wealth of musical talent found within the region. Ballots were cast by industry professionals as well as fans in a diverse field of categories covering a variety of performance genres. Voting also recognized businesses that serve the local music community.

Run by a dedicated group of board members and volunteers, the awards are an end of the year celebration of the region’s vibrant music community. Throughout the year the LVMA participate in fundraising efforts that benefit the area’s charitable and arts related organizations. LVMA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization who rely on donations, corporate sponsors and fundraising in order to promote and recognize Lehigh Valley performers.

The awards ceremony will feature live performances and an array of presenters. Scheduled to appear at this year’s installment are (performance order to be determined):

  • Ceremony co-hosted by Grover Silcox & A.J. Fritz
  • JAMES RUHF & CITY OF BETH. BAGPIPE BAND & DRUM CORP
  • LANE CONKLIN
  • ELLA CANTA w/ EAST COAST DANCE CONNECTION
  • ALONZO GROSS ‘ZO’
  • SCOTT MARSHALL with a tribute to ADAM RECKE
  • TOMMY ZITO w/ THE LOU FRANCO PROJECT
  • FUSION JAZZ TRIO , LILI ANEL AND ROBBI HALL KUMALO
  • THE LESSON CENTER BAND
  • HIPNOSIS TRIBAL GROUP
  • CRAZYHEART
  • HIC CUP HELEN
  • SOUL RAGGA
  • WHITNEY PEYTON and NIECY ROB
  • MAD DOG AND BLUES NIGHT OUT
  • M80
  • JUNIOR GRADES BAND
  • SPECIAL GUEST BAND
  • THE STEEL MILL BAND w/VINI LOPEZ (Founding member of the E Street Band)

(photo: LVMA)As noted above, this year’s awards will feature a special performance by Scott Marshall honoring Adam Recke. He will be performing his song “With Every New Day” a tribute inspired by Adam who will be this year’s guest of honor. Adam is a young boy living with a rare disease called Niemann-Pick Type C. In addition, a live auction will be conducted to raise funds for the Race For Adam Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding research projects to find a treatment and cure for Niemann-Pick Type C disease (NP-C) and related neurodegenerative disorders. For more information on Adam and the Race For Adam foundation please visit the links section following this article.

Tickets are still available for the Lehigh Valley Music Awards but are selling at a brisk pace. Tickets are $13 in advance and $18 at the door. All seating is general admission. The LVMA is collecting canned goods for Second Harvest and the Moravian Food Bank, so be sure to pick something up to donate to these worthwhile organizations that help so many in need locally. Doors open at 3pm and the program will commence at 4pm. Tickets may be ordered here: LVMA Tickets

The ArtsQuest MusikFest Café at SteelStacks is located at: 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Click for Directions

Links for Additional Information

ArtsQuest

Lehigh Valley Music Awards

Race For Adam

Second Harvest Lehigh Valley


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Filed under Culture, Music, Out and About

ArtsQuest’s Oktoberfest at SteelStacks in pictures

The first annual Arts Quest Oktoberfest has wrapped up for this year. Held at the new SteelStacks campus on the Southside of Bethlehem, this event ran from Sept 29 – Oct. 2 and Oct. 6-9, 2011 and featured a variety of German themed activities, music and of course beer.

Our photographer Joe Robinson did a wonderful job capturing the spirit of the festivities. Enjoy the slideshow and we’ll see you next year at Oktoberfest.

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Copyright All rights reserved by jolemite_99

ArtsQuest: http://www.artsquest.org/

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A visit to America on Wheels featuring a banana car, lowrider bikes and rollergirls

(photo: Deb Boylan)

Recently (September 17) I found myself in pursuit of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls who had a scheduled appearance at Allentown’s America on Wheels Transportation Museum. Although I missed seeing the rollergirls (I arrived shortly after they had packed up for the day), I was treated to many other sights at this jewel located along Allentown’s otherwise undiscovered and ignored waterfront district.

America on Wheels is an example of inner city revitalization done right. A masterful meld of old and new, the building’s heart is the former Arbogast & Bastian meat processing offices. At one time this facility was responsible for most of the hog butchering in Pennsylvania. In its heyday the facility processed roughly 4,000 hogs daily. Citing market turmoil, the plant was shuttered in 1984 after the company filed for bankruptcy. (Source: Wikipedia)

The slaughterhouse was demolished during the late 1990’s but the remaining office building was spared and later incorporated into a brand new structure which upon completion in 2008 became America on Wheels.

America on Wheels is a much more pleasant legacy than a slaughterhouse and I was eager to check it out after placing it on my “to-do” list for quite some time. Located at the junction of Hamilton and Front streets the first floor of the old A&B meat building serves as the museum’s administrative office while the second floor of this two-story structure now houses the new Hub Cap Café soda shop.

Upon arrival into the parking lot, my eye was immediately struck by the sight of a highly unusual vehicle fashioned in the shape of a large banana. A four seater, passengers sit single file behind the driver in this open air and apparently road worthy machine.

(photo: Deb Boylan)

Also outside the museum were a group of young boys proudly displaying their collection of low-rider bicycles. Representing the Lowrider Connection club, they were eager for me to take photographs of their customized rides.

After enjoying the surroundings outside, I ventured into the museum to explore what they had to offer. The building is well-lit with large floor to ceiling panes of glass and many exhibition rooms to wander through. The facility is immaculate with wide carpeted walkways.

I found truly something for everyone in their halls. From vintage motorcycles, and fixed gear racing bikes to muscle cars, classics, electric cars and even a cutting edge hydrogen car from Air Products, it was a delight for the eyes.

There were several life-size dioramas and one of my favorites was Guy’s Garage, a full-scale and highly detailed mock-up of a vintage repair shop complete with Guy himself, the old-time mechanic. Other displays of note was the restored original Arbogast & Bastian Meat delivery truck and a UPS shipping truck complete with a tower of packages climbing toward the ceiling.

Displays are everywhere in this two-story museum. Even the stairwells are packed with things to see.  Some displays are interactive with video and hands on activities. There is also a well stocked library upstairs for patrons to use for research purposes.

(photo: Deb Boylan)

After roaming the halls and exhibit space for a few hours it was time sit down and grab a bite to eat in the newly opened Hub Cap Café. Located upstairs in the original portion of the building the Hub Cap Café is a walk back in time. The first thing that one notices upon entering this bright space is the long counter with generous fixed stools (authentic from a 1950’s era soda shop). Along the perimeter are red vinyl clad diner booths and a classic jukebox waits along the back wall.

The jukebox playlist is most certainly retro as is the price to hear a tune or few. A nickel will get you one play, a dime 2 and a quarter will get 5 songs; try getting that in your favorite diner or pub.

Food is basic fare such as hot dogs, ice-cream sodas, pretzels and floats and everything is reasonably priced with nothing on the menu over $5. The counter staff is friendly and the service is quick like a bunny. A truly great way to rest your tired bones and cap off a day exploring the museum.

I spied museum director Linda Merkel during my wanderings at America on Wheels. She is an extremely active participant in the daily functioning of the facility; at one point I spotted her cleaning the restrooms and later she was busy checking on the staff at the Hub Cap café making sure they had enough supplies and food to keep the hungry patrons satisfied. She is quite proud of the museum and her friendly staff of volunteers who strive to make each visitor’s experience unique and memorable.

(photo: Bob Croesus)

I saw signs of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls presence in the Hub Cap Café, they left cards promoting their upcoming bout (this Saturday at Independence Family Fun Center) as well as flyers for future appearances on all the tables. I was also told they were a hit with the crowd performing skating demonstrations in the parking lot as well as inside the museum’s wide passageways.

Often when the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls appear in  Allentown you will find their biggest automotive fan, Herbie the Love Bug. Herbie, always a hit with old and young alike was on display outside for photo ops with the rollergirls and fans and was a real attention getter. Everyone loves Herbie the Love Bug.

I remained at the museum until closing time and then explored the grounds before calling it a day. I enjoyed getting a close up look at the original A&B  meat building in addition to the view along the waterfront  which was quite tranquil in the midst of center city bustle. It makes me wish that the city of Allentown would focus more attention on this neglected treasure (the waterfront district).  There is such potential for an arts and entertainment complex. Luckily America on Wheels is a positive and hopeful first step along the path to further revitalization.

If you are looking for a short excursion right in your backyard, consider bringing the family to America on Wheels. Exhibits change every few months so there is always something new and exciting to see. The best day trips are not necessarily a long drive away.

Slideshow  pictures courtesy of Deb Boylan

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For more information on America On Wheels please visit their website at: http://www.americaonwheels.org/

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MusikFest’s SteelStacks campus in pictures

During this past MusikFest, I managed to make my way to the new SteelStacks site on the historic Bethlehem Steel property. Flanked by the hulking blast furnaces as a backdrop and with the addition of the new Artsquest Center and PBS 39 studios, this impressive facility is an example of intelligent re-purposing of brownfield space. Walk ways and seating areas are interspersed throughout.

On Wednesday August, 10, 2011, I was fortunate to catch Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham performing with his band Don Cunningham & His Cabinet. Showcasing popular classic rock they really shine when they get into the Bruce Springsteen tunes.

Following his set at the Levitt Pavillion, I then ventured over to the Arts Quest Center and the Air products Town Square to catch Trouble City All Stars, a young and supremely talented roots-rock reggae band.

Finally I returned to the Levitt Pavillion for the bluesy funk of Mingo Fishtrap. Grooving to Mingo Fishtrap, the lively crowd were on their feet and dancing the entire set. It was a perfect end to my introduction to SteelStacks.

All photos in this slideshow by Deb Boylan

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For more information about the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks check out : http://www.artsquest.org/steelstacks/

For information on Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham please visit his official website : http://www.doncunningham.org/

Trouble City All Stars: http://www.troublecityallstars.com/

Mingo Fishtrap: http://www.mingofishtrap.com/

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Lehigh Valley Rollergirls scheduled to appear at indiemade craft market

Can’t get enough of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls? Whether you are attending Saturday’s bout or not, you will have an additional opportunity to meet and mingle with your favorite Rollergirls at the indiemade craft market to be held June 11 from 10am-5pm at the Bethlehem Ice Rink located on Illick’s Mill Road in Bethlehem, PA.  Admission is only $3 for adults and children 12 and under are free. The first 50 adults to enter will also receive a swag bag filled with unique handcrafted items from local artists.

Indiemade craft market will feature live musical performances, food, DIY projects and local artisans vending unique handmade items. There will also be a raffle to benefit the Baum School of Art scholarship fund. Easton’s Chase the Chill Knitters will be there knitting for charity and it is also WWKIPD (World Wide Knit in Public Day). Bring a chair and your knitting materials and receive $1 off admission.

LVRG embodies the DIY ethic and the Indiemade craft market is a perfect match. Come out and spend a warm summer day in beautiful Bethlehem. Support local artists and craftspeople while picking up a one of a kind treasure.

For more information on the indiemade craft market visit their webpage: http://www.indiemadecraftmarket.com/

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