Musikfest Today: Five Things to Know
The things you need to do to have an authentic Musikfest experience.
Good morning, ‘festers. Today is Sunday August 14, 2011, the last day of Musikfest. This is your last chance to enjoy the best party in the Lehigh Valley all year.
We’re not going to lie to you. The weather forecast looks horrific. The National Weather Service says there is a 90 percent chance that it will rain, with a possibility of one or two more inches on top of the three inches that fell after nightfall Saturday.
Volksplatz is almost certainly a mudpit, if it’s not even worse. We’ll just have to hope that the perseverance of the ArtsQuest staff and volunteers gets us through this one last day with a smile. A little old-fashioned Jeff Parks weather mojo wouldn’t hurt either. There is a 10 percent chance that it won’t rain, right?
For our last five things, we’re going to give you the keys to having a truly authentic Musikfest experience. Fortunately for you, they can call be done in one day: Today.
- If you haven’t already, go to a Musikfest souvenir store and buy yourself a festival beer mug. Honestly, if you don’t own one, there is just no proving that you were actually here.
- Take that mug to a Musikfest beer stand and get it filled. Yes, we know you can take it to a lot of bars around the city and get it filled cheaper. But are those bars paying for 300 musical acts to play free shows at a dozen stages in North and South Bethlehem? No. Now don’t overdo it. You may want some food to go with that beer. There are a lot of inexpensive options to choose from. We’re going to recommend you go to Festplatz (you’ll need to be there for #4 anyway) and get a wurst platter with German potato salad at the Karl Ehmer food stand. You won’t regret it.
- Take the platter and go listen to some polka music. Yeah, we know it isn’t Nick Jonas or Buckcherry, but the polka tent sits at the heart of where this festival was born and the roots of this town. Honor that. Henry & the Versa Js from Pittsburgh play today from noon to 3:30 p.m. Wait until you dance one Chicken Dance – it’s the official dance of Musikfest.
- Take a stroll into the Colonial Industrial Quarter and visit some of the artisans who comprise Handwerkplatz. There are all kinds of neat items to be had, from lawn sculptures, to handmade soaps to salsa. While you’re there, stop and listen to the bells of the carillon at Cast in Bronze. It is the only instrument of its kind in North America, which Frank DellaPenna has been bringing to Musikfest for the past 13 years. He plays on the half-hour from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. tonight.
- Watch the Musikfest finale fireworks – viewable from most of the platzes and several other places around the city, starting at 9:45 p.m. tonight.
There. Now you've really experience Musikfest. Go forth and enjoy the rest of your summer.