Past Events

Friday, November 15, 2019

We’re proud to announce our Celebration event featuring Linny Award winning performer Alex Meixner Put on your partying shoes and come with your friends to the Maingate Nightclub at the Allentown Fairgrounds on Friday, Nov. 15, for an evening of rousing music, good food, and conversations with Alex Meixner, winner of the ArtsQuest Foundation’s 2019 Linny Award for Performing Artist of the Year.  The evening kicks off at 6:00 with The Main Street Cruisers, northeast Pennsylvania’s Oldies Rock & Roll Show Band, prior to Alex taking the stage. Meixner, Allentown’s native son and Musikfest headliner, is famous for his versatile genre mashups of polka, pop music, funk, jazz, and who knows what else!  He recently worked with Jack Black on the Netflix movie The Polka King, and his album Polka Freak Out was nominated for Best Polka Album at the 2007 Grammy Awards.  Alex will, of course, play his signature instrument, the accordion.  In between numbers, you’ll hear about some of the exciting new programming planned for the 2020 Great Pennsylvania Music and Arts Celebration on Memorial Day Weekend in May.  The free-admission Celebration is presented every year by Pennsylvania’s Music Preservation Society (PAMPS), which was co-founded by Alex. This event at the Maingate is a membership fundraiser for PAMPS.  If you attend the event to congratulate Alex on his ArtsQuest Linny Award, your $25 price of admission will cover the entire cost of your inaugural membership in PAMPS that will remain active until December 31, 2020.  Please see the Membership page in this website for more details.

Saturday May 25 to Monday, May 27, 2019

We were pleased to feature FREE admission, FREE parking, and family friendly fun at the historic Allentown Fairgrounds on Memorial Day Weekend 2019!

Washington, D.C., has its National Memorial Day Parade, Philadelphia marks the occasion with Penn’s Landing Waterfront Day, and in 2018, for the first time, northeast Pennsylvania observed the entire Memorial Day holiday weekend with The Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts Celebration, or PennMArt for short. Sponsored by Pennsylvania’s Music Preservation Society (PAMPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the second-annual 2019 event was again held at the historic Allentown Fairgrounds on May 25, 26 and 27, to celebrate Pennsylvania’s music, culture and arts.

The Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts Celebration is unique in its support of veterans and veterans’ groups, and its programming each year to put “Memorial” back in Memorial Day by fostering remembrance of the men and women who have served and died in the U.S. military. We are also proud of the quality and variety of the festival’s free musical programming.   The headliners and all other bands and performing groups selected each year have their roots in Pennsylvania, and reflect the state’s rich and diverse musical genres that cut across generations and nationalities.

The 2019 programming included rock & roll, polka, folk, bluegrass, Celtic and Latino music, as well as a very professional version of a Bob Hope USO tribute show as attribute to veterans from WWII to Vietnam.   We also showcased young musicians at a Sunday afternoon Rock Youth program.  The annual Artists Market featured works by some of the Pennsylvania’s finest artisans, including noted quilter Carole Dorr.   Fifty different items of food were provided in a Food Court with six different tents serving Cajun, South Philly, Barbecue, seafood and fun foods like funnel cakes.  Outdoor seating with umbrella tables, as well as indoor eating spaces, were provided.

There were lots of opportunities for the audience to get up and get in the swing. You could join the polka dancing under the outdoor tent, be part of the Sock Hop dance competition promoting “Socks for Veterans,” or just find your favorite band and get moving.

And we had a play area for the little ones!
Most of the festivities were inside the spacious Agri-Plex building at the Allentown Fairgrounds.   The fairgrounds is the perfect venue, making the celebration wonderfully handicapped accessible, providing free admission and loads of close-by free parking, and non-stop indoor and outdoor tent programming on three stages where the public could be sheltered from whatever inclement weather nature had to offer (although we were blessed with fine weather this year!).
The Society enjoyed ushering in the summer of 2019 with its Celebration and would like to remind you about The Great Allentown Fair which closes the Lehigh Valley festival season at the Allentown Fairgrounds! Photos by Hub Willson
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Harris Hall main stage 12:30 Trouble City All-Stars
2:00 Bev Conklin & the BC Combo
3:45 The Ultra Kings
5:15 TimeWhy?s
7:00 Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods
Harris Hall craft stage 12:00 Kelly Planer and the Perks (set 1)
1:30 Kelly Planer and the Perks (set 2)
3:15 King Henry Duo (set 1)
4:45 King Henry Duo (set 2)
6:30 Joanna Mell & Alison Gillespie
Outdoor tent stage 12:30 Brush Brothers
1:45 Poor Man’s Gambit
3:00 Municipal Band of Allentown
5:00 Joe Kroboth Band
Strolling musicians 12:00 Little Brass Band of the Lehigh Valley
2:30 Gary D’s All Stars
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Harris Hall main stage 12:30 Easton Municipal Band
2:00 Fusion Jazz Trio
3:30 Kari Holmes
4:45 Nakked Soul
6:30 A Few Good Men of PA
8:30 Hector Rosado y Orquesta Hache
Harris Hall craft stage 1:30 Keith Brintzenhoff
3:00 Miller Brothers
4:15 Dave Fry
6:00 Moe Jerant & the Great Djembe Jam (set 1)
8:00 Moe Jerant & the Great Djembe Jam (set 2)
Outdoor tent stage 12:30 Charlie Schaffer Duo
1:45 Russ Rentler
3:00 Lehigh Valley Folk Music Society
5:00 Acoustic Kitty Project
7:00 John Stevens Polka Band
9:00 Mike Foxx (dance DJ)
Rocking the Valley tent stage (Sunday only) 12:30 Rock Youth hosted by Steve Jones & Rocking the Valley
1:00 Dave Fry
1:30 Sarah Keany
2:00 Sophia Beltz
2:30 Kayla Avitabile
3:00 Cristabelle Braden
3:30 The band Teddy
4:00 Peaschee & Price
4:30 DKY Band
5:00 Blind Choice
5:30 Frank Porter
6:00 Acoustic Blues Project
Monday, May 27, 2019
Harris Hall main stage 1:00 Bob Hope USO Tribute Show with Michelle DellaFave, Bill Johnson, Holly Faris, and the SwingTime Dolls
3:00 National Moment of Remembrance
3:01 Joyous
4:45 Dana Gaynor Band
6:00 Craig Thatcher Band
Harris Hall craft stage 12:40 Mary Laub (storyteller)
3:00 National Moment of Remembrance
4:15 Steve Brosky (set 1)
5:30 Steve Brosky (set 2)
Outdoor tent stage 12:00 Memorial Day observances (at flagpole): “Honoring Service and Sacrifice”
1:00 Keith Brintzenhoff as Dr. Witzelsucht
1:30 Lehigh Valley Folk Music Society
3:00 National Moment of Remembrance
3:01 The Allentown Band
4:45 Big Valley Bluegrass
6:00 Lyons Fiddle Festival Band & Champions