Out and About

Out and About: Enjoy films at festival, screenings

As the summer winds down, indulge in the world of film, from exploring intriguing and eclectic independent films at the 11th year of Easton's Movies at the Mill to area screenings of an 80-year-old movie that has become a true classic of cinema.

Movies At The Mill Easton returns with "Speakeasy Edition" of its film festival August 24 at the Sigal Museum in downtown Easton.

This year, organizers have arranged a series of screenings that will run throughout the day – allowing more opportunities for guests to see the films and letting more films participate.

Attendees purchase tickets for specific screening blocks. The ticket holder can only gain access to the screening associated with that ticket; however, the screening ticket does grant the holder access to the speakeasy in the museum before or after the screening. The speakeasy is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Films include "La Noria," about a young boy who loves to draw and build Ferris wheels and who encounters strange creatures; "War Paint," the story of a soldier's journey through the heat and hell of the Vietnam War; "The Hunted," about a hiker who stumbles upon an alien in need of help; "In Sight Of Zikra," about a short-staffed optical center; "Black Hat," about a Hasidic man leading a fairly simple life; "Agua 'e Panty," about a gold digger from Santo Domingo; "Tolerant No Longer," about a woman recording her observations of irresponsible political decisions; "Big Money Agenda: Democracy on the Brink," which explores how money controls politics and "Finding The Balance," which asks what would you do if you saw sound?

Other highlights of the event include an array of savory and sweet concessions, live music, a DJ, giveaways and more. The Sigal Museum is located at 342 Northampton Street, Easton. General admission tickets are $30 prior to the event and $40 at the door.

Originally produced at the Simon Silk Mill site in 2009, the festival showcases both new and under-utilized locations in Easton that could benefit from the attention the festival attracts. To date, the festival has taken place at Easton locations, such as the State Theatre, Hugh Moore Park, and the Easton intermodal facility.

For information, go to moviesatthemill.com

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the beloved classic film "The Wizard of Oz," two Lehigh Valley institutions are holding screenings of the groundbreaking film.

On August 11, 1939, "The Wizard of Oz" had its first sneak preview in San Bernardino, California. The film was also previewed in two other test markets in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, before premiering on August 25, 1939.

"The Wizard of Oz" is widely considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history, and is the best-known and most commercially successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

Directed primarily by Victor Fleming, the film was notable for its legendary use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable characters, and has become an icon of American popular culture. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning for best original song for "Over the Rainbow" and best original score by Herbert Stothart.

The 1956 television broadcast premiere of the film on CBS cemented the film's popularity and, iaccording to the Library of Congress, it is the most seen film in movie history.

In the unforgettable story, a tornado whisks Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, from her home of Kansas to the magical land of Oz. There, they follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and join with a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) that needs a brain, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) who wants courage. The wizard asks the group to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) to earn his help.

The film is being shown outdoors in Bethlehem for free as part of Screen on the Green, presented by Southside Arts District.

The event starts at 8 p.m. Friday at Zoellner Arts Center's outdoor courtyard. Take a chair or blanket. There will be popcorn and water provided. Arrive early for lawn games and entertainment. The movie starts at 8:30 p.m. Parking is available for $1 in Zoellner parking garage.

Zoellner Arts Center is at 420 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem.

Civic Theatre of Allentown is showing the film at 2 p.m. Sunday in the restored 19th Street theater and will feature a visit by costumed characters of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

"The Wizard of Oz" will screen as part of Classics at Civic film series, and will be shown on DCP, or Digital Cinema Package ,which is a digital version of a 35mm film print.

In addition to the visit from the characters, there will be specialty drinks available at the Glassman Patron Lounge.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

Civic Theatre is at 527 N 19th Street, Allentown. For information call 610-432-8943, or go to www.civictheatre.com.

RiverFest in Muhlenberg

A free food and music festival is quickly becoming one of Berks County's premier festivals. RiverFest, the annual event in Jim Dietrich Park, against the bucolic backdrop of the Schuylkill River, features two stages of music, a beer and wine garden, and 30 food vendors and artisans.

This year, organizers are adding Friday evening to the fun. From 5 to 9 p.m. on August 23, enjoy live music, beverages and some delicious food trucks near the historic Jim Dietrich Farmhouse.

From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. August 24 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. August 25, the event will feature the full trail of vendors and wall to wall music including Little Lehigh Band, Echo North, Comfort Zone, The Root Blossoms, The Blue Diamonds, Eric Fisher, Three Amigos, John Imhoff, Wayne Farley, Marissa Aulenbach, Kutztown Pipe Band and The Brothers Brown.

There will also be a sanctioned quoiting tournament this year as well. Take lawn chairs or blankets to spend the day. Jim Dietrich Park is at 4900 Stoudts Ferry Bridge Road in Muhlenberg Township.

For information, call Muhlenberg Township Parks & Recreation at 610-929-4727, or go to www.muhlenbergtwp.com/196/RiverFest.

Great Allentown Fair begins

It's hard to believe it's already time for The Great Allentown Fair, which opens Tuesday and continues through September 2 at the Allentown Fairgrounds.

The fair celebrates its 167th year, offering a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Dedicated to supporting the achievements of farmers, gardeners and homemakers, the fair shows families where their food comes from while spending an exciting day riding rides, playing games and seeing shows. The young and young at heart will find international cuisine, musical concerts, thrill shows, and amazing exhibits.

New this year are the ZuZu Acrobats, a high-energy show that features pyramid building, limbo, contortion, bottle balancing, tower of chairs, hand balancing from athletes who competed on "America's Got Talent" and Brunon Blaszak Royal Bengal Tigers Show, which lets you see tigers as they show off their swiftness, agility and sheer size.

In DialedAction Sports, athletes soar more than 10 feet in the air while doing tricks and flips on a BMX bike and returning are the ever popular Robinson's Pig Paddling Porkers, in which pigs race around a turf track and in a pool swimming.

The fair opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday for preview night, when admission is $3, or get in for $1 when you take a donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Wednesday is senior citizens day. Everyone is admitted free from noon to 2 p.m. and after 2 p.m., seniors age 65 and up pay $4.

Regular admission is $8 and age 12 and under are free.

Allentown Fairgrounds is at 302 North 17th Street, Allentown. For schedules of events go to www.allentownfairpa.org.

Crafts in the Poconos

The 2019 Pocono State Craft Festival returns to the Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm in Hamilton Township, Monroe County, this weekend. The event, held since 1986, has become "a destination" for the discerning collector of quality art and fine crafts.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. August 24 and 25, browse the finest artists and craftspeople from across the United States, see a large variety of art and craft demonstrations and be entertained by regional musicians. The event is sponsored by Pocono chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and the Pocono Arts Council. Admission also includes Quiet Valley's attractions.

Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, is a nonprofit, living history museum preserving 19th-century Pennsylvania German agricultural heritage. Period dressed interpreters portray descendants of Johann Depper, re-enacting daily life on the farm.

Nestled on 114 acres of beautiful pastures, woodlands and streams in the Pocono Mountains, Quiet Valley hosts all the farm animals typically found in the 1800s. Rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, a mule and Clydesdale draft horses live on the homestead. The buildings include an 1850s bank barn, the original farmhouse, a cabin, spring house, ice house, smokehouse, dry house and assorted smaller barns. Quiet Valley is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Admission is $6 and children age 12 and under are free.

For information, go to www.poconocrafts.com.

Custom rod jamboree in Macungie

The 41st Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree brings more than 1,500 street rods and custom cars to Macungie Memorial Park in Lehigh County on August 23, 24, and 25.

The Wheels of Time Street Rod Association is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to the art of street-rodding and the jamboree is their premier event through which the organization gives back to the Lehigh Valley in the form of donations to local charities, food banks and vo-tech scholarships.

In addition to the huge variety of cars on display, there also is an automotive flea market and vendor area, as well as an arts and crafts area with everything from car jewelry to hand painted gourds. There also is bingo for those who wish to sit and relax.

Food is available all day from various food vendors in the food court.

A unique item is the "teeter totter," a balance trailer onto which you drive your car and try to balance as fast as you can by driving forward and backward a fraction of an inch at a time.

Tickets start at $15 for adults, $7.50 for ages seven through 12 and free for children ages six and under.

Macungie Memorial Park is at 50 North Poplar Street, Macungie.

A special treat is the annual Friday night cruise through Emmaus which features 200 show cars parading through the borough.

The cruise leaves Allen Organ on Route 100 at 6:45 p.m. then travels through Macungie via Main Street to Buckeye Road to Chestnut Street into Emmaus. Then it goes east to Main Street, then north on State Avenue to Harrison Street, west to North Street and then north on Cedar Crest to Lower Macungie Road.

WWII murder mystery in Quakertown

Gypsy Stage Company will present the original murder mystery "Nora Swan: Murder Most Personal," opening Friday at McCoole's in Quakertown, Bucks County.

Set in 1951, the story, written by Doylestown playwrights Judith Sapperstein and Gary Murway, follows Nora Swan, whose husband, Richard Swan, did the covert work during World War II, and was murdered in what looked like a car accident, in order to keep him from revealing secrets only he knew. Nora, who was in the car with him, survived, but was left blind.

When the story opens, Richard's friend, Dempsey, informs Nora that she is still a target and he's narrowed it down to where he's certain her enemy is actually one of her friends, but is not sure who.

The show stars Erin Ryan as Nora and Ed Red as Dempsey and is directed by Jim Balcerek.

Gypsy Stage Company was started by Sapperstein and Murway, who created a theater group to take their show "Women are from Venus, Men are from Uranus" to the Liverpool International Theatre Festival in 2016, where it won an award. They started producing shows locally in 2018.

Tickets are $18.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. August 23-24 and October 4-5; 2 p.m. August 25 and October 6 at McCoole's at the Historic Red Lion Inn, 4 South Main Street, Quakertown.

For information call 215-345-5550, or go to GypsyStageCompany.com.

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