Your Holiday Weekend Funtime Guide

Local, baby. All local.

I’ve said this the first three weeks of our all-local Fridays, but there’s so much going on this weekend, that if you can’t find something to do, it’s not the Poconos’ fault. It’s your fault. That’s starting to be a pretty good sample size too, so for the people who cry and complain about how there’s nothing to do around here, umm, you’re wrong.

a poconos tradition, admission fee or not

a poconos tradition, admission fee or not

I used to call this Fest Weekend because for a couple years there, we had the Garlic Festival, Stroudfest and Tribute Fest. Cover Fest is gone now, I think it lasted two years at Big Boulder as a collection of tribute bands playing all weekend. So we’re down to two fests this Labor Day weekend. First, there is the Garlic Festival at Shawnee Mountain. It’s changed since its downtown Stroudsburg days when you roamed the streets and Dunkleberger’s smelled like garlic for a week. I don’t like that there’s a cover charge now, but in reality, it was necessary. The Garlic Festival people were ready to shut down — they really were. They didn’t have the money to keep going. We got those three Garlic Festivals in a row with rain and that killed attendance and killed any profit. So without that fee to get in, the Garlic Festival probably would have been dead four years ago. I guess it comes down to, do you want a Garlic Festival for $10, or do you want nothing at all? It’s not like anyone is making you go to the Garlic Festival, so don’t go and don’t pay if you don’t want to. But going supports an local agricultural niche that needs all the help it can get, and it’s good clean family fun. Up to you. I’d probably feel worse about the Garlic Festival’s cover charge if it weren’t for …

a nice day to hang downtown

a nice day to hang downtown

Stroudfest was born out of purely financial reasons, don’t listen to anyone that tells you differently. Downtown Stroudsburg businesses made a pretty penny from the walking traffic of the Garlic Fest and didn’t want to lose any of those pennies. So when the Garlic Fest people decided to move to Shawnee Mountain so they could charge admission, Rich Berkowitz at the Sherman Theater stepped up with a few other people to start the all-day music marathon of Stroudfest. Now in its fourth year (I think) the festival is just a nice day to hang out in Stroudsburg, listen to live, free music and tour the craft and food vendors. Then … hit the bars! I’m really surprised there aren’t more SARP calls on Stroudfest day around 1:30 a.m. I keep thinking I’ll come back to work on Tuesday and see some press release with the title, “COPS BREAK UP 20-PERSON FIGHT ON 600 BLOCK OF MAIN STREET” or something like that. Between the all-day format, ESU back in session without classes til Tuesday (hush, hush), the music ending at like 5 or 6 … just seems like a recipe for disaster. That nothing major has ever happened is a credit to both the organizers and SARP for keeping a lid on things. I am currently knocking on wood, don’t worry. The couple times I’ve been there, I’m a fan of the vibe during Stroudfest, it’s fun.

The backdrop of Stroudfest is always a good time for Main Street businesses to hold fundrasiers — so that’s what Main Street Jukebox is doing. The record store extraordinaire is teaming with PIBCO internet radio for a live music show starting at noon and going til about 9. I’d tell you about all the bands that are gonna be there, but I don’t know them all that well. Or at all. I don’t feel so bad because on the Facebook invite it says the show will introduce me to a some good bands. Whew! Now I don’t feel as bad that I don’t know them.

Some of the downtown after parties with live music: Siamsa has video DJ Troy at 10 p.m., Sarah Street has The Statesmen and KC’s has One Way Out at 9 p.m. I don’t know who’s at Flood’s, because they still don’t have a website. Or a Facebook page. Or a freakin’ MySpace page. Seriously! In this day and age, how do you not at least have a Facebook page that you never bother to update, like Marita’s? I’ve never understood Flood’s. Doesn’t mean I don’t like it there, I just don’t understand it. I’m sure there’s someone reading that has either an explanation of why the bar has always been like that or a similar frustration. Have at it in the comments, I’d love to hear ’em. Apparently not many other people like updating their websites/facebooks in downtown Stroudsburg either because I looked at a bunch of them, and nothing is updated. Sheesh.

didn't make it there this year. boo me.

didn't make it there this year. boo me.

Hey, last weekend of the West End Fair everyone! I’ll be interested to see how the fair’s financials turn out. Sunday was obviously a washout, and then they were kinda stuck the rest of the week. We had thousands of families whose lives had just been turned upside down, so it’s not like any of them said, “We haven’t had power for two days, we lost about $300 worth of food in the fridge and freezer, it feels like a week since I’ve taken a hot shower … let’s go to the fair!” They could probably use some business, keep that in mind when you’re making your weekend plans. It’s open through Sunday.

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