By Betsy Natter
Montgomery County’s rich tradition of artistic expression continues this month as local artists and musicians exhibit their work and perform in a variety of venues throughout the county. From the upper northwestern reaches to the southeastern corners of the county, there is a place to sit back and enjoy great music or view some creative artwork. With a festival scheduled each weekend you can attend them all!
June 10 & 11 – Montgomery County Studio Tour
Sat. 10 am – 6 pm
Sun. 11am – 5 pm
Don’t miss participating in the first annual Montgomery County Studio Tour, a free exhibition and open house featuring 20 studios and 51 artists. Local painters, potters, sculptors and jewelry artisans are opening their studios and in some cases hosting guest artists to exhibit their work. The tour has been organized so that visitors can pick and choose the studios they wish to visit. For convenience, several routes have been mapped to provide an optimal experience enjoying scenic backroads while grouping area artists or styles together. You may choose from tour routes such as “Painters north or south of the Turnpike,” “Rock, Paper, Scissors, and Glass,” “Route 73,” and “Over the Rivers (Schuylkill and Perkiomen Creek)”. Check out the routes and Google map directions on the Studio Tour website. No tickets are needed.
Throughout the weekend, artists will have their work available for purchase within a wide price range. Additionally, each artist has painted or created one 6”x 6” original piece of art and will sell it for $75 at 10 am on Saturday to the first visitor in the door. This “County Collector” opportunity gives everyone the chance to own an original piece of art at a very affordable price.
June 16 & 17 – Ambler Music & Arts Festival
Fri. starting at 6 pm
Sat. 11 am – 11pm
Enjoy music, art and plenty of food during Ambler’s annual Music and Arts Festival. The main section of Butler Pike is closed to vehicular traffic to host the weekend event. Over a dozen bands will be provide live music for a full 16 hours of entertainment in the Cavalier Dr. parking lot. Whether it’s soul, rock, reggae, or dance band music, you are sure to find a favorite (or two) among the lineup. Some of the featured groups are The Vincent James Band, Avenue 8 Band, Great Big House and The Trammps. All concert events are free.
In between sets on Saturday, stroll down Butler Pike to view Arts Fest, an exhibition of local artisans selling only original and handcrafted work. And of course, plenty of food will be available from the town’s restaurants as well as outside vendors. The kids will love Family Zone (on Butler between Lindenwold & Race) with face painting, spin art, sand art and other activities. Click here for a map of the festival, a complete schedule of performances and more details.
June 21 – Make Music Upper Perk
Wed. 9 am – 9 pm
Join in the celebration of the summer solstice with people across the globe as the Upper Perkiomen Valley takes part in the Fête de la Musique, or locally, “Make Music Upper Perk.” Beginning at 9 am, musicians throughout the Upper Perk area will be playing in a variety of stores, parks, restaurants, churches, libraries, even the YMCA while sharing their own unique music. Amateurs and professionals ranging in age from 5 to over 80 will engage audiences during free mini-concerts throughout the day-long celebration. The day will cap off with two campfire singalongs at The Porch at Pennsburg UCC and the New Goshenhoppen Park. Towns participating in the event include Green Lane, East Greenville, Red Hill, Pennsburg and Sumneytown. Music styles represented during the festival include folk, Celtic, punk rock, jazz, indie, blues and even Sousa. A program guide and detailed listing of all venues and performers is available online.
The Fête de la Musique began in France in 1982 and is now celebrated in over 500 cities around the world, always on the first day of Summer. This event is free and open to everyone.