If you're heading to new England, New York or the New Jersey beaches this spring or summer, you might want to make a detour through southeastern Pennsylvania to catch one of the free festivals offered there. Thousands of visitors flock there from all over to see original musical groups and fine artists and take in the sites and food from the area.
Quakertown, PA's Main Street organization, Quakertown Alive!, in Upper Bucks County, hosts the annual Arts Alive! festival the third Saturday of May. They close down the main street in town (Broad Street) for a few blocks and showcase nearly 100 area fine artists and crafters. Musical artists perform on stage and strolling performers entertain the crowd. There are also antique shops, galleries, bookstores and other distractions to peruse while you're there. Parking and admission are free and it's a fun time for young and old. (See www.quakertownalive.com for more information.)
During the first Saturday in October, Quakertown Alive does it all again for the Autumn Alive festival featuring the Cruisin' Alive Classic Car Show, booths from local community groups, musical entertainment and strolling performers. (See www.quakertownalive.com for more information.)
MusikFest is one of the highlights of the summer in nearby Bethlehem, PA. This "Christmas City USA" hosts a multi-day musical event in August that attracts 10s of thousands. Nearly 300 different musical acts perform at multiple locations or "platzes" all over town. Some of the bigger acts require tickets but many are free. Plus there's food and fun all over town. Do a search for MusikFest to learn more.
Allentown gets into the act with its annual May Fair. Recently on the verge of extinction, local volunteers regrouped to ensure this popular local event continues. Search for Allentown and May Fair to learn more.
In addition, New Hope, PA hosts its annual Gay Pride Festival the same weekend as Arts Alive in Quakertown, and Doylestown, Dublin and New Hope host annual outdoor art shows in the spring and fall. The annual shad festivals are held in both Easton and New Hope/Lambertville in April and are another opportunity to get out and enjoy the local arts, the food, the sites, the fresh air and the history of the area.
If you're looking to coordinate these or other events with your trip, do a search for them online or you can also log on to www.BucksCounty.Travel for more ideas before you head out on the American Road.