Once again, another Labor Day Weekend means a festival blitz in the Johnstown area, as four different festivals will offer music, food, arts, crafts and much more!
For the live music fan, this year’s Johnstown Folkfest again brings a loaded slate of top-notch talent to Festival Park near downtown Johnstown. Among the noteworthy names performing at this year’s Folkfest from Friday night through Sunday night: 80’s alt-country pioneers Jason and the Scorchers, reuniting solely to perform two shows at this year’s Folkfest; Austin, Texas Latin rockers Del Castillo; Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks; acclaimed blues-rockers Jason Ricci & New Blood; returning rockabilly favorites Deke Dickerson & the Ecco-fonics; R&B favorite Barrence Whitfield; country-blues upstart Stacie Collins; and bringing the Louisiana zydeco party to Folkfest for the second straight year, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers. Folkfest will again feature a healthy dose of regional talent as well; kicking off Friday night with a western Pennsylvania roots music tripleheader featuring Pittsburgh’s Beagle Brothers, Clearfield Americana trio Rusty Gun Revival and Altoona rockabilly rockers The Marauders. Other local and regional performers at this year’s Folkfest include Johnstown singer, songwriter and storyteller Tim Dabbs, Johnstown punk/funk/reggae rockers Dubmissive, Johnstown’s Jazz In Your Face, and Cambria County Celtic group Aran.
A fifteen-minute walk along the Iron Street Trail westward from Festival Park will put you in Johnstown’s ethnic Cambria City neighborhood, the former home of Johnstown Folkfest; where the Cambria City Ethnic Festival will again take place. Several Cambria City churches and Ace’s Lounge will host a variety of local and ethnic entertainers from Friday night through Sunday night. Some of this year’s performers include The Johnstown Classic Rockers, Yum, John McDonald and the Mango Men, the Michael O’Brian Band, Full Kilt, Midnight Graffiti, Dead Irish Blues, The Conniptions, South Side Strays, Rik Golden Band, Rosie & the Jammers, Tree and more.
If you enjoy arts and crafts along with some music, the 38th annual Log House Arts Festival happens Saturday and Sunday at the Community Arts Center in Westmont. Entertaining at this event will be Rosie & the Jammers, Satrycon, The Sharptones, The Conniptions and John Stiffler.
And the 20th annual Forest Hills Festival will happen Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Berwind Wayside Festival Park, Route 869 in St. Michael. This festival features lots of arts and crafts, food and refreshments, and entertainment from such names as The Cash Review (a Johnny Cash tribute band), Elvis impersonator Phil McCaulley, Dan & Galla, The Conniptions, Broken Spoke and Johnstown Button Box.
Admission to all four of these festivals is free; and parking and shuttle bus service is available to and from Johnstown Folkfest, Cambria City Ethnic Festival and Log House Arts Festival.
Needless to say, I will be logging many hours in the Johnstown vicinity this Labor Day Weekend. And if you’re a live music or festival connoisseur, Johnstown indeed will be the place to be!