Category Archives: Pinksterfest

Larkfest and Pinksterfest

There are two great Albany annual traditions that I try to attend. The one coming up is Larkfest on September 20. the other is The Tulip Festival, a/k/a Pinksterfest. Once upon a time I used to live between Washington Park, where the Tulip Festival is held, and Lark street (guess what’s held there?), and I could easily walk to both events. Now, less than three miles away, but a different calculation.

I think the venues really determine the differences. For Pinksterfest, the city gardener carefully plants varieties of tulips so that at least some of them will be coming into bloom on Mother’s Day weekend. This year, Carol, Lydia, and I were going to go to the Festival on that Saturday afternoon after attending a child’s birthday party, but we could find no parking whatsoever, so my wife let me out of the car and I traipsed into Washington Park. I got to see my requisite half dozen people I only seem to see once a year, including those in social activism row. I could hear the sounds of the Spin Doctors playing familiar tunes, yet I ended up passing on them in favor of the sounds of a band called 10 (something), a local band that apparently played popular cover songs. They were doing a tune called “Jump,” for instance, which all the kids were dancing to, but it was neither the Van Halen nor the Pointer Sisters versions that I was familiar with. I knew it was a cover version only because I asked someone in the audience – which can tell you how out of it I can really be musically.

For LarkFest, the merchants (and the church) on the street seem to be the prime beneficiaries of the thousands of people who gather there, although there are other vendors. While both claim to be family-friendly, the anti-open booze container law seems to be violated even more often at LarkFest. Also, the park is green space, while the Lark street event is far more physically constricted, which gives it a certain vitality, among the shoving.

The key: go early.

Synchronicity 5 (of 12) or 9 (of 24)

I woke up just before 5 a.m. and waited until the clock read 5:05. 5:05 on 05/05/05-this made me smile. Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. I have a 13-month old baby, and sleep is precious.

Today is, of course, Cinco de Mayo, which is an important holiday, not just an excuse to get drunk on tequila or kahlua. Did I mention

This weekend in Albany, NY is also the the Tulip Festival in Washington Park, featuring the Funk Brothers and the Family Stone Experience (featuring founding members of Sly and the Family Stone -“oooh-lawd!”) on Saturday and Little Anthony and the Imperials on Sunday.

You don’t know the Funk Brothers? They’ve played on more hit songs than anyone as the sensational backing band for Motown’s biggest stars. Even if you don’t live around Albany, find out more by renting or buying “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”. I saw it in the theaters, enjoyed it tremendously, and learned a great deal about the music I love.