A trip to the Allentown Art Festival on Saturday brought about a lot of fun surprises. My friends and I rode our bikes to the festival entrance on Wadsworth Street, which is considered the gateway to Allen West. This dogleg of the festival is actually distinct from the gigantic Allentown Art Festival. Allen West is operated by the Allentown Association, and features regional artists and food vendors. This section is a lot more bohemian than the main festival, making it more “grassrootsy”. We spent most of our time wandering around Allen West, scoping out all of the entrepreneurial vendors who were selling everything from dog collars to wood bikes (more on these two vendors coming up).
It was while walking the main festival when I bumped into photographer Glenn Murray, who I knew would be taking some fabulous photos of all of the Allentown characters… and there were a ton of interesting people.
Here are some of my takeaways from this year’s festival (found in my photos):
- Colter Bay looks absolutely amazing with its new patio. It has a wonderful European vibe.
- Towne Restaurant should put a real/permanent patio out on the sidewalk, similar to Colter Bay’s.
- The Hamlin House is always our go-to destination for drinking some beers – during the festival they extend the patio into the neighboring yard to create a beer garden. Can this please be a permanent summer setup? Maybe team up with a local brewery?
- The hopscotch trail in front of Gallery 125 was brilliant. So many people hopped by… it was a blast to watch.
- There’s a sea of asphalt on historic Franklin Street, right next to Hamlin House. Where did that come from?
Here are some of my takeaways from this year’s festival (found in Glenn’s photos):
- The live models in the Allen Street Dress Shop window were a nice touch.
- Tons of great t-shirts worn by the crowd.
- So many incredible buskers! We need more buskers throughout the city on non-festival days.
- There was a famous Robert DiNero impersonator at the festival?