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Arts & Culture

Mayfair Festival kicks off with savory eats, live bands

Micaela Hood
Go Go Gadjet was among the bands performing Friday at Mayfair Festival of the Arts.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Kicking off Memorial Day weekend, the crowd at Cedar Crest College on Friday jumped up and down to popular cover band Go Go Gadjet performing a medley of hits from the 1990s.

Among the crowdpleasers of the night: a rendition of Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy.”

The band was among a diverse bunch performing at Mayfair Festival of the Arts, taking place through Sunday, May 28.

In addition to the music, on tap are a mix of bands and artists, food trucks and 50 vendors selling handmade arts and crafts.

  • Mayfair Festival of the Arts will feature country and pop bands and vendors selling arts and crafts
  • The festival will take place Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28 at Cedar Crest College
  • Admission is free

If you missed the festival's first day, there's still plenty of music to go around.
On Saturday, 1960s tribute band The Large Flowerheads will be joined by country rockers Reservoir Hill and Moonroof on the main stage. Belly dancers Banat Al Sahra and classic rockers Castaway Band will perform at the bandstand with Strange Neighbors and pop singer Stacy Gabel.

Closing out the festival on Sunday will be folk rock band The Buzz, the Stephanie Johnson Band, the horn band Wonton Soups and party group UUU.

Also on Sunday: DMC Duo, Supersonic Godfathers, Kendal Conrad and the Billy Bauer Band perform on the bandstand.

For the complete line-up, click here.

Micaela Hood
Cool off with an iced drink at the Mayfair Festival at Cedar Crest College through Sunday.

Free admission

Now in its fifth year at the college, the festival is growing in size.

As part of its expansion, organizers added multiple stages, so that more diverse artists could join in on the fun.

Mayfair began as a small community event for musicians and artists in 1986 and was held at several of the city's public spaces including Cedar Beach Park.

In the mid-2000s, the festival moved to the Allentown Fairgrounds before dissolving in 2017.

Some locals frowned upon the hefty admission charge that was attached to the festival around that time, Katy Kresge, associate vice president of campus operations at Cedar Crest College, said.

Micaela Hood
Dogs are allowed to attend the Mayfair Festival of the Arts taking place Saturday - Sunday at Cedar Crest College.

When it found a new home at the school in spring of 2018, organizers at Cedar Crest knew they had to change their strategy.

With warm weather and clear skies headed our way, festival attendees can plan to stay a while.

Also, bring a blanket, a lawn chair and Fido. (Leashed dogs are welcome.)

Micaela Hood
Artist Jen Rodriguez designs handcrafted energy holding ornaments. Her company Witchletoe will be at the Mayfair Festival of the Arts through Sunday.

Foodie paradise, homemade artisan goods

For those who have the munchies at Mayfair, there are food trucks serving tacos, jerk chicken, shaved ice, waffle ice cream cones, fried dumplings, noodle bowls, gyros and topped potato chips.

Among the vendors: Pocono Potato Chip Company, Take a Taco, Merry Poppins Kettle Corn, Puertorrican Culture Preservation, Franklin Hill Vineyards, Caribbean Islands Cuisine, Ski's Hawaiian Shaved Ice, Greek Street, Humpty Dumplings and the Udder Bar.

In addition to your appetite, bring your wallet. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities.

“I have been coming here since I was a kid. I always want to play here as a musician, but now that I am making art, I get more fulfillment and it’s been really good so far.”
Artist Jennifer Rodriguez of Witchletoe

Situated in outdoor and indoor tent spaces, artisans are selling hand-poured soy candles and body scrubs; quilt blankets; women's bags; framed and matted prints; beaded, copper, clay and precious stone jewelry; reiki-charged ornaments; gourmet fudge; crystals; flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Micaela Hood
Abstract artist Abraham Darlington is selling his fun paintings at the Mayfair Festival of the Arts for the third time.

Artist Jennifer Rodriguez of Witchletoe is selling her handmade, energy-filled ornaments for the first time inside the indoor market.

“I have been coming here since I was a kid,” Rodriguez said. “I always want to play here as a musician, but now that I am making art, I get more fulfillment and it’s been really good so far.”

Across the way, Punkmental Abstract owner Abraham Darlington was putting his finishing touches on a painting he plans to sell.

This is third time back selling his colorful and fun art.

“I returned because I liked the experience," Darlington said. "I like the idea of the word “festival” as opposed to traditional galleries.”

Go Go Gadjet at Mayfair Festival 2

Become an artist

Throughout the weekend, painters and photographers will teach workshops where attendees can take their work home.

Saturday's classes include a photo walk with Kim Marie that costs $20 and a modern art class starting at $52.

"This is a great opportunity to join me and other camera enthusiasts as we take photos and enjoy the scenery on campus at Cedar Crest College at Cedar Creek Park, and the Allentown Rose Garden," Marie wrote on the festival's website.

"If you are a novice or hobbyist, as I once was, I’ll be happy to answer any questions or discuss any photography or camera related subjects while on the walk."

Go Go Gadjet at Mayfair Festival 1

On Sunday, acrylic painters will teach a Love Blooms workshop for $37.

For info on the festival, go to cedarcrest.edu/mayfair