Stuff to do this weekend

Sunday is Hat Day at Saratoga

Hope everyone's having a great week.

We're still on summer break, but we've put together a quick list of things that are going on this weekend. Got other plans? Share them with the crowd.

AOA will be back on our regular schedule on Monday. Until then, have a great weekend.

The Track
The Saratoga Race Course opens today. It's the 144th season at the The Track. The meet runs for 40 days, through September 3. (Tuesdays are "dark" days -- no racing.)

Sunday Hat Day at The Track -- which, of course, means all sorts of crazy hats for the hat competition.

Hats Off
Opening weekend at the Track also includes the Hats Off Festival. Downtown Saratoga will be one big party with performances at outdoor venues all over town. Here's the full schedule and a map. Friday and Saturday, 7 pm to 11 pm - free

Schenectady SummerNight
Friday in downtown Schenectady: the annual SummerNight celebration, with street performers, music, activities for kids, food vendors, and fireworks. State Street, from Lafayette to Broadway, will be closed to vehicles. 5-10 pm - free

Saratoga County Fair
The 171st Saratoga County Fair continues this weekend at the fairgrounds in Ballston Spa through Sunday. $10 general admission / free for kids under 4 feet 4 inches


The packed summer theater festival season continues. A few highlights for this week:

+ Park Playhouse's Cabaret is fantastic. It's also free. Tonight through Sunday (and again Tuesday through next Sunday) in Washington Park. The production includes table seating built into the stage design -- those tickets are $20. Center section seating is $15, and side section seating is $13. Lawn seats are free. 8 pm

+ The Saratoga Shakespeare Company's summer season is underway in Congress Park. This year's production is Twelfth Night. Tonight and Saturday at 6 pm / Sunday at 3 pm - free

+ The stage adaptation of Far From Heaven is at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. And the production of Last of the Red Hot Lovers starring (among others) Leslie Bibb and Susie Essman closes Sunday.

+ The Berkshire Theater Festival is doing A Chorus Line, which you've heard of. They're also doing a small musical you may not have heard of -- A Class Act. The show is made up of wonderful songs written by A Chorus Line lyricist Edward Kleban. The piece was pulled together by a gropu of Kleban's friends. The show was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2001 and is rarely performed. Unicorn Theater, Stockbridge. Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm and 8 pm - $45

This is the closing weekend for the New York City Ballet at SPAC.

Blue Man
Saturday and Sunday at Proctors: the touring company of Blue Man Group will be in town for three shows (one on Saturday, two on Sunday). It's... hard to describe -- but in a good way. various times - $20 and up

In addition to the long string of summer blockbusters, here are a couple of movies you might want to try:

Ballin' at the Graveyard
The documentary about the pickup basketball scene at Albany's Washington Park -- Ballin' at the Graveyard -- continues its run at the Spectrum.

Evil Dead
Saturday at Proctors: It Came From Schenectady is showing Sam Raimi's cult classics Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. 7 pm - $9 adults / $6 students

Roller Derby
The Hellions of Troy are back in action on Saturday night at Rollarama. (The Hellions are hosting an after-party at Lynn's Uptown Tavern.) doors open at 7 pm, whistle at 8 pm - $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $3 for kids under 12

Wait no longer for The Wait
Hey, they're back. You remember The Wait. (The Idiots explain.) They're playing a reunion show this Saturday at Putnam Den in Saratoga, with John Brodeur and Five Alpha Beatdown. (And look, an previously unreleased EP.) 9 pm - $5


The Dweezil Zappa Show at The Egg on Friday is sold out.

Friday: WEXT Birthday Party at Valentine's
Featuring Sgt Dunbar, The Hanslick Rebellion. 8 pm

Friday: Brittany Haas and Lauren Rioux at Caffe Lena
Two bluegrass fiddlers, one show. 8 pm - $15 ahead / $17 at door

Friday: Brown Bird at Helsinki Hudson
Rising indie folk duo. 9 pm - $12 ahead / $15 day of

Friday: Street Corner Holler at Upbeat on the Roof at the Tang
Roots/blues/Americana. 7 pm - free

Saturday: Death Cab for Cutie at Brewery Ommegang
Outside. Gates open at 5:30. 8 pm - $39.50 advance / $45 day of

Saturday: Bang on a Can All Stars at MASS MoCA
Featuring new commissioned works by a bunch of sound artists. 8 pm - $24 / $15 students

Farmers' markets
The outdoor seasons for farmers' markets are in swing in Troy (Saturday), Delmar (Saturday), Saratoga (Saturday), and Schenectady (Sunday).

Troy Flea
Troy Flea, a new TightKnit Saturday market that includes "handmade, vintage and antique art and goods," is open for the season. It's on the block of River Street in Troy south of the farmers' market, from 9 am-2 pm.


MASS MoCA's annual Bang on a Can festival continues with the Bang on a Can All-Stars performance Saturday night (mentioned above). And Oh, Canada, a show that highlights art from our neighbors to the north, opened recently. Museum admission $15, $10 for students, $5 for children.

2012 Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region
Sixty-five works of art by 30 artists from the Hudson Mohawk Region are part of an exhibit at the University at Albany Art Museum. Saturday 11 am-4 pm - free

A exhibit of work from Adirondack photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard continues at the State Museum. free

Ice Cream
The results of Daniel B's Tour de Hard Cream are in. Now you can try the winners out for yourself. Or check out one of these stops on the AOA Ice Cream Tour.

Wooden shoes
The new Sculpture in the Streets exhibit is made up of giant wooden shoes. Take a walk around downtown Albany and check them out.

Road trip
A lot of people have extra days off this weekend, which is always a good excuse for a little road trip. A ride out to Columbia County to check out the field sculptures at Art Omi or a shopping trip to Northampton could be fun. Or maybe a visit to a brewery or cheese farm.

Pick a pool or a beach, grab a towel and a good book, and you're good to go. Don't forget your sunscreen.

It's one of the best ways to spend a lazy weekend morning. Here are a few fun brunch options and some great diner breakfast stops.

SPAC advertises on AOA.
AOA is a media sponsor for The Hellions of Troy.


It's induction weekend at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Legendary Cubbies radio announcer and ball player, Ron Santo is finally being honored. The Sunday ceremony is free and it's a really nice time if you love baseball.

Saturday afternoon there's a party for Cubbies fans - Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins and some of the Rickett's family will be there (current club owners). I know there aren't many other Cubs fans out here, but for those who are, it's going to be a great weekend.

Oh my gawwwwwd! The hats! I've never understood the crazy hat lady thing. Just please don't sit in front of me at the Evil Dead double feature at Proctor's.

Albany Civic Theater's Annual Playwright's Showcase is this Sunday - "Kids, No Pets, Maybe Whores" by local playwright Richard Gotti. 3pm, pay-what-you-will, question-and-answer session with the playwright, director, and actors and a champagne reception to follow.

I don't have cable, does anyone know a good place to watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics this Friday (7/27)? Thanks!

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