Welcome to Labor Day weekend. If you don't have to labor, there's plenty of great stuff to fill up the weekend: bacon, garlic, people in kilts tossing trees... lots of stuff.
If you haven't made your plans yet, check out what's waiting for you after the jump.
Got something planned that you don't see here? Share it with the rest of us. And enjoy the last unofficial weekend of summer.
Troy Night Out
Labor Day weekend begins with the final Troy Night Out of the summer. Shops and galleries are open late in the Collar City tonight. Here are a few things to check out:
+ It's your last chance to see the Fence Select and Student Fence exhibits and Niki Haynes mixed media exhibit, Playland, at The Arts Center of the Capital Region. You can also check out the gong bath -- a sonic sensory experience.
+ There's also a ukulele "Tiptoe through Troy" that will end up with a concert at Monument Square at 7:30 and a writer's workshop with Amy Halloran at Market Block Books.
+ As always there's a post-party at Daisy Baker's.
Monday is the last day of racing for the 2012 Saratoga meet.
+ Friday there will be a post-race party with food and music after the races.
+ Sunday and Monday are Family Fun Fest days -- "the backyard area will host a variety of family-friendly attractions such as carnival games, face painting, caricatures, spin art and pony rides."
+ Sunday is the last giveaway day of the season: a red Saratoga fleece blanket -- free with paid admission while supplies last.
Saratoga celebrates the end of the track season on Saturday and Sunday with the two-night Final Stretch Music Festival. Bands will be playing at venues all over the Spa City. Free.
+ The Fonda Fair in Montgomery County - continues through Labor Day - $10 / children 6-11 $2 / kids under 6 free.
+ The Columbia County Fair in Chatham - runs through Labor Day - Adults $10 (Sunday is $12). It's $8 every day if purchased before August 29 / under 12 - free.
+ The Schaghticoke Fair - also runs through Labor Day- Adults $10, $11 Saturday-Monday / Opening Day is $5 / children under 13 - free.
The annual Capital District Scottish Games are this Saturday and Sunday at the Altamont Fairgrounds. All sorts of Scottish things: dancing, music (bagpipes!), the bonnie dog contest, and the ever-popular caber toss.
Tickets are $22 for Saturday ($18 pre-sale) and $12 Sunday ($10 pre-sale). Kids under 12 are free.
The first Bacon Fest NY is Sunday in Hudson. From the blurbage on what such a fest involves:
Restaurants and eateries from NYC, the Hudson Valley, the Capital Region and Southern Adirondacks and into the Berkshires will be featuring their bacon creations, area smokehouses will have a spectrum of flavors to sample, artisans of all crafts - edible and non - will have their wares on display, farms and CSA's will delight us with pig knowledge AND the delightful croonings of area musicians will wash over us as we all drift into a food coma.
The music lineup includes: Ramblin' Jug Stompers, Sgt. Dunbar, Lucky Jukebox Brigade, Eastbound Jesus, and... Unexplained Bacon.
General admission tickets are $10 ($8 ahead of time). Kids under 10 are free.
If you're up for a trip to Bennington, you can check out the Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival this weekend. Music, kids activities, cooking demonstrations, over 100 food vendors and all things garlic. $5 per person, 2 day pass for $8, children $1.
Baseball and BBQ
The Tri-City ValleyCats are at home on Monday night and they're throwing the Capital Region's biggest barbecue. They'll have a giant cookout all day at the ballpark. First pitch at 5 pm. Post game fireworks. $5.50-$11.50
The summer theater festival season is coming to a close. A few things you can see this weekend:
Friday: Roomful of Teeth featuring Missy Mazzoli at MASS MoCA
Vocal group collaborating with Mazzoli, "one of the fastest-rising young composers in America." 8 pm - $15 / $10 students
Saturday: Q-Ruption at SPAC
Big lineup that includes Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, P.O.D. and others. $20 and up
Saturday: Brazilian Big Beat Dance Party with Nation Beat at MASS MoCA
Described as "European, African and Latin sensibilities come together in the spirit of a Friday-night party after a week of hard work." 8 pm - $15 / $10 students
Sunday: Boston Pops Orchestra - The Great American Songbook at Tanglewood
With Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole. 2:30 pm - $21 and up
The Saratoga Polo Associations's last matches of the season -- The SPA Anniversary Cup Tournament -- are being played this weekend. Matches on Friday and Sunday. Polo, a muscle car show, and more. Gates open at 4pm, matches at 5:30. $25 - $40
Fort Ticonderoga has opened one of the first corn mazes of the season. It's a six-acre maze with clues and a scavenger hunt. Open 9:30-4:30. $17.50 for adults, Seniors $14, kids $8. Under 5 free.
The abundance of great farmers' markets is one of the best things about living in the Capital Region, and this is the best time of year to check them out. Among the markets open this weekend: Troy (Saturday), Delmar (Saturday), Saratoga (Saturday), and Schenectady (Sunday).
Squeeze the last out of summer
Yes, the official season continues, but this weekend is your last chance to visit the public pools and a bunch of other summer- only venues. Seasonal ice cream stands are winding down their season, so get to your favorite while you still can. Check out one of the 12 staples at The Ice Cream Man, or the winners of Daniel B's Tour de Hard Cream or one of these stops on the AOA Ice Cream Tour.
Tour Schenectady's Vale Cemetery with Paul Tracy and retrace how the inventions made by some of the inventor buried there affect your daily life. Sunday at 2pm.
One of the best things about the anticipated change in season? New Clothes. Try a shopping trip to Northampton . But who needs new clothes when you have good beer and cheese -- maybe a visit to a brewery or cheese farm. Or take a trip out to Western Mass and take in the flowers while you still can at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
Photo: Y La Bamba Facebook
The Saratoga Race Course and The Arts Center of the Capital Region advertise on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of Bacon Fest.
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