The Empire State Plaza in Albany will once again host a variety of free, family-friendly events throughout the summer season.
Here’s the line-up of special events for 2012:
FABULOUS FOURTH CELEBRATION
Wednesday, July 4, 2-10pm
The annual Fourth of July celebration will be headlined by Tommy James & the Shondells, as we announced last month. Rounding out the musical portion of the holiday festivities will be local Nippertown faves Blue Machine and the Back 40 Band.
GE’S KIDS DAY
Sunday, July 8, 12noon–5pm
Featuring interactive fun, games and activities, including “Our Zoo—Two By Two,” the Care Bears’ “What Makes You Happy Live,” the Roaming Railroad Train, children’s book author Erica Pelton, Radio Disney’s Car Land and Jake & the Neverland Pirates.
OPEN AIR CINEMA
Wednesday, July 25, 7:30pm
A screening of 2011’s “Puss in Boots” under the stars.
McDONALD’S AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY DAY
Saturday, August 4, 12noon–7pm
Featuring performances by the Ohio Players, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Nannie’s Double Dutch team and the Capital District Community Voices of Praise, as well as numerous local choirs, dance groups, theater troupes and local talent contest winners.
OPEN AIR CINEMA
Wednesday, August 8, 7:30pm
A screening of 2009’s “Star Trek” under the stars.
EMPIRE STATE PLAZA FOOD FESTIVAL
Wednesday, August 15, 11am–9pm
Sample foods from around the region all day long while enjoying the sounds of such musical acts as Message from Vega (lunchtime) and evening performances by local faves Alta Mira, classic rockers Rare Earth and ’90s alt-rockers Tonic.
LOCAL LEGENDS LIVE!
Saturday, September 8, 2–9pm
The Local Legends Live fest returns for a second year showcasing a batch of Local 518 bands to-be-announced soon. But this year there’s a twist – a non-local headliner. Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty wraps up the day-long fest in support of his latest album, “Yes and Also Yes.”
HANNAFORD HISPANIC HERITAGE CELEBRATION
Saturday, September 22, 3–8pm
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a family-friendly festival featuring music Amarfis y la Banda de Attake and La Excelencia Salsa Band. Additional bands TBA.
ADDITIONAL REAL GOOD FOR FREE EVENTS:
Music in the Park @ Schodack Town Park, Schodack (Tuesdays from June 5 thru July 10)
Rockin’ On the River @ Green Island Bridge parking lot, Troy (Wednesdays from June 20 thru August 29)
Jazz On Jay @ Jay Street, Schenectady (Thursdays thru August 30)
Alive at Five @ Riverfront Park, Albany (Thursdays from June 7-August 9)
Backlot Music Festival @ Waterford Public Library, Waterford (Thursdays from June 28-July 26)
Music at Sunset @ Greenport Town Park, Hudson (Fridays thru August 31)
Upbeat On the Roof @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (Fridays thru August 31)
The Summer Sounds of Salem @ the Train Depot Green, Salem, (Saturdays thru September 1)
Art On Lark @ Lark Street, Albany, Saturday, June 9
River Street Festival @ River Street, Troy, Saturday, June 16
Powers Park Concert Series @ Powers Park, Troy (Saturdays in July and August)
Second Sunday Concert Series @ the Guilderland Public Library, Guilderland (Monthly thru June 13)
Skidmore Jazz Institute Concert Series @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs (June 26-July 6)