Work-related biases aside, it’s hard for us not to brag about our county. After all, we breed Olympic talent, captivate the imaginations of renowned entertainers, and attract the attention of educators across the nation. Yet perhaps more substantially, Westchester is committed to its community, both charitably and recreationally, and this weekend will be no different. So, hit up that GroupMe to gather your friends and check out what your town, city, or village has to offer over the next three days, starting with the below.
For the Hepcat
It’s hard to believe the White Plains Jazz Fest is in its fifth year. The 2016 renewal of this annual tradition began back on Wednesday, but with the esteemed soul-jazz Gary Smulyan Organ Quartet scheduled for tomorrow night, plus a full day of music and food planned for Sunday, the best has yet to come. On Saturday, you can experience a tribute to legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong and master scatter Ella Fitzgerald, performed by Trent Armand Kendall and Natasha Yvette Williams, respectively. Just as can’t-miss will be Saturday openers/gospel-swing aces Baby Soda, as well as Mali-born world-music standout Awa Sangho, who will conclude the weekend with West African rhythms that call to mind influences like Ali Farka Toure, who collaborated on her latest album, Ala Ta.
For the Bookworm
Photo by Jamie Kilgore Photography
Another fine example of intrepid endeavor turned annual tradition is the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival (CCBF), getting ready for its fourth iteration this Saturday. A few years back, it was voted “Best Bookworm Event” in our own pages, and the 90 “real rock-star writers” showing up, as Executive Director Dawn Greenburg puts it, aren’t the only reasons CBBF merits its title. Bookworms of all ages will be able to interact with each author, bombard them with questions if they’d like, and even get copies signed. Of note, Ron Barrett, illustrator of the whimsical Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, will be on hand, and you can check out what other favorites will be attending here. Of course, no festival is any good without a host of satisfactory foodstuffs to chow down on, and grilled-cheese gurus Melt Mobile will be one of the many to look forward to.
For the Film Buff
Every annual tradition needs to begin sometime, and for the Pleasantville-based Jacob Burns Film Center’s Art House Theater Day, that would be this weekend. The event is meant to celebrate the community impact of art houses across the nation, and is also a great excuse to go out and catch a few flicks. On Saturday between noon-9:30 pm, you can check out a diverse line up ranging from music documentary Danny Says to timeless action-adventure classic Raiders of the Lost Ark. Earlier selections are more family oriented, like The Visitors and Octopus, both having won the Audience Award at the 2016 New York International Children’s Film Festival. And between 11-3 pm, kids will have the chance to mess around making stop-motion animation videos.
This is more of a “let your kids run around until they drop” sort of thing, but to each their own. Legoland in Yonkers is hosting its Ninjago Weekend, the main event being a scavenger hunt around Miniland, which itself is a pretty awe-inspiring, miniaturized rendition of New York’s skyline, complete with moving trains. You’ll get some brownie points if your child comes dressed up in a ninja costume (and by brownie points, we mean a discounted entry), which is the perfect way to commemorate the upcoming Lego Ninjago Movie set to hit theaters September 2017. Plus, the larger-than-life (quite literally) Red Ninja of Fire, Kai, will be available for a photo shoot. And what aspiring warrior would want to miss out on that?
For the Family Planner
Back to annual traditions (and this one dates 150 years back), Wartburg is holding its historic Fall Festival this coming Saturday in Mount Vernon. The event was discontinued during the early 2000s, but was recently revived, and 2016’s schedule boasts a wide range of intergenerational activities, incuding live music, a bouncy castle, food trucks, and art exhibitions. Rain or shine, this weekend will be autumn’s first, and an afternoon outside with the family will make for a great start.