Albany Tulip Festival
tiptoe-through-the-tulips time again. Who thought it would
ever get here? The flowers are in full bloom, Washington
Park is gleaming with springtime preening, and your sunless
limbs are ready for a change.
The 54th annual Tulip Festival will take place in Albany’s
Washington Park this weekend—it’s always Mother’s Day weekend
(how many of us wait until that day to buy a nice sea-glass-trimmed
mirror or papier-mâché lampshade for mumsy?)—and though
you most likely know the drill, we’d be remiss to not mention
it as we have lo these many years.
It all begins Friday with a Carillon Concert at City Hall
at 11:30 AM, then on to the annual scrubbing of State and
Lodge streets (someone’s got to do it) at noon, and finished
off with an all-Celtic music concert in Washington Park:
Kilbrannan (5 PM), the Highland Rovers Band (6), and the
The Pinksterfest begins Saturday at 11 AM, with arts and
crafts vendors snaking through the idyllic park, along with
plenty of food offerings (who can go the weekend without
a blooming onion?). The Tulip Queen procession will travel
Willett Street through the park at 11:45 AM, and the coronation
is at noon. Ring in the new, as they say. Saturday’s music
begins with the Mendelssohn Club of Albany performing on
the Amphitheater Stage at 11:45 AM. They’re followed by
Sirsy (1 PM), the Wait (2:30) and Alex Torres and the Latin
Kings (4:30). Between the Wait and the Latin Kings, there
will be a fitness workshop (at 4). It’ll give you a chance
to work off that fried dough.
Saturday’s Main Stage entertainment features Kevin Brennan
(1 PM), Larry Lewis and Solid Smoke (2:45) and Buster Poindexter
(pictured) and the Banshees in Blue (4:30). Sunday’s Main
Stage: Cole Broderick (noon), Mother Goose Jazz Band (1:15),
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, from New Orleans (2:45), Mother
of the Year Award ceremony (4:15) and Steve Tyrell (4:45).
Sunday’s Amphitheatre Stage: Athena (noon), Leslie Ritter
and Scott Petito (1:30), juggler Stephen Gratto (2:30),
Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem (3:15) and Joy Adler (4:45).
There’s also a Dance Stage on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday:
ArtPartners/Tsehaya Smith (1 PM), Chinese Dance Troupe (2),
Kuumba Dance and Drum (3), KoMotion (4) and St. Sophia Greek
Folk Youth Ensemble (5). Sunday: Zorepad Ukrainian Youth
Ensemble (1 PM), Farrell School of Irish Dance (2), Albany
Berkshire Ballet (3), eba Dance Theatre (4) and Israeli
Youth Ensemble (5).
Top all of these performances off with kids’ activities
such as face-painting, pony rides, MVP Healthcare Kidzone
and hands-on crafts; a Dutch worship on Sunday at 10:30
AM (First Church, 110 N. Pearl St., Abany); gardening talks
at the Moses statue (that sits at the end of doggy-splash
pool), and plenty of strolling opportunities. And don’t
forget to buy mom her one-of-a-kind shell-encrusted potholder.
Cirque Eos seems at times to be toying with the laws of
gravity and science for your amusement and, perhaps, your
disbelief, it is no accident: One of the guiding principles
of this Quebec City-based troupe is that it is good to strike
a balance between living in the world of reality and living
in your imagination. Hence Imaginaire, Cirque Eos’
signature piece, featuring a dizzying array of acrobatics,
balance, strength and daring, which will be performed Tuesday
at the Palace Theatre.
Cirque Eos (named for the Greek goddess of dawn) was created
in 1998 by Michel Rousseau, a veteran of clowning and circus
arts who also founded the Ecole de cirque de Quebec. At
the school, students can practice such stunts as unicycling,
aerials and wire walking beginning at an early age (the
popularity of Cirque de Soleil has inspired many youth to
take up the circus arts, says Cirque Eos tour manager Anne
May Sirois). The troupe rehearses alongside students from
Ecole de cirque in the arena that formerly housed the now-departed
Quebec Nordiques National Hockey League team; with the most
gifted graduating students in such close contact, Cirque
Eos doesn’t have to look far for new recruits.
is the story of a young man struggling for his right to
dream; the story line is played out in a series of daring
acts including juggling on unicycles, jumping stairs on
a bicycle, high-wire and trapeze stunts, and other feats
of acrobatics and clowning. There are no animals except
the human variety, and the members of Cirque Eos pride themselves
on their collective approach to creating entertainment of
passion and imagination.
Cirque Eos will perform Imaginaire Tuesday (May 14)
at 7:30 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany).
Tickets are $42.50, $37.50 and $25.50 and are available
at all Ticketmaster locations and the Palace Theatre box