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Top 10 Things to Do in Albany & the Capital Region Columbus Day Weekend

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Top 10 Things to Do in Albany Columbus Day Weekend

Albany Columbus Day Weekend Events: Film, Music, Festivals and Plenty of Art

As we welcome October with open arms there’s so much to do and see. Take a DETOUR to enjoy a movie by a local filmmaker, fill your days and nights with art of all kinds, Kick It for the Kids and go ghost hunting. These are just a few of the Top 10 Things to Do in Albany and the Capital Region this Columbus Day Weekend.

1. DETOUR Screening at The Madison Theater

DETOURSeen any good movies lately? This Wednesday night (October 5th) at the Madison Theater in Albany, check out a double screening of DETOUR, a feature film by local writer and director Patty Richardson. DETOUR is a suspense thriller about a 27 year-old surgical resident who disappears en route to meeting friends in NYC. Richardson is a woman of many talents–in the past she was a physician’s assistant, Captain in the Air Force, has opened a Bed & Breakfast for women only and currently splits her time between pursuing a career in filmmaking and is a Campus Safety Officer at Union College. DETOUR, her labor of love has been received well in its LA and NYC screenings and should go fantastically this Wednesday night with all the hometown support. First screening at 7pm, second at 9:30pm, with a Q&A with Richardson to follow. Admission is $8.50. For more info call 518-438-2094.

2. Albany Underground Artists: Athletic Annex Exhibition

The Albany Underground Artists will be transforming an old school athletic annex (complete with Squash courts) into an exhibition space with over 15 local, talented artists. Several years ago Chip Fasciana and Mark Gregory noticed there was limited gallery space to accommodate all the amazing area artists, so they converted a soon-to-be cheesecake shop into a temporary gallery. Soon after they were contacted by Tommy Watkins to display their next show in a local clothing shop, and from there the one-night art shows and Albany Underground Artists were born. The Athletic Annex Exhibition will be their latest transformation endeavor and will have video, paintings, photographs, performance, sculpture and sound installations. Thursday, October 6th from 5pm-9pm at 17 1/2 Dove Street in Albany. Admission is Free.

3. Ghost Hunter Jeff House at Historic Grooms Tavern

Grooms Tavern‘Tis the season to get spooky! Jeff House, a real life ghost hunter, (I guess by “real life” it means it is his full-time job) will be sharing his experiences hunting local area ghosts. The event will be held at the Historic Grooms Tavern in Rexford as a part of the town’s First Friday series. The night will also include Jeff exploring the Tavern for any spirit activity – he says, “It doesn’t take much to sway a non-believer.” Swap that “Ghost Hunters International” rerun for the real thing, get in the spirit of Halloween and do something out of the ordinary this Friday night, October 7th – whether you believe or not. The event is expected to be popular, so first come, first seated. For more information call 518-371-6651.

4. Nitty Gritty Poetry Slam at Valentine’s

The Nitty Gritty Poetry Slam is back at Valentine’s this Tuesday, October 4th. The night will be brought to the Valentine’s stage by Urban Guerilla Theater, Albany Poets and The Frequency North Reading Series, so from now on the Slam will be hosted twice a month by Dain Brammage and Mojavi. There’s even poetry oozing from their names! If you want time to shine on stage–sign is at 7pm, open mic starts at 7:30pm and the slam begins at 8pm. Admission is $5, $3 with student ID. Who will be the queen or king of spoken word this time? Call 518-432-6572 for more info.

5. Columbus Day Festival at Cook Park

The Council of Italian American Organizations are hosting a Columbus Day celebration in Colonie’s Cook Park this Saturday and Sunday. I think holidays should be celebrated for those who are worthy, and no need to get into the true legacy of Columbus here, but now we know there is much more to “in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” This Columbus Day weekend, enjoy two days of Italian food, music, cultural displays, dancing and stage shows and all the family fun you could ask for, as well as a Monday off from work. 12pm-8pm. Free admission. Call 518-461-1576 for additional info.

6. Keller Williams at The Egg

Keller WilliamsKeller Williams, the indie-artist, not the Real Estate Company will be performing at The Egg this Saturday night, October 8th. Since he first appeared on the scene in the early 90s, K-Dub, as his fans refer to him, has blurred the lines between folk, alternative rock, reggae, electronic/dance, jazz and funk. He is often described as a one-man band because of how “loud” he sounds with the use of live phrase looping with his multiple instruments. Although he’s primarily a solo artist, Williams has toured and spent time with Yonder Mountain String Band, String Cheese Instrument and Umphrey’s McGee. The concert starts at 8pm. Tickets are $26 in advance, $30 day of show. Kdubalicious will also be playing a concert just for the kiddos at 3:30pm – same place, same day, different time – $20. Visit for more info.

7. St. Catherine’s Center for Children: Kickin’ It for the Kids Concert and Fundraiser

To raise funds for St. Catherine’s Center for Children at Savannah’s (currently the Dublin Underground) this Saturday night (October 8th) will be Kickin’ It for the Kids. The concert will feature the local cover band Close Enough, the Paul McCartney cover band, The All Paul Band, and the Capital Region pop/rock/soul phenomenon, The 7th Squeeze. Admission is $20 at the door, $15 if you buy them before the 5th and includes all the entertainment. two beverages and finger food. There will also be some great raffles, like a chance to win a weekend getaway for two to Lake Placid, including hotel, dinner, tour and tasting at Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. For more info contact Melissa Browne at 518-453-6756 /

8. MoHu Fest

MoHu is a celebration to raise awareness of the diversity and vitality of the arts and culture of the Capital Region. This year will mark the inaugural outing of this nine day festival, which will now be held annually every October in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. MoHu will feature music, theater, dance, visual and random acts of art throughout the region. Nearly 150 regional arts and cultural organizations have come together and coordinated several hundred events for the upcoming festival. Events like The Way We Were Car Show in Ballston Spa, The Jewish Film Festival and a concert by Steven Stills are only a blip on the radar here. MoHu 2011 starts at sundown on Saturday, October 8. Click here for more information on MohuFest and the (very) full calendar of events.

9. 15th Annual Autumn in Austerlitz

I’m pretty sure it’s autumn everywhere in the Capital Region, but this Sunday, October 9th, it’s Autumn to the extreme in Austerlitz at the 15th Annual Autumn [in Austerlitz] Festival. Volunteers will be dressed in early 1830s costumes, while visitors browse early 19th century crafts and wares. Along with all the fantastic antiques and finds, there will be live music, entertainment to keep the whole family happy, as well as a silent auction and quilt raffle. If you work up an appetite, there will be a variety of hot and cold food, including homemade soup and baked goods. The festival and autumn revelry will go on rain or shine, so let’s hope for some warm October sun. Events take place at Old Austerlitz Village, 11550 State Route 22 from 11am to 4pm. $6 admission, children under 12 Free. Call 518-392-0062 for more info.

10. City Beer Hall’s Top Harvest Party 2011

Beer lovers, foodies and locavores will all be uniting for The City Beer Hall’s Top Harvest Party. Indulge in awesome harvest beers from Weyerbacher, Brown’s Brewing, Chatham Brewery, Southern Tier and JW Lees. The JW Lee that will be on tap is a beer lover’s dream – a hearty, 2010 vintage, aged in Calvados apple brandy barrels, and it will be served straight out of the firkin. (Try to imagine how good that will taste!) Pair the brews with a full selection of food prepared with all local, farm fresh ingredients, plus there will be a hop infusion station where you can infuse your own beer with local, freshly picked hops from the vine – featuring CBH’s own beer, Randall. Starts Thursday, October 6th at 6pm- it’s a bar/restaurant, so admission is Free.

This Just In: News Capsules from around the Region

In Cohoes: after 5 years and 45 million dollars, the ribbon has been cut for the new Cohoes High School. The school underwent major renovations including new project-based learning classrooms, a new gym/track, music/chorus room upgrades and a new entrance lobby. Superintendent Bob Libby admits the $45 million dollar price tag may cause sticker shock for some but he defended how the money was spent– “it’s a big investment for a generation that needs to be invested in.”

Get a little adventurous with Ian Frazier: The New York author with be at UAlbany’s uptown campus on Wednesday night as a part of the ongoing NYS Writers Institute visiting writers. Frazier will be reading excerpts from his latest book Travels in Siberia which has been described by a NY Times review as On the Road meets The Gulag Archipelago.

A new Shop Rite has just opened in Niskayuna and THOUSANDS came from Schenectady County and beyond last Sunday to do their shopping on the opening day. The $12 million, 55,000 square foot facility has created 350 jobs.

Four Albany hospitals have merged, creating the Capital District’s largest healthcare system. The super hospital is made up of St. Peter’s, St. Mary’s, Albany Memorial and Samaritan hospitals. Together they’re now known as St. Peter’s Health Partners. The merger creates a health operation that employs nearly 12,000 people at more than 125 locations, making the company the largest private employer in the Albany area.

See you next week!

Aubree Cutkomp is an Assistant Editor for The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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