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Free is Good for Grandparents & Their Families

Maria King_GrandMagazineBy Maria King, Founder, Event Crazy and grandmother extraordinaire

Not exactly a quote from Wall Street, is it? Every week I try to find interesting events to get you excited about what could be a great idea for your weekend plans. Usually it is a series of events that follow a pattern. Food events (well you knew that was coming), art and craft shows, antique, boat, car, home and garden and more; many, many categories of events. But this week, I was thinking, how about helping people out by showcasing some events that are terrific and also offer free admission. So…wait for it…that’s what I did!

All over the U.S. there are many wonderful events that offer free admission. Now granted, you may have to pay for some things like food, rides, souvenirs, etc. But the fact that you get in for free usually means that some activities are free as well. One of the best and most consistent is live entertainment. Many events by their very nature offer displays or exhibits that you can walk around and see for no charge. Art festivals are an excellent example and a wonderful way to spend a day experiencing the works of some really talented people. And art events typically take place on a downtown street or in a lovely park like setting which make them a great way to spend a day.

I don’t want you to think that free means that the event has no value. Quite the contrary is true. I have spent lots of money on movies, plays and concerts that have been touted as fabulous, only to walk out thinking what a waste of money. But I rarely felt that way about any free events that I have attended. (well mostly because I didn’t pay anything so how can I think it was a waste of money?) Most often, I walk out thinking I had an amazing time and I didn’t pay any money for that privilege. Additionally, the events cover the full spectrum of possible choices. Included in this list are some art festivals, a covered bridge festival, some music events, some food events, an ethnic festival, a parade, a home show, a street festival and even a garage sale. And it’s not just someone selling their old used “clock in the bear stomach” lamp but the largest garage sale in South Carolina!

From this very small sampling, I had hoped to give you an overview of the quality and scope of the events. There really is something for everyone. So grab the family and head on out to a free event near you this week. If there isn’t anything listed here near you, just use the search box above before you make any weekend plans.  I can assure you that very close by a wonderful free event will show up. And it will definitely be worth the price of admission.

Blog_148_Free is Good Sidewalk Arts Festival

Sep 07, 2013

Downtown Sioux Falls, SD57104

Since 1964, the Sidewalk Arts Festival has featured fine art, folk art, craft and food vendors, as well as children’s entertainment and outdoor concert, in downtown Sioux Falls.
50,000 Attendees

 Roann Covered Bridge Festival

Sep 05, 2013 – Sep 08, 2013

Downtown Roann, IN46974

Since 1953, Toe-tapping fun, line dancing, clogging, 5k run, square dancing, also arts and crafts, flea market, concessions, entertainment, large parade, lip-sync contest, car show and antique tractor pull.
25,000 Attendees

 Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival

Sep 06, 2013 – Sep 08, 2013

Mukilteo Lighthouse Park Mukilteo, WA98275

Mukilteo welcomes you and your family to a weekend of art, food, parades, live entertainment and much more. Tours of the historic Mukilteo Lighthouse, artists booths, children activities and spectacular fireworks display.
15,000 Attendees

 Fall Festival

Sep 06, 2013 – Sep 08, 2013

Town Green East Haven, CT06512

Since 1992, Entertainment for the whole family. Large Arts and Craft show. Rides for the kids. Teen corner. Food choices for everyone’s liking. Awesome music entertainment both nights. Car show. Road race. Fun filled family weekend.
40,000 Attendees

 Yellow Daisy Festival

Sep 05, 2013 – Sep 08, 2013

Stone Mountain Park Stone Mountain, GA30087

Since 1969, Voted the Nation’s #1 Arts and Crafts Show SIX YEARS IN A ROW by Sunshine Artist Magazine, a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event and winner of multiple awards by the Georgia Festival and Events Association. More than 500 artists and crafters from 38 States and two countries display their works for your appreciation and purchase. Daily live entertainment, Children’s Corner activities, clogging and crafter demonstrations throughout the event as well as fabulous festival foods.
225,000 Attendees

 Celebration on the Grand

Sep 06, 2013 – Sep 07, 2013

Rosa Park Circle Grand Rapids, MI49503

Since 1980, live entertainment, children’s activities, vendors, fireworks and area restaurant food booths. The events are held at Ah-Nab-AwenPark and Rosa Park Circle. There are food booths and music at each park. COTG will be selling beer and malt beverages at Rosa Park Circle. These beverages must stay within the alcohol boundary. Ah-Nab-Awen park is Alcohol free and family friendly.
50,000 Attendees

 Hampton Bay Days

Sep 06, 2013 – Sep 08, 2013

Downtown Hampton Hampton, VA23669

Since 1983. A three-day family festival encompassing ten city blocks in Downtown Hampton. Celebrate life on the Chesapeake Bay with musical performances on five stages, a world-class fireworks display, carnival, Chesapeake Bay educational displays, sporting and water events, car and motorcycle show, month-long and weekend art shows with over 100 artisans, children’s activities, succulent seafood and much more!
200,000 Attendees

 Little Brown Jug Horse Parade

Sep 08, 2013

Delaware County Fairgrounds Delaware, OH 43015

Since 1986, 500+ horses, donkeys, mules, antique carriages, stagecoaches, 10+ bands and a race. Just imagine, 141 horse drawn carriages coming down your street. That’s right, on the Sunday before fair week, the All Horse Parade, sponsored by Hiram Lodge, shows an impressive display and march of horses and carriages of many types and sizes. Featuring the Heinz 8-horse hitch. Parade leaves Delaware County Fairgrounds, Travels East on Pennsylvania Avenue, South on Sandusky Street, West on Winter Street, North on Liberty Street, West on Lincoln Avenue, and North on Euclid Avenue, returning to the Fairgrounds.
50,000 Attendees

 Hoboken Italian Festival

Sep 05, 2013 – Sep 08, 2013

Downtown Hoboken, NJ07030

Since 1927, a waterfront extravaganza with international food and music. Celebrating the Feast of the Madonna Dei Martiri, there is a procession through the streets on Saturday which is proceeded by the Blessing of the Fleet. Amusement rides and a carnival offer activities for kids as well. A fireworks display takes place Saturday night.
120,000 Attendees

 South Carolina’s Largest Garage Sale

Sep 07, 2013

Myrtle Beach Convention Center Myrtle Beach, SC29577

Since 1990, Held in a parking garage with over 400 vendors and something for everyone. Come out and get the bargains.
10,000 Attendees

 Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival

Sep 07, 2013

Jennings Landing (formerly Albany Riverfront Park) Albany, NY12207

Since 2001. A beautiful fall festival featuring the best in regional and national jazz music. Five performances by a variety of jazz artists. Food, beverages and childrens’ activities complete the picture. Event will feature the hottest in regional and national jazz music, as well as great food and beverages. AlbanyRiverfrontPark provides the perfect setting for a great late summer day on the banks of the Hudson River.
15,000 Attendees

 Belmont Shore Car Show

Sep 08, 2013

Downtown Long Beach Long Beach, CA90803

Since 1990. The fourteen-block stretch of East Second Street will be closed from Bayshore Avenue to Livingston Avenue for the event. Up to 700 classic cars will be on display making it one of the largest car shows of its kind on the West Coast. The side streets that intersect with Second Street will also be closed to the alleys for the purpose of exhibiting cars. What makes this car show unique is its location. Taking place on the usually busy Second Street (driven by an estimated 40,000 vehicles per day), attendees have the opportunity to intermix shopping and dining with viewing the gorgeous automobiles. After all BelmontShore is home to over fifty unique and upscale shops and nearly fifty restaurants, cafes and sweet shops! You also can’t beat the weather of this beachside town with the warm sun and ocean breezes. But of course it’s the cars that bring the large crowd. You can expect to find some of the first automobiles ever made as well as classic roadsters, coupes, sedans, convertibles, muscle cars, sports cars, hot rods and low riders from the 1920’s through the mid 1970’s. Many cars are one-of-a-kind, limited editions or customized. It’s estimated that the total value of the cars on display will be in the ballpark of $25 million!
50,000 Attendees

 Greater Philadelphia Fall Home Expo

Sep 06, 2013 – Sep 08, 2013

Valley Forge Convention Center King of Prussia, PA19406

The Home Expo is an event designed for homeowners who are remodeling, landscaping and decorating their homes. There are over 200 exhibits with merchandise, product demonstrations and sample interior and exterior vignettes. With a combination of new products and expert advice from the pros, the Home and Garden Expo inspires home owners with countless ideas on enhancing their home´s comfort and functionality, as well as its aesthetic appeal and overall value.
25,000 Attendees

Maria can be reached directly at eventsblog@eventcrazy.com or @eventcrazy on Twitter

or  visit her website at www.eventcrazy.com
Copyright © 1998-2013 Events Media Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Photos are copyright of their respective owners.


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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