The 159th Big Butler Fair opens Friday for a nine-day stay at the fairgrounds in Prospect with animals, motor sports, bands and more.
Daily attractions include Jimmy Riffle of the Gator Boys and his Roadshow Crew (of “Animal Planet”) doing dangerous stunts with alligators; carnival rides and games opening daily at 1 p.m.; “The Magic of Agricultural” Educational Agricultural Show; chainsaw wood carver Dennis Beach; comedy hypnotist Brad Matchett; petting zoo; camel rides; and Syria Shrine Clowns.
Harness racing begins at 9 a.m. today and Friday.
Friday: Bike Night with The Clarks: Ride your motorcycle into the Grandstand through the West Gate and admission is free. $5 per motorcycle. Gates open at 6 p.m. The Clarks perform at 7 p.m.
Saturday: Antique Tractor Pull at 1 p.m.; Truck Pulls at 2 p.m.; “Smoker Series” Tractor Pulls at 7 p.m.; Square Dancing in the barn at 8 p.m..
Sunday: School Bus Demolition Derby at 7 p.m.
Looking ahead: Bret Michaels of Poison (July 2); and Y108 Freedom FestJoe Diffie (July 5).
Tickets are $9; $7 (before 4 p.m.); $20 ride all day;
Route 422, Prospect. 724-865-2400 and www.bigbutlerfair.com.
Ribs and rock
We’ve officially hit rib festival season.
The Pennsylvania Rib Fest heats up Friday through Sunday at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Greensburg.
It will play host to six national ribbers, marketplace vendors, a kids zone and a lineup of bands. Plus beer and wine.
The headline act is Fran Cosmo, the singer for Boston between 1992 and 2009 doing the band’s hits. He performs at 8 p.m. Friday.
Saturday’s headliner is the Hillbilly Way, former members of Povertyneck Hillbillies (8:30 p.m.), and Sunday’s is Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers (6 p.m., following Jill West and the Blues Attack at 4 p.m.).
Hours are 5 to 7 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5; under 12 free. Go to www.paribfest.com
The Dave Matthews Band, which returns to the First Niagara Pavilion Saturday, usually tours with some amusing opener, ranging from Robert Randolph to the Hold Steady.
Not this time, though.
The jam band from Charlottesville, Va. — beloved by frat bros and sorority girls everywhere — has changed things up by presenting it as “A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band” and offering both acoustic and electric sets.
The acoustic set has included rarities along with such covers as Rodriguez’s “Sugar Man” and Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away.”
“It’s been really creative and fun for us,” bassist Stefan Lessard told Rolling Stone. “There’s been a certain roadhouse, bohemian vibe that comes across during the acoustic sets — it brings us back to the early days.”
As always, Dave is checking past set lists at the venues to make sure you don’t get the same thing you got last year … or the year before … or the year before … or the …
Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $40.50-$75; ticketmaster.
WYEP, celebrating its 40th anniversary, takes over Schenley Plaza in Oakland Saturday with the 17th annual Summer Music Festival.
It begins early this year, at 2 p.m., with teen local teen bands from the station’s Reimagination project: Jessica Bitsura, Hat Co, FYFS and The Options.
There will also be street festival layout along the Schenley Drive Extension with the indie crafts marketplace, I Made It! Market and child-friendly activities.
The evening portion begins at 6 p.m. with Pittsburgh folk/Americana band The Red Western, followed by Brooklyn-based indie-pop band Elizabeth & The Catapult, soulful Tennessee singer Valerie June, and, from Quebec, The Sam Roberts Band, touring on a fifth album, “Lo-Fantasy,” that Exclaim! said “finds Roberts shifting his FM radio-evoking tunes to the dance floor and creating a heady, wine-soaked mix in the process.”
Admission to the festival is free.
Great European Beerfest
Have you tried Belgoo, Delerium Tremens or Wittekerke?
They are among the more than 100 European and Belgian beers to be sampled at the 18th annual Great European Beer Festival Saturday and Sunday at the Sharp Edge in East Liberty. Among the others will be Piraat, Lindeman’s, Chimay, Scaldis, Duvel, Orval and Affligem.
There will be three sessions: 3-6 and 7-10 p.m. Saturday; and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at sharpedgebeer.com/beer-festival; 412-661-3537.
The Seneca Nation of Indians will be the special guests during a weekend of cultural heritage programs at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington Saturday and Sunday, presented by the National Park Service.
The delegation of the Seneca Nation of Indians will be received and welcomed at a ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Each day will begin with an opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. There will be traditional dance performances by the Allegany River Dancers each day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“The event and exhibit represent wider tribal involvement, in the French and Indian War,” park superintendent Jeff Reinbold said in a statement. “By including the Seneca and the Iroquois Confederacy, we start to get a fuller picture of the scope and importance of what was started here at Fort Necessity.”
Randy John, director of the Language Department at the Seneca Nation of Indians, will present the “Role of the Seneca in the French and Indian War” at 11 a.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Rich Hamell will present “Wampum is More Than a Word” at 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
French and Indian War artist Robert Griffing will display his paintings, many of which feature Seneca people.
There will be native games and traditional crafts like hoop and dart, lacrosse, basket making, corn husk doll making, and bead working throughout the park. Visitors can also tour the new exhibit “The Seneca and the French and Indian War,” created by the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum.
Admission is $5; children 15 and under are admitted free. Free parking is available on-site. For more information, call 724-329-5811 or visit www.nps.gov/fone and www.senecamuseum.org.
City of Asylum presents the world premiere of “LOST/FOUND: Finding Refuge in Pittsburgh,” at the Alphabet City Tent, 318 Sampsonia Way, North Side at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
This original work by the directors of the Prague-based theatrical collective Archa Theatre and Allstar Refugee Band is based on stories gathered from Pittsburgh’s refugee communities. Original music is by Michael Romanyshyn and the Allstar Refugee Band. Members of Pittsburgh’s refugee communities, as well as actors, musicians and performers from the wider community, also will participate in the event.
The performances are followed by the concerts at 8 p.m. Free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended and may be made online at cityofasylumpittsburgh.org/events.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum welcomes Mr. McFeely from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood for the annual Parade of Trolleys on Saturday. Trolley parades will occur at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. The day will also include children’s activities, tours of the Trib Total Media Trolley Display Building and furry friends from the Washington County Humane Society. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Sunday, the Trolley Museum presents the annual Classic Car Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with vintage cars, trolley rides, children’s activities and more. Admission for both is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $7 for kids 3-15; 724-228-9256; at www.patrolley.org
• The free Citiparks Cinema in the Parks series continues with beloved sci-fi adventure “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” tonight at Brookline Memorial Park, Friday at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Saturday at Grandview Park, Mount Washington, and Sunday at Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park.
• “Gravity,” the 2013 space adventure starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, screens in Riverview Park, Observatory Hill, on Saturday. All screenings are at dusk.
• The Stickers and Christian Beck Band perform at South Park Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
• Hartwood Acres has Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
• The Tania Grubbs Quartet plays the Citiparks Stars at Riverview Jazz Series at Observatory Hill, Riverview Park, at 7 p.m. Saturday, prior to “Gravity.”
• Citiparks’ Bach, Beethoven and Brunch Concert Series continues in Mellon Park, Fifth and Shady avenues, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Sunday with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra.
• Leroy Justice plays the SummerSounds series in Greensburg’s St. Clair Park at 7 p.m. Friday.
NEED TO KNOW
• Taylor Gang member Chevy Woods pulls into Millvale Saturday night for his own gig at Mr. Smalls. The rapper, who released the mixtape “Gangland 2” last year and toured with Ab-Soul and Joey Bada$$, recently issued the new single “30 Deep.” The show is 8 p.m. with Boaz, Beedie, KH and TreeoO. Tickets are $15; mrsmalls.com.
• Gordon Lightfoot, on his “50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour,” turns up at Palace Theater on Saturday to perform “Sundown,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and other favorites. It begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 to $75; thepalacetheatre.org; 724-836-8000.
• The 65th annual Kutztown Folk Festival opens Saturday at the Kutztown fairgrounds with folklife displays, quilt sale, crafts, entertainment and food. Tickets are $14; $13 seniors 55 and older; $5 students 13 to 17; free admission for children 12 and under. It’s open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except for July 6, when its closes at 5 p.m. 1-888-674-6136 or www.kutztownfestival.com.
• This is the first weekend to try out the new Johnny Rockets at Kennywood. The popular throwback hamburger franchise, which opened Wednesday, is the first full-service restaurant at the park in 30 years.
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