The calendar is packed with things to do during the month that sees fall arrive. In fact, there’s so much going on – events have returned in a big way! – that we expanded our usual Top 10 picks to 15 this month. For a full listing of events, visit our website, lancastercountymag.com.
1.Long’s Park Art Festival
September 1-3 | Long’s Park
This year marks the 45th edition of Long’s Park’s annual art festival. With 200 exhibitors – all selected through a juried process – there surely will be something for everyone, including clothing, jewelry, leather goods, pottery, furniture, sculpture, functional art and fine art. In addition, you can enjoy the offerings of a variety of food trucks, as well as craft beer and wine vendors. Proceeds from the show benefit the Long’s Park Amphitheater Foundation and its cultural initiatives, such as the Summer Music Series. Hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Note: Pets are not permitted. 1441 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. Information: 717-735-8883 or longspark.org/art-festival.
2.Hospice & Community Care Labor Day Auction
September 2 & 4 | Solanco Fairgrounds
Lancaster County is famous for its auctions and the Hospice & Community Care Labor Day Auction continues to attract legions of fans since making its debut 39 years ago. From original art and handmade quilts to plants, sports memorabilia and vacation destinations, you never know what you’ll find to bid on! Attendees also turn out for the food selection – much of it made by members of the Amish community – that has become an attraction in itself. In addition to auctions, the event will also feature a 2023 Ford Mustang raffle. Because of the support provided by auction-goers through the years, the Labor Day Auction has raised millions of dollars to help patients and families receive care and comfort while facing a terminal illness. Parking and admission are free. The event kicks off both days with breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. 101 Park Ave., Quarryville. Information: 717-295-3900 or labordayauction.org.
3.Heart of Lancaster Arts & Craft Show
September 2-3 | Root’s Country Market
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and voted as one of the Top 200 shows for 10 consecutive years by Sunshine Artist magazine, Heart of Lancaster will feature 100-plus juried artists and craftspeople from Pennsylvania and surrounding states. A variety of food, as well as live entertainment by the jazz group, Over Easy, complement the show. Free admission/parking is provided. Hours are Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (rain or shine). 705 Graystone Rd., Manheim. Information: 717-898-6297 or hlcshow.com.
4.African American Cultural Fair
September 5-9 | Reservoir Park
The 10th-annual African American Cultural Fair will feature carnival rides, fireworks, food, crafts, live music and special events such as the finals of an open mic poetry competition (September 7) and musical performances by Sean Kingston (September 8) and Pastor John P. Kee (September 9). The parade (September 9) will feature such attractions as the Magnetic Force Smooth Steppers from Trenton, New Jersey, and the In Hype Dance Company from Salisbury, Maryland. Food is also a star attraction, as the international menu will feature Southern soul food, African Diaspora, Caribbean, West African, Spanish cuisines and more. Admission is free. The fair will be held Tuesday-Friday (gates open at 5 p.m.), and Saturday, beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s parade steps off at 1 p.m. 832 E. Orange St., Lancaster. Information: 717-456-7890, aacal.org or on Facebook.
5.Fête en Noir
September 8 | Mount Bethel Cemetery
What has become an anticipated event in Columbia, mixes fun, music and food to raise funding for the preservation and maintenance of the borough’s oldest cemetery. As you might guess from the name of the event, guests are asked to dress in black as they pay homage to the Victorian tradition of picnicking in graveyards, which in the 1800s looked more like beautiful parks than creepy cemeteries. Dating to the 1720s, Mount Bethel was such a place and no doubt was the scene of many picnics. Guests are invited to bring their own food and drink to enjoy as they socialize at tables that will be set up along pathways. The Todd Fulginiti Trio will provide musical entertainment. Tickets are $20 and can be ordered by calling 717-681-6768 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 6-9 p.m. 700 Locust St., Columbia.
6.Schreiber Pediatric Rubber Duckie Race & Festival
September 10 | Lancaster County Central Park
Also celebrating 35 years, Schreiber Pediatric’s Rubber Duckie Race & Festival has swimmingly grown over the years. Watch as thousands of rubber ducks are dropped from the Strawberry Street bridge into the Conestoga River in an exciting race for prizes, including cash and gift cards. In addition to the race, enjoy a midway, craft tent, DJ and food trucks. All proceeds benefit Schreiber Pediatric’s mission to provide outpatient therapy to local children with special needs. The festival starts at 2 p.m. and the ducks drop at 5 p.m. 1050 Rockford Rd., Lancaster. Information: 717-393-0425 or schreiberpediatric.org/events/duckies.
7.Lancaster Balloon Festival & Country Fair
September 14-17 | Bird-in-Hand
Experience the beauty of over 40 technicolored balloons dotting the Lancaster County horizon during this 12th-annual event. Whether you experience the festival from the ground or way up in a hot air balloon, it is sure to be an unforgettable and Instagramable event. In addition to balloon rides, enjoy lawn games, hayrides, bounce houses, rock walls, fireworks, delicious food and more. Parking is free, but there is an admission fee. Balloon Glows will be held Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., while a mass ascension will take place Sunday at 5 p.m. Festival hours are Friday, 3-9 p.m., Saturday, 12-10 p.m., and Sunday, 12-7 p.m. 2727 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand. Information: 717-966-6323 or lancasterballoonfest.com.
8.Lancaster Symphony Orchestra
September 15-16 | Garner Theatre
“More” might qualify as the theme of the symphony’s 2023-24 season, as it will be offering audiences more in the way of concerts, variety and meaningful collaborations, as well as a new venue and an impressive roster of world-class guest artists. The season commences with Rhapsody in Blue and welcomes guest pianist, Cuban-born Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, who has played the world over, prompting The Times (of London) to call him a “formidable virtuoso.” The Symphony will also introduce audiences to its new home, the Gardener Theatre, which is located on the campus of Lancaster Country Day School. Concerts will be held Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. 725 Hamilton Rd., Lancaster. Lancastersymphony.org.
September 15-17 | Lancaster Liederkranz
Established in 1880 to promote German culture, the Lancaster Liederkranz has always embraced the German tradition of hosting fests. Oktoberfest, of course, is known the world over and in Lancaster, the Liederkranz celebrates with German-style food, drink, music and dancing. The event, which is open to the public, is held outdoors in the pavilion and under large tents. Hours are Friday, 5-11 p.m., Saturday, 12:30-11 p.m., and Sunday, 12-6 p.m. (rain or shine). Note: admission is cash only (there is an ATM onsite). 622 S. Chiques Rd., Manheim. Lancasterliederkranz.com.
10.Arch Street Center 40th Anniversary Open House
September 19 | Arch Street Center
Arch Street Center, a recreational facility for adults with serious mental illness, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, Arch Street Center will be hosting an Open House on September 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. During the Open House, the winners of the center’s first Cash Raffle will be announced. The grand prize is $2,000. In addition, two ticket holders will receive cash prizes of $1,000 and $500, while three will receive $100 and eight will receive $25.
Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20/10 for $40/20 for $80/30 for $120. You can purchase tickets with a credit card from Arch Street Center’s website or with cash or check by contacting Susanne at the Center (email@example.com). Winners do not need to be present to claim their prizes. 629 N. Market St., Lancaster. Archstreetcenter.org.
11.Lee Asher/The Asher House
September 21 | Pullo Center/Penn State York
No doubt you’ve seen Lee Asher and his canine crew on social media sites. After spending 20-plus years in corporate America, Asher acted on his dream of becoming an advocate for animal adoption and began traveling the country in a converted school bus to promote adoption from shelters and other organizations. In 2020, he opened The Asher House, a 250-acre property in Oregon that provides dogs and other animals with care and protection. Asher continues to travel the country and will bring his message of “pawsativity” to the Pullo Center. 1031 Edgecomb Ave., York. Ticketmaster.com/the-pullo-center-tickets-york/venue/16897 or 717-505-8900.
12.Lancaster Heart Walk
September 23 | Clipper Magazine Stadium
Due to cardiac episodes impacting athletes Damar Hamlin (football) and Bronny James (basketball), heart issues have been front and center in the news as of late. As it should be: Heart disease is the number-one killer worldwide. You can show your support for the American Heart Association by joining the three-mile walk around Clipper Magazine Stadium. Participating in the Lancaster Heart Walk is a great way to boost your own physical and emotional health andmake an impact in your community. Since 1948, the American Heart Association has provided $4.8 billion towards scientific research. By participating in the Lancaster Heart Walk, you will be helping to save the lives of children born with congenital heart defects and adults struggling with heart disease. Your contribution will help teach CPR training to thousands, fund research and more. There is no registration fee, but participants are encouraged to fundraise and/or make personal donations in support of the Heart Walk. Check-in time is at 9:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 11:30 a.m. 650 N. Prince St., Lancaster. Information: 717-730-1701 or heart.org/lancasterwalk.
13.Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center Horse Show
September 23 | Greystone Manor
Since 1981, Greystone Manor TRC has been providing children and adults with special needs, as well as those in at-risk situations, with horse-powered therapy. The Center also offers a program for active older adults (Silver Saddles) and this fall will be unveiling Heroes and Horses, a program for first responders and frontline workers.
The annual horse show serves a major fundraiser for the Center, enabling it to offer such programs. This year’s event – Evening Extravaganza – an Equestrian Triathlon — will feature GMTRC students, who will take their mounts through an obstacle course, a demonstration of horsemanship, a food tent, a sale of fall-themed planters and more. 1063 Hartman Station Rd., Lancaster. greystonemanortrc.com.
September 23-24 | Horn Farm Center
For the uninitiated, the pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to the eastern United States. Possessing a taste similar to tropical fruit (think mango), the pawpaw is nutritious, naturally organic and ecologically significant. It’s also having a moment thanks to a growing fanbase that has discovered this once-forgotten fruit that lends itself to all sorts of food and drink applications. Now celebrating its 19th year, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds and offers visitors access to food trucks/vendors, educational exhibits, tree and pawpaw sales, tours of the farm and orchard, art/craft/maker vendors and more. 4945 Horn Rd., York. Hornfarmcenter.org.
15.Girl Group Greats
September 22-October 1 | Prima Theatre
As Taylor Swift and Beyoncé have been proving all summer, girls rule where music is concerned. Prima Theatre’s production of Girl Group Greats will put the spotlight on those who paved the way, including the Andrews Sisters, The Supremes, Destiney’s Child, The Spice Girls and others. The show will have you dancing down memory lane! The cast will feature Arielle Green-Hall, a jazz superstar from Ohio; Candice Shedd-Thompson, a Washington, D.C.-based actress; Méami Maszewski, a singer, songwriter and actress from Texas; Karisa Fulmer, a Pennsylvania native who performs across the world; and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Plakans, a Lancaster native and former Prima youth performer currently studying musical theatre in Barcelona. Joshua William Green will direct the show, with Paulino Contreras as music director, Ali Murphy as music coordinator, and Kristin Pontz as choreographer. Primatheatre.org.