St. Joseph's Church in Schenectady, founded by German immigrants back during the Civil War, is becoming a little less German this year.
The parish's annual Oktoberfest has been replaced this year by something new, "Craft Fair on the Street," and that event will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday on Lafayette Street adjacent to the church in downtown Schenectady. Father Dominic Isopo said the time was right to make a change.
"The people who had been running the Oktoberfest had been doing it for a long time and were in their 80s," said Isopo, who is also pastor at St. Luke's on State Street in Schenectady. "They were getting a little tired, so we came up with a new concept aimed a bit more at kids."
There will be food in the St. Joseph's Cafe and plenty of arts and crafts for children, but music will not be a part of this year's schedule.
"This is the first year we're doing it this way, so we're going to see what happens and learn from this year," said Isopo.
While St. Joseph's first congregated in April of 1862 in a small building at the corner of North Center Street and Franklin Street, the current structure on the corner of Lafayette and Albany Street near Veterans Park was built in 1877 and held its first mass on March 3, 1878.
"Craft Fair on the Street" is just one of several late-summer festivals being held this weekend. Here is a brief look at some of the others.
Clifton Park Farm Fest
The Clifton Park Farm Fest is in its 25th year, and as in past years the Historic Grooms Tavern will be a major part of the festivities on Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Farm Fest, now in its 25th year, will be held at numerous locations throughout the town of Clifton Park from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The event will kickoff Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library with free cider donuts, apples and apple cider. Entertainment will be provided by educator Dianne Payette, who will sing farm-themed songs and tell stories in the "music barn."
The other stops on the Farm Fest are Riverview Orchards at 660 Riverview Rd., Bowman Orchard at 141 Sugar Hill Rd., Vischer Ferry Fire Station #1 at Riverview and Crescent Rd., Shepherd's Hey Farm at 43 Riverview Rd., Amity Reformed Church at 335 Riverview Rd., and Vischer Ferry General Store at 357 Riverview Rd.
For more information visit www.cliftonpark.org.
Saratoga Native American Festival
The Saratoga Native American Festival will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs' State Park.
Among the events to be held are traditional dancing, storytelling, music, Native American foods, Native arts and crafts, jewelry, cultural demonstrations and plenty of children's activities.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.saratoganativefestival.com.
Irish 2000 Festival
The 2018 Irish 2000 Festival will be held Saturday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds at 162 Prospect St. in Ballston Spa.
Among the many acts scheduled to perform are The Tossers, the Screaming Orphans, Shilelagh Law, Hair of the Dog, Emish, Albannach, the Farrell School of Irish Dance and the Schenectady Pipe Band.
Advance tickets are $16, and day-of-event tickets are $20. For more information visit www.irish2kfest.com.
Capital Region Wine & Apple Festival
The Capital Region Wine & Apple Festival will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Altamont Fair Grounds in Altamont.
Wine tasting and cooking demonstrations will be held throughout the day, and there will be plenty of children's activities, including pony rides, pumpkin painting, face painting, a kids fitness center and clowns.
The public is invited to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
Tickets are $8 at the gate. Children under 15 when accompanied by an adult are free. For more information visit www.appleandwinefestival.com.
The fifth annual Steampunk Festival will be held Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on River and State streets in Troy.
The downtown area will be transformed into The Enchanted City with a mash-up of fantasy, science fiction, tech and futurism. The event turns the area into a "cosplay" alternative reality where Victorian fancy meets modern technology.
The festival also offers family-friendly music, magic and games, as well as a fashion show, historic tours and street performers.
The event is free. For more information visit www.enchantedtroy.com.