ALBANY — Mother’s Day weekend has traditionally marked one of the most festive of days here in the Capital District with Tulip Festival.
This year is the city’s 71st Tulip Festival at Albany’s Washington Park on Saturday, May 11 and 12. It will showcase plenty of choices for food, vendors, live music and thousands of tulips ready for your Instagram feed. All the while, it involves the annual crowning of the Tulip Queen.
The 2019 Tulip Queen will be crowned at the Lakehouse Stage at Tulip Festival presented by Citizens Bank on Saturday, May 11 at noon by Mayor Sheehan, 2018 Tulip Queen Sawyer Cresap, and Chad O’Hara of B95.5.
Emily Barcia-Varno, of Glenmont; Isabella Burnett, of Albany; Parneet Kaur, of Green Island; Megan Morrill, of Latham; and Michaela Schramm, of Loudonville have been named to this year’s Tulip Court. However, one of whom will be named queen.
Dozens of mothers were nominated for this year’s Mother of the Year Award. In the same ceremony that will reveal the Tulip Queen, one mother out of a field of five finalists will be chosen for the award. Marylin Kippins of Latham; Kathleen Purello of Schenectady; Michelle Stark of Glenville; Maria Rosa Tabora of Albany; and Wanda Wilson of Cohoes were each nominated.
Several bands, both local and abroad, are scheduled to perform on two different stages.
Headlining the festival is the Kongos, four expatriates of England and South Africa who have settled in Phoenix to produce hard rock tracks like “Come With Me Now.” The band recently played an invitation-only show hosted by WEQX at The Hollow Bar and Kitchen and will play the main stage on Saturday, May 11, at 4:30 p.m.
The Greeting Committee will make a return visit to Albany after putting on a memorable performance in last September’s Pearlpalooza. Lead singer Addie Sartino took the show to the crowd, leaping off stage and singing along with the throngs of fans gathered on Pearl Street.
El Modernist was named on a short list of entertainers to play this year’s main stage. The local four-piece band has garnered attention over the year as it incorporates elements of hip hop with rock. It first drew attention within the scene while winning a battle of the bands series that offered the opening gig to last September’s Pearlpalooza, a one-day street festival on Albany’s Pearl Street.
El Modernist released a four-track EP, “American” just last month. The band will play Tulip Festival with a set on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Hasty Page, a local three-piece band that opened Pearlpalooza in 2017, will start music on the Local 518 Stage following the Tulip Queen Coronation.
List of acts to play Saturday on the Local 518 Stage includes C.K. & The Rising Tide (Saturday, 2:15 p.m.), Sydney Worthley (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.) and Wild Planes (Saturday, 4:45 p.m.).
Girl Blue will kick off music on the main stage on Sunday, May 11, at 1:30 p.m. The solo independent artist continues to tour regularly and record her own music while planning a full-length album for release.
Moriah Formica continues to hustle after national television appearances on both “The Voice” and “American Idol.” Her voice reminds many of Ann Wilson of Heart, thanks in part to her rendition of “Crazy on You” during her audition performance on “The Voice.” She will take the stage at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Marshall Charloff will remind Albany of Prince as he brings The Purple Xperience to the main stage at 4:30 p.m.
List of acts to play Sunday on the Local 518 Stage includes Mike Grutka (Sunday, 1 p.m.), Honey Slider (Sunday, 2:15 p.m.), Bird Streets (Sunday, 3:30 p.m.) and Let’s Be Leonard (Sunday, 4:45 p.m.).
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.