Cigar-box guitar festivities spread to Friday

Sean Philip Cotter
  • The Cigar Box Guitar Festival is planned for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
  • Some festivities will be held the night before.

The annual Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival fun on Saturday has started to spread to the evening before it.

"We’re starting to get cigar box creep, if you will," said Jim Lewin, who runs The York Emporium bookstore, where much of the festival will be held.

At 8 p.m. Friday, a video partly made in York City by rock-a-billy trio April Mae & the June Bugs will premiere, projected onto the wall in front of the bookstore, 343 W. Market St.

April Mae & the June Bugs

Then, at 8:30 p.m., the group will perform at the nearby York Social Dance Studio at 324 W Market St.

"They've been playing here for a couple of years now," said Lewin of the trio, which recently recorded an album at Memphis' famous Sun Studio, where, among others, Johnny Cash and Elvis have cut records.

What's happening in York this weekend

The album's called "SUN Kissed — The Studio Sessions," and the song in the video, "Grease Up and Go," is off of it, according to Lewin. According to the band's website, the music has elements of blues and swing, and the musicians play a washboard, upright bass and a handmade cigar-box guitar.

This will come in the midst of a jam-session party at the emporium. Starting at 7 p.m. Friday, anyone can pay $10 to get into the jam session — where beer and pizza are provided — unless you bring an instrument, in which case it's free.

The Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival

Yorkfest weekend: Turtles, time capsules and DIY guitars

The seventh annual Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the 300 block of West Market Street, which will be closed down for the event. Fourteen bands will perform on two stages, with musicians from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Alabama and Chicago scheduled to be there. The free event also has food trucks and vendors.

Also going on this weekend, from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon, is the YorkFest Fine Arts Festival, which will close down several of the surrounding blocks around the emporium, as music, arts and crafts will cover the streets.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.