Planet Weekend Picks, Oct. 5-8

Dar Williams performs at McCarter Theatre Saturday night.

Friday, October 5

Behind the Music with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra – Composer Zhou Tian discusses the creation of his piece `The Grand Canal.’ PSO Music director Rossen Milanov joins in the conversation, offering insights about preparing the U.S. premiere of China’s Glory this Sunday. Complimentary refreshments will be served. The event, which is open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Arts Council of Princeton. Free.

Mr. Ray performs at Forrestal Village – A family friendly concert suitable for kids of all ages, 6:30-7:30 p.m., free.

Saturday, October 6

Festival of Music and Art with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra – Family concert at the second annual festival, which includes games, contests, and refreshments. Festival noon-5 p.m. at Princeton University. Performance at 2:30, tickets $10.

5K to Combat Riverblindness – Help the Princeton United Methodist Church raise money to support the United Front Against Riverblindness program, an African-inspired organization based in Lawrenceville that works to eradicate onchocerciasis, a public health program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Race starts at Princeton Theological Seminary at 64 Mercer Street at 10 a.m. Registration fee is $25.

Super Saturday Carnival at John Witherspoon Middle School–  Family activities, carnival ride, game booths, food, and more. Rain or shine., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

West Windsor and Montgomery Farmers’ Markets – West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market is held at the Vaughn Drive Parking Lot at the Princeton Junction Train Station, Montgomery Friends of Open Space Market is held at Village Shopping Center, 1340 Route 206 South, Skillman,  Both run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Yoga on the Great Lawn at Morven Museum – Yoga for all ages and skill levels, led by Gemma Farrell of Gratitude Yoga. Bring a yoga mat, towel, and bottle of water to 55 Stockton Street, in Princeton. Starts at noon.

Stroll for Strays with SAVE – Family friendly walk and pet fair featuring non-profit groups, face painting, pet vendors and more. Mercer County Park, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., $20.

Fall Bike Ride with the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance – Join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance for its sixth annual Community Bike Ride (rain date Oct. 7) as cyclists and walkers head down the D&R Canal towpath to discover how it connects to other bicycling and walking routes. Start at Turning Basin Park on Alexander Road and make the eight-mile ride down the canal to the Brearley House and the new Lawrence Hopewell Trail — and then head back. Alternative is a casual walk beginning at Port Mercer at 4278 Quakerbridge Road. Bring a bike in working order. Helmets are required. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Begins at 2:15 p.m.

White Elephant Rummage Sale to benefit Community Connection of Princeton HealthCare – Furniture, art, linens, books, sporting goods, electronics, clothing,  and more. Proceeds benefit the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. At the Princeton Airport, 41 Airpark Road, Princeton, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Vigil to End the War in Afghanistan, organized by the Coalition for Peace Action – In conjunction with the 11th anniversary of the Afghan War (the longest in U.S. history), the Coalition is hosting a vigil to call for bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan more rapidly than the current plan for the end of 2014. Delaying withdrawal over two more years would cost an estimated 700 more U.S. troop deaths, thousands more wounded, and over $100 billion drained from the federal budget, according to the Coalition. On Palmer Square, noon – 1 p.m.


Sienna’s Splash Swimathon Fundraiser -Sienna Otto is a two-year-old who was diagnosed with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva in May after several months of painful flare-ups. FOP is an extremely rare and debilitating medical condition where bone forms in muscles and other soft tissues of the body, progressively restricting movement. Sienna loves picking flowers, playing dress-up, eating Tex-Mex food, and especially swimming. The swimathon is being held to raise money for research. Runs from 2-5 at Princeton University’s DeNunzio Pool. For more information about the event or to make a donation, visit The Sienna’s Splash website.

Cameron Carpenter performs at the Princeton University Chapel – Organ concert with video projection and commentary, sponsored by McCarter Theatre, 8 p.m. Tickets $25 and up.

Dar Williams performs at McCarter Theatre – Renowned singer-songwriter Dar Williams makes a stop at McCarter Theatre as part of her current tour. The national headlining tour will make stops from New York to Alaska.  Williams released her ninth studio album, In The Time Of Gods, this April. This is a WXPN Welcomes event. 8 p.m., tickets $20 to $42.

Sunday, October 7

Palmer Square Birthday Bash – Celebration of 75 years includes the past, present, and future. Games, prizes, and music noon-2 p.m. Richard Reiter Swing Band with music from the 1930s from 3-4 p.m. Crafts, activities, tore promotions. An antique car from 1937 on view. Birthday cake. Runs noon-5 p.m. on the Green.

Fourth Annual Witherspoon Grill Harvest and Music Festival – Live music, food from Witherspoon Grill and other local vendors. Activities for kids, including pumpkin painting, apple dipping, face painting, pie-eating contests and more.  Entrance is free, and a portion of all proceeds from food and activity sales will benefit the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. Noon-5 p.m. on Hinds Plaza next to the public library. Witherspoon Grill and Blue Point Grill also will be collecting donations of food, hygiene and monetary items for through November 1st.  Items may be dropped off at either location. T.A.S.K. is in need of the following non-perishable items (no glass, please): canned spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, microwavable prepared pasta, salad dressing, individual servings of Jello or pudding that do not require refrigeration, & juice boxes. Hygiene items including toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors, shampoo, and hand/body lotion are also appreciated.

`China’s Glory’ with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra – Works by Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, and Zhou Tian. Di Wu on piano. Rossen Milanov conducts.Richardson Auditorium, 4 p.m., Pre-concert lecture at 3 p.m..  Tickets $25 to $68, includes reception and private viewing of the Princeton University Art Museum’s Chinese art collection.

Family Dance for All Ages – The Princeton Country Dancers present a family barn dance with square dances, contra dances, party games and other traditional American dances. It’s fun for the whole family, from young children to parents and grandparents. The dances are led by a caller, and live music is provided by the Mixed Age Dance Band. Musicians of all ages and abilities are welcome to join the MAD Band – there is a rehearsal immediately before each family dance. Dances take place at the Suzanne Patterson Center, 1 Monument Drive, 3-5 p.m., $5 per person or $15 per family.

Monday, October 8

Fall Harvest Festival at Terhune Orchards – Pick-your-own apples, take a wagon ride, walk through the corn stalk maze, visit the adventure barn, and enjoy live music. Rain or shine. Food available and wine tasting. ‘Picture Perfect at Terhune Orchards,’ a photography exhibit on view. Jay Smarr performs noon to 4 p.m. $5 admission, children under 3 free. Festival also runs Saturday and Sunday with live bands noon – 4. Farm is located at 330 Cold Soil Road in Lawrenceville.

Lecture on Economic Inequality in America – ‘Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America’ presented by Martin Gilens, author and professor of politics. Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Robertson Hall, Dodds, 4:30 p.m.
Poetry in the Library: Alicia Ostriker – The Princeton-based poet reads from her works, followed by an open mic session. Alicia Ostriker’s 13th poetry collection, “The Book of Seventy,” received the 2009 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry, and she has twice been a finalist for a National Book Award. Her most recent collection is “The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011.” She taught English at Rutgers University for 40 years, and now teaches at Drew University. She was a founder of the U.S. 1 Poets’ Cooperative.  Event co-sponsored by the library, US 1 Poets and Delaware Valley Poets. Fireplace Area, second floor, 7:30 p.m., free.