Come One, Come All

to the

Second Annual

Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum

Members' Get-Together

(MartinFest 2003)

Last updated on Sunday, August 03, 2003


All Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum members are cordially invited to attend the Second Annual informal Get-Together for us lovers of Martin Guitars!  The setting will be both indoors and outdoors, definitely informal, and most of all there will be the opportunity to meet new friends, greet old ones, enjoy each other's company, and play the guitars which we have grown to love!

When:     August 10 and 11, 2003, from approximately 1:00 pm to dusk on Sunday and 9:00 a.m. to dusk on Monday.  But, events will continue both days at the Cheers Lounge, see below.

Where:    Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Who:       YOU and your guests!

What:      Jamming, a tour of the Factory, singing and playing, and lots of fun!

Here are the up-to-date details. Be sure to watch this page for periodic updates.

The Location --

Sunday afternoon:  Nazareth Borough Park - The "Log Cabin," up on the hill behind the concession stand, to the left as you enter the park.

Monday morning:  C.F. Martin & Co. - Private tour, goodies, time with Chris Martin!

Monday afternoon:  Nazareth Borough Park - The "Large Pavilion" just down the hill from the Log Cabin, at the end of the parking lot on the left.

The Events --

1.  As indicated above, a preliminary get-together on Sunday afternoon is planned.  I have again reserved the "Log Cabin" from about 1:00 p.m. to around 8:00 p.m. or so.  This will be a private spot just for us.  Electricity is available.

2.  Earlier on Sunday, at around 10:00, there will be a Folk Worship Service for anyone interested.  Bob Hinkley (D41Bob) will lead us in the Chicago Folk Service.  It will take place at the Log Cabin at Nazareth Boro park if available, otherwise in one of the two Pavilions there.

3.  On Monday, we will start our day with a private tour of the Martin Guitar Factory at about 9:00 a.m. We will break into groups of 12 to 15 or so and be given our private tour in 10- to 15-minute intervals in order to space out the groups.

Martin will provide a private room for us to store our guitars while we are on the tour.

4.    After the tour, Chris will speak to the assembled group in the "Sawmill" where we met last year.  Then we will be Chris's guests for lunch, probably outside in a tent that they will set up for us.  Note:  This is a change from lunch at Nazareth Boro Park or in the cafeteria.

5.  After lunch on Monday, we will have an afternoon of sociality and music. As indicated, I have reserved the "Large Pavilion" for our group, and we will be the only ones using that facility.  Electricity is also available there.  It is also quite private. 

6.  There will be instructional breakout sessions on Monday afternoon for those interested.  This effort has been coordinated by Tim Porter and will include:

        a.  Session 1A, MJH For Newbies -- Tim Porter

        b.  Session 1B, Travis to Ragtime -- Tom Buck, Michael Kaye

        c.  Session 2, Building a Kit Guitar -- Tom Hall, Maury Rutch

        d.  Session 3, Tony and the Slotheads -- Tony Phillips

        e.  Session 4, Flatpickin' -- Jody Reece and Flatpickinfiend

Martin's quarterly employee meeting is also Monday afternoon, and they will be invited to join us after the meeting is over.  As you walk through the factory and have your lunch, please encourage those you see to come!

Buy and Sell -- There will be a designated area both Sunday and Monday at the Park to buy or sell guitars and other UMGF related paraphernalia such as T-Shirts.  This is limited to private sales ONLY!!

Other General Info --

There is no entry fee at Nazareth Park, and there are restrooms, a concession stand, and other facilities available.  We will not be providing any food or beverage, so please bring your own or use the concession stand.  I have not been told that alcoholic beverages are prohibited, but if you bring beer or wine PLEASE be circumspect and responsible.

Most importantly, there is NO talent needed or required (other than a good sense of direction to Nazareth).  We will try to arrange for an open mike, but both afternoons are really intended just for getting together, enjoying each other's company, perhaps sharing tips and tricks, and just plain old having fun!

You will be responsible for keeping watch over your own instruments and other possessions and for loss of or damage to the same.  The parking lot at Martin & Co. is not secure (and also could get hot); however, as indicated above we have arranged for a room at Martin where we can store our instruments.  Nazareth Park is a public facility, so even though we have private areas, there could be many other persons passing through.

Food and Beverage -- Since there is a concession stand at the Park, everyone is encouraged to bring his or her own other provisions or use the concession stand. The concession stand is 25 to 30 yards from either facility that we are using.  It is not open if it rains, but there is a pizzeria (Mijavo's) right up the road near Martin and other places available.

Directions --

From the East:  Find your way to Interstate 78 in New Jersey.  Follow I-78 into Pennsylvania (do NOT get off onto Route 22, Phillipsburg).  About 6 miles into PA, take PA 33 North.  Continue until you see Route 248 and a sign for Nazareth.  Get off at this exit and bear right at the bottom of the ramp.  Go a few miles, past the huge concrete plant on your right, and turn right at the light by the Nazareth Diner.  Go through the town of Nazareth and past Nazareth Park on your left.  You will then see a Moravian Church on your right, quickly followed by Mijavo's Restaurant/Pizzeria.  Turn right immediately onto Beil Avenue, and you will see C.F. Martin & Co. on your right at the next intersection. The parking lot is on your right.

From the West:  Find I-78 East and get off onto Route 33, then follow the above directions.

From the South:  Take the PA Turnpike Extension up to I-78 East, then follow the above.

From the North:  Follow the directions on the Martin web site

T-Shirts, etc. --  The initiative to design and produce T-Shirts in time to be offered for sale at MartinFest 2003 has had great success.  A portion of the proceeds would be utilized to defray the costs of maintaining the UMGF site on EZBoard.  Check out the UMGF Store listing at the top of the main UMGF page.

Lodging  -- There are many places to stay in the Nazareth/Bethlehem area.  I have arranged a group booking at the Bethlehem Comfort Inn, 3191 Highfield Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18020, 610-865-6300, 800-732-2500.  The name of the group is (surprisingly) "Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum" OR "Group No. 2591." There are 80 rooms reserved for both Sunday, August 10 and Monday, August 11.  The special rate is also available on the preceding Friday and Saturday for those wishing to come early. Most of these rooms are nonsmoking, although some smoking rooms are available.  Each room has a refrigerator, phone with dataport, desk, etc. and is very nice.  NOTE:  The Comfort Inn is now fully booked that weekend, so please check out the alternative lodging sites indicated below.

The rate is $57.00 per night for single and $66.00 a night for double.  This is a special rate for us (it's the same as the Martin Co. rate) and does not include the sales tax (9 1/2% - welcome to Pennsylvania!).  This is much lower than other discounted rates such as AAA and AARP, so there will be no extra discount for members of these organizations.  Pets are even welcome for an additional $10.00!

The cutoff date for this rate is July 18, 2003.  The group booking has been confirmed, and folks are registering.  Please be sure to use the "Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum" or "Group No. 2591" as your group and NOT "Martin" or "Martin Guitar" or similar name because the group bookings are alphabetical and they will most likely not find you!  I've guaranteed all the rooms, but they will be released on July 19 to get me off the hook.

There is an in-house lounge, "Cheers," which serves bar food type of stuff as well as a full Continental breakfast.  There are tons of other places around, including McDonalds, Burger King, Ground Round and a Chinese restaurant and a Pizza parlor all right across the street.  There is also a Perkins Family Restaurant out the back door and upscale restaurants nearby.

Cheers is not open Sunday night, but we have been "comp'ed" with the lounge for ourselves for picking after hours (there's also a new meeting room which I will check out).  The bar won't be open, but it's OK to BYO.  On Monday night, they would love to have us bring our guitars and sing.  We all had a great time both nights - make it part of your plans!!

Here are some other suggestions found at the Nazareth Chamber of Commerce:

Bed and Breakfast:

Classic Victorian Bed and Breakfast, 35 North New Street, Nazareth, PA 18064, 610-759-8276.  Allen Pulis negotiated a discounted price at this B&B last year - stay tuned.

Inn at Heyer's Hill, 568 Heyer Mill Road, Nazareth, PA 18064, 610-759-6226

Hotels/Motels (all in Bethlehem with in-house restaurants and lounges):

Comfort Suites, 120 West Third Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, 610-882-9700

Courtyard by Marriott, 2160 Motel Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18018 610-317-6200

Holiday Inn at the Gateway, Rtes 512 and 22, Bethlehem, PA 18017, 800-360-5050

Local sights and activities:

The Martin Guitar Design Seminar, jointly sponsored by Martin and Northampton Community College, will be going on in nearby Bethlehem from the 11th through the 15th of August.  This is a great opportunity to extend your stay, learn a lot about guitar design, and keep having fun!

The annual "Musikfest" is ongoing in Bethlehem, ending August 10. 

The annual Appalachian Fiddle and Bluegrass Association Festival will be held the weekend before, August 1, 2 and 3 in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, 15 miles or so from Nazareth.  Lots of old Martins should be in attendance!  No web site is available yet for this particular festival, but here's the AFBA's general site.

Other events will be posted here as they are announced (or discovered).

Winery tour - Slate Quarry Winery offers tours and wine tasting.  The winery is located just outside of Nazareth.

Crayola Crayons - For the kids (including us grownup kids), the Crayola Factory offers tours every day of the week in nearby Easton, PA.

Also for kids, including grown-up kids, is Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown - rides, etc.

There are also walking tours of historic Nazareth and many other activities available.

Registration -- Registration is ongoing, and as we're now over 200.  The list of registrants is available HEREAt the request of Martin, the deadline for registration is July 28, 2003.  They need a head count by that date for planning the tour and for ordering food.

If you are on this list by July 28, you will eligible to go on the tour and have lunch at Martin, so long as you get there by 9:00 or so on Monday morning!  To register, please email me at mac00028@aol.com.  All, of course, are welcome for the other events of the weekend, since there is plenty of room at the Park.

Registration Fee -- By the time all is settled, I will have advanced quite a bit to cover the rental of the two facilities and a couple of other items.  Based upon the number of persons registered, I'm guessing that this amounts to $5.00 each (adults only, kids are free).  As far as I know, there are no more costs that need to be advanced.  Any excess proceeds will be donated to the UMGF to cover Web Site costs.  The Registration Fee is completely voluntary, and I will have a Contributions Jar at the Park both days.  This will be the only "solicitation" - I will not be asking anyone directly.

Photos  -- Here are some pictures of the Log Cabin, the Large Pavilion, the old Martin Factory, the old Martin Residence, and the Nazareth Music Center.

Your Organizers -- Right now, it's me, Mac Carter (UMGF handle is mac1588).  I have quite a few volunteer helpers at this point. I'll be happy to try to any questions that you may have or respond to any suggestions.

Mac Carter, Webmaster