What To Do: Don’t let the heat keep you from outdoor fun

Everything from music to fairs to festivals to enjoy the summer warmth

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

weird al yankovic

“Weird” Al Yankovic is just one of the headline performers coming to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in the coming weeks.

For those of you willing to abandon the comfort of air-conditioned spaces and venture out into the hot and humid August weather, there are plenty of rewards — including outdoor concerts, country fairs, car shows and other festive events.

One of the nicest things about summer in this area is the wide array of venues that are offering live entertainment in an outdoor setting.

A primary destination for live music is the Mann Center for the Performing Arts (5201 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-546-7900, www.manncenter.org) — a venue that offers a wide variety of entertainment from mid-spring until late fall.

On July 31, the Mann will host “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Mandatory World Tour followed by a concert on August 1 featuring Faith No More and Refused and a show on August 2 with the Tedeschi Trucks Band along with Sharon Jones and the Dap- Kings.

The schedule for August also includes Rising Stars of Tomorrow (August 3), The Piano Guys (August 5), Three Kings (August 8), Phish (August 11 and 12), Reggae In The Park Presents: Catch A Fire Tour with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley (August 29) and Lenny Kravitz (August 30).

Another popular outdoor venue in Philadelphia is Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing (601 North Columbus Boulevard at Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, 215- 629-3200, www.festivalpierphilly.com).

The schedule for the next month includes Sublime With Rome (July 31), Matt and Kim (August 2), Meghan Trainor (August 5), Mad Decent Block Party (August 6 and 7), NOFX (August 15), Social Distortion (August 19) and O.A.R. (August 28).

On August 2, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing (201 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia,

african fest Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble

African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc. African Festival takes place this weekend at Penn’s Landing.

www.delawareriverwaterfront.com) will be the site of the African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc. (ACANA) African Festival. The annual outdoor concert brings artists, groups, and dance troupes from around the African continent to perform in a free event.

The festival provides a wide range of African entertainment, from traditional dance performances to modern Afropop and reggae musical performances. The family-oriented event also features African food vendors, as well as sales booths with traditional and modern clothing, arts and crafts. 

Featured performances at this year’s ACANA African Festival are Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble , Rafiya , Rotimi , Togar Howard and the Chilton Reggae Bande.

The event, which is part of the PECO Multicultural Series, is scheduled to run from noon-8 p.m.

Upper Merion’s annual “Concert Under the Stars” series (Upper Merion Township Building Park, 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia, www.umtownship.org, 610-265-1071) is celebrating its 31st anniversary this season.

“Family Night” is scheduled for August 2 with music by The Plants and Caveman Dave. On August 9, it will be “New Orleans Night” with Philly Gumbo and Glen David Andrews.

The Bryn Mawr Twilight Series at the Bryn Mawr Gazebo (9 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, http://www.brynmawrtwilightconcerts.com) will have three shows in August. Dar Williams with opening act Jonathan Doh and Richard Douglass are scheduled for August 1 and the Lisa Willson Vocal Academy is set to perform on August 7. The season finale on August 8 will feature Nalani & Sarina along with Christine Havrilla & Gypsy Fuzz.

The remaining schedule for the Eagleview Summer Concerts on the Square at Eagleview Town Center (Wharton Boulevard, Exton, www.ineagleview.com) will host Phil D’Agostino (with Special Guests) and Bird Choir (August 4), Linda Ortega and Matt Andersen (August 11), Liz Longley and Angaleena Presley (August 18) and Gedeon Luke and the People (August 25).

goshen fair

The always popular Goshen Fair wraps up Saturday.

Time is running out but you still have time to check out the annual Goshen Country Fair (Goshen Fairgrounds, Park Avenue, East Goshen, 610- 430-1554, www.goshencountryfair.org). But, you have to hurry.

The fair, which is celebrating its 66th anniversary this season, is running through August 1 at the Goshen Fairgrounds, which are located just off West Chester Pike three miles east of West Chester.

The free family-oriented event will open at 6 p.m. Friday and at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

This is a real authentic country fair with all the attractions — and animal competitions — found at most traditional country fairs. Holstein and Lineback cows will be featured on July 31 and the spotlight will belong to sheep on August 1.

The fair will also feature competitions for jams and jellies, bread, cookies, flowering houseplants, cakes, flower arrangements, pies, vegetables, specimen flowers and candy. Nightly attractions include live music performances, tug-of-war competitions and pie-eating contests.

The schedule for live music includes Rob Snyder on July 31 and CC Lawmen on August 1.

Another long-running traditional fair will start the day after the Goshen fair concludes. The 160th edition of the Reading Fair (1216 Hilltop Rd, Leesport, 610 372-2649, http://www.readingfair.us) will open on August 2 and continue through August 8.

The Midway will feature “Tiger Encounter” with five beautiful tigers including a rare white tiger and “Zipline Adventure” with a 240-foot ride. On August 2 at 4 p.m., there will be a live boxing event with bouts featuring four-time National Champion, Xavian Ramirez and three-time National Champion David Stevens.

A “Corn Cobb Toss,” a “Pie Eating Contest,” “Raw Egg Toss,” “Hay Bale Throwing,”  a “Round Ball Bale Contest,” a “Water Balloon Toss” and a “Pedal Power Tractor Pull.” There will also be auto racing throughout the week along with tractor and truck pulls on August 5 and 6. And, there will be the always-popular Beer Garden from 5-10 p.m. each night.

The live entertainment schedule includes Elvis impersonator Jeff Krick on August 3, Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods on August 4, BunchAFunk on August 5, Dave Kline and The Mountain Folk Band on August 6, Country Line Dancing with DJ Chicken Nugget on August 7 and Nite Flyte on August 8.

Tickets for the fair are $10.

Another event this weekend which looks back to a bygone era is being presented by Pennypacker Mills (5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, 610-287-9349, http://www.montcopa.org/pennypackermills). “In the Good Old Summertime” will be held on August 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the historic site in Montgomery County.

Visitors to the event will be treated to an afternoon of vintage music on the porch, lawn games and a car show with the Delaware Valley Classic MG Car Club. Other activities include Victorian dress-up for photos, garden tours and hands-on fun in the 1900’s History Center.

Admission is free with a suggested donation of $2 per person.

Another Montgomery County Park with a special event this weekend is Pottsgrove Manor (100 West King Street, Pottstown, 610-326-4014, http://montcopa.org/index.aspx?nid=930). “Living History Sundays” will be presented on August 2 from 1-4 p.m.

Pottsgrove Manor’s staff and living history volunteers will demonstrate 18th-century trades, crafts, and pastimes. Many of the audience-friendly events are interactive.

This event also features free admission with a suggested donation of $2 per person.

You can also take a trip back in time by attending Das Awkscht Fescht (Macungie Memorial Park, Main Street, Macungie, 610-967-2317, www.awkscht.com) — an event that is easy to enjoy and difficult to pronounce.

das awkscht fescht 2

Das Awkscht Fescht in Macungie, returns for its 52nd year and runs all this weekend.

Das Awkscht Fescht, which is celebrating its 52nd anniversary this year, runs from July 31-August 2 in Macungie, a small town just south of Allentown. It is billed as one of the largest antique and classic car shows in the country with over 3,500 cars on display.

The popular annual event takes its name from “Der Augscht”, which is the Pennsylvania Dutch word for “August.” Das Awkscht Fescht, which is held the first weekend of August each year, is a traditional summer festival with a full roster of family fun events.

There is a completely different car show each day. July 31features the Variety Show with thousands of pre-1991 automobile models along with a variety of classic tractors, trucks and motorcycles.

On August 1, the spotlight will be on the Antique and Classic Car Show with over 1,200 antique cars, classic automobiles and sports cars. On August 2, the event is the Special Interest Car Show featuring 34 car clubs with over 1,000 vintage autos.

Every year, the primary focus of the automobile side of Das Awkscht Fescht is on the impressive display of vintage autos — especially the featured car, which this year is the Chrysler 300.

Known for horsepower and high performance, the Chrysler 300 was bred out of desire and determination. With its first generation hitting the streets in 1955, this two-door hardtop with a Hemi found its place among the quickest cars of its time, making an appearance in NASCAR and catching the eye of drivers from coast to coast.

There will be a variety of kids’ shows and activities including jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists, clowns and a special creative activity and display center. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Antique Toy Show, which is held at Eyer Middle School, and Toy Town, which is staged outdoors.

The roster of live entertainers for July 31 includes The Phat Boys, Truth and Soul, James Supra Band featuring Sarah Ayers and Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods.

Acts slated to perform on August 1 are The Macungie Band, Acoustic Kitty Project, The BC Combo, Hat Trixx, Inch & the Echos and Large Flowerheads. The list for August 2 includes Steve Brosky and Jimmy Meyer Band, Friar’s Point, Tracy Lee and Raven Road Band and Crazy Hearts Country Band.

Other attractions include daily bingo sessions, picnics in the park, a playground, a huge public swimming pool, an arts and crafts show featuring over 120 artisans and an “Antique Auto Flea Market.” There will also be fireworks spectacular Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

Admission to the festival is $8 for adults and $3 for children (15 and under).

If you want to take a trip deep in the past and travel back centuries, there is the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (Mount Hope Estate and Winery grounds, Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021, www.parenfaire.com).

This year’s 35th annual staging of the event, which bills itself as “the most wondrous event in all the Knowne World”, runs from August 1 through October 25.

The ultra-popular annual festival features authentic Elizabethan food and drink, traditional crafts from the guildsmen of yore and old-time games of skill — and a cast of hundreds of colorfully costumed re-enactors. It all takes place at Mount Hope Estate and Winery’s authentic 35-acre recreation of a 16th-century village in Olde England.

Every summer, the Faire features a new story from a different year of England’s past.

The year is 1513.

King Henry VIII is returning home in triumph from his glorious victory over the French in the Battle of the Spurs, an aptly named battle that sent the French cavalry fleeing in fear. Meanwhile, back in England, the treacherous Scots to the North think this the perfect time to take advantage of Henry’s absence and invade.

But, the Scots had no idea that Queen Catherine of Aragon was a strong and fearless leader. As soon as the Queen heard news of the Scottish invasion, she immediately suited up in armor and rode north to speak to her troops before what would be called the Battle of Flodden Field. Her rousing speech led to a glorious victory.

King James IV of Scotland was killed at this battle and Queen Catherine removed his bloodied robe and cavalierly had it sent to her beloved Henry in France to inspire him to victory. King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon returned from war and decided to meet in Mount Hope for the victory celebration.

More than 70 shows are scheduled throughout each day on the Faire’s numerous stages.    Without a doubt, the most popular attraction is the Jousting Arena. Visitors to the Faire flock to Bosworth Field whenever it’s time for the Ultimate Joust. Peasants lead cheers for their favorite knights while musicians pound out a heart-thumping beat. The Master of the List announces the combatants and soon an encounter of royal proportions ensues.

The Faire offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, including listening to bagpipe music, checking out handsome Lords in their colorful silks, watching a jester’s acrobatics, learning how to juggle, being the recipient of a gypsy woman’s flirtations and watching the march of Beefeater Guards.

Guildsmen’s Way is the area that features a large number of merchants and artisans, including jewelers, candle makers, potters, herbalists, leather smiths, clothiers, and pewter makers — all offering for sale and demonstrating their ancient wares. And, there are more than 20 Royal Kitchens located around the faire with menus featuring a wide variety of food and beverage.

Single-day tickets are available at the gate for $30.95, but can be purchased in advance online for $25.95. For children (age 5-11) single-day tickets are available at the gate and online for $11.95. Season Passes are also available at $100 for adult and $45 for children.

On August 1, the Tuner Evolution Car Show will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, http://www.tuner-evolution.com) from noon-8 p.m.

This show is a full automotive lifestyle event that showcases many aspects of the aftermarket automotive industry. It features some of the hottest customized vehicles in the country, vendors showing off their latest and greatest products, graffiti artists, eating contests, bikini contest, celebrity appearances, models and entertainment acts including bands, hip hop artists, skating and BMX demos.


However, the main attraction at Tuner Evolution is the vehicles with many of the country’s top builders competing for the elusive Best of Show award. It allows visitors to see more of the elite cars and amazing custom builds that they won’t usually see on the streets or at meets.

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