What To Do: 88th Kimberton Fair keeps on rolling

Also: The Democrats come to Philly, PoliticalFest events planned

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

kimberton fair

The Kimberton Fair is one of the state’s oldest free admission fairs.

This is the time of the year for outdoor festivals. Every summer, this area is a hotbed for festivals — blueberry festivals, peach festivals, county fairs, firemen’s festivals, state fairs and plain old country fairs.

If you enjoy country fairs, you can also check out the 88th Annual Kimberton Community Fair (Kimberton Fairgrounds, Route 113, Kimberton, 610-933-4566, http://kimbertonfair.org) which is running from July 25-30.

The Kimberton Community Fair, which was first staged in 1929, is one of the oldest community fairs in the state — and one of the last “free admission” fairs operating in the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs. The Kimberton Fair is a “free admission fair with parking by donation.”

As always, the fair offers a huge array of free attractions — a festive midway with amusement rides, live entertainment shows, nightly contests, exhibit buildings and livestock displays.

The fair will be held at the Kimberton Fairgrounds on Route 113 approximately one mile south of Phoenixville. The non-profit event, which lists the volunteer Kimberton Fire Company as its beneficiary, attracts over 60,000 people each year.

There are competitions in “Youth” and “Adult” categories for sewing, needlecraft, arts and crafts, vegetables, horticulture, herbs, hay and grain, photography, honey and maple syrup, baking, homemade wines and beers and furniture-making.

There will also be open class and 4-H competitions for “Dairy Cattle,” “Dairy Goats,” “Breeding Sheep” and “Market Steer” livestock. Competitions will be staged nightly.

One of the special attractions this year is an exhibit featuring Suri Alpacas — a rare type of alpaca that represents only about four per cent of the world population of alpacas. The exhibit is being presented by Suri Farm, ltd. from Myerstown. Representatives from the Farm will bring the alpacas Tuesday through Saturday and will also answer questions about the Suri breed, their fleece and the focus of the farm.

Other special attractions are daily performances by Kountry K-9 Show and an appearance by the Phillie Phanatic on July 27 between 7 and 8 p.m.

The Kimberton Fair is a “rain-or-shine” event –more or less.

According to the event’s website, they never officially “close” the fair as a result of rain because they must remain “open” to adhere to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture operating guidelines. The indoor attractions stay open even in inclement weather but the festival may shut down any amusement ride if the weather causes safety issues.


Really excited by corn? Linvilla Orchards has something special for you.

On July 23, Linvilla Orchards (137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com) will host its annual Corn & Blackberry Celebration. Kids’ music singer Silly Joe will kick off the event and get everyone energized for a day of all types of fun family-oriented games — including a Dunk Tank.

There will be live music provided by The Ultimates. Additionally, Roasty Toasty will be doing his thing from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There will also be special appearances by Mr. Mouse, Bouncing Tiger and The Absorbent Sea Creature.

The schedule features a full slate of family-oriented activities throughout the day including appearances by costumed characters, pony rides, face painting and a crafts area. And, visitors can pick their own blackberries, corn and other fresh fruits and vegetables starting at 9 a.m. 

tylerTyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org) will present a “Wacky Water Festival” on July 24 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Visitors to Tyler on Sunday will be able to beat the heat and learn how nature “keeps its cool” at this year’s inaugural Wacky Water Festival. The arboretum warns that you might get wet with its wacky water activities.

At the learning stations, guests can hear about life in the water, and plan to get creative using water to enhance their art projects. They can also cool off with storyteller Greta Rech as she shares stories from around the world in a shady spot.

This month’s food trucks ate The Meat Wagon and Oink and Moo. Another popular food vendor at the event will be Weckerly’s Ice Cream.

Wacky Water Festival is free with regular admission and no pre-registration required. The event will be held rain or shine. Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors (65 and older) and $7 for children (ages 3-18).

SHREK_4C_TITLEThe hit musical “Shrek the Musical” is a show that appeals to audiences young and old.

Fans will have a chance to see a live performance of the show by visiting Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) on July 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30. Brandywiners, Ltd. will perform the award-winning musical at 8 p.m. each night in Longwood’s beautiful Open Air Theatre.

Every summer, the company presents a large-scale musical production at Longwood Gardens and contributes the proceeds to cultural, educational and civic causes throughout the Delaware Valley.

Ask kids of any age who their favorite big, green ogre is and you’re almost assured of getting the same answer every time — Shrek.

But, Shrek is more than just a character in an animated film — Shrek is a franchise.

Based on William Steig’s picture book “Shrek!”, the franchise consists of four computer-animated films, a Christmas television special, a theme park ride, a Halloween television special and spin-off film titled “Puss in Boots.”

Shrek also was brought to life as a hit theatrical stage show. “Shrek The Musical” opened on Broadway in 2008 and received eight Tony Award nominations including “Best Musical.” A West End production opened in London in 2011 and received five Laurence Olivier Award nominations including “Best New Musical.”

“Shrek The Musical” has been successful because it has appeal for both youngsters and adults. It’s definitely a show that has some outrageous moments. It’s very much like the movie but with more character development — especially Shrek and Fiona. It’s a classic story about friendships.

Tickets for the Brandywiners, Ltd. production include admission to Longwood Gardens beginning at 9 a.m. on the day of performance as well as a spectacular fountain display immediately following the show. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for students (ages 13-21) and $15 for children (ages 12 and under).

Outdoor concerts in the summertime are always fun — as long as the weather doesn’t get brutally hot. There are several established series in this area that always provide great outdoor shows.

liz vice at eagleview

Liz Vice will perform as part of the Eagleview Summer Concerts on the Square at Eagleview Town Center.

The Eagleview Summer Concerts on the Square at Eagleview Town Center (Wharton Boulevard, Exton, www.ineagleview.com) will host Liz Vice and Frank Viele on July 26; Nalani & Sarina and Better n’Recess on August 2; John Byrne Band and Muscle Tough on August 9; Xande Cruz and Greg Sover Band on August 16;and Cookie Rabinowitz, Dono and Van Woods/David Miles on August 23.

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 32nd anniversary this season.

On July 24, the series will present Lauren Hart with special guest Jimi Kendrick. “Family Night” is scheduled for August 2 with music by Trout Fishing in America and Dana Louise & the Glorious Birds.

The Bryn Mawr Twilight Series at the Bryn Mawr Gazebo (9 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, http://www.brynmawrtwilightconcerts.com) will feature John Gorka and Mark Schultz on July 23.

The 2016 schedule also includes Lisa Willson Vocal Academy on July 29, Cheryl Wheeler with Bruce Rits Gilbert and Matt Lyons on July 30 and Trespass – Genesis Tribute Band on August 6.

airplane day fort miflin

It’s Airplane Day at Fort Mifflin.

Fort Mifflin on the Delaware (Fort Mifflin Road and Hog Island Road, Philadelphia, 215-685-4167, http://fortmifflin.us) offers a variety of special events throughout the year. On July 23, the special event will be “Airplane Day @The Fort.”

Visitors to the Fort will be able to watch planes from nearby Philadelphia International Airport as they ascend on take-offs and descend on landings — and find out why they built Fort Mifflin so close to a major airport.

Participants in the day’s activities will be able to learn the basics of flight, build their own gliders and explore the use of aircraft in warfare and anti-aircraft defenses. Fort Mifflin actually held anti-aircraft guns during World War II.

Visitors will be able to capture amazing photos of arriving aircraft on the “Sweet Spot” photo tours, complete the Spotters Guide to learn to recognize the unique paint and design on a variety of planes and listen to the pilots communicate with the control tower. There will also be a special display of aircraft photos by Robb Enright.

“Airplane Day @The Fort” will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (age 65 and older) and $6 for veterans (with ID) and students (age 12 and under).

The Islamic Heritage Festival comes to Penn's Landing.

The Islamic Heritage Festival comes to Penn’s Landing.

On July 23, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing (201 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, www.delawareriverwaterfront.com) will be the site of the annual Islamic Heritage Festival.

The 24th annual Islamic Heritage Festival kicks off with the Unity and Diversity Parade at 1 p.m. and then shifts to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing at 2 p.m. The event will feature speakers, games for the whole family and a global open market bazaar.

Scheduled performers are Noorah Islam, the Universal African Drum & Dance Ensemble, Zaimah, Miss Undastood, Moses the Comic, the Poet MC and Sell Al-Friqi.

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

Just as it was when this nation was founded, Philadelphia will again be a political hotbed when the Democratic National Convention comes to town in a few days.

The Democratic National Convention is coming to Philadelphia and the National Constitution Center is ready.

The Democratic National Convention is coming to Philadelphia and the National Constitution Center is ready.

In celebration of the Democratic National Convention, the DNC’s host committee is presenting an event called PoliticalFest (http://www.phldnc.com/politicalfest/), a multi-location exhibition celebrating American history, government and the road to the White House.

Housed at seven locations throughout Philadelphia, PoliticalFest is a non-partisan display that combines multimedia and interactive displays, historical objects and special events to entertain and engage both residents and convention attendees.

The hub of PoliticalFest will be the National Constitution Center and its exhibition “Headed to the White House,” which explores the history and excitement of election season. Additionally, the Center will host activities and shows including live interviews, political trivia battles and panel discussions.

Additionally, C-SPAN’s educational bus will be parked outside the National Constitution Center for the run of PoliticalFest.

The full list of PoliticalFest locations includes the National Constitution Center, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia History Museum, The Philadelphia Library Company, Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Heritage Center at the Union League.

The ticketed event will cost $15 for adults and $5 for children, students and seniors. Veterans and convention attendees with a credential will be able to enter for free. One admission gets exhibition-goers into all seven PoliticalFest sites for the duration of the entire exhibition.

PoliticalFest tickets are also good for transportation on the Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop and a Philly PHLASH dedicated PoliticalFest loop, making it easy to travel from location to location. A dedicated bus loop courtesy of the Philly PHLASH will circulate to all seven locations during operation hours.

Landis Valley is holding its annual Civil War Days.

Landis Valley Museum is holding its annual Civil War Days.

One of the most popular annual events at the Landis Valley Museum (2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, 717-569-0401, www.landisvalleymuseum.org) is “Civil War Days.” The fun and educational event, which will be held on July 23 and 24, takes visitors back into an era when America’s northern states waged war with states from the south.

The museum’s grounds in Lancaster will be the site of a Civil War era village. Additionally, the site will host a large number of authentically dressed military and civilian re-enactors in a variety of roles such as merchants, members of aid societies, craftsmen and townsfolk.

Some of the featured activities are company drills, weapon firing demonstrations, musket drills and a cavalry demonstration. There will also be games and hands-on activities for kids, lectures, horse-drawn wagon rides and a Civil War fashion show.

This year, the event features celebrated President Abraham Lincoln re-enactor Robert Costello, who has brought Lincoln to life for over a decade and has portrayed the 16th president at Gettysburg, New York City, and other places along the East Coast.

Costello bears a striking resemblance to Lincoln — tall, lanky, and with light eyes — and speaks with the same high, Midwest-accented voice.  He has spent years researching Lincoln’s life. Visitors are invited to talk to Lincoln, take selfies with him, and walk beside him as he makes his way around the museum.  

Landis Valley Museum is a living history village dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and culture of the Pennsylvania German community from 1740-1940. Admission tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for youth (ages 3-11). Parking is free.

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