What To Do: First Friday fun for everyone

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

The first Friday of the month is a good time to spend an evening in Kennett Square, West Chester or Lancaster – a time to enjoy special First Friday activities.

Kennett Square will celebrate First Friday with its Art Stroll (downtown Kennett Square, http://historickennettsquare.com) from 6-9 p.m. on August 4.

The event celebrates the local art scene with special activities in the galleries, shops and restaurants throughout town.  Many of the town’s businesses and galleries will stay open late for First Friday.

Kennett Square’s Art Stroll is a monthly celebration of the local art scene as it is showcased in the galleries, shops and restaurants throughout town.  Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to wander along the tree-lined streets and browse the many businesses that stay open late.

Kennett Square will also celebrate First Friday with a Murder Mystery Art Stroll in downtown Kennett Square featuring the Brandywine Valley’s favorite whodunit – “The Mystery of Mushroom Woman – The Movie.”

Participants will meet the detective at the scene of the crime in Sycamore Alley to gather clues, question murder suspects in participating downtown locations, and attempt to identify the murderer and solve the mystery.

Suspects, denoted by costumes and potential murder weapons, will be stationed at various participating locations in downtown Kennett Square. Additional suspicious characters will walk around town with clues available for purchase (proceeds benefit Kennett Amateur Theatrical Society).

Winners will be randomly selected and awarded prizes at the end of the evening. Participants do not have to be present at the 6:45 p.m. improvisation to participate in the mystery. Participation is free and all ages are welcome.

Also on Friday evening, West Chester hosts its version of First Friday (downtown West Chester, http://www.downtownwestchester.com). The First Friday event for this month will be held all day on August 4.

First Friday activities, which are held on the inaugural Friday each month, feature great shopping opportunities and delicious food offerings. Stores are open late and many of them feature free refreshments and shopping specials.

As an added attraction, there will be free on-street parking after 5 p.m.

First Friday in Lancaster

Lancaster also has a lively First Friday celebration every month. This month’s edition of First Friday Lancaster (http://www.firstfridaylancaster.com/) will run from 5-9 p.m. on August 4 in downtown Lancaster.

The event will feature attractive exhibitions at art galleries, artisan studios and museums. There will also be live performances presented in a variety of genres — professional theater, symphony orchestra and performing groups.

Once again, the Friends of Springton Manor are holding a special event to celebrate ice cream.

On August 6, the “Friends” of the historic site just west of Downingtown will host a “Victorian Ice Cream Social” at Springton Manor (860 Springton Road, Glenmoore, 610-942-2450, http://dsf.chesco.org/ccparks).

The summertime party, which will be held in the Manor House at Springton Manor, is scheduled to run from 1-3 p.m. It is a free, family-oriented event presented annually at the park.

Visitors are invited to kick back and enjoy a slow-paced afternoon at the park. Special activities include the playing of Victorian games, learning about the history of Springton Manor Farm and making ice cream.

The Goshen Country Fair

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 68th anniversary this season, is running through August 5 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.

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 CC Lawmen on August 4 and Southern Edge Band on August 5.

Another long-running traditional fair will start the day after the Goshen Fair concludes.

The 163rd edition of the Reading Fair (1216 Hilltop Rd, Leesport, 610 372-2649, http://www.readingfair.us) will open on August 6 and continue through August 12.

The Midway will feature “Hansen’s Spectacular – Acrobatic Thrill Show” and “Knockerball.”

Traditional festival activities include 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 9 and 10. And, there will be the always-popular Beer Garden from 5-10 p.m. each night.

The live entertainment schedule includes Jeff Krick, Elvis Tribute Artist on August 7, Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods on August 8, Cody Tyler on August 9, Almost Famous Band on August 9, NiteFlyte on August 10, The Brian Dean Moore Band on August 11, Hat Trixx on August 12, and Uncle Jake & the 18 Wheel Gang on August 12.

There will be several featured attractions this weekend at the Morris Arboretum (100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, 215-247-5777, www.business-services.upenn.edu/arboretum/index.html).

As part of its Discovery Series, Morris Arboretum will presentSink or Float Science.”

At this event, visitors will be able to learn what makes an object sink as well as what makes it float?

Guests are invited to “get a little wet and wild” as members of the arboretum staff test buoyancy predictions at the Discovery table.

This is also one of Morris Arboretum’s “Early Bird Weekends.”

If you’re up with the sun, you can start your day with an early morning visit to Morris Arboretum. Starting at 8 a.m., visitors are invited to find the shining dew on more than 12,000 labeled plants in the Arboretum’s living collection.

Admission is $17 for adults; $15 for seniors (65 and older); $9 for students (ages 13-17 or with ID), active military and retired military; and free for children (under 3).

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

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 37th annual staging of the event, which bills itself as “the most wondrous event in all the Knowne World”, runs from August 5 through October 29.

The festive annual event 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.

This year’s Faire will take you back in time to the year 1518 as a young King Henry is working to keep peace across Europe. He has proposed a non-aggression pact.

In an effort to convince other European nations to sign it, he has invited the ambassador of one of his toughest critics Maximilian – the German Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire – to the Shire of Mount Hope.

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.

The Faire also has a full slate of themed weekends.

The 2017 schedule is — Aug. 5 & 6 – Children’s Fantasy; Aug. 12 & 13 – World Carnival; Aug. 19 & 20 – Celtic Weekend; Aug. 26 & 27 – Myths & Legends; Sept. 2, 3 & 4 – Heroes of the Realm; Sept. 9 & 10 – Wizarding Weekend; Sept. 16 & 17 – Pyrate Invasion; Sept. 23 & 24 – Time Travelers; Sept. 30 & Oct. 1 – Oktoberfest; Oct. 7 & 8 – Autumn Harvest; Oct. 14 & 15 -Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights I; Oct. 21 & 22 – Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights II; and Oct. 28 & 29 – Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights III.

Single-day tickets are available at the gate for $31.95, but can be purchased in advance online for $26.95. 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.

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 5 from 11 a.m.-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 tour through interactive exhibits in the History Center, tour the air conditioned mansion, 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 6 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 (think clearing phlegm from the throat).

Das Awkscht Fescht, which is celebrating its 54th anniversary this year, runs from August 4-6 in Macungie, a small town just south of Allentown.

The event is billed as one of the largest antique and classic car shows in the country with more than 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. August 4 features the Variety Show with thousands of pre-1991 automobile models along with a variety of classic tractors, trucks and motorcycles.

On August 5, the spotlight will be on the Antique and Classic Car Show with over 1,200 antique cars, classic automobiles and sports cars.

On August 6, 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 Chevrolet.

This year, the festival is highlighting a collection of vehicles — all Chevrolets courtesy of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America — in celebration of the Camaro’s 50th anniversary.

Some of the featured Chevys on display will be a 1951 Chevy 3100 half-ton pickup, a 1970 Chevelle SS convertible and 1967 and 2017 Camaros.

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 August 4 includes Acoustic Kitty Project, Dave Fry Quartet with Deana Hall and Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods.

Acts slated to perform on August 5 are The Macungie Band, Steve Brosky band with Jimmy Meyer, Don Cunningham and Associates, Hat Trixx, A Few Good Men, and Large Flowerheads – followed by a firework display at 9:30 p.m.

The lineup for August 6 includes Brian Dean Moore Band, Scott Marshall & Marshall’s Highway, 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.”

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

In Philadelphia on August 6, South Street between Broad and 16th streets, will be the site of the Jamaican Pennsylvania Association’s celebration of Jamaica’s 55th year of independence.

Attendees will be able to enjoy a wide variety of Jamaican food, purchase goods from vendors specializing in Jamaican fashion and arts and crafts, and win a prize for performing their favorite Bob Marley song.

The Jamaican Pennsylvania Association is a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to promote and sustain Jamaica’s Motto “Out of Many, One People.” Also known as JamaicaPhilly, the organization produces and promotes Jamaican cultural and heritage activities throughout Pennsylvania.

The event in Philly on August 6 will run from noon-8 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Also on August 6, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing (201 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia,

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.

This year’s event will be headlined by one of Africa’s all-time music greats – Salif Keita.

The descendant of warrior princes, the son of two black African parents, Afro-pop pioneer Salif Keita was born “white.” Inheriting albinism, a lack of skin pigmentation, Keita instantly stood out among other Africans and stood out as a spokesperson for tolerance in all forms.

In 1997, Keita’s fame helped him to overcome the stigma attached to albinism that persisted in West Africa, allowing him to make a triumphant return to Mali. Cautiously re-entering a community that once shunned him, he discovered a newfound acceptance, which allowed him to re-establish roots there, including building a studio in the capital of Bamako.
Keita, who is approaching his 70th birthday, has release dmore tha 20 albums since 1082 and is considered the Godgfather of Malian music.

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

On August 4, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s series of free jazz concerts kicks off at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

Smooth Jazz Summer Nights Series, which is the longest-running free event produced by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, is back for its 21st season at the Great Plaza.

Every Friday in August, there will be performances by nationally-renowned jazz and blues talent. Attendees are requested to arrive by 7 p.m. because the concerts start promptly at 7:30 p.m.

The series will begin with a concert by Fourplay, a contemporary jazz quartet featuring Bob James, Nathan East, Chuck Loeb and Harvey Mason.

The series line-up also includes Peter White on August 11,

Grace Kelly on August 18 and Lin Rountree on August 25.

Cirque Italia, a world-acclaimed circus show, is returning to Delaware this weekend with a series of performances in Newark (132 Christiana Mall, Newark, Delaware, 941-704-8572, cirqueitalia.com/tickets).

The circus will have seven performances now though Sunday –

August 4 at 7:30 p.m.; and August 5 and 6 at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Cirque Italia is a show like no other. It is the first traveling water circus in the United States.

The circus’ stage holds 35,000 gallons of water and features a dynamic lid which lifts 35 feet into the air, allowing water to fall like rain from above as fountains dazzle below.

This incredible show takes place under “Grande Tenta” — the circus’ majestic white and blue big top tent which came all the way from Italy.

Manuel Rebecchi, Cirque Italia’s owner and founder, has a deep-seeded history in the circus industry. His late aunt, Moira Orfei, ran one of the largest circus shows in Europe.

When Rebecchi came to the states several years ago, he wanted to create something special and memorable. He was actually inspired to create the water stage while drinking a bottle of water one day.

This production is a European style circus show with no animals and a Las Vegas style water show. It’s a water spectacular similar to a smaller-scale Bellagio fountain show.”

Beginning in 2017, Cirque Italia, the first traveling Water Circus, introduces a second unit, the Gold Unit — a luxurious experience where technology and preforming arts are mixed to create a one-of-a-kind show.

This new performance will feature an ultra-modern water curtain that controls every droplet of water meticulously. A careful casting selection has united the best artists from all over the world.

This production will feature acts all the way from Russia to Mexico including Argentinian twin jugglers and a contortionist who is able to bend her body in ways you would never imagine.

Video link for Cirque Italia – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2q89BETs63PVHROd0tXemY0bGc/view?usp=drive_web.

Ticket prices range from $10-$50.

The Brandywine Zoo (1001 North Park Drive, Brandywine Park, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-571-7747, www.brandywinezoo.org) is inviting people to come to the Zoo on August 5 to partake in “Breakfast with the Beasts.”

Visitors to the zoo, which is located in Brandywine Park along the banks of the Brandywine Creek in downtown Wilmington, will be able to enjoy their breakfasts as the animals get theirs.

The event will also feature a special story and a live animal presentation. The festive pancake breakfast will be served in the zoo (weather permitting). Tickets are $15.

Another interesting event in Delaware this weekend is “Steamin’ Days” on August 6 at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org).

“Steamin’ Days,” which is held on the first Sunday of the month through November, focuses on steam power.

During “Steamin’ Days at Auburn Heights,” the site is bustling with activity. Visitors are encouraged to climb into an antique automobile or board one of the trains and experience what it was like to travel at the turn of the 20th century. They can also tour the magnificent 1897 mansion that was home to three generations of the Marshall family.

Also included is entry to the Marshall Steam Museum, which features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars along with a 1930s working Lionel electric train display, a hands-on engine display, kids’ activities and exhibits and the Museum Gift Shop.

Activities run from 12:30-4:30 p.m. each time. Combo Tickets, which cover all rides and building tours, are $19 (13 and older) and $16 (age 12 and under).

Bethlehem’s Musikfest (downtown Bethlehem, 610-332-1300, www.musikfest.org) is a special event — an event that is more than just another popular summertime festival in the Lehigh Valley.

Over the years, Musikfest has established itself as one of America’s top annual music festivals an event that offers big name headliners as well as a wide variety of folk, rock, pop and ethnic music acts.

It also sports some impressive numbers.

The festival, which is celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year, features free music performances on most of its indoor and outdoor stages.

Musikfest, which is running now through August13, presents over 300 live musical performances and draws over one million people to the Lehigh Valley every August.

The Main Stage at PNC Plaza is the main concert stage at Musikfest and features national touring acts with tickets are required for all shows.

The lineup includes Carlos Santana on August 4, Chicago on August 5, Father John Misty on August 6, Live on August 7, Aloe Blacc on August 8, Godsmack on August 9, Toby Keith on August 10, The Band Perry on August 11, Lee Brice & Justin Moore on August 12 and Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson on August 13.

The will also be a multitude of free concerts with acts such as Nalani & Sarina, Scoville Blues, Lucky 7, The Hot Club of Philadelphia, Dave Fry Trio and Philadelphia Funk Authority.

Musikfest is much more than just festival offering a wealth of music. It also features interactive arts and theater activities for children along with a large number of concessions offering a wide array of food and beverage treats.

On August 5, Stoudts Brewing Co. (2800 North Reading Road, Adamstown, http://stoudts.com/events) is hosting its annual Bark & Beer Fest.

Bark & Beer Fest, which runs from 1-5 p.m., features live music, 13 styles of Stoudts beer, hot dogs, dog vendors and misting stations, on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

The progressive rock band Sun and Rain will perform from 1-2 p.m., followed by the Americana band Red Sammy from 2-5 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the gate. Children 11 and younger and friendly dogs will be admitted free of charge.


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