What To Do: Honoring our Veterans

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

This is the weekend that America celebrates Veterans Day – a special holiday created to honor those who have served the nation as part of United States Armed Forces.

Valley Forge National Park (1400 North Outer Line Drive, Valley Forge, 610- 783-1000, www.nps.gov/vafo) is hosting a special “Veterans Day Commemoration” on November 11 beginning at 11 a.m. The scenic National Historical Park will commemorate the Continental Army’s legacy, and honor all of America’s military, past and present, with special events throughout the day. 

Activities will start with the “Commemoration Ceremony at the National Memorial Arch.” The National Park Service will be joined by local and national military organizations to honor our nation’s heroes through traditional ceremonial services. In the closing event, an Oath of Enlistment Ceremony will induct several new recruits into the United States Military.

From noon-3 p.m., visitors can check out “American Military Through the Ages” at the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts. Following the morning’s ceremony, park staff and volunteers – along with veterans — will present Americas military history from the perspectives of a variety of conflicts including the Revolutionary, Civil, and Vietnam Wars.

Other activities will be “Valley Forge Trolley Tours” (90-minute guided tours depart from the Visitor Center at noon and 2 p.m.), 40-minute, quarter-mile “Walking Tours” at 12:30 and 2 p.m. led by Rangers to Muhlenberg Brigade Huts and Artillery Firing Demonstration at the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts at 3 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

Military history will also be celebrated at another area site this weekend.

Fort Mifflin

On November 10 and 11, the Olde Fort Mifflin Historical Society will celebrate the 241st Anniversary of the “Siege & Bombardment of Fort Mifflin.”  There will be two days of activities commemorating the historic siege and bombardment of Fort Mifflin (Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia, 215-685-4167, www.fortmifflin.us) that took place in 1777. The event gets underway each day at 10 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m.

Four full scripted battles will tell the story of the greatest bombardment of the Revolutionary War.

Fort Mifflin, which was originally called Fort Island Battery, was commissioned in 1771. It was also known as Mud Island Fort because it sits on Mud Island (also known as Deep Water Island) on the Delaware River near the Philadelphia International Airport. During the American Revolutionary War, the British Army bombarded and captured the fort as part of their conquest of Philadelphia in autumn 1777.

During the siege, 400 American soldiers held off more than 2,000 British troops and over 250 ships that had been responsible for launching an endless barrage of cannonballs into the fort. After five days of holding off the British, the American troops evacuated the fort after having successfully denied the British Navy free use of the Delaware River.

Activities at this weekend’s commemoration will depict life in the 18th century and feature weapons demonstrations, tactical demonstrations, musket drills for youngsters and a scavenger hunt. There will be military re-enactors portraying both American and British forces as they commemorate the largest bombardment that took place in the entire American Revolution.

Battle Reenactments will be staged at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $56 for veterans and children (ages 6-12).

West Chester Railroad

Autumn’s colors just came in and are already on their way out – especially with the cold, windy weather forecast for the next few days. There is still time to take in autumn’s annual color display by riding on a special excursion on an area tourist railroad.

The West Chester Railroad (Market Street Station, West Chester, 610-430-2233, www.westchesterrr.net) is running its special “Fall Foliage Express” trains on November 10 and 11 with departures at noon and 2 p.m.

The round-trip train ride travels to the village of Glen Mills and back and lasts for 90 minutes. During the brief layover in Glen Mills, riders can explore the historic Pennsylvania Railroad station and have a snack in the railroad’s picnic grove along the Chester Creek.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for children ages 2-12 and free for kids under two.

Delaware Antiques Show

One of the area’s longest-running traditional events is the Delaware Antiques Show (Chase Center on the Riverfront, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org). The event, which has been around for more than 50 years, will be held from November 9-11.

Honored as one of the nation’s most highly acclaimed antiques shows, the annual three-day event presents a large and diverse assemblage of art, antiques and design. With more than 60 top-flight dealers participating, the Delaware Antiques Show highlights the best of American antiques and decorative arts.

The 55th annual staging of the show will feature sales displays featuring furniture and decorative accessories from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, including folk art, Native American art, ceramics, needlework, quilts, jewelry, prints, paintings, and rugs.

As usual, the knowledgeable dealers will at their booths answering questions and offering advice to collectors. Visitors to the show can learn from the experts about a variety of different antiques categories, including brass, jewelry, painting, ceramics, silver, textiles and 18th and 19th century furniture.

Proceeds from the Delaware Antiques Show benefit the educational programs at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Hours are from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 and include the show catalogue. Children under 12 are admitted free.

If you’re looking for arts and crafts rather than antiques, you’re in good shape this weekend with several top-flight shows on the area calendar.

The 35th Annual William Rush Woodcarving and Wildlife Art Show & Sale will be held November 11 and 12 at the Penn State Brandywine Athletic Center Gymnasium (Route 352, Lima, williamrushwoodcarvers.blogspot.com).

The event, which is scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, will focus on birds, figures, caricatures, marine life and wildlife art – all created by skilled artists. There will also be a special Nature Center Exhibit.

Books, Tools, and supplies will be available for purchase and there will be special woodcarving demonstrations each day.

As an added attraction, door prizes will be given out every hour — each prize being a unique carving. And, there will be free parking.

Vinewoods Forge

Vinewoods Forge (376 West Street Road, Kennett Square, 610-960-2822, http://www.vinewoodsforge.com/events) is hosting its annual premier metal show this weekend.

The event, which features nine of the Mid-Atlantic’s finest metal artists, will be held on November 10 and 11.

The “Artists’ Reception,” which is open to the public, is slated for November 10 from 6-9 p.m. The public show will take place on November 11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

This weekend, you can get a glimpse at how holidays are celebrated in Eastern Europe and Russia by visiting the festival at Saint Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church (1855 North Middletown Road (Route 352), Gradyville, 610-459-5310, www.sthermansoca.org).

The annual Christmas bazaar and food festival at St. Herman, which is running from November 9-11, features authentic Eastern European cuisine. Visitors to the 2018 “Food Festival & Holiday Shopping Extravaganza” will be able to enjoy such taste treats as Beef Stroganoff, hiluski (stuffed cabbage), kielbasi and freshly-made pierogies in the dining room.

The Russian Tea Room will feature dessert items such as poppy cake, nut rolls and other Russian baked goods along with authentic Russian chai (tea). The festival will also host an expansive gift shop with a wide array of Eastern European and Russian items, including icons, jewelry, books and pysanki (Ukrainian-style decorated eggs).

There will also be demonstrations of traditional folk dancing. The festival, which features free admission, will be open from noon-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon-4 p.m. on Sunday.

On Saturday, you can get a look at German holiday traditions at a special event in Delaware.

The German Christmas Festival, which is also known as Christkindl Markt, will take place November 10 at the Delaware Saengerbund (49 Salem Church Road, Newark, Delaware, 302-366-9454, www.delawaresaengerbund.org). The free event is scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m.

The kitchen will open at 11 a.m. and feature a wide array of German cakes, stollen and pastries along with a variety of hot food and sandwich items. The Bauernstube (restaurant) will be open all day with food and beverages. A wide array of vendor booths will be set up at the festival featuring imported candy, handmade articles, German Christmas items and ornaments, bakery items, a White Elephant sale and a children’s gift shop.

Live entertainment will be presented all day with dance performances by the Children’s Enzian Volkstanzgruppe at 1:30 p.m. and seasonal music by Enzian Musikanten throughout the day. Santa is scheduled to arrive between 2:30 and 3 p.m. and there will be a holiday raffle at 3:30 p.m.

The 2018 Craft Fair and Greek Food Fest at St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church (900 South Trooper Road, Jeffersonville, 610-650-8960, www.saintsophiachurch.org) runs now through November 11 and features a wide array of tasty Greek treats such as souvlaki, shish-ka-bob, moussaka, pastitsio and gyros and baklava.

Other festival activities are areas featuring vendors with crafts and Greek items. The free festival is open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon-6 p.m. on Sunday.

With sub-freezing nighttime temperatures predicted for the upcoming week, the only outdoor flowers which will still flourish are chrysanthemums and pansies.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) celebrates one of the popular autumnal flowers with its annual Chrysanthemum Festival every year in October. This year’s Mum Fest, which is running through November 18, is a top-flight exhibit featuring more than 20,000 colorful, blooming chrysanthemums in Longwood’s huge conservatory.

Longwood’s horticulturalists have grown and developed the mums into a variety of unusual forms. They have groomed chrysanthemums to resemble clouds, torches, spirals, fans, 13-foot arches and more. The stars of the show are Longwood Gardens’ “Thousand Bloom” mums.

The Thousand Bloom (known in Japan as Ozukuri) is the most exacting and difficult of all the Chrysanthemum training styles. It derives its name for the ambitious goal of a single chrysanthemum plant producing 1,000 perfect blooms.

The method for growing the Thousand Bloom originated in China and Japan more than 200 years ago. It is a dying art form with only a few growers in the entire world skilled in the techniques needed to grow this special plant.

This year, Longwood has the largest chrysanthemum outside of Asia on display. Grown at Longwood, the plant is expected to produce over 1,500 perfectly placed, uniform blooms on one plant.

During Chrysanthemum Festival, visitors can also check out the colorful foliage of Longwood’s Outdoor Gardens, wander around Meadow Garden and observe the action at the venue’s Garden Railway.

Video link for Longwood gardens’ Chrysanthemum Festival — https://youtu.be/ZyVNUleJ_iE?list=UUHMP1vVm6vrp4PVDb7fZ_Jw.

Regular admission to Longwood Gardens is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors (62+) and $12 for students (ages 5-18).

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-3976www.phillyexpocenter.com) will have several events that cater to a wide variety of tastes this weekend.

From November 9-11, the Expo Center is hosting the Americana Indian Art & Jewelry Show.

American Indian art is always a popular motif for home decorating is American Indian art — especially artwork produced in the American Southwest. This weekend, you can find a lot of examples of this art style at the Americana Indian Art & Jewelry Show on Oaks.

The show provides an excellent opportunity to look at artifacts and other items related to the history of Native Americans. The show is presented by the Americana Indian and Western Gallery and admission is free.

The Americana Indian and Western Gallery had its beginning in 1947 when its founder Lee Anderson attended school on a Navajo reservation and worked after school for his uncle in the trading post. The family collected American Indian art such as Navajo rugs, pottery, baskets, and other Indian and western items.

Anderson’s sells Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, and Santo Domingo jewelry, as well as Navajo rugs, Hopi and Zuni kachinas, baskets, pottery, art and collectibles. One of the most respected Native American art dealers in the United States, Americana Indian Shows brings thousands of items direct from the Southwest to the show attendees.

Show hours are 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. on November 10 and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on November 11 and 12.

If you’re at the Expo Center and are one of those people who get creeped out by snakes and lizards, then you better steer clear of a certain part of the exposition hall in Oaks this weekend or be prepared to suffer the consequences.

On November 10, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center will host the East Coast Reptile Super Expo featuring hundreds of live snakes and reptiles.

The East Coast Reptile Super Expo, which is always a well-attended event, will run from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. this Saturday. Tickets are $10 with children (under five) admitted free.

Many people think snakes and lizards are interesting creatures and maybe even fun pets to own. If you fall into this category, you should check out the show on Saturday. A wide array of reptiles will be on display as part of the popular exhibition, which is an annual event that is closing in on its silver anniversary.

One of the show’s main attractions is a sales exhibit area featuring a large number of vendors with live reptiles, amphibians and arachnids as well as food items, supplies, books, cages, and related accessories.

The roster of very diverse vendors includes Darwin’s Toyboa, RKZ Rodents, Monstar Reptiles, Turtle to Turtle, Delaware Valley Herpetarium, Newville Dragons, PM Herps, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply, VSCV Ventures LLC, Dachiu Dragons, Tom Rogan Reptiles, Native Exotics, Heath’s Frog Farm, Corralus Creations, Rogue Reptiles LLC, Jason R Bartolett Captive Bred Reptiles, and Fowler Reptiles.

The Great American Guitar Show

The other show at the Expo will draw a more specialized crowd. The Great American Guitar Show will be held on November 10 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and November 11 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The popular Bee-3 Vintage Guitar Show marks an annual pilgrimage for many guitarists (and other musicians). It features hundreds of manufacturers and dealers who will be buying and selling thousands of new, used and vintage musical instruments and accessories.

Admissions is $12 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday.

The UniverSoul Circus (52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, 800-345-7000, www.universoulcircus.com), which opens on November 8, will be treating circus fans to a very different experience.

The world-class circus’ performances, which will be held in the UniverSoul Big Top next to the Mann Music Center, blend traditional circus attractions with urban culture, hip hop tunes and world beat music. It’s the lively music that elevates the show to another level.

The UniverSoul Circus is a top-flight live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families.

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, UniverSoul Circus has come full circle in its influence in the international entertainment marketplace – garnering the distinction of being known as a one-of-a-kind, must see attraction.

UniverSoul Circus features music, theatrical performances, incredible circus acts and loads of fun. The show features acts from around the world including flashy Caribbean dancers, acrobats and high-flying trapeze artists, mind-boggling contortionists, funny clowns, lions, zebras and much more.

The circus will be in town from November 8-December 2 at its site in Fairmount Park.

The show at UniverSoul Big Top will run from November 8-December 2 with early afternoon, late matinee and evening performances. Ticket prices start at $22.

The Hockessin Art & Book Fair, which will be held November 10 at Hockessin Community Recreation Center (7259 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, Delaware,https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hockessin-art-book-fair166), showcases the work of local independent and self-published authors and artists.
The family-friendly event will be full of performances, author readings, cos-play opportunities, and much more in the “Kids Corner” as well as on the “Main Stage.”
Participants can get a Free Hockessin Art & Book Fair bag, which will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
The event will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission to the Fair is free to the public.

Initially known as the Rumschpringe International Short Film Festival, the Lancaster International Short Film Festival (http://lancastershortfilmfest.com/) is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year.

Now through November 10, more than 60 short films will be screened at the Elks Lodge, which is located in downtown Lancaster at 219 North Duke Street.

General admission to each block is $12. A full day pass is $35, and a three-day pass is $70.

By now, you probably have accepted the fact that the Christmas season has arrived. Sure, Thanksgiving is still two weeks away but Christmas marketing and holiday attractions have already taken over.

The Historic Odessa Foundation’s 2018 Christmas Holiday Tour is an event with an appeal that spans generations. The tours will be presented now through December 30 in Odessa’s historic district (Main Street, Odessa, Delaware, 302-378-4119, www.historicodessa.org).

This holiday season the Historic Odessa Foundation (HOF) is celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Historic Houses of Odessa’s annual Christmas Holiday Tours and Exhibits inspired by works of classic children’s literature.

This holiday season the Historic Odessa Foundation will be having a Dickens of a Christmas as it celebrates the 175th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ indelible classic “A Christmas Carol, In Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas,” first published in 1843.

Visitors will be transported into Charles Dickens’ powerful Christmas tale of redemption as the 244-year old Corbit-Sharp House is transformed into the world of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge with vignettes to include depictions of his counting house, his lodgings, the festive Mr. Fezziwig’s ball, the austere house of Tiny Tim, the parlor of Scrooge’s nephew Fred, and the cemetery.

All of the Historic Houses of Odessa are open and on full festive display for the 2018 Holiday Season, including special school and family tours and events celebrating “A Christmas Carol, In Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas” and special exhibit in the National Historic Landmark Corbit-Sharp House (c. 1774), and the Storybook Trees exhibit in the Wilson-Warner House (1769).

Special events and tours will be held throughout the holiday season including “Candlelight Tours” at 7 p.m. on November 27 and 29 and December 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, and 27; “Christmas in Odessa” on December 1 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; “Storybook Time” on December 5 at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; “Festive Foods/Hearth Cooking Demonstration” on December 8, 15, and 29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; “Children’s Holiday Tea Party” on December 9 at 2 p.m.; and “Curator Candlelight Tour” on December 20 at 5 and 7 p.m.

The Historic Houses of Odessa are open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The last full tour of the Historic Houses starts at 3 p.m. The Houses will be closed on December 24 and 25.

Admission to the Historic Odessa Foundation holiday tour is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and students and free for children (under 6).

This weekend also features the Center City Parks District’s opening of the Rothman Orthopaedics Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park (1 South 15th Street, Philadelphia,http://ccdparks.org/dilworth-park),

The Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park is an unparalleled entertainment experience on Philadelphia’s center stage in a wonderfully urban and unique setting. Open seven days a week, the rink offers wintry fun for all ages, with a full slate of programs.

Now that Christmas activities have begun, Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, http://peddlersvillage.com) is starting its celebration and that means there will be a lot of activity at the site over the next few weeks. Peddler’s Village’s “Kick Off to the Holidays” will take place on November 9 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Visitors to the Village can join special guest Mrs. Claus for festive fun and mini-lightings in a different Village neighborhood each night leading up to the Village-wide Grand Illumination Celebration. Village shops will be open until 9 p.m. with a distinctive assortment of merchandise, special promotions and refreshments.

The Grand Illumination Celebration, which is scheduled for November 16, will showcase thousands of tiny white lights outlining the Village’s buildings, colorful lights with less-than-common colors (teal, peach, and fuscia) adorning the trees and shrubs and a landscaped backdrop featuring a group of reindeer glowing in white light. Santa will arrive to turn on the lights and officially mark the beginning of the event. After the lights go on, visitors will be treated to free cider and toasted marshmallows.

November 16 also marks the start of Peddler’s Village “Gingerbread House Competition and Display.” Slated to run through January 5, the “Gingerbread House Competition” features over $2,000 in cash prizes in such categories as Traditional and Authentic Reproduction of a Significant Building.

If you really want to get into a Christmas mood early can visit Koziar’s Christmas Village (782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, 610-488-1110,www.koziarschristmasvillage.com) which begins its 71st season on November 3.

Koziar’s Christmas Village is truly a holiday wonderland — a wintertime spectacle that delights young and old alike with a huge amount of holiday displays and special attractions. It will remain open every night through January 1 — including Christmas Eve, Christmas Night, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Night.

The tours of “Christmas Village” feature visits to a variety of displays and exhibits, including “Santa’s Post Office,” “Christmas in the Jungle,” “Manger Scene,” “Christmas Beneath the Sea,” “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Olde Fashioned Bakery Shop,” “Toy Maker and his Toy Shop,” “Christmas in Other Lands” and “The Olde Church”.

Other attractions at Koziar’s Christmas Village include a huge model train display, a toy shop, a country kitchen, indoor and outdoor Christmas displays and a place to visit with Santa and even get pictures taken with the old guy in the red suit. Admission to Christmas Village is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for children (ages 4-10).

The American Music Theatre (2425 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, 800-648-4102, www.AMTshows.com) has its holiday show running now through December 30.

The AMT’s 2018 show “The First Noel” is an all-new presentation of favorite sacred and secular holiday songs performed by professional artists from across the country. The show will feature spectacular vocal harmonies, lively musical arrangements, impressive dancing and the music of the AMT Orchestra.

Also featured will be elaborate scenery, elegant costumes and a theater decked out with holiday decorations.

The show will have both matinee and evening performances each week with the addition of 10:30 a.m. performances on Saturdays throughout December. Show length is two hours and 15 minutes with a short intermission. Tickets are $42 for adults and $21 for children.

For those who can never get enough Halloween celebrations, the “26th Annual Field of Screams” (109 College Avenue, Mountville, 717-285-7748, www.fieldofscreams.com) is open through November 9 featuring four world-class Haunted Experiences and an impressive Midway Area. Top attractions include “Horrifying Haunted Hayride,” two massive Haunted Houses, and Wicked Haunted Woods.

Ticket prices start at $16.

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