What To Do: Longwood’s Summer Soiree, Turks Head and more

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In the heat of the summer, events for almost every taste dot the calendar

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

The Unruhlies headline tonight at Winterthur's Music Along the Bank” event tonight -- a perfect chance for local live music under the stars.

The Unruhlies headline tonight at Winterthur’s Music Along the Bank” event tonight — a perfect chance for local live music under the stars.

People in this area are fortunate to have two historical garden attractions in this area that are guaranteed to delight — Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000,www.longwoodgardens.org) and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Route 52, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, http://www.winterthur.org).

And, they are even more fortunate during the summer when both Longwood and Winterthur present a series of outdoor entertainment events. This weekend, Longwood is featuring “Summer Soiree” and Winterthur is hosting another installment of its annual summer music series called “Music Along the Bank.”

On July 18, Longwood is celebrating the Open Air Theatre’s 100th anniversary with “Summer Soiree” — one of three special summer nights that feature performances in the Open Air Theatre as well as throughout the Gardens.

The evening’s schedule includes The Brandywiners and The Savoy Company (6:15 and 7:15 p.m. in the Open Air Theatre), The Give and Take Jugglers (6, 7 and 8:15 p.m. in the East Conservatory Plaza), Marc Silver and the Stonethrowers (6:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Main Fountain Garden), Beau Django (6:45 and 7:45 p.m. in the Italian Water Garden), Open Air Theatre Fountain Shows (8:45-10 p.m.) and Main Fountain Garden Illuminated Fountain Show – Big Band and Broadway (9:15 p.m.).

At Winterthur’s “Music Along the Bank” shows, visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic, a blanket and a few lawn chairs — and then sit back and enjoy the sounds of live music performed by some of the finest bands in the region.

This weekend’s edition of the “Music Along the Bank” series, which will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on July 18 in the Clenny Run area. The show will feature The Unruhlies. The band, which plays a blend of bluegrass, folk, and blues, includes multi-instrumentalist, composer and teacher, Mark Unruh, along with Bobby Bloomingdale (The Bullets) and Chip Porter (Montana Wildaxe).

turks head 2

The 32nd annual Turks Head Festival takes place this weekend in West Chester, featuring live music, food and more.

The Turk’s Head Music Festival in West Chester (Everhart Park, Bradford Avenue and Everhart Street, West Chester, 610-436-9010, http://www.turksheadfestival.com), is like the little pink bunny in the battery commercials — it just keeps going and going.

This year, the 32nd Annual Turks Head Music Festival will be held on July 20 from 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. in the park at the west end of West Chester. The daylong festival, which is one of the most popular and longest-running annual mid-summer events in Chester County, has a line-up of 12 diverse musical acts.

The annual music-oriented party is presented by West Chester Recreation. It is a free event that appeals to the entire family with a wide range of live music as well as a variety of other activities geared to all ages. Attendance usually tops 5,000 — unless there is bad weather.

Naelee Rae will be the opening act at 11:30 a.m. with Jason Reed scheduled to take the stage at noon. Toney will perform at 12:44 p.m. followed by Blackbird Society Orchestra at 1:28 p.m., Billy Roach & Political Theater at 2:12 p.m. and Kwesik at 2:56 p.m.

Hot Bijouxx will perform a set at 3:40 p.m. and Flux Capacitor will play at 4:24 p.m. The Quixote Project will perform at 5:08 p.m. followed by Joy Ike at 5:52 p.m. and Venom Blues at 6:36 p.m. New Sweden will be the final act with a set at 7:20 p.m.

Visitors to Everhart Park this Sunday are welcome to bring picnic lunches and are advised to bring lawn blankets or folding chairs. The festival will also feature a wide array of food concessions with hot food and cool beverages.

Other popular annual features at the Turk’s Head Music Festival include kids’ games and an arts-and-crafts show featuring over 70 talented artisans who will be demonstrating and selling their crafts. New features this year will be zip lines and a mobile arcade.

Kids young and old can have a great time this weekend at a special event at Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134,www.tylerarboretum.org). From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on July 20,  the scenic nature site is hosting a “Tree House Festival.”

Tyler Arboretum is known for its assortment of treehouses that kids can explore — including the Bell House, Fort Tyler and the Cape May Birdhouse. At the “Tree House Festival,” visitors can celebrate trees and get an up-close look at the wildlife that live in these trees.

The arboretum will present a spectacular show featuring a variety of birds including hawks and falcons. Visitors will be able to see these birds at close range with their trainer before and after the show.

The event, which is included free with arboretum admission, will also feature the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s “Woodmobile” and an area where guests can try climbing with ropes and a harness under the supervision of Oakwood Tree Care professionals.


The Kimberton Fair, a Chester County institution, kicks off Monday with all of the great rides, food and attractions people have enjoyed for generations.

When it comes to longevity, there can’t be too many annual events in Chester County that can top the Kimberton Community Fair (Kimberton Fairgrounds, Route 113, Kimberton, 610-933-4566, www.kimbertonfair.org). The fair, which runs from July 21-26, is celebrating its 86th anniversary this year.

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 wider array of free attractions — a festive midway with amusement rides, live entertainment shows, nightly contests, exhibit buildings and livestock displays. There are charges for ride wristbands and tickets, games and concessions and food. There is also a fee to play BINGO.

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.

Competitions are organized into 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 are held nightly.

The Kimberton Fair is a “rain-or-shine” event — sort of. 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.

Another place where animals are in the spotlight is the Philadelphia Zoo (34th Street and Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-243-1100, www.philadelphiazoo.org).

Located along the Schuylkill River, the Zoo is a great place for family visits during the hot summer months. But, if you go to the Zoo on July 19 in the evening, you’ve got to leave family members under the age of 21 at home.

From 6:30-10 p.m., the Philadelphia Zoo is hosting its Fourth Annual Summer Ale Festival and the event is only for guests over the age of 21. The festival, which is a rain-or-shine event, will run until 10 p.m. but the taps will be turned off at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person and $35 for designated drivers.

Presented by the Philadelphia Zoo, the popular fundraising event features live music, seasonal ales and local cuisine — all served up in the middle of a wildlife oasis. Two of the featured breweries at this year’s festival will be Downingtown’s Victory Brewing Company and Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, which has locations in West Chester and Phoenixville.

Some of the other participating beer producers are Saucony Brewing Company, Troegs, Boxcar Brewing Company, Starr Hill, Triumph Brewing Company, SBC Brewery, Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company, Evil Genius Beer Company, Old Forge Brewing Company, Prism Brewing Company, Manayunk Brewery, Conshohocken Brewing Company, Twin Lakes Brewing Company, Rock Bottom Brewery and Lancaster Brewing Company.

Philadelphia has always been a great city for jazz. The Delaware Valley has produced many of the greats in the jazz world, including Jimmy Smith, Byard Lancaster, John Coltrane, Sun Ra and Jaco Pastorius.

Every summer, the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival celebrates the rich history of jazz in Philadelphia. On July 19, PEC (People’s Emergency Center) is hosting its Eighth Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival (Powelton Avenue at 39th Street, Philadelphia, 267-777-5893, http://www.lancasteravejazzfest.com).

The one-day event runs from noon-7 p.m. at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center’s Saunders Park Greene, which is located at 39th Street and Powelton Avenue (one block south of the Lancaster Avenue business corridor).

The lineup of performers for the free event features Azar Lawrence, an internationally acclaimed saxophonist, as the headliner. The roster also includes the Charlene Holloway Band, Josh Lawrence, Glenn Bryan and Friends, Shakera Jones, Nasir Dickerson, Central Kidz, Play On Philly and the West Powelton Steppers.

On July 18, Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) is presenting a special event called “Lunar Stroll: Photographing Laurel Hill After Hours.”

Photo enthusiasts will be able to capture the ethereal wonders of Laurel Hill Cemetery after the sun goes down. During the guided stroll through the cemetery’s picturesque landscape, participants will have access to some of the site’s most photogenic spots and evocative statuary.

Participants in this weekend’s event will also have the opportunity to learn how to paint with light using only a flashlight and ambient iridescence. The results of this process are a variety of unique images. Photography experience is recommended. The guide will be Emma Stern.

Friday evening’s stroll will depart from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue at 8 p.m. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse. The cost is $20 per person and advance reservations are required. Tickets can be purchased online at www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org or by phone at (215) 228-8200.

The historic cemetery near Roxborough will offer a different tour on July 19 — a tour titled “Crooked Cronies: Philadelphia’s Profiteering Politicians of the Past.” Ticlets are $12 and advance reservations are required.

Lincoln Steffens notoriously described 19th-century Philadelphia as “corrupt and contented.” The city had rogue politicians but it also had reformers. The tour will visit the grave of the Philadelphia patrician who realized that only a political boss could hold the unruly city together — and then set out to become that boss.

Participants on the tour will stand at the burial place of the Congressman who would have had one the largest monuments in Laurel Hill Cemetery — if the treasurer of his memorial committee hadn’t run off with the funds. And, guide Michael Brooks and his tour group will remember the scholarly historian who organized the predecessor to our modern-day Committee of Seventy.

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