What To Do: Chester Co. Balloon Fest soars again

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

If you realize that here are hot air balloons in all shapes and sizes floating in the sky over your head, you’re going to stop whatever you’re doing and turn your gaze skyward.

If you want to experience this sensation, then you should plan on attending this weekend’s 12th Annual Chester County Balloon Festival (New Garden Flying Field, 1235 Newark Road just off Highway 1, Toughkenamon, 610-268-2619, http://ccballoonfest.com) which runs from June 22-24.

It’s always an awe-inspiring sight when a huge balloon floats untethered through the air. Watching one balloon floating above you is a lot of fun. Watching more than 20 huge, multi-colored balloons filling the airspace over your head counts as a thrilling experience.

Activity at the Balloon Festival begins on June 22 with the gates opening to the public at 4 p.m.

Festivities scheduled for all three days are “Victory Beer Garden,” “Kids’ Zone,” Monster Truck rides, a “Balloon Launch” and a “Balloon Glow.”

During the glow, balloons inflate at dusk, remain tethered, and light their burners in a synchronized fashion. Live music will be provided by Tommy Froelich, Half Past Seven, Bob Croce and Brian McConnell.

Several activities will be making their debut this year including Sky Dive Flag Jump, a jet car demonstration, powered paragliding demonstrations and dog agility demos by the Dog Training Club of Chester County.

Other fun activities at this year’s festival are helicopter rides, “Balloon History Display,” tethered balloon rides, and a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. (Saturday only — rain date, Sunday).

The festival will also feature craft and food vendors and a children’s area featuring kid-friendly attractions.

All hot air balloon related events are weather-permitting. Hot air balloons cannot fly or even be inflated in excessive wind conditions, rain, thunderstorm. As always, safety for the pilots, passengers and festival-goers is always priority.

Admission to the festival is $15 for adults and $10 for children (ages 6-12). Attendees can purchase tickets for hot air balloon rides, tethered balloon rides, and helicopter rides for an additional fee.

Saint Joseph Church Community Festival

Now through June 23, Downingtown shifts into festival mode when Saint Joseph Church (338 Manor Avenue, Downingtown, 610-269-8294, www.stjoesfestival.com) stages its annual “Community Festival.”

The event will feature all the traditional things associated with a summer festival — including exciting rides and amusement games.

There will also be food concessions with all the standard festival fare — cotton candy, ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, corn dogs, soft pretzels and cheese fries along with mozzarella sticks, tomato pie and hot roast beef sandwiches.

There will be live music by The Red Satins and Lauren Lindley on June 22 and by the Wallace Brothers on June 23.

Festival hours are 6-11 p.m. on June 22 and 23 with fireworks scheduled for Friday night.

Schuylkill Canal Association’s Canal Day

The Schuylkill Canal Association’s Canal Day has evolved into one of the area’s traditional early summer events — an event that is always staged on the last Sunday in June.

Mont Clare, which is located just across the Schuylkill River from Phoenixville, will be hosting its 36th Annual Canal Day on June 24.

Canal Day will run from 9-5 p.m. at Lock 60 and in St. Michael’s Park (Mont Clare, 610-917-0021, http://www.schuylkillcanal.org).

The one-day festival, which is free but has a $5 parking fee, will also feature the 30th Annual Schuylkill River Trail Run and the 19th Annual Canal Joust.

All the traditional events will be happening again this year.

In addition to the trail run and the joust, the festival will have a “Canoe & Kayak Races,” food vendors, kids’ games and crafts, “Canal Stories and Songs,” bingo, a kids’ fishing derby, and historic re-enactors.

There will be live music from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

There will also be lock openings throughout the day. Visitors can listen to the Locktender’s presentation, learn about life on the canal and watch the opening of the only working lock on the Schuylkill River.

The biggest attraction at Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) right now is the Festival of Fountains, which is running now through September 30.

With fountains that jet as high as 175 feet, gardens filled with colorful summer blooms, shade-friendly trees, exotic day- and night-blooming waterlilies, and live music outdoors, Longwood gardens has something for everyone.

The fountain project took two years and $90 million in renovations. The fountain features more than 1,300 jets and streams, a similar amount of LEDs, a variety of flame features and a wide array of plants from around the world.

Longwood’s popular Main Fountain Garden has returned for a second season after attracting more than 600,000 guests last year with its 1,719 jets twirling and dancing to music. The fountains perform daily at 11:15 a.m., 1:15, 3:15 and 5:15 p.m.

At night, Illuminated Fountain Performances return featuring a selection of dynamic new shows and past favorites. New fountain shows include the rhythmic “Carmina Burana,” the soulful “Sounds of Motown,” a contemporary take on American classics in the “American Songbook Reimagined,” and the jazz-infused “In The Mood.”

Illuminated Fountain Performances are Thursday-Saturday evenings at 9:15 p.m. from May-August and at 8:15 p.m. in September. In addition to the Main Fountain Garden, Longwood is also home to a collection of other fountain gardens, including the enchanting Italian Water Garden and Open Air Theatre fountains, which also perform daily.

The ultra-popular Festival of Fountains features the gardens in their summer splendor. Flowering annuals and perennials abound, as well as the breathtaking Waterlily Display that showcases aquatic plants from all over the world.

Visitors can take a walk in the expansive Meadow Garden or enjoy a shady stroll among Longwood’s historic trees. The outdoor Children’s Corner features a garden designed just for kids, while the Idea Garden is a showcase of plant combinations, innovative vegetable gardens, and unusual plant varieties to inspire guests to try at home.

The Beer Garden is open Thursday-Saturday evenings with alfresco dining and Longwood Signature Brews created by Victory Brewing Company using ingredients grown at Longwood. Regional artists perform live in the Beer Garden from 6-9 p.m. May through August and 5-8 p.m. in September.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and $12 for youth (ages 5-18).

Even though summer has just arrived, the American Swedish Historical Museum (1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-389-1776,www.americanswedish.org) is celebrating an event known as Midsommarfest (mid-summer fest) on June 24.

Midsommar

In Sweden, Christmas is the most important holiday. Midsommar is the second most important holiday in the Swedish calendar.

The midsummer party in Sweden involves flowers in your hair, dancing around a pole, singing songs while drinking unsweetened, flavored schnapps and eating a lot of pickled herring.

The American Swedish Historical Museum’s Midsommarfest, which runs from 4-7 p.m. on June 23, features food, drinks, home-made Swedish pastries, live music and maypole dancing, along with crafts and games for the kids.

Tickets for Midsommarfest, which are available at the door, are $12 for adults and $5 for children (ages 4-12).

Another popular annual Philadelphia event this weekend will be held in Manayunk.

On June 23 and 24, the streets will come alive with the 29th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival (Main Street, Manayunk, 215-482-9565, www.manayunk.com). Main Street, which is Manayunk’s primary thoroughfare, will be closed to vehicular traffic and open only for pedestrians.

Billed as “the largest outdoor arts and crafts show in the Delaware Valley”, the Manayunk Arts Festival is a juried show that features more than 300 artists from across the entire country and approximately 200,000 collectors, buyers, and designers.

In addition to artists with oil and watercolor paintings, there will also be artisans who work in fiber, wood ceramics, jewelry, photography, mixed media and sculpture. The festival will also feature special children’s activities. Additionally, most of the restaurants and retail shops will be open with extended hours during the festival.

The free festival will run from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on June 23 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on June 24.

Summer Solstice, the first day of summer, officially arrived at 6:07 a.m. on June 21.

You can celebrate the event a few days later by attending a free event in Philadelphia known as Molestice (molestice.com)

Molestice is a free annual event that is a combination of a large block party and a small outdoor music festival.

The popular music festival will return this summer on June 23. The event takes place on the 100 block of North Mole Street and celebrates the summer solstice – hence “Molestice.”

From noon-8 p.m., there will be live performance by Nicole Atkins, Worldtown SoundSystem, Mutlu, Hardwork Movement, The Sermon!, Brian LaPann, and Scantron.

In addition to live music, the block party will feature beer and wine from Fergie’s Pub, food trucks and all-ages activities.

Kennett Brewing Company

For many people, one of the best things about summertime is enjoying cold, tasty beer — at indoor activities, outdoor parties, sporting events or just about anywhere.

On June 22, the Kennett Brewing Company (109 South Broad Street, Kennett Square, http://kennettbrewingcompany.com) will present its Third Anniversary Block Party.

Beer and live music will be the focal points at the free event, which is scheduled to run from 4 p.m.-midnight.

Kennett Brewing Company will release a special anniversary beer — a new fruity anniversary IPA — and have limited-edition, gold-embossed pint glasses for sale. There will be a “Name the Anniversary Beer Contest” with the winner receiving a free 32-ounce growler filled with beer of choice.
The block party is a family-friendly event and will feature games, sidewalk chalk, face painting, and ice cream for kids.

Live music will be performed by The Sermon!, Mason Porter, Mason Super Sermon Porter and Joe Hillman.

Tickets will be sold at the door with two options — $10 includes one beer ticket and access to the music area while $5 features access to the music area and no beer ticket. Children (under 10) will be admitted free.

Tasty beer is a focal point of the Eighth Annual Chester County Homebrew Festival (http://chestercountybrewfest.com) which will be held on June 23 from 6-10 p.m. The popular seasonal event is returning again to the American Helicopter Museum (1220 American Boulevard, West Chester).

Many home brewers will be onsite to offer samples of their latest brews to attendees for them to judge. Official judges will make the decision on which home brewer wins the “Best of Show” prize. Winning brewers receive awards at the end of the evening.

Tickets, which are $45 apiece, include a buffet-style dinner, live music by Josh Komorowski, a souvenir event glass and “voting chips” for the People’s Choice Award.

On June 23, Highland Orchards Farm and Market (1000 Marshallton Thorndale Road, West Chester, http://www.highlandorchards.net) will host Berries & Beer Garden in association with Timothy’s Restaurant Group.

This event will feature local and regional craft beer, food trucks, live music, artisans and crafters.

The list of food vendors includes Southbound BBQ (barbecue meats and homestyle sides), Curbside Grub (cheesesteaks and chicken sandwiches), and Abbie’s Burgers (burgers and crab cakes) and Timothy’s (pretzels)
The “Beer List” features Weyerbacher Down the Shore Lager, Victory Summer Love, Troops Crimson Pilsner, Cape May IPA,
Yuengling, Flying Fish Jersey Juice, 2SP, Pizza Boy, Conshohocken Blood Money and Fathead Bumbleberry.

The Philadelphia Zoo (3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, www.philadelphiazoo.org) is presenting its annual Summer Ale Festival on June 23 from 7-10 p.m.

Summer Ale Festival returns for another year of specialty brews, animals, live entertainment and more

In addition to offering a night of fun and memories for adults only at one of Philly’s top cultural attractions, Summer Ale Festival serves as a fundraiser and supports Philadelphia Zoo in its mission to create joyful discovery and inspire action for animals and habitats.

General Admission tickets are $64.95 and include evening admission to the Zoo, souvenir tasting cup, unlimited beer sampling and complimentary shuttle service to and from 30th & Market Street (across from Amtrak 30th Street Station). Non-drinker tickets are $34.95.

Zoo exhibits will be open for the Festival, with some closing earlier than other for critters with early bedtimes. Keeper demonstrations and animal “meet ‘n’ greets” will take place throughout the night as well.

There is another area event this weekend where people can mix fun activities with tastings of alcoholic beverages.

On June 24, Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery (700 Folly Hill Rd, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, https://www.galerestate.com/) will host a special event called “Yoga & Wine Tasting at Galer Estate.”

The event, which is scheduled to run from 1-3 p.m. on the winery’s grounds near Longwood Gardens, will feature a yoga session with

Brandywine Yoga followed by tastings of some of Galer Estate’s premium wines along with cheese plates.

Tickets for the event are $30.

The Third Annual Philadelphia Juneteenth Musicfest and Parade will be held on June 23 this year. Visitors are invited to honor and celebrate the legacy of America’s “Enslaved African Ancestors” who endured and fought so that one day all African-Americans would be free.

This year’s 2018 Juneteenth Parade will feature over 3,000 marchers, 18 Festive Floats, live bands and musical floats and a huge parade contingent made of community organizations.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.

The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

More than 25,000 spectators will converge on Philadelphia from all neighborhood communities — New York City, Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and as far away as Texas.

Past attendees have included two Kings from Ghana, a United States Congressman, two Pennsylvania Mayors, State Senators, State Representatives, the Philadelphia Police Chief, Prince Hall Masons and a host of Councilpersons and Dignitaries.

The Parade will kick off at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard at noon and continue down Market Street to Penns Landing. Immediately following parade will be the Juneteenth Musicfest & Market Place at Penn’s Landing.

The Big Apple Circus, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, the circus has taken up residency at Philadelphia Mills (1455 Franklin Mills Circle, https://bigapplecircus.com/tour) for a run now through June 24.

Many of the world’s greatest circus acts have performed under the Big Apple Circus Big Top. Each year a new show with a new theme is created by many of New York’s most creative directors and designers. This 40th Anniversary Show is no exception. Never before in circus history have the two most daring aerial feats been attempted under the Big Top in the same show.

Nik Wallenda, the “Greatest Daredevil of Our Generation” and 10-time World Record Holder, and the Fabulous Wallendas will perform the seven-man pyramid on the wire high above the ring. And, on the flying trapeze, Ammed Tuniziani of the Flying Tuniziani’s will attempt the elusive quadruple somersault to the hands of his catcher.

Some of the other featured acts are Gamil Garcia, Tuniziani, Jenny Vidbel, Ty McFarlan, Dandino, Elayne Krame, Jan Damm, the Anastasini Brothers and Joel Jeske.

Tickets range from $15-$33.75.

The 20th Annual YachtStock River Jam (500 West 2nd Street, Essington, http://yachtstock.org/index.php/riverjam) is scheduled for June 23 from noon-10 p.m.

Proceeds from the 2018 edition of YachtStock will benefit the families of two local children with grave health issues and the Shriners Hospital’s Philadelphia Unit. Yachtstock is a 100 per cent volunteer-run organization and all profits from the RiverJam will be donated to beneficiaries.

The outdoor concert is held on the banks of the Delaware River at the West End Boat Club. In 2018, Yachtstock is continuing its partnership with Tinicum Township with fireworks at the end of the event.

The 2018 fireworks display will be located in the river off Corinthian Yacht Club adjacent to Gov. Printz Park & West End Boat Club.

Ryan Follese will headline along with special guests Sara Spicer and Lee Gantt.

Other acts performing on the Shriners RiverJam Stage will be Musician Impossible, Tongue N’ Groove, The Chaotics, Witchunt, JaE The Artist, South 47, Bughunters, and The Mad Trio.

There will also be a full day of music on the Corinthian Waterfront Stage and the Riverview Stage. Another attraction will be the Delco Cruisers Car Show from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tickets for the 20th Annual YachtStock River Jam are $24.99 for adults, $19.99 for seniors and $8.99 for children (ages 6-12).

This weekend, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-3976, http://toomanygames.com) will present the “Too Many Games Expo.”

The festival, which runs now through June 24, is targeted for anyone interested gaming — from Magic the Gathering and Pokemon card competitions to the vast world of video game consoles.

There will be all types of video gaming tournaments including Mario Kart 8, Mortal Kombat X, Super Smash Bros, Warlords and Pokémon Oras. Additionally, there will be a “Super Smash Bros SMASH-tacular Tournament” on Saturday.

There will also be live music all three days. Some of the featured acts will be Chrush 40, Psychostick, Knight of the Round and Urizen.

Visitors to the event are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters for a chance to win prizes and to get their outfit on a Cartoon Network commercial.

Tickets are $35 on Friday and Saturday and $25 on Saturday.

The New Castle County Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park (4651 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-690-5555, www.rockwoodicecream.com) is one of northern Delaware’s oldest — and most popular — summertime outdoor events.

The festival will be held at historic Rockwood Park on June 23 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and June 24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

This weekend’s event will feature cool taste treats produced by Hy-Point Farms, which is located in Dealware just south of Concordville.

Festival food will include hamburgers, ribs, cheesesteaks, vegetarian dishes, water ice, ethnic food items, beer and wine.

The Children’s Zone will feature robotics demonstrations, live animals, trapeze artists, a stilt walker, face painting, activities and games.

Main Street Rockwood will feature more than 50 artisans, nonprofits, retailers and businesses. Limited parts of the mansion will be open for free tours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome at the festival and on the shuttle buses.

Tickets for the festival are $5 for adults with children (under 12) admitted free.

This weekend, Rodney Square in the center of Wilmington will host the 30th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival (11th and Market streets, Wilmington, 302-576-3095, www.cliffordbrownjazzfest.com).

The concert on June 22, which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., will feature Lao Tizer Band featuring Chieli Minucci, Deva Mahal, and Brian McKnight.

The roster for the June 23 concert, which stats at 2 p.m., includes Sammy Miller and The Congregation, Sara Lazarus, Scott Tixier, Sidewalk Chalk, and Marcus Miller.

All music performances are free and open to the public.

The Delaware Museum of Natural History (4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 302-658-9111, http://www.delmnh.org) is celebrating “Family Fun Day” with a variety of special events on June 23.

The popular museum, which is located on Route 52 a few miles south of the Pennsylvania-Delaware state line, will celebrate the great outdoors with hands-on activities focusing on outdoor fun in nature.

Live animals, trail hikes, campfire complete with marshmallow roast, hands-on science, interactive presentations, crafts, and activities will be a part of the day’s outdoor celebration.

Special activities include face painting by Dori Fostok, “Bird Meet & Greets” with Animal Behavior & Conservation Connections and a visit by Marlee Zabriskie, illustrator of “Everything is Connected.”

Some of the participating organizations at Saturday’s event will be Mount Cuba, Plumpton Park Zoo, Brandywine Valley SPCA, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, The Chesapeake Mermaid, Delaware Mineralogical Society, Faithful Friends Animal Society, and First State National Historical Park.

Museum admission is $9 — $8 for seniors (60 and older).

Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) is Presenting a special “Cannon Firing Demonstration” on June 24 at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. in the Machine Shop area.

The family-oriented event is fun, loud, exciting and educational.

Cannon firings in the Hagley Powder Yards demonstrate how black powder was made and used.

The demonstrations, which take place next to the Millwright Shop, are included with site admission tickets — Adults: $15; Seniors (age 62 and up): $11; Students $11; Children 6-14: $6.

As an added attraction, an in-depth, hands-on tour focused on gunpowder production, which ends with an explosive finish, is available on Hagley’s Sights, Sounds and Smells Walking Tour.

There will be five other dates for cannon firings at Hagley this year — July 29, August 26, September 30, October 28, and November 11.

Another special event this Saturday at Hagley is “Science Saturday: Mathematics in Nature.”

At the family event, which runs from 1-4 p.m. at the Power Plant, participants can learn about Fibonacci sequences and discover how mathematics is everywhere in nature. Visitors of all ages are invited to discover solutions to science and engineering challenges.

Activities are included in admission and free to members. This is a drop-in activity and guests can join the fun at any time from 1-4 p.m.

For more than two decades, the Chinese American Community Center (1313 Little Baltimore Rd., Hockessin, Delaware, 302-239-0432, www.chinesefestival.org) has presented its Chinese Festival with a mission of fostering appreciation of Chinese culture through exhibits and performances.

The 2018 Chinese Festival will open on June 22 and run through June 24 at the CACC’s facility in Hockessin. The event’s hours are 5-9 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and noon-6 p.m. on Sunday — with dragon dances opening each day’s activities.

As always, the festival will feature performances of Chinese music and dance throughout each day including Dragon Dance, Lion Dance and Folk Dance. There will also be a tea ceremony as well as demonstrations of Tai Chi, Chinese cooking and Kung Fu.

As with most ethnic festivals, one of the main attractions is the food. The festival will have booths featuring a wide array of Chinese cuisine — with an emphasis on dishes that are not usually found on the menus of area Chinese restaurants.

In conjunction with the celebration of Historic Philadelphia’s 12th anniversary at Franklin Square (200 Sixth Street, Philadelphia, www.historicphiladelphia.org ), Historic Philadelphia is once again illuminating the park with its Chinese Lantern Festival.

Now through June 30, Franklin Square will come alive every night with more than two dozen illuminated lanterns – all constructed by lantern artisans from China.

Chinese-inspired performances will take place in Franklin Square twice nightly. Performances, which celebrate Chinese performance art and entertainment, are 30-minutes long and are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m.

Festival hours are 6-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $18 for adults, $12 for youth, and $15 for seniors and military.

“Lancaster Pride Pet Parade” (717-291-4758, http://www.visitlancastercity.com) will be held on June 23 in downtown Lancaster to honor pets and to celebrate the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, and ally communities in Lancaster County.

The free event, which will take place in the 100 block of North Queen Street, will run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Participants are requested to bring their pets decked out for Pride with rainbows, costumes, mini floats, and more.

Master of Ceremonies will be Miss Dahlia Llama and her magical unicorn. She will lead the parade around Central Market ending with ribbons and Drag story time for the pets and all.

There will also be a “Drag Brunch” at Characters Pub on June 24 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The Strasburg Railroad (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is always the most popular spot around when it hosts “Day Out With Thomas.”

There is a mutual love affair between kids and Thomas the Tank Engine and it’s especially evident when Thomas gets up-close and personal with his fans during his visits to the Strasburg Railroad.

Every year, the steam locomotive named Thomas makes several visits to Lancaster County where he entertains enthusiastic children and their parents. The locomotive, which has its own PBS television series, will return to Strasburg for “Day Out With Thomas” now through June 24.

For more than 50 years, Thomas the Tank Engine and his Island of Sodor friends have been favorites of preschoolers and their parents. Based on “The Railway Series” (classic stories authored by a father who loved trains and wanted a shared experience with his son), “Thomas & Friends” has evolved into a rite of passage that inspires imagination.

Fans will be able to get personal with Thomas the Tank Engine, a full-sized operating steam locomotive who will be talking for the first time ever. And, they will also be able to ride a train pulled by Thomas and meet the locomotive’s buddy Percy.

Percy, who is a larger-than-life, full-size locomotive just like his friend Thomas, will be there for all days of the event. A ride behind Percy may be purchased as an add-on to the “Day Out With Thomas” ticket. Percy’s ride will last approximately 12 minutes.

In between trips, Percy will talk with families and be available between trips for photos.

Tickets for “Day Out With Thomas,” which are $21, include the train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as a variety of Thomas & Friends themed entertainment such as storytelling, video viewing, temporary tattoos of Island of Sodor friends and an Imagination Station. The Percy Package is available for an additional $6.

Rock Ford Plantation (881 Rockford Rd., Lancaster, 717-392-7223, www.rockfordplantation.org) will present its “Stories-on-the-Porch” series every Tuesday now through August 1.

A volunteer in period costume will read a story to children gathered on the porch of the Rock Ford Mansion. Following the story, children will enjoy a game or craft and light refreshments.

A parent or other responsible adult must accompany their child. The suggested age range for this event is 3-7 years, but all are welcome.  In the event of rain, “Stories-on-the-Porch” will be held in the Barn.

Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 65 and older) and children (ages 6-12) and free for children (under 6). All proceeds from the Second Sunday Living History Series will benefit the ongoing preservation and operation of Rock Ford Plantation.

This weekend, the Mount Hope Estate & Winery (Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021, www.PaRenFaire.com) will host the 20th Annual International Celtic Fling and Highland Games at the winery’s fairgrounds in Cornwall.

The event runs from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on June 23 and 24 with tickets priced at $29.95 for adults and $11.95 for children (ages 5-11).

The Celtic Fling will also feature a variety of Celtic music acts including Gaelic Storm, Enter the Haggis, Albannach, Dublin 5, Kilmaine Saints, Searson, The Town Pants, The Elders, and Poor Man’s Gambit.

The festival, which celebrates traditional and contemporary Celtic heritage, features the music, food and culture of all the Celtic nations — Welsh, Cornish, Manx, Bretons, Galecians/Asturians and, of course, Irish and Scottish.

Attractions this year include more than 50 musical performances, competitions and demonstrations, a full slate of live entertainment and the Ceilidh (grand finale of music and dance).

The competitive Highland Games focus on traditional competition events such as “Tossing the Caber”, “Weight for Distance”, “Hammer Throw” and “Putting the Stone”. There will also Irish dance competitions.

For the thirsty and the hungry, there will be more than 20 feast kitchens featuring a culinary tour of the Celtic Nations with traditional items. Some of the Celtic delicacies available for purchase at this weekend’s festival will be Highland Honey Mead, Scotch Eggs, Tiger Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, Haggis, Cottage Pie, Irish Potato & Leek Soup, Boxty and Corned Beef and Smoked Cabbage.

In addition to the 100-plus resident Renaissance Faire shops, there will be booths presented by more than 50 guest artisans and merchants with a wide array of unique items from imported Irish wools and Scottish tartans to Celtic souvenirs.

More Irish music can be found at the inaugural Haverford Irish Music Fest which will be held June 23 at the Manoa Shopping Center (West Chester Pike, Manoa, http://havertownirishfestival.com/).

The free family event, which will run from noon-9 p.m. features live music, food, drink and family fun.

The roster of entertainers scheduled to perform Saturday includes Barleyjuice, Downingtown Irish Band, Marissa Berry, Dylan McGuire Band, Maura McKinney Mastro, John Byrne Band, Phila Emerald Society Pipe Band, Cassady and Brigid (Downingtown Irish Dance), and Brittany Killion Carter.
If want more Celtic music, Gaelic activities and pure Irish fun, you can check out the Philadelphia Irish Festival at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing (201 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, https://www.facebook.com/events/2119624114981710/) on Sunday.

The Philadelphia Irish Festival, which is part of the annual PECO Multicultural Series of summer festivals, features a full slate of traditional Irish dance performances, food from the Emerald Isle such as bangers & mash and shepherd’s pie, and an array of vendors.

The free event, which was rescheduled from June 3, will be held on June 24 from noon-7 p.m.

The Garden State Discovery Museum: (2040 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 856-424-1233, www.discoverymuseum.com) is presenting a special program “Meet Your Masked Friends” on June 23 from noon-2 p.m.

Youngsters will be able to meet and greet their favorite masked while testing their super powers with activities inside and outside the Museum.

Young participants will have the opportunity to take “super selfies,” snack on super sweets, and then head into the studio for a special crafts session.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $30 for children.

In 2017, a new festival arrived on the area entertainment calendar — Muslim City Fest (11080 Knights Road, Philadelphia, https://www.muslimcityfest.com.

The first ever ‘Muslim Philly Fest’ to give the youth a stage and a platform to express their Islamic identity through their innate artistic talents. Muslim Philly Fest offered an array of homegrown poets, spoken word artists, Qur’an reciters, Nasheed artists,
painters, photographers, and many other artistic talents, followed by a grand performance by professional Nasheed artists like Khaled Siddique, spoken word artists like Prince Umi, comedians like Ali Official, and motivational speakers like Ibn Ali Miller.

The second annual staging of the event, which will take place on June 23 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., celebrates American Islamic identity by showcasing the work of Muslim youth and world-renowned artists like Raef, Siedd, Irfan Makki, Noha Hamid and many others. A family-centric carnival takes place all day at the event as well.

This weekend, it’s time for Peddler’s Village’s Summer Food and Music Festival (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com).

Visitors can eat and drink their way through more than 60 unique shops, food trucks, eateries, tasting rooms and restaurants

There will be themed food tents and an array of food trucks including Dump N Roll, Empanada Lady, Zaikka on Wheels, DonutNV, Mobile Mardi Gras, Bro-Ritos, Kona Ice, Cheezen, DeLorenzo’s The Burg, Dos Hermanos Tacos, and Phyllodelphia.

In addition to live music all day on both days, other attractions include “Let’s Play with Lolly & YoYo,” Give & Take Jugglers, face painting, Crystyles Airbrush Tattoos, Bubble Music Play Area, Moonbounces, outdoor games, a Vecro Wall and a train ride.

Peddler’s Village Summer Food & Music Festival on June 23 from 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. and June 24 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. — rain or shine.

On June 23, Fort Mifflin (Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia, 215-685-4167, www.fortmifflin.us) is presenting the Fort Mifflin Paranormal Expo – an event that features all things other-worldly at one of the most haunted locations in the country.

Visitors can enjoy special presentations, lectures and activities plus opportunities to meet experienced paranormal investigation teams. There will also be vendors, tours and other activities.

As an added attraction, guests at the event can experience what it’s like to be a ghost hunter during mini-investigations (additional fee required) – or they can just wander the grounds and check out some of the most famous “hot spots.”

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