What to do: Battle of Brandywine, art, music and more

A wide range of exciting events to overfill your May weekend

By Denny DyroffCorrespondent, The Times


A busy weekend of activities might just be topped by the reenactment of The Battle of Shady Hollow will be reenacted this weekend in Birmingham Township.

“On Hallowed Ground,” the re-enactment of the 1777 Battle of Sandy Hollow, is scheduled to be held on May 17 and 18 at Sandy Hollow Heritage Park in Birmingham Township. The event, which is free and will be held rain or shine, will benefit the “Wounded Warrior Project” along with local battlefield preservation.

The “Battle of the Brandywine,” which took place on September 11, 1777, was the largest land battle of the Revolutionary War and included more than 25,000 soldiers.

The action this weekend, which includes cannons, horses and hundreds of authentic re-enactors, will be held on the actual site of the battle. It will begin on May 17 at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony featuring unit formations and drills and a “Parade of Flags.”

The lineup of activities for the two-day event includes artillery demonstrations, historical lectures, sutlers, children’s games, a presentation by Penns Woods Puppet Theater, fife and drum corps music, a sales area with period crafts and battles both days (2:30 p.m. on May 17 and 1:30 p.m. on May 18).

For more information about “On Hallowed Ground,” visit http://www.brandywine2014.com/.

Another interesting event will be held a few miles south along Route 1 — starting this weekend and running into June.

From May 18 through June 7, Ware Mansion in Oxford will present its “Designer Showhouse & Gardens” event. The Showhouse property is situated in the heart of the Ware Village campus and is a 22-room, Gothic revival, three-story brick mansion decorated in the traditional Georgian style.

It was built in 1887 and converted into a sanitarium prior to World War I. During the flu epidemic in the area, it served as a hospital and the current location of the kitchen served as an operating room.

John H. Ware Jr. purchased the house in 1926 but had trouble with his neighbors and decided to move the house.  The house started its journey in November 1931 pulled by a small locomotive on train tracks. It reached its present location in January 1932.

Ware Presbyterian Village will host this year’s Showhouse at Ware Mansion for three weeks. Tours will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Admission is $25 per person.

A small boutique of local craftsmen and artisans will be open during the hours of the Showhouse on the lower level of the mansion.  There will also be items from each of the designers’ rooms available for sale. There will also be the Masterpiece Boutique where area artisans and craftsmen will be selling their custom-made creations.

Ware Mansion’s “Designer Showhouse & Gardens” will run from may 18-June 7 at Ware Presbyterian Village, which is located at 7 East Locust Street in Oxford. For more information, call (610) 998-2400 or go to http://www.waredesignershowhouse.org.


The 25th anniversary of the Kennett Run will take place this weekend, with adult and kid divisions and lots of fun for the whole family — all for a good cause, local charities.

Kennett Square also has something special to offer visitors this weekend.

If you like running in road races and you have a pair of silver-colored running shoes, it’s time to get them out and wear them this weekend.

On May 17, Kennett Square will host Kennett Run 2014. This year will mark the silver anniversary of the race and celebrate its 25 years of being a valuable local charity event.

Kennett Run Charities was established in 1989 with the purpose of promoting the general well being and civic betterment of Kennett area residents, organizations and projects.

Over the 24 years that the event has been held, $459,538 has been gifted to the community and $77,246 has been donated for park and trail work. In 2012, more than $100,000 was gifted by the Kennett Charities to local residents and organizations and as support for projects benefiting the entire community.

Activity gets underway on May 17 with the PoweRun Lifting competition. The races begin at 9 a.m. and include a 10K run, a 10K PoweRun, two 5K races, a pair of 5K PoweRuns, a 5K walk/Run and a Kids FundRun.

Buses will be available for transporting runners and spectators from the Exelon parking lot to Registration/Start area beginning at 6:30 a.m. From 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., buses will transport individuals to Anson B. Nixon Park from Excelon parking lot. From 10:30 a.m.-noon, buses will run from Anson B Nixon Park to Exelon parking lot.

Parking is available at the following locations — Exelon Generation (Exelon Way, Kennett Square), the Kennett Square Fire Company (Dalmation Lane, Kennett Square) and the Genesis Parking Deck (Linden and Union streets, Kennett Square).

For more information, call (302) 354-1008 or go to http://www.kennettrun.net/.

Racing of another kind is on tap in downtown Wilmington this weekend — bicycle racing. There will be a lot of cycling action and street fair partying when the city hosts the annual Wilmington Gran Prix Weekend from May 16-18.

Just eight years old, the Wilmington Grand Prix has evolved from a regional bicycle race to one of the premier cycling events in the country. The featured races on May 17 are the Men’s and Women’s Professional Criterium Races.

The only activity scheduled for May 16 is the Monkey Hill Time Trial in Brandywine Park on a course made famous during the Tour DuPont. More than 300 riders will compete against the clock and the cobblestones of Monkey Hill. In addition to the cycling, there will be an outdoor barbecue with music, beer and family fun in Brandywine Park.

The racing on Saturday will be held in downtown Wilmington on a figure-eight criterium over a one-mile course. The start line and finish line, which are the same, are located in front of the Grand Opera House in the 800 block of Market Street. Long distance bicycle races are scheduled for Sunday.

The Wilmington Grand Prix’s Street Festival will take place on May 17 beginning a parade at noon that starts under the Delaware History Center arch in the 500 block of Market Street and proceeds north on Market Street to Rodney Square.

The Street Festival features family activities such as “Far Flung Bungee,” “JumboTron,” “The Pits,” “Moon Bounce” and “Rock Wall.” Other attractions include an obstacle course, sidewalk sales, a VIP Hospitality Tent, a dual racing slide and an array of offerings from area restaurants.

The Grand Prix Post-Race Party will be held on May 17 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at several locations — Chelsea Tavern, Earnest and Scott’s Tap Room, the World Café Live at the Queen, DiMeo’s Pizza and LaFia.

The Eighth Annual Wilmington Grand Prix Weekend, which is free for spectators, will run from May 16-18 at various locations on downtown Wilmington. For more information, call (302) 655-6483 or go to http://wilmgrandprix.com.

If you find cars more interesting than bicycles, plan a trip to Media. An amazing array of classic cars will be on display on May 18 at Linvilla Orchards. The orchard/market will host its annual Antique Car Show & Flea Market from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine.

Visitors to Linvilla Orchards’ car show will be treated to an up-close and personal look at a large selection of antique vehicles – all maintained in pristine form. There will be cars dating from as far back as the early 1900s. The wide representation of vintage vehicles will include cars all the way up until the 1970s.

Linvilla Orchards has partnered with The Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania (HCCP) for over three decades to present the club’s annual Spring Meet. More than 250 spectacularly restored and maintained antique, classic and muscle cars will fill one of the site’s big fields. Awards will be presented for the best-maintained cars in a variety of classes, such as Best Brass and best restored pre-1918 cars.

As an added attraction, there will be hayrides around the orchard’s grounds. Visitors can enjoy the hayrides from noon-3 p.m. The Flea Market will be open to the public from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and will feature over 30 booths with items relating to antique automobiles.

Linvilla Orchards Antique Car Show & Flea Market, which is free and open to the public, will be held on May 18 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the orchard’s site at 137 W. Knowlton Road in Media. For additional information, call (610) 876-7116 or visit www.linvilla.com.

Not far from Linvilla Orchards, there will be another special event that looks back in time. Those interested in the area’s past can get a taste of history when the Bethel Township Preservation Society presents its annual “Log House Tour” on May 18 from 1-4 p.m.

The “Log House Tour” will take place rain-or-shine at a restored historic log house that is located at 1645 Bethel Road in Garnet Valley. The event will feature colonial demonstrations and crafts such as drop spinning, wood carving, beekeeping and butter making.

There will be demonstrations of lucetting (knotted cord making) and toy making along with a children’s colonial toy display. The event will also feature a nature hike. Light refreshments and Bethel souvenirs will be available for purchase.

The house was built in the late 1600s in the William Penn style that was the prototype for the row houses in Philadelphia. The log house was continuously occupied until the early 1940s and remained in the “abandoned” category for quite awhile.

A few years ago, the structure was dismantled log by log and moved to its current home on Bethel Road. This weekend’s Log House Tour is free but a $5 donation is appreciated. For more information, visit http://betheltownshippreservationsociety.com.

This weekend, the special event schedule is filled with a variety of annual activities — some which will be held at indoor venues and others that will be staged in the open air

One of the events that will not be affected by the weather is the Chester County Studio Tour. The event was a hit right from the start when the inaugural tour was staged a few years ago and it has continued to grow each year.

The 2014 edition of the event, which will be held on May 17 and 18, is a showcase for 77 different artists whose work will be displayed at 34 studios in the area.

Chester County Studio Tour and Chester County Art Association share a mutual belief that everyone should have art and art should be everywhere. Chester County Art Association has graciously supplied each artist with a 6×6 board and a black frame to create an affordable, ready-to-display piece of original artwork to be sold for $75.

The list of artists whose work will be on display at this year’s event includes several from the Southern Chester County area including the Judith Jarvis Studio in Chadds Ford, the Annie Strack Studio in Kennett Square, the John Baker Studio in West Grove and the Mitch Lyons Studio in New London.

The 2014 Chester County Studio Tour will be held May 17 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and May 18 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at studios all around Chester County. Admission is free. For additional information, visit www.ChesterCountyStudioTour.com.

For those interested in enjoying the benefits of being outdoors in nice weather, there are two interesting options in the area — the Spring Gulch Folk Festival and the LuLu Shrine Circus.

When warm weather arrives, so does another eagerly-anticipated season. It’s the season of outdoor music concerts — especially outdoor, multi-day festivals. One of the first festivals on the annual calendar each year is the Spring Gulch Folk Festival.


Michael Braunfield headlines a Saturday Matinee at the 28th annual Spring Gulch Folk festival Saturday.

From May 15-18, the Spring Gulch Folk Festival is celebrating its 28th anniversary with three days of live music performances.

The festival will be held at the Spring Gulch Resort Campground (475 Lynch Road, New Holland, 717-354-3100, www.springgulch.com) — a resort campground which features Olympic size pools and spa, a dance barn, wooded sites, tennis and shuffleboard courts, mini golf, a laundromat, a state-of-the-art playground, an arcade, a fishing lake, a country store and an ongoing variety of children’s activities.

The Spring Gulch Folk Festival is a family-oriented festival in a beautiful rural setting — a weekend event featuring sing-a-long campfires, workshops, dancing, crafts and– most importantly — live music by top-name folk musicians.

The opening concert, which starts at 8 p.m. on May 16, features John Gorka, Antje Duvekot and The Boxcars.

The matinee performance on May 17 begins at 12:15 p.m. with a “Family Concert” by Tom Chapin. The lineup of performers for the Saturday matinee also includes Michael Braunfeld, Mustard’s Retreat, Vinegar Creek Constituency, BeauSoleil and Spuyten Duyvil.

The nighttime concert on May 17, which runs from 7-11 p.m., will feature Brother Sun, Criag Bickhardt, Cassie and Maggie McDonald and Alexis P. Suter Band. The matinee session on May 18, which is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m., will feature performances by Mustard’s Retreat, The Grand Slambovians, Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line and Mary Gauthier.

Tickets range from $21 for single-day performances (without camping) on May 16 and 18 to $170 for an all-show ticket with four days of camping.

Spring Gulch also offers Amish buggy rides, games, tennis clinics, campfires and many more related activities. As an added attraction, there will be a wide array of organized children’s activities throughout the weekend.

The festival’s 28-year history may seem like a long but it pales in comparison to the LuLu Shrine Circus.

If an annual event can run year-after-year for over 25 years, it must have something that people really like. If it endures more than 50 years, it must be really good. The LuLu Shrine Circus is just such an event.

For more than seven decades, LuLu’s Shriners have been sponsoring an annual circus performance at various locations in the Delaware Valley. Their first show was held at their Shrine Center on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia in the early 1900s.

From May 16-18, the 73rd Annual LuLu Shrine Circus will be held at LuLu Temple in Plymouth Meeting with performances at 7 p.m. on May 16; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. on May 17; and noon and 4 p.m. on May 18.

The performances feature complete “Three Ring Circus” shows on the LuLu Temple’s grounds in an outdoor facility that can accommodate 4,000 spectators. It is a traditional old-time circus — the kind that used to travel the country and set up “Big Top” performance tents wherever it stopped.

There will be trapeze artists, a magic show, a high-wire hula hoop performer, jugglers, an aerial rings act and zany activity by the LuLu Temple’s “Klownz.” Also featured will be a wide array of circus animals including tigers, elephants, ponies and even an acrobatic dog act. As an added attraction, elephant rides and pony rides will be available before and after the performances.

The 73rd Annual LuLu Shrine Circus will be held May 16-18 at the LuLu Temple, which is located at 5140 Butler Pike in Plymouth Meeting. Tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for children. For more information, call (800) 898-LULU or visit http://lulushrinecircus.com.

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