What To Do: Super Sunday in West Chester

Also: First Fridays, garden and home and multiple festivals

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

wc suoer sundayWhen the first Sunday in June arrives, downtown West Chester becomes a huge block party as the borough hosts Super Sunday. This year, the 23rd Annual Super Sunday (610-692-7574, http://www.west-chester.com) will be held on June 7 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sponsored by West Chester Parks & Recreation, Super Sunday is a giant street festival taking place in downtown West Chester on Gay Street between Matlack and Darlington.

The free event features approximately 100 crafts exhibitor booths, a variety of food vendors, amusement rides, a children’s area, antique cars and fire trucks, a motorcycle gathering, jugglers, clowns, Fairman’s Skate Zone and an antique car display.

Children’s entertainment includes TCL Clowns, Skate with Fairman’s Crew, Dora the Explorer with Clifford the Big Red Dog, magician Kevin Joyce, Randy Lyons and the Turks Head Jugglers, stilt walker Dick Rainer and student performances at Taylor’s Music Store

Live entertainment will include performances by Couple Days, Mason Porter, Wave Radio and  Downingtown’s Annachristie.

Video link for Annachristie — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g0LJZ7JEBoE.

taylor home_garden_large

The 2015 Bayard Taylor Memorial Library Home & Garden Day Tour has the theme of “Bricks, Barns, and Birds.”

There is usually a special theme each year for the annual Bayard Taylor Memorial Library Home & Garden Day Tour (various locations in southern Chester County, 610-444-2702, www.bayardtaylor.org). In recent years, some of the themes have been gardens and historical authenticity.

The theme for 2015 tour, which will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., is “Bricks, Barns, and Birds.” For this year’s tour, the destinations will be homes and gardens in Landenberg, West Grove, Avondale, and New London.

The roster of tour stops includes a farm with a jewelry-making studio housed in a repurposed horse barn; a small brick home with an imaginative addition designed and built by the owner; a brick Federal house being rejuvenated by the young family who just purchased it; and a farmhouse built around the farm’s original 1690 log home.

Other sites open for visitation are an historic house with museum-quality art collections and furniture in every room; a modern development house that incorporates walls and a staircase salvaged from 18th-century New England homes; a new stone house designed to look as if it has been there for centuries; and a magnificent old house brought back to its original splendor.

On the tour, visitors will be able to sample food and beverages donated by local restaurants and merchants. Photography and the wearing of high-heeled shows are not permitted. Children under 18 are not permitted in the William Miller House. Some of the sites may present a challenge for those visitors with mobility issues — especially the Miller House with its steep staircases.

The tour will be held rain or shine. Tickets for the tour are $35.

first friday west chester

First Friday kicks off a big weekend in West Chester.

When the first Friday of the month comes around, it’s a good time to spend an evening in the heart of West Chester — a time when the borough hosts its version of First Friday (downtown West Chester, http://www.downtownwestchester.com). The First Friday event for this month will be held on June 5 from 5-9 p.m.

First Friday activities, which are held on the inaugural Fridayeach 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. The remaining First Fridays in West Chester are scheduled for July 3, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6 and December 4.

Kennett Square will also celebrate First Friday with its Art Stroll (downtown Kennett Square, http://historickennettsquare.com) from 6-9 p.m. on June 5.

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.

There will also be live music at Market at Liberty Place (148 West State Street, Kennett Square) from 5-9 p.m. featuring Steve Nardo, a local musician who plays covers of popular Beatles songs. Additionally, Happy Hour specials are available at Paradocx Winery.

Lancaster also has a lively First Friday celebration very month. This month’s edition of First Friday Lancaster (https://www.facebook.com/FirstFridayLancasterPa) will run from 5-9 p.m. in downtown Lancaster.

The event will feature interesting 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.


Living History at Wheatland program consists of a series of interactive and engaging glimpses into the life and times of President James Buchanan and his family on the first Saturday of each month now through October.

Another interesting event in Lancaster will take place on June 6 — “Living History at Wheatland-Questions & Answers: James Buchanan Comes of Age” at Wheatland (1120 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, 717-392-4633, http://lancasterhistory.org/visit/wheatland).

Occurring on the first Saturday of the month from March through October, the Living History at Wheatland program consists of a series of interactive and engaging glimpses into the life and times of President James Buchanan and his family.

Actors bring to life the people who lived here and the history of the site.  These historical figures interact with one another and with their audience. The theme changes from month to month.

Buchanan was born April 23, 1791 in Franklin County Pennsylvania and grew up in the Borough of Mercersburg. After graduating from Dickinson College he arrived in Lancaster at age 18 to pursue a career as an attorney at law.

Tour Guides in period clothing bring history to life as you walk through Wheatland, beloved home of our nation’s 15th President. Wheatland is located on LancasterHistory.org’s Campus of History which is located just west of the City of Lancaster at the intersection of Marietta and North President Avenues. There is ample off-street parking available.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students (ages 11-17) and free for children (10 and under).

If you want to think globally, you can do it easily this weekend with your eyes, your ears and your taste buds.

To treat your taste buds, head south to Wilmington, Delaware. Every year, Wilmington is home to a pair of huge ethnic food festivals — the Greek Festival at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (808 North Broom Street, Wilmington, 302-654-4446, www.holytrinitywilmington.org) and St. Anthony’s Italian Festival (St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 North DuPont Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-421-2790, www.stanthonysfestival.com).

The Greek festival, which is running through June and is free, features all the traditional favorites from that country including mousaka, pastitsio, tyropita, gyros, chicken and orzo, Greek salad and souvlaki as well as variety of sweet treats including baklava, katifi and an array of special cookies.

Greek-American groups from the Delaware Valley will play popular Greek songs and standards. Other attractions at the free festivals are Greek grocery stores and sales booths with items such as Greek music, icons, custom-made jewelry, leather goods and fabric. There will also be a variety of children’s activities.

The St. Anthony’s Italian Festival, which opens on June 7 and runs through June 14, features cafes, carnival rides, live Italian music and amusement games. This festival is more than just a carnival with rides and food. It also is an educational experience with a focus each year on a different cultural region in Italy.

In 2015, the festival will focus on the Abruzzo region. Many members of the St. Anthony’s community, and many Italian-Americans in the Delaware region, trace their origins back to the Abruzzo.

The festival has become famous for its array of tasty Italian food. Visitors will be able to enjoy such taste treats as spezzato, pizza, sausage and peppers, panzarotti, porkette, clams and spaghetti, pasta fagioli, pizza frita, meatball sandwiches, mozzarella sticks, calamari rings, spaghetti dinners and fresh espresso and cappuccino.

There will be live Italian music every night along with performances by popular music. As an added attraction, the Fralinger’s String Band, one of the all-time best Mummers Parade groups, will perform on June 7 starting at 4:30 p.m.

For the sights and sounds of Africa, consider taking in a show all about Africa — “The Lion King.”

The musical, which features music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, is running now through June 14 at the Academy of Music (Broad and Locust streets, Philadelphia, 215-731-3333, www.kimmelcenter.org), as part of the Kimmel Center‘s “Broadway Philadelphia” series.

The show, which is set in the jungle somewhere in Africa, tells the story of the lion Simba from his days as a newborn cub through his adult years and is filled with sub-plots and unexpected twists. The hyenas – Shenzi, Banzai and Ed – provide a bit of comic relief.

the very best

The Very Best performs June 9 at Underground Arts in Philadelphia.

For the sounds of Africa, you can attend the concert by a band called The Very Best which will take place on June 9 at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia,


The Very Best is Malawi’s Esau Mwamwaya and London based producer Johan Hugo, a native of Sweden. Their music is steeped in the traditional sounds of Malawi, a small nation in West Africa, and infused with modern dance music production. The band is touring in support of its new album “Makes A King.”

“Back in 2006, Esau was running a second-hand shop on the same block as my recording studio,” said Hugo, during a phone interview Thursday afternoon from a tour stop in Chicago. “He said he was a drummer so I invited him to come into my studio.

“He sang on a track and I saw he was a good singer. So, we started working together. The first thing we released was a re-mix of M.I.A.’s ‘Paper Planes.’ We kept making tracks and things took off from there.”

The Very Best produced their first full-length album “Warm Heart of Africa” in 2010. The album features collaborations with Ezra Koenig and M.I.A.. The title track from the album won the World Beat Song award at the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards.

“We put out our second album in 2012 and the third a few weeks ago,” said Hugo. “The songs in our live show is an equal split from the three records.

“We went to Malawi to record the new album — to a small village in the southern part of the country called Mangochi. We recorded it with a lot of Malawian musicians. It’s more organic than our previous records — more of traditional Malawi music. We recorded it outdoors. The whole process was very natural. What I bring to the table as a producer is different. From a production standpoint, it’s mostly western.”

On record, The Very Best is a primarily a two-man show featuring Mwamwaya, who sings in the Malawian language chichewa, and Hugo. For the live shows, the band includes Seye, a Nigerian-English musician who plays guitar and bass, and Justin Taylor from the band Jutty Ranx.

“We wanted to use a Malawian band but we couldn’t afford it right now,” said Hugo. “But, the band we have now does a very good job. It’s still my aim to put together a band of musicians from Malawi for a tour but it will have to wait for awhile.”

Video link for The Very Best — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=REpJKN4udwM.

The show at Underground Arts begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are priced at $17.

brandywine museum Charlotte Blake Alston

Master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston plies her trade at the Brandywine River Museum, June 7.

For a fun and educational day for you and your children, consider a visit to the Brandywine River Museum (Route 1, Chadds Ford, 610-388-2700, http://www.brandywinemuseum.org) on June7.

On the first Sunday of each month, the museum joins with PNC to present a special event for children called “Tell Me a Story.” During the special session which runs from 10 a.m.-noon, children are encouraged to share a personal story through creative writing and drawing activities.

The event also features a special presentation at noon by master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston, who will share stories and songs from the African and African American tradition.

The Brandywine River Museum features free admission every Sunday from 10 a.m.-noon.

This is the 18th year in a row that Historic Yellow Springs (Art School Road, Chester Springs, 610-827-7414, www.yellowsprings.org) will start its summer season with one of its most popular annual events.  On June 7, outdoor jazz returns to Historic Yellow Springs for this year’s edition of “Jazz at the Springs.”

The event, which has been chaired by Board of Directors member Bob Willson ever since its inaugural staging, always features a well-attended concert by a top-flight jazz ensemble.

The featured performer at this year’s “Jazz at the Springs” will be Glenn Ferracone & Friends. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. at a stage on the lawn behind the Chester Springs Studio.

The concert will be held rain or shine. In the event of rain, the show will be moved to the Washington Building. Visitors are invited to bring a picnic basket with food and drinks. Beverages and food items will be available for purchase — including Cap’n Chucky’s popular crabcakes.

The event will also feature a firing of the new Chester Springs Studio Wood Kiln. The current kiln was rebuilt in summer 2014. At the firing, visitors will be able to see wheel throwing exhibitions and purchase items from an array of pottery.

It’s June and that means that it is time once again for the area’s popular strawberry festivals. This weekend, the featured event focusing on the sweet red berry will be the annual Strawberry Festival at Linvilla Orchards (137 West Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com). The festival will be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Linvilla’s grounds in Media.

The festive event will feature children’s entertainment, hayrides, pony rides, face painting, costumed characters, children’s games and contests, live music, ice cream sundaes, giant strawberry shortcake and strawberry treats. It will be “Prince & Princess Day” so kids are encouraged to come dressed up.

Other special attractions will be demonstrations of how to make strawberry jam, live music by Sandi and Jenni, Makin’ Music, Dana Skahill and Rain Check, a hula hoop contest, a photo booth, the Delaware Valley’s largest Strawberry Shortcake and special appearances by Strawberry Dog, Handyman Rob and Bouncing Tiger.

There will also be a Strawberry Festival at Presbyterian Church of Kennett Square (211 South Broad Street, Kennett Square, 610- 444-5255, www.pcks.org) on June 5 from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

wwII air show

The Mid Atlantic Air Museum in Reading is staging its Annual World War II Weekend, this weekend.

The Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s Annual World War II Weekend is celebrating its silver anniversary. This year’s event is the 25th annual staging of the popular event at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum (11 Museum Drive, Reading, 610-372-7333, www.maam.org).

From June 5-7, the museum and its grounds will come alive with an event that features a huge air show with more than 80 vintage military aircraft, 200 restored military vehicles, 1,700 re-enactors and a wide array of artifacts. There will also be a variety of family-oriented activities.

The full slate of special activities includes presentations by many of the event’s special guests, ground displays, a two-hour, 30-vehicle “Liberation of Reading” convoy, a “Military Collectors’ Flea Market”, battle reenactments and live entertainment featuring The Manhattan Dolls, Theresa Eaman, the Ultimate Abbott & Costello Tribute Show, Let’s Dance, Frank Cubillo and Swing Fever.

There will be airshows between 1-4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be an amazing number of vintage military airplanes featured at this weekend’s – both as static displays and as aerial attractions.

Some of the vintage aircraft featured at this year’s WWII Weekend are the Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Fifi”, the Douglas C-54E Skymaster “Spirit of Freedom”, a Stinson L-5C Sentinel, a Yakolev YAK-18, a Fairchild PT-26 Cornell, the Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk “The Jackie C” and a Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVIII.

Video link for WWII Weekend — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DY04yE2daJA.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for children (ages 6-12).

The Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org) presents an event called “Steamin’ Days” on the first Sunday of the month from June-November.

The site, which features the Marshall Steam Museum and the Auburn Heights Mansion, focuses on steam power when it presents “Steamin’ Days,” which 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).

Special attractions include fresh steam-popped popcorn from a vintage popper, a “Firing Up” demonstration using a Stanley steam car, tours of the antique-furnished Auburn Heights Mansion (which was built in 1897), rides on the Auburn Valley Railroad and in select antique automobiles from the Marshall Collection.

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.

Another look at America’s past can be had in downtown Philadelphia.

Visitors to the old, historical district in Philadelphia on June 6 will be able to check out Fete Day 2015 at Elfreth’s Alley, which is located off Second Street (215-574-0560, http://www.elfrethsalley.org).

From noon-5 p.m., the oldest residential street in America will be hosting a traditional festival with colonial flavor. The popular annual festival will feature Colonial crafts, music, storytelling, refreshments, scavenger hunts and a wide array of hands-on games.

Historic Tours of the 32 historic residences on Elfreth’s Alley will be offered between noon and 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students and $60 for families.

Another way to look back at the past — the more recent past —  is to visit the Philadelphia Comic-Con, which will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 1 at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center (76 Industrial Highway, Essington, 856-217-5737, www.philadelphiacomic-con.com).

The popular show features comic books, trading cards and other collectibles — vintage and current. It also hosts a number of special autograph guests.

Guests for Sunday’s event will be Mike Wolfer, artist for “Ragdoll” and other comic issues;
Neil Vokes, artist for “Flesh and Blood,” “Untold Tales of Spider-Man” and “Superman Adventure”; and Bob Gerkin, artist for “Doctor Warped.”

The well-attended collectibles event, which is the area’s longest running comic convention, has a large number of vendors selling for comic books, non-sport trading cards, Manga items and gaming cards.

The show will host dealers from all over the Northeast who will have sales booths featuring Gold & Silver Age comics, Japanese Manga, gaming cards such as Yuh-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering, action figures, non-sport cards, original artwork and all the latest issues of today’s popular comic book series.

As an added attraction, there will be hourly door prizes beginning at 11 a.m. with $100 in show cash to be given away. Show admission is $3.

You will be able to find a wide array of jewelry selections priced very affordably at this weekend’s “International Gem & Jewelry Show” at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-EXPO, www.intergem.com).

The show, which is a sales and exhibition event that features gems, jewelry, fossils and stones of all sorts, is running from June 5-7 and is billed as the “world’s largest jewelry bazaar”.

Admission to the public show is $8 for adults while children (ages 9-16) are free with a paid adult ticket. The show’s policy states that children ages eight and under are not permitted to attend the show.

The “International Gem & Jewelry Show” features an amazing exhibition of gems, minerals and jewelry. Dealers will be displaying and selling every type of gemstone, as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry creations, estate jewelry, special celebrity exhibits and accessories.

The show will have more than 150 dealer booths where show attendees can select items from a wide range of categories, including beads, rings, settings, watches, necklaces, diamonds, opals, earrings, silver, gold, crystals and pearls.

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