What to do: Tall ships, tours, festivals, history, beer gardens & more

Regional events calendar says summer fun is in full swing…


By DENNY DYROFF, Staff Writer, The Times


Most area residents are familiar with Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-100, www.longwoodgardens.org) and much of what it has to offer. However, many have enjoyed the site’s beautiful gardens and fountains during the summer in a daytime setting only.

This year visitors to Longwood will have the opportunity to enjoy visually-impressive sights at Longwood, after the sun goes down, when the site presents the after-dark-only installation “Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.” The installation, which will be open from July 1 through October 31, brings the garden to life after dark with colorful lights and moving images that are choreographed to music. “Nightscape” will take place in various areas of the garden — Rose Arbor, Large Lake, Flower Garden Drive, Legacy Tree, Flower Garden Walk, Topiary Garden, East Conservatory and Silver Garden. The installation will be on view Wednesdays through Saturdays, and will open every day at sunset.


rubber duck

Rubber Ducky will be floating into Philadelphia as a part of the Tall Ships Festival

“Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience” was created by Philadelphia’s Klip Collective, a group known for its impressive installations at the Philadelphia Flower Show.



Longwood  will also host a variety of special events during “Nightscape,” including a new beer garden in collaboration with Victory Brewing Company. The beer garden will feature a special and three beers on tap (including the new custom brew “Longwood Seasons: Summer Zest”).



The beer garden will also be the site of live music every Thursday from 7-10 p.m. and feature a roster of performers that includes Angela Sheik (July 23, August 20, September 17, October 22), Marc Silver (July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8 and 15), Jon Dichter (July 16 and 30, August 27, September 24, October 29) and Dani Mari (August 6, September 3, October 1). Video link for “Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PtY-nRxWzhA. Tickets are $27 for adults, $17 for students (ages 5-18) and free for children (ages 4 and under).
There are two absolutely great reasons to head into Philadelphia this weekend — tall ships and superheroes. The Tall Ships Philadelphia – Camden 2015 Festival is running now through June 28, and the Marvel Experience will be in town now through July 5.
The Tall Ships Philadelphia – Camden 2015 Festival (Delaware River between Philadelphia and Camden, http://tallshipsphiladelphia.com) will feature a fleet of visiting tall ships — international and domestic — along with the Independence Seaport Museum’s Olympia, Camden’s Battleship New Jersey and Rubber Ducky, the world’s largest, at 61 feet tall and weighing 11 tons.



A tall ship is a traditionally-rigged sailing vessel with tall masts and several broad sails. This weekend’s event will feature an array of ships ranging from the relatively small 65-foot Serenity to the Barque Eagle, the U.S. Coast Guard’s tall ship which is the length of a football field and just under 150 feet tall. The roster of participating tall ships also includes L’Hermione, El Galeon Andalucia, Gazela, Picton Castle, When and If, Sagres, Tree of Life, Privateer Lynx, A.J. Meerwald, Hindu, Pride of Baltimore II and Northwind.

There will be entertainment areas along the waterfront on both sides of the Delaware River include performance stages, food and souvenir vendors, informative exhibits, Ferris wheels and beer gardens. The festival will have live entertainment acts includes Trinidelphia, Hardtackers, Jennifer Dixon, Sea Dogs, Active Navy Rock Band, Man About a Horse, Stella Ruze, Jolly Tars, Beat Tells and Swing the Cat. There will be “Day Sails” each day, along with on-board tours of tall ships and a fireworks display Saturday evening.



The Independence Seaport Museum (211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.) will transform its second-floor balcony into the “Tall Ships Tavern” which will be open from noon – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday and noon-8 p.m., Sunday.
Tall Ships Philadelphia – Camden tickets range from a $7 single-day pass to a $24.99 multi-day pass. On-board tours are $15.99 and sailing passes are priced at $85. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketfly.com or 877-4FLY-TIX.
Kids of all ages — especially fans of comic books and action heroes — will find plenty to like at The Marvel Experience (Lincoln Financial Filed, Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, themarvelexperiencetour.com). For the next week-and-a-half, ‘The Linc’ will be the temporary home of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.) as it attempts to teach a new class of recruits how to protect the world from evil.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has assembled Marvel’s Avengers to battle Red Skull and HYDRA and they need help. Tour participants can sign up as a S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit at the world’s first ever Super Hero Recruitment Tour, and become a part of the team of superheroes. Recruits will have the opportunity to fly with Iron Man, swing with Spider-Man, smash with Hulk and She-Hulk, and test their skills in the Black Widow’s laser maze.Officially known as “The Marvel Experience: The World’s First Hyper-Reality Tour,” the attraction features a variety of activities highlighted by a 360-degree stereoscopic full-dome 3-D projection theater and a visually-impressive, action-packed motion ride. Video link for the Marvel Experience — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=goA2BW9vdPg. Tickets are $49.90 for adults, $39.90 for kids and $79 for VIP passes.
Wawa Welcome America (http://www.welcomeamerica.com) is an eight-day festival of free events in Philadelphia in celebration of America’s birthday — a festival that culminates with an abundance of festivities on Independence Day.
This year’s event starts on June 27 when the Shops at Liberty Place (1625 Chestnut St.) host a day of family activities with an Alice in Wonderland theme from noon-4 p.m.wawa welcome america



On June 29, the Franklin Institute (222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, 215-448-1200, www.fi.edu) is offering free admission from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. along with fun and educational readings and book giveaways throughout the museum from 10 a.m.-noon. At 8:30 p.m., there will be a free screening of Disney’s “Big Hero 6” at Franklin Square (200 North Sixth Street).
The Philadelphia History Museum (15 South Seventh Street) will also be generously offering free admission June 30. Another free screening will be held that evening at Dilworth Park (1 South 15th Street). The 8:30 p.m. screening will feature the 2014 version of “Annie.”

On July 1, the African American Museum (701 Arch Street) will also offer free admission from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. At 9 p.m., with a free screening of “Rocky” in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway).
On July 2, the National Constitution Center (525 Arch Street) is the “free admission for a day” museum and nearby Independence Mall (Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets) will be the site for “Wawa Hoagie Day” where complimentary Wawa hoagies will be given out between noon and 1:30 p.m.
For music lovers, Downingtown’s 2015 Summer Jam series (Mill Alley, Downingtown, 610-269-1523, http://www.downingtownmainstreet.com/calendar) gets underway on June 26 with two stages of live music and an array of food vendors, music acts and lots of food.



The Summer Jams, which are sponsored by Kimberton Whole Foods, Synergema and School of Rock, will be held on June 26, July 31 and August 28 from 5-9 p.m. each night. On June 26, the School of Rock will perform on Stage 1 while Stage 2 will feature Clarabell, Pistachio Flavored Shoes and Tessellations. Food vendors will be Margo’s Ice Cream shop, The Happy Pita, and Big Poppy Kettle Corn. Admission to the Summer Jam is free.summerjamseries_2015
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 27 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and June 28 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The festival will feature cool, tasty treats produced by 11 regional ice-cream vendors and restaurants — Sweet Lucy’s, UD Creamery, Kilby Cream, Caffee Gelato, Hy-Point Farms, Ice Cream Shoppe, Battiato Farms, Iswich Gourmet, Little Babys, Paleteria y neveria Tocumbo and Yuenglings Ice Cream; it will also hosts a wide array of food and snack.

In addition to ice cream, there will be a number of special family-oriented activities including Brandywine Traveling Zoo, Juggling Hoffman’s, Annie’s Menagerie, Jungle John, Stilt Walker Woody Duncan and Ascend Flow Arts and steam engine demonstrations provided by Auburn Heights Marshall Steam Museum. Additionally, continuous live music will be presented both days featuring Kategory 5, Diamond State Orchestra, No Stringz Attached, Hailey Music, Super Ngewel, Kombu Combo, Weekday Warriors, School of Rock – Wilmington, Poor Yorick, New Shields, Ballet Folklorico Mexico Lindo, Black Bird Society Orchestra, Nxt2normal and Chesapeake Brass Band. Video link for Rockwood Park Ice Cream Festival — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hryCBU9jBHI. Tickets for the festival are $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12.
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 33rd Annual Canal Day on June 28. Canal Day will run from 8:30 a.m.-4 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 requests a $5 donation as admission fee, will also feature the 28th Annual Schuylkill River Trail Run and the 17th 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, Civil War re-enactors and live music from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. featuring Blue Plate Special followed by Christine and Company. 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.
One of the area’s nicest summertime family events is Camphill Kimberton’s Hootenanny, a popular festival of local music and food. The event will be held on June 27 from 3-10 p.m. at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills (1601 Pughtown Road, Kimberton, 610-935-0300, www.camphillkimberton.org).
The roster of musicians for this year’s Hootenanny features (in order of appearance) Andy Mann, Without a Paddle, Sidney Joseph, Contra Dancing (with Joe Pescatore and Herd of Cats) and The Beaver Farm Boys. The Hootenanny has been organized to celebrate the joy of local culture. In addition to the music, there will be family games, face painting, dancing and hayrides. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children (ages 10 and under).Proceeds from the Hootenanny will go to Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, which is a farming and handcrafting community founded in 1972 that includes adults with developmental disabilities.
Families will also enjoy a special event that is scheduled for June 27 at the Mill at Anselma (1730 Conestoga Road, Chester Springs, 610-827-1906, http://anselmamill.org). From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the historic site will present “Colonial Children’s Day,” which features a variety of colonial activities in addition to the Mill’s normal tours and hands-on activities.



The list of special attractions includes 18th-century puppet theater shows, a hands-on workshop for children with the puppeteers, an 18th-century magician, a number of different children’s games that were popular during the colonial era and an 18th-centiry ice cream making demonstration in which the kids in attendance help make the ice cream. Food, ice cream and other refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (age 60 and older) and $3 for children (ages 4-17). All children who attend this event dressed in colonial attire will receive free admission. In the event of inclement weather, all activities will be held inside the Mill.
A colonial vibe can also be found  at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation (Ridley Creek State Park off Route 3, Media, 510-566-1725, www.colonialplantation.org) June 27, when the historic site just outside of Media, will host its annual “French and Indian Skirmish.”
In 1758, a party of six Shawnee Indians and four Frenchmen attacked the homestead of the Jemison family on Marsh Creek, near modern-day Chambersburg. That was the start of something – something that was not so good.



colnial plantation skirmish



In colonial Pennsylvania between 1754 and 1764, there was a conflict generally referred to the “Seven Years’ War” but was also known as the “Old French War” or the “French and Indian War”. The plantation will serve as a backdrop for scenes from the French and Indian War.



Visitors will be able to watch the Rodger’s Rangers as they discover a French raiding party and then witness the skirmish that follows. Guests will also be able to visit the French and British campsites and talk to the soldiers. There will also be cooking, woodworking and other everyday activities of the colonial time period. Refreshments and souvenirs may be purchased at the event. Activities will run from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with skirmishes scheduled for 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children (ages 4-12).
If you want to get another look back at the region’s past, you can do it this weekend at a pair of special tours in the Glen Mills/Concordville area. The Friends of Old St. Thomas are conducting tours of Ivy Mills in Concord Township and Old St. Thomas Church in Chester Heights from 1-3:45 p.m. on June 28.



Old St. Thomas Church is the home of the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Pennsylvania. The church’s cornerstone was blessed by Bishop Neumann – now known as St. John Neumann – back in 1852.
Ivy Mills, which is the third oldest paper mill in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1729 by Thomas Wilcox. Benjamin Franklin was a customer of Ivy Mills – selling rags and purchasing paper from the company. Willcox’s paper mill made the paper used in currency for all the original colonies and then later did the same for the U.S. Mint. The tours of the sites will also be presented on July 26, August 23, September 20 and October 25. The event is free but donations are requested. For additional information, call (610) 459-8392 or visit www.fost.us.
For many people, cold and tasty beer is a focal point of each summer and it will certainly be the focal point of the Fifth Annual Chester County Homebrew Festival (http://chestercountybrewfest.com) which will be held on June 27 from 6-10 p.m. The popular seasonal event has a new home this year — moving from downtown West Chester to a larger site at 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 $35 apiece, include a buffet-style dinner, live music by Subterranean Groove Theory, a souvenir event glass and “voting chips” for the People’s Choice Award.
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 27, 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 and live music all three days. Some of the featured acts will be DJ Cutman, Mega Ran, Descendants of Erdrick, Those Who Fight and The Living Tombstone. 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 range from $18-$30 with three-day passes available at $35.guitar show
On June 27 and 28, the Expo Center will host the Great American Guitar Show, which is the Philadelphia edition of the Bee-3 Vintage Guitar Shows series. This event is a “Buy-Sell-Trade Show’ with hundreds of dealers, builders, collectors, and manufacturers offering new, used, collectible, and vintage guitars, amps, effects, and accessories. Hours are from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $12 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday.
This year’s Kutztown Folk Festival (Kutztown Fairgrounds, off Route 222, Kutztown, 888-674-6136,www.kutztownfestival.com) will open on June 27 and continue through July 5. Admission to the festival is $14 for adults, $13 for senior citizens and $5 for students (13-17) with children (12 and under) admitted free. The popular annual event, which is billed as a celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch culture, features traditional crafts, food, music and folk life. The festival will open its gates each day at 10 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. (June 29 and 30; July 1, 2 and 5) or 8 p.m. (June 27 and 28; July 3 and 4).
The festival also offers non-stop entertainment with country auctions, parades and bands, fiddling, live music and dancing, comedy, storytelling and historical seminars. The presentation of Pennsylvania Dutch culture will feature a variety of activities daily, including farming and gardening, churches and weddings, folk life, Pennsylvania Dutch dialect and folklore, furniture, spinning and weaving, country cooks and candle making. Children will be entertained by puppet shows, make-and-take crafts sessions, visits with baby farm animals, real-life haystacks, story time sessions, a hay maze, sing-alongs and a variety of hands-on activities. As always, there will be plenty of booths featuring Pennsylvania Dutch food treats and beverages, including family style feasts, shoo-fly pies, sausage sandwiches, pastries, country chicken dinners, strawberry shortcake, funnel cakes, ox roasts, sarsaparilla and chicken potpie.
“Celebrate Lancaster” (717-291-4758, www.lancastercityevents.com), which will be held on June 26 in downtown Lancaster, is designed to display the culture and diversity of Lancaster and the people who live and work here. Attendance has grown to close to 15,000 in recent years for the festival — an event that offers local food, local wine and beer, entertainment, fireworks, and a festive atmosphere in downtown Lancaster. There will be local and regional entertainment at both Penn Square and at Binns Park along with more than 20 food venders set up along North Queen Street. Two beer and wine pub areas will also be set up at Penn Square and Binns Park. The event gets underway at 11:30 am. Live music begins at 5 p.m. and the fireworks finale from top of the Duke Street Parking Garage is scheduled to light up the sky at 10 p.m.
This weekend, the Mount Hope Estate & Winery (Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021, www.PaRenFaire.com) will host the 17th 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 27 and 28 with tickets priced at $26.95 for adults and $10.95 for children (ages 5-11). The Celtic Fling will also feature a special Celtic concert with Carbon Leaf and Gaelic Storm on June 27 at 7 p.m. with tickets listed at $29.95.
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.



   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment