What To Do: Nothing beats a summer fair

Also: Lots to do with Dad this Fathers’ Day

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

Summer kicks off in the area June 21, when St. Joseph's Church in Downingtown holds its annual Community Festival.

Summer kicks off in the area June 21, when St. Joseph’s Church in Downingtown holds its annual Community Festival.

Summertime has arrived and warm weather agendas are usually filled with fun events — especially festivals and country fairs.

The attraction of a summer fair is timeless.

The glow of lights from amusement rides, the sound of carnival barkers and the smell of popcorn, cotton candy and corndogs all are an integral part of summertime experiences for kids of all ages.

From June 21-25, the sights, sounds and smells of a fair will be filling the air in Downingtown when Saint Joseph Church (338 Manor Avenue, Downingtown, 610-269-8294, www.stjoesfestival.com) hosts 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 every day — Downingtown School of Rock and Jive Jump & Wail & Hot Taters (June 21), James McCullough and DeLaSalle String Band (June 22), Top Down (June 23) “Mystery Guest?” (June 24) and Danielle & Jennifer (June 25 — tentative).

A gala fireworks show is slated for June 17. Festival hours are 6-10 p.m. June 21-23 and 6-11 p.m. on June 24 and 25.

kennett brewing companyOn June 21, the Kennett Brewing Company (109 South Broad Street, Kennett Square, 610-444-0440, kennettbrewingcompany.com) is hosting a special event — a music-driven block party to celebrate the brewery’s first anniversary.

The party is scheduled to get underway at 5 p.m. with a live set by Jack Marshall and continue until 11:55 p.m. The Sermon! will perform from 6-7 p.m. followed by Mason Porter at 8 p.m., Mason Super Sermon Porter at 9 p.m. and Joe Hillman and Nick DiSebastian at 10 p.m.

The Kennett Brewing Company will be releasing a special anniversary beer and will also have limited edition anniversary half growlers for sale. Attendees are invited to taste the anniversary beer then enter the “Name the Anniversary Beer Contest” — winner gets a free 32-ounce growler filled with beer of choice.

Tickets will be sold at the door. Ticket options are $10 (one beer ticket and access to music area) and $10 designated driver ticket (meal ticket and access to music area).

If you want more live music under the stars, consider making the short drive to downtown Wilmington.

From June 21-25, Rodney Square in the center of Wilmington will host the 28th Annual DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival (11th and Market streets, Wilmington, 302-576-3095, www.cliffordbrownjazzfest.com).

The free annual event will kick off at 6 p.m. on June 21 with a concert featuring the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band, Maya Bellardo and the Clifford Brown Supergroup. The show on June 22 will present Miles Jaye, Marcus Johnson and the Ultimate Clifford Brown Tribute Band featuring Nicolas Payton, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Leon Jordan Jr., Sharp Radway, Eric Wheeler and John Lamkin.

The line-up for June 23 includes Best Kept Soul, Jibaro con Tumbao with Miguel Orlando and Adriel Gonzales.

On June 24, there will be a concert starting at 6 p.m. with Aniyajazz, Nadjah Nicole and Andra Day followed by a block party at 9:30 p.m.

Music gets underway on June 25 at 1 p.m. with Robert Glasper followed by Saul Rubin Trio, Valery Ponomarev, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Euge Groove and Kim Waters.

If you’re looking for another fun, family event this weekend, a good place to look is Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org).

Winterthur's annual Enchanted Summer Day is Saturday.

Winterthur’s annual Enchanted Summer Day is Saturday.

On June 18 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., the historic site, which is located on Route 52 in northern Delaware just south of the Pennsylvania state line, hosts its annual Enchanted Summer Day — the day when Winterthur’s Enchanted Woods celebrates its anniversary.

Enchanted Summer Day features crafts displays, live entertainers and food concessions. There will be an array of family activities, including storytelling, face painting, kids’ games and strolling entertainment. Hoop chasing, ring toss, and the Game of Graces will be played on the lawn north of Enchanted Woods. Crafts include making tiny turtle puppets, bug-eyed visors, and fluttering friends.

Strolling musicians Slyte of Hand will perform Celtic music. Strolling storyteller Terry Colonna will tell tales as she roams through the woods from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Strolling magician Magic Tad will be performing tricks during the same time as he wanders around the woods.

Family-friendly events are also planned inside the museum that day.

The “Time Traveler’s Tour,” designed for children ages 4-11, leaves every half hour from the Galleries Reception Desk.

The Touch-It Room, near the Galleries Reception Desk, is a kid-oriented space where everything is touchable. From 12:30-4:30 pm, children can explore spaces inspired by a 1750s parlor, a colonial-era kitchen and an 1830s general store. A tea set, kitchenware, dress-up clothes, and wooden toys provide playful ways to learn about early American life.

Preschool packs, available from the Galleries Reception Desk, allow children to discover and learn with hands-on activities that bring to life objects in the first floor galleries. Each of the four packs includes stories, puzzles, and games on a different theme.

Enchanted Woods is a unique children’s garden at Winterthur — a three-acre area where the “fairy folk” have created a magical garden for children of all ages. The site, which is situated under a canopy of majestic oak trees, features attractions such as the Tulip Tree House, Green Man’s Lair, the Troll Bridge and the Faerie Cottage.

Enchanted Woods is located within the larger 60-acre garden at Winterthur, the former country estate of Henry Francis du Pont. Winterthur is famous for its world-class collection of over 85,000 American antiques.

On June 21, there will be a special lecture titled “The Role of Religious Orders in the Introduction of Asian Arts to the Americas.” It will start at 6 p.m. at Copeland Lecture Hall.

Gauvin Alexander Bailey, professor and Alfred and Isabel Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), will examine how missionaries from Catholic religious orders such as the Jesuits and Franciscans — because of their privileged position in the vanguard of European expansion into both Asia and Native America — were able to connect visual cultures of profoundly different peoples across vast distances.

Tickets for the lecture are $15.

Winterthur’s “Music Along the Bank” series continues on June 29 from 5:30-8 p.m. along the banks of Clenny Run with live music by Buffalo Chip and the Heard. Visitors are invited to bring a blanket, picnic, and family and friends to enjoy music under an open sky.

Music starts at 6 p.m. with tickets priced at $15 (with children 16 and under admitted free). The Museum Store and Cottage Café will be open for light fare, wine, beer, and other beverages.

Regular admission to Winterthur is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (62 and older) and students and $5 for children (ages 2-11).

Get Dad flying at "Fatherfest" at the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester.

Get Dad flying at “Fatherfest” at the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester.

Have you ever heard a helicopter in the sky above you and not looked up?

It’s possible but not probable. Checking out a chopper flying overhead is virtually impossible to resist.

If you want to see helicopters flying above, just head to the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center (1220 American Blvd., Brandywine Airport, West Chester, 610-436-9600, www.helicoptermuseum.org) when it celebrates Fathers’ Day on June 19 with its annual event known as “Fatherfest.”

The American Helicopter Museum’s annual “Fatherfest” will get underway at 11 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. Visitors can check out static displays, take a tour of the museum, and — for an extra fee — treat their fathers to a ride in a chopper.

As an added attraction, the popular family event also features remote control helicopter shows, jugglers, “Star Wars” impersonators, science stations, a magic show, and a variety of inflatables (including a 20-foot dual lane slide).

“Fatherfest” will also feature an “Antique Car and Motorcycle Show” with exhibitors competing for prizes, music by DJ Albert with Fast Eddie and an array of concession booths with food, beverages and souvenirs.

Video link for the American Helicopter Museum — https://youtu.be/-T6PoIi79YA.

Admission to the event is $10. Helicopter rides, which will be available from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., will cost $60 per person.

The Morris Arboretum (100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-5777, http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/arboretum/index.shtml) is celebrating Father’s Day on June 19 with “Insider Art Show & Sale” from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and “Grist Mill Demonstration Day” from 1-4 p.m.

The art sale, which features free admission, will be located at Bloomfield Farm. Visitors will be able to enjoy the original art and craft works of Morris Arboretum’s talented staff and members.

“Grist Mill Demonstration Day” will focus on the Springfield Mills at Morris Arboretum — a site that has been carefully restored and made operational once again by a dedicated group of volunteers. Attendees will be able to visit this 19th-century mill and see how corn was milled for meal and flour.

“Family Fun Day” is just part of an exciting weekend at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

“Family Fun Day” is just part of an exciting weekend at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

Special things are happening this weekend at the Delaware Museum of Natural History (4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 302-658-9111, http://www.delmnh.org) — “Family Fun Day” and the opening of a new exhibit.

“Family Fun Day,” which is scheduled for June 18 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., will feature a fossil dig, a puppet show, face painting, Lego robots, nature craft activities, and hands-on science experiments.

Outdoor activities will be provided by the museum’s community partners — Woodside Farm Creamery, DNREC, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment, Faithful Friends Animal Society, WJBR, First State Heritage Park, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network/Manomet, Winterthur, Mt. Cuba Center, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Central YMCA of Delaware, UD’s Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Autism Delaware, DE Division of Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police, Children in Nature and First State National Historical Park.

The new exhibit is “Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss,” which is set to open on June 18 and run through September 5.

“Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss” depicts the mysteries of the ocean’s greatest depths: thermal vents and the unusual creatures that thrive near them, deep-sea research submersibles, and shipwrecks, including Titanic. The exhibit introduces biology, chemistry, geology, history, and the critical role that technology plays in exploring our world.

Museum admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (60 and older) and $7 for children (ages 3-17).

The West Chester Railroad (Market Street, West Chester, 610-430-2233, www.westchesterrr.net) is presenting a pair of special activities this weekend — “West Chester History Train” and “Father’s Day Express.”

The “West Chester History Train,” which is scheduled for June 18 at 10 a.m., offers a train ride back into history to learn about one of the earliest operating railroads in America.

Westtown Township historian David Walter and West Chester University Professor Jim Jones will provide an interactive presentation and bring the scenic eight miles of track alive with the area’s rich history.

Special focal points along the railroad are Oakbourne Station, Westtown Station, Chesterbrook Farm (now Wiggin’s Tree Farm), Cheyney Station, Locksley Station, and the final stop of Glen Mills. The station at Glen Mills will be open with railroad-related displays in the waiting room for all passengers to enjoy.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for children (ages 2-12).

The “Father’s Day Express” trains will depart at noon and 2 p.m. on June 19 and feature a 90-minute round trip train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on his special day. All dads ride for a special reduced fare.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for children (ages 2-12) — and $5 for fathers.

The Wilmington & Western Railroad (2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-998-193, www.wwrr.com) will run its “Father’s Day Express” on June 19 at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

This event is powered by a visiting steam locomotive — Lehigh Valley Coal Company No. 126 — which will be in Delaware as part of the rail line’s series of 50th Anniversary events.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $13 for senior citizens and $12 for children (ages 2-12). Dads can purchase their tickets for half-price.

Without question, one of the most popular special attractions each year at the Strasburg Railroad (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is “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 nine days of “Day Out With Thomas” from June 18-26.

 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.

intercourse logoFrom June 17-19, Intercourse Community Park (3730 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gordonville, 717- 768-8585, http://www.intercourseheritagedays.com) will host “Intercourse Heritage Days.” The free event will open at 5 p.m. on Friday, 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Activities on June 17 will include Lancaster’s Flavor Fest Celebration, a pedal tractor pull, a petting zoo, a spelling bee, a volleyball tournament, the “Ninth Annual Shoofly Pie Baking Contest, music by the Sunny Side Blue Grass Band and the “Heritage Display of History of Intercourse.”

The schedule for June 18 features the “Pancake and Sausage Breakfast in the Park,” “Together Initiative’s Fifth Annual Run, Ride, Walk & Scoot Activities,” a food showcase, a volleyball tournament, a “Kids Variety Show,” music by The Churchmen, an antique tractor show and a fireworks display at dusk.

“Heritage Events,” which will be presented throughout the day, include demonstrations of horseshoeing, butchering, sling shooting, and wood carving. On June 19, the event will wrap up with a “Sunday Worship Service” starting at 10 a.m. at the Intercourse Park.

The annual Hay Creek Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, which will be held on June 18 at Joanna Furnace (1250 Furnace Road, Geigertown, 610-286-0388, http://www.haycreek.org), will feature a wide variety of vintage vehicles spanning more than 80 years of transportation history.

Rows of antique cars will be on display throughout the day — from 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Also during this June Third Saturday at Joanna Furnace event, local veterans of all U.S. Wars will be honored. At 9:45 a.m. the official veterans’ celebration begins with the flag raising and the National Anthem sung by Phyllis Hummel.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors can “Meet A Vet”. Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War will be located in the tent behind the main stage with table set-ups of personal memorabilia from their service and will talk to visitors about their war experiences.

Also, visitors can interact with numerous re-enactors and historians portraying military personnel from all branches of the U.S. military including a Civil War re-enactor, Revolutionary War re-enactor, and over a dozen re-enactors from the Greater Pennsylvania Military Vehicle Historical Society with 20th-century vehicles and military displays. Visitors will be able to talk with all the re-enactors from various military units and see their encampments, vehicles, weapons and equipment.

This free admission event runs from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. The day begins with the Joanna Furnace Breakfast Buffet served from 7-11 a.m. The monthly flea and vendor market opens at 7 a.m. 

Other attractions include 19th-century manufacturing equipment demonstrations, a Model-T transmission seminar showing the simplicity and uniqueness of Henry Ford’s Model-T transmission, the Hay Creek Hill Climb, and “Veterans in Review.”

There will also be a “Flag Retirement Ceremony.”  Any visitors who are in possession of torn and tattered flags are encouraged to bring them along so that they may be honorably disposed of.

St. Anthony’s Italian Festival (St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 North DuPont Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-421-2790, www.stanthonysfestival.com is entering its home stretch and will close on June 19. The event 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. This year, the focus is 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 is a $5 admission fee for all visitors ages 14-61. Seniors (age 61 and older) and children (age 13 and under who are accompanied by parent or guardian 18 or older) will be admitted free.

On June 18, the 2016 Juneteenth Festival in Germantown (www.freedomsbackyard.com) will be held along the 6300 Block of Germantown Avenue. Midway through June each year, Historic Germantown honors the end of slavery in the U.S. during its annual Juneteenth Festival at The Johnson House.

The community festival begins with the Freedom Walk on Germantown Avenue leading up to a day of performances, family-friendly events and educational activities teaching visitors about the history of anti-slavery and abolitionist movements.

The event begins at 10 a.m. at 5109 Germantown Avenue — at the State Marker commemorating the site of the writing of the First Protest Against Slavery.From there the “Freedom Walk” parade will march up Germantown Avenue to the Johnson House to kickoff festivities.

The list of attractions includes historical re-enactments, food, live music, a cultural marketplace, a “Black Colleges Matter Panel,” an “Unsung Hero Award Ceremony” and a Beer Garden.

The Garden State Discovery Museum (2040 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 856-424-1233, www.discoverymuseum.com) is offering special events for both kids and adults this weekend.

On June 18, the children-oriented museum will host “Come As You Art! A Party For Grown Ups.” The event, which runs from 7:30-11 p.m., is an indoor and outdoor night of art activities and auctions, food, local wines and beer.

The gala, which is one of the museum’s primary annual fund-raising events, will also offer live musical entertainment featuring the Stan Maltz Big Band Orchestra.

On June 18 and 19, the Garden State Discovery Museum will have a special attraction guaranteed to keep kids’ interest — the “Bubble and Bounce Festival.”

The festival, which is being staged to commemorate the museum’s birthday month, will take place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. each day.

Admission to the Garden State Discovery Museum is $13.95 for adults and children (12 months and over) and $12.95 for seniors. Children visiting the Museum must be accompanied by an adult (18 or older).All programs are free with admission unless otherwise noted.

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