What To Do: Go get really bugged this weekend

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

David Rogers’ Big Bugs

People often tend to swat or squash insects when they encounter them — but that’s not always a good thing. There are many insects who deserve respect and need your love.

This weekend, bug lovers will join with the staff at Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org) for a special event focusing on insects.

On August 27, Tyler, which is one of the oldest and largest arboreta in the northeastern United States, will host the “Big Bugs and Butterflies Closing Celebration” from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

These are the final days for “David Rogers’ Big Bugs,” which will close on August 29.

Visitors to the exhibit find themselves awed and inspired by artist David Rogers’ “Big Bugs” — 10 gigantic insect sculptures on parade through the Arboretum.

Made from natural materials, they remind people of the vital role insects play in the environment. Dotted along the 1.5 miles of the Arboretum’s Scenic Loop, “David Rogers’ Big Bugs” highlights the outsized role played by these tiny inhabitants of the natural world.

“Big Bugs” introduces visitors to 17-foot-long dragonfly, four-foot-wide spider in a 15-foot web, and invites them to picnic with 25-foot-long ants.

The arboretum will have butterfly experts available to provide information on creating a butterfly-friendly habitat in home gardens — an environment featuring all the butterflies’ favorite plants.

Visitors will be able to learn all about butterflies that are native to our area — how they transform from egg to caterpillar, then to chrysalis, and finally to butterfly.

In Tyler Arboretum’s Butterfly House, visitors will be treated to looks at a wide array of native butterflies, including Spicebush Swallowtails, Eastern Tailed Blues, Great Spangled Fritillaries, and, of course, Monarchs.

Tyler Arboretum, a non-profit public garden, encompasses 650 acres of renowned plant collections, heritage and champion trees and historic buildings — along with 17 miles of hiking trails through woodlands, wetlands and meadows.

Kids of all ages can participate in games and make-and-take crafts throughout the day.

Visitors will be able to learn about bees from Church Lane Apiary and check out the Academy of Natural Sciences’ “Amazing Arthropods Touch Table” to see — or hold — their favorite insect friends.

Admission to the festival is included with general admission tickets, which are $15 for adults (ages 16-64), $13 for seniors (65 and older) and $9 for youths (ages 3-15). Children (under 3) are admitted free.

Circus Week at the Garden Railway

The Morris Arboretum (100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-5777, http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/arboretum/index.shtml) is presenting an ambitious special event called “Circus Week at the Garden Railway.”

Scheduled to run from August 26-September 4, “Circus Week at the Garden Railway” invites visitors to watch the circus trains chugging around the quarter mile track with their cargo of elephants, tigers and pandas.

They will also be able to listen for the call of the ringmaster as they watch the colorful trains transport the “Big Top” that includes a chicken railroad car playing the chicken dance tune.

Visitors of all ages will be wowed by a quarter-mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under!), and bustling model trains, all set in the lovely garden of the Morris Arboretum.

The display and buildings are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with miniature rivers.

Each building, while an exact replica of the original, is unique in its design. Philadelphia-area landmarks such as a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pine cone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

Children of all ages will delight in the circus trains and this year’s Railway theme, “In Motion,” that features structures that incorporate movement in their construct.

The activity, which is free with garden admission, will take place at the Arboretum’s Bloomfield Farm.

Admission to Morris Arboretum is $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and $9 for youth.

One of the most popular late-summer events in southeastern Pennsylvania will take place this weekend in Lancaster.

The 18th Annual New Holland Summer Fest (New Holland Community Park, 400 East Jackson Street, New Holland, 717-669-1400, http://nhsummerfest.org) will be held August 25 and 26 and will feature the “Pennsylvania State Championship BBQ Cook-Off and Motorcycle Show.”

New Holland Summer Fest is an National KCBS Certified Barbecue competition. Each year 72 teams from around the country descend upon New Holland Community Park for a weekend of competition and fun.

The Grand Champion automatically receives an entry to the American Royal Contest in Kansas City, Missouri.

The barbecue competition is a major drawing card but the event also has all that you would expect from a country fair — food vendors, children’s activities and souvenir stands.

For the kids, there will be face painting, “Tag-Along,” a clown teaching how to make animal balloons and “Kid’s Q” where they can learn how to barbecue.

The family-oriented event has an admission fee of just $1 and all proceeds benefit Garden Spot Fire Rescue Co. and Community Park. Hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on August 25 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on August 26.

On August 26th, the Fifth Annual Lancaster Craft Beerfest (Lancaster Square and Binns Park, Lancaster, http://lancastercraftbeerfest.com/) is returning to the central district of Lancaster.

The festive beer garden features a site where visitors can drink, eat, and listen to music all in one place. The festival provides craft beer drinkers with an amazing selection of unique beers so they can discover new favorites and revisit old favorites.

More than 60 breweries will be participating in this year’s Beerfest including Victory Brewing Company, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Raven Beer, Collusion Tap Works, Lancaster Brewers, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Liquid Hero Brewery and Stoudt’s Brewing Company.

Live music will be performed by Big Brass and Matt Duncan.

Tickets are $35 with designated driver tickets available for $12.

Another event in downtown Lancaster running through August 27 is the 55th Annual Community Art Exhibit which will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Lancaster Museum of Art (135 North Lime Street,Lancaster, http://www.lmapa.org).

This annual juried exhibition celebrates the vast amount of artistic talent found throughout Lancaster County. Artworks by more than100 artists will be on view — including paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture, metals, carved wood and mixed media.

Awards include First, Second and Third Place as well as Honorable Mention and the People’s Choice Award, voted for by visitors to the exhibit.

A short drive to Media is all that is needed to find one of the tastiest events of the weekend.

All through the summer, the calendar is filled with events focused on fruit in season including raspberries, blueberries, peaches and strawberries.

This weekend, another fruit-based festival is on the calendar of Linvilla Orchards (137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, 610- 876-7116, www.linvilla.com). On August 26, Linvilla will be hosting its annual Tomato Celebration.

Silly Joe will be the host and will be making sure everyone keeps their eyes and ears open to the world of wonder. Live music will be performed by the Trinidad Steel Band at noon and 2 p.m.

Norm Schultz, a local farmer, will discuss growing tomatoes at Linvilla Orchards and explain how and why Linvilla grows the many varieties found on the farm. A tomato tasting from heirlooms to plum tomatoes will be included.

The event will also host a number of costumed characters including Tomato Dog, Dr. Duck and Vet Dog. Officer Offbeat will strolling the area and making people laugh from noon-4 p.m.

Roasty Toasty will be at the “Celebration” from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. making and selling the delicious ears of corn that have become his trademark.

Other activities include hayrides, face painting, train rides on Linvilla Orchards Playland Express, pony rides, visiting the garden center and activities at the Linvilla Orchards Playland Playground.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Linvilla Orchards’ Entertainment Garden.

Ukrainian Folk Festival

On August 27, the annual Ukrainian Folk Festival at the Tryzub Ukrainian American Sport Center (County Line and Lower State roads, Horsham, 215-343-5412, www.tryzub.org) will celebrate its 26th anniversary from noon-8 p.m.

The event is billed as “A resplendent outdoor summer concert marking Ukraine’s independence, the unity of her people, their struggle for freedom and dignity and Ukraine’s entry into the family of advanced democratic nations.”

The artists (dance troupes, musicians, singers and ensembles that have performed in previous years) have created a dynamic and integrated collaborative program. The artistic unity underscores the theme — “United Ukraine — United with Us.”

Recent events in Ukraine such as the twilight struggle against unlawful Russian aggression have forged a unified Ukrainian national identity — both in Ukraine and in the Diaspora.

America’s support of Ukraine’s commitment to a self-determined democratic future — to life, liberty, freedom and justice — has created permanent bonds of friendship between the two nations. This year’s festival honors these special relationships and developments.

The festival, which is one of the most popular late-summer ethnic festivals in the area, starts at noon with children’s activities, vendor areas with Ukrainian crafts, food booths and live music.

The “Gala Festival Stage Show” is slated to get underway at 1:30 p.m. and runs through 4:30 p.m. with performances by Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, violinist Innesa Tymochko Dekajlo and Vox Ethnika Orchestra.

From 4:30-8 p.m., it will be time for “Zabava,” which is billed as a “Public Social Dance.” The “Zabava” at this year’s 25th annual staging of the festival, will feature the Vox Ethnika Orchestra performing a variety of eastern European dance music, including traditional, modern, ballroom and Polka.

There also will be vendors selling a wide variety of mouth-watering Ukrainian foods such as pyrohy (pierogies), holuptsi (stuffed cabbage) and kowbasa (kielbasa). Other items available for purchase include baked goods, picnic fare and cold beverages.

Admission to the festival is $15 for adults, $10 for students and free for children (under 13).

The “Fourth Annual Art in the Park Craft Show” is scheduled to run on from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on August 26 at Mondauk Common Park’s Central Pavilion (1451 Dillon Road, Fort Washington, 215-654-1679, upperdublinlibrary.org) with the rain date set for August 27.

The show will feature more than 70 craft artists with a wide selection of their art — including jewelry, candles, soaps, knitted and crocheted items, digital art, photography, greeting cards, hair accessories and more.

The festival will also feature performances of “Hansel and Gretel” and “Three Little Pigs” by the Upper Dublin Merry Marionettes featuring Miss Jenn. The family-oriented shows will be presented at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The show is free to the public. Parking is available on site. Sandwiches, snacks and cold drinks will be available for sale by The Friends of the Library. All proceeds benefit the Upper Dublin Public Library.

Maybe the only person in America who would make the claim of attending the inaugural staging of The Allentown Fair (17th and Chew Street, Allentown, 610-433-7541, www.allentownfairpa.org) is the current POTUS.

The Allentown Fair

The Allentown Fair is without a doubt one of the oldest festivals in Pennsylvania. It’s an event that has been drawing large crowds ever since ’52 – that’s 1852.

The popular Allentown Fair was first staged in October 1852 when the Lehigh County Agricultural Society held its first fair. The huge annual fair in Allentown is still one of the state’s premier late-summer attractions.

Now known as “The Great Allentown Fair”, the 2017 edition opens on August 29 and runs through September 4. It will be the fair’s 165th anniversary this year.

The Allentown Fair is a fun-filled event that spans generations and appeals to people of all ages. The multi-day event at the Allentown Fairgrounds features thousands of farm, garden and home exhibits and competitions along with thrill rides, amusement games, variety acts, international food and some of the top entertainers currently on tour.

The Grandstand Stage hosts the headline acts – Thomas Rhett – Aug. 29; Keith Urban- Aug. 30; John Mellencamp – Aug. 31; Rascal Flatts – Sept. 1; Pentatonix – Sept. 2; MEGA 99.5 ‘Summer’s Last BASH’ – Sept. 3; and J&J Demolition Derby (September 5).

All Grandstand shows are ticketed events but the fair also offers a wide array of free concerts at Agri-Plex Square, Harvest Patio, Centennial Stage, MainGate Bier Garten & Night Club and the RCN Farmerama Theater.

The fair’s list of daily entertainment attractions also includes Marvelous Mutts,” “Robinson’s Pig Paddling Porkers,” “Lil’ Farm Hands,” the “4-H Petting Zoo,” “Nerveless Nocks All American Thrill Show,” roving comedian/magician Dale Scott and the “Rhinestone Roper Show.”

As always, amusement games and rides are one of the fair’s main attractions. This year, the Great Allentown Fair will again feature thrilling rides and games of skill and chance presented by Powers Great American Midways.

There will also be a wide array of agricultural competitions and exhibits each day at the fair. Tickets are $8 for adults with children under 12 admitted free.

Franklin Square Food Truck Fest

The annual Franklin Square Food Truck Fest is scheduled for August 26 from noon-5 p.m. at Franklin Square (200 North Sixth Street, Philadelphia, http://historicphiladelphia.org).

A $10 entry fee gets you one drink and access to delicious eats at food trucks like The Cow and the Curd, Philly Fry, Bonjour Creperie, Loco Gringo Taco and more.

Food trucks are pay-as-you-go. Live music and lawn games will be also be featured at the event which runs from noon-5 p.m.

Other food-oriented events worth checking out this weekend are the Sixth Annual Delaware Burger Battle on August 26 at the Cauffiel House (1016 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, www.deburgerbattle.com), the Secoind Annual Delaware Taco Festival on August 26 at Frawley Stadium (801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, www.tasteofyourtown.com) and Smoke BBQ Festival on August 27 at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El (1001 Remoington Road, Wynnewood, phillykosherbbq.com)

Guests are invited to visit the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (Lansdowne Drive and Horticultural Drive, Philadelphia, www.japanesehouse.org) on August 27 for the Fifth Annual Philadelphia Obon Festival. The day will include live music, food, Japanese arts and crafts, a flea market, and a traditional bon dance.

Obon is a time in Japan where everyone returns home – even the spirits of ancestors. It’s both a traditional celebration of one’s ancestors and a contemporary summer festival with music, food, and dance. Bon odori, which are dances that vary from place to place, will be showcased at this weekend’s festivities.

The event will run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. All Obon Festival events are free and open to the public.

Anime Day at the Art Studio

If you’re into anime, then you should definitely take a drive to northern Delaware on August 26 for Anime Day at the Art Studio (310 Kiamensi Road, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-995-7661,http://nccde.org/1253/Anime-Day).

Anime Day at the Art Studio is a family-friendly, bento box-sized, anime and manga convention. Guests will be able to meet local manga artists, learn about anime and participate in workshops.

Featured attractions include vendors, anime screenings, Mobile Cloud Video Game Truck (11 a.m.-2 p.m.), cosplay and more.

Some of the highlights of the event, which runs from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., will be the opportunity to play Pokemon TCG  and to participate in colorful “Cosplay Contests.” Because this is a family friendly event, no nudity or overly revealing cosplays.

There will be “Anime Screenings” presented by Delaware Anime Society (DAS)
DAS will present these Funimation Anime videos (all of which are PG-13) — 11 a.m.-12 p.m., “Ouran High School Host Club,” Eps. 1-3; noon-2 p.m., “The Boy and the Beast,” 2-3 p.m., “Trigun” Eps. 1-3, and 3-4 p.m., “Last Exile” Eps. 1-2.

The fun event for anime fans of all ages is free and open to the public.

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