What To Do: Porchfest rocks West Chester

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times


This area has many — really many — annual events that have passed milestone anniversaries….and there are some still taking their first few steps.

The Annual West Chester Porchfest (westchesterporchfest.com), which is celebrating its third anniversary this year, will be held on May 18 from 1-7 p.m. Rain date is May 19.

Participants can stroll from porch to porch and enjoy live local talent and the beautiful porches of historic West Chester.

West Chester Porchfest is organized by the West Chester Green Team to promote community building, foster connections and celebrate the return of spring and the beginning of summer.

At locations between the band stages, the WCGT offers environmental education tables like those informing the public about Dark Skies and Living Landscapes and information booths focusing on pollinator gardens and native plants.

Food trucks and picnic tables will be open while children’s activities will add to the festivities.

The entertainment also features a wide range of performers including Kurt Papenhausen and Mateo Niiler, Train Porch, Strawberry Shortcake, Mother Compost, Frank Lloyd Wrong Duo, Log Flume, West Chester Dance Works, Garden Station, Sweet Potato Fries, Manali, Candiflyp, Dowlin Forge, Audubon Strings, The Lenape Brass Ensemble, and Electra Volcana.

Phoenixville’s 81st Annual Dogwood Festival (www.phoenixvilledogwoodfestival.org) is running now through May 18.

The annual staging of the springtime fair will take place at the historic Reeves Park Bandshell (Main Street between third and Fourth avenues, Phoenixville) with live entertainment each night.

The main day for activities at the free festival will be May 18 with a parade and other festivities running from noon-10 p.m. and live entertainment starting at 3 p.m. The parade, which is one of the festival’s showcase events, is slated to get underway at 1 p.m.

Some of the music acts scheduled for the 2023 Dogwood Festival are Daniel Rodriguez, Quick Chills, Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise and Anthony C on Friday and Latin Dance Group, The Holts, Vinyl Roots and Bingo with Aunt Mary Pat on Saturday.

May 18 is a big day in the local equestrian world – the day of the Radnor Hunt (826 Providence Road, Malvern, https://www.brandywine.org/conservancy/radnor-hunt-races).

This year marks the 93rd running of the Radnor Hunt Races. Held on the grounds of the Radnor Hunt in Malvern, the event annually draws an estimated crowd of 20,000. The National Hunt Cup and the Radnor Hunt Cup headline the day’s six races.

The first Radnor Hunt Races were held in 1928 at Chesterbrook, the former estate of A.J. Cassatt. The Races were run annually until racing was suspended during the war years of 1943-1945. The following year George Brooke, II, with the aid of Morris Dixon, Thomas McCoy, Jr., and George Strawbridge, Sr., supervised construction of a new course on the present Club property.

In 1980, the Radnor Hunt and Brandywine Conservancy began a partnership spearheaded by Betty Moran and George “Frolic” Weymouth. Under their leadership, the Radnor Hunt Races are Racing for Open Space. For the past 40 years the Brandywine Conservancy has been the sole beneficiary of the Radnor Hunt Races.

With more than $5 million raised, those funds have fueled the Conservancy’s vital efforts to protect open space and water resources in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware.

The 93rd Radnor Hunt Races, which are held on the W. Burling Cocks Memorial Racecourse in Malvern, will get underway at 1:30 p.m. with The Milfern Cup race. Other featured races are The Thompson Memorial Steeplechase, The Radnor Hunt Cup, The National Hunt Cup and The Henry Collins Steeplechase.

Chester County Studio Tour

The annual Chester County Studio Tour (chestercountystudiotour.com) will be held on May 18 and 19. The tour, which has continued to grow in size and stature from year-to-year, is a showcase for more than 150 different artists whose work will be displayed at more than 75 studios in the area.

Some of the artists whose work will be on display at 2024 edition of the event are Brett Anderson Walker, Paul Vanderwoude, Phillip Hill, Joe Grubb, Lin Webber, Vidya Shyamsundar, Theresa Haag, Erica Brown, Teri Morse, Dan Reed, Monique Sarkessian, Kimberly Hoescht, Nimrat Sandhu, and Diane Cirafesi.

Tour hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on May 18 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 19. The event is free and open to the public.

On May 18 and 19, the Brandywine Ballet will bring its annual spring performance to West Chester University’ Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall (South High Street, West Chester, 610-696-2711, www.brandywineballet.org).

This weekend, the Brandywine Ballet will present the classic family favorite — “Cinderella.”

This spring, Brandywine Ballet will present a full-length, fairytale ballet for its spring show. In a world where we can be anything, Cinderella teaches us to be kind.

Audiences can appreciate Cinderella as she dances with dragonflies through magical gardens, serves her ugly stepsisters, and falls in love with Prince Charming at the Masquerade Ball.

This enchanting ballet will delight and enchant the entire family.

Performance times are noon and 4 p.m. on May 18 and 2 p.m. on May 19.

Ticket prices range from $30-$50.

If you’re a fan of antique cars, you’ll have several options this weekend for events that will interest you.

Antique Car Show & Flea Market at Linvilla Orchards

Linvilla Orchards & the Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania will present an outstanding display of spectacularly restored cars this weekend at their annual Antique Car Show & Flea Market at Linvilla Orchards (137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, 610- 876-7116, www.linvilla.com).

On May 19, the orchard/market/tourist attraction in Media will host the interesting annual springtime event from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The free show, which grows in popularity every year, will be held rain or shine.

Linvilla Orchards has partnered with The Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania (HCCP) for over three decades to present their annual Spring Meet. More than 250 spectacularly restored and maintained antique, classic, and muscle cars will take over one of Linvilla’s big fields.

Visitors to Linvilla Orchards’ car show will be able to get an up-close-and-personal look at a large selection of antique vehicles — all of which have been 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.

As an added attraction, there will be hayrides around the orchard’s grounds and train rides on Linvilla Orchards Playland Express. Other kid-oriented attractions include a playground, a barnyard and face-painting.

The Annual Ambler Auto Show (Butler Avenue, Ambler, http://amblermainstreet.org) will be held May 19 from 1-6 p.m. in the center of Ambler.

Billed as “The Best Little Car Show Around,” the annual event has established a reputation as a quality show.

Butler Avenue will close for the event from Lindenwold Avenue to Main Street so that more than 200 classic cars and their owners can compete for a litany of prizes.

The Ambler Auto Show is designed to be a fun, low-pressure event for auto and truck enthusiasts.

Held each year at the beginning of the regional auto show season, Ambler gives the exhibitor a great opportunity to “tune-up” for upcoming shows. Vehicles are positioned along Butler Avenue covering the major shopping area of Ambler.

Visitors to the show have the opportunity to stop and chat with owners to learn more about each vehicle. Vehicles compete for awards in three categories — The Top 50, Major Sponsor Trophy and the Al Whitcomb Best-in-Show Award.

Additionally, all entrants receive a commemorative dash plaque marking their participation in the show.

There is a big event for specialized memorabilia collectors this weekend — the 80th Philly Non-Sports Card Show.

The event will be held on May 18 and 19 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Station Avenue, Oaks, http://phillynon-sportscardshow.com)

There are two basic categories of trading cards — sports cards and non-sports cards. Sports cards depict athletes at all levels. Non-sport cards offer so much more. There are card sets dealing with music, movies, politics, nature, pop culture and history.

For more than a century, non-sport trading cards have documented trends in pop culture – providing people with history lessons provided by small, rectangular pieces of cardboard.

Twice each year, collectors from across the country come together in eastern Pennsylvania for this very special event. The event is the oldest show of its kind in the country.

Many of the hobby’s top manufacturers will have exhibit booths at this weekend’s show and will be distributing free promo cards. There will be a huge array of non-sport cards, sets, singles, wrappers, chase cards, promos, and related memorabilia.

Some of the artists who will be featured guests are James Warhola, David Gross, Ryan Harris, Gary Gerani, Joe Simko, and Ted Dastick, Jr.

Admission is $12 for one day or $20 for two days. Show Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

ThrillPark Carnival, which features Tons of Fun Shows, is running now through May 21 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Station Avenue, Oaks, www.phillyexpocenter.com).

Tons of Fun Shows have a wide variety of children and adult rides, a good selection of games, and fine foods to excite your taste buds.

The popular event at the Greater Philadelphia Fairgrounds features more than 30 amusement rides and attractions for children and adults.

The ThrillPark Carnival opens at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Admission is $5 with children (36-inches and under) and Seniors (65 and older) admitted free.

Another event at the Expo Center this weekend will be “Feline Frenzy Cat Expo” on May 19.

The event, which runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., is billed as “the ultimate cat lover’s extravaganza — a purrfect gathering of feline enthusiasts.”

There will be cats ready to be adopted, vendors with cat food, treats and toys, and other feline-related items.

Admission is a $10 donation to Feline Frenzy Cat Rescue. Kids 10 and under are admitted free.

There is a saying in Italian, “cento anni,” (pronounced colloquially by Italians as “gen-dahn”) that means “one hundred years” and implies “one hundred years of health.” It is often said during a toast.

For more than 100 years, South Philadelphia has been a stronghold of the city’s Italian-American population. Nowhere is it more evidenced than at the South Ninth Street Italian Market (Ninth Street and Washington Avenue vicinity, Philadelphia, 215-278-2903, www.italianmarketfestival.com).

On May 18 and 19, it will be time once again for the annual “South Ninth Street Italian Market Festival.” The festival’s focus will center on specialty food shops, restaurants, taverns and stores.

The festival, which is free, features the annual “Procession of Saints,” along with live entertainment, family events, crafts vendors and food booths.

It will run from 11 a.m-6 p.m. both days and will be held rain or shine.

One of the festival’s most popular attractions is “Albero della Cuccagna” — the “Grease Pole.”  It is a 30-foot-high pole greased with lard that is located at the Ninth and Montrose Piazza.

Teams will compete on both days for prizes of meats, cheeses, gift cards and money — prizes that are hanging from the top of the pole.

There will be a lot of activities happening on May 19, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with the highly anticipated “Chestnut Hill Home + Garden Festival” (Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, chestnuthillpa.com). It was originally scheduled for May 4 but was postponed because of inclement weather.

The festival features more than 250 vendors set up along the 8000 to 8600 blocks of Germantown Avenue, which will be closed to vehicular traffic. The all-day, family-friendly event will highlight home and garden décor, outdoor craft demonstrations, live music, children’s activities, and more than 200 retailers, restaurants, and businesses within the Chestnut Hill Business District.

Returning this year is the Maker’s Village, featuring craft demonstrations, including pottery, macrame, sewing, and stained glass. The Sustainability Hub will highlight businesses, makers, and organizations working to support the goals of a more sustainable Philadelphia. The Maker’s Village and Sustainability Hub complement the numerous home and garden stores throughout Chestnut Hill.

Actually, the best part of the festival will probably be a post-festival event.

On May 19 at 7 p.m., The Venetian Club (8000 Germantown Avenue) will host a concert by the Michael Allman Band.

If you looked at the name of the headline act Saturday, you would likely draw two conclusions – the music will be Southern Rock and the act will feature a musician who is part of the Allman Brothers musical family.

Allman is the son of the late Allman Brothers Band guitarist Gregg Allman. The son of the guitar great was destined to be a rocker.

The Upper Darby Greek Festival 2024 (St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Upper Darby, 229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, www.saintdemetrios.org) will be held now through May 19 with a wide array of tasty Greek treats such as souvlaki, shish-ka-bob, moussaka, pastitsio and gyros and baklava.

Other activities include vendors with crafts and Greek items and live Greek dancing. The free festival is open from 11 a.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.

There will be live Greek folk dancing on Saturday and Sunday with performances by Pontian Society, St. Demetrios Pegasus and Cypriot Society.

Some of the tasty Greek food available at the festival will be gyros, souvlaki, mousaka, pastitsio, and spanakopita while featured desserts will be baklava, melomakarona, kataifi, galaktoboureko and roxakia.

The Morris Arboretum & Garden (100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-5777, www.morrisarboretum.org) is presenting its “Spring Buds & Blossoms Tour” on May 18.

Participants will be able to experience the vibrant beauty of springtime on this guided walking tour.

They can celebrate spring and discover flowering trees and colorful blooms on the tour, which gets underway at 11 a.m.

The tour, which is free with general admission, begins at Widener Welcome Center.

Admission to Morris Arboretum is Adults: $20; Seniors (65+ years): $18; Youth (3-17 years): $10; and Children (Under 3): Free.

The Strasburg Rail Road (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is running a special train on May 17, 18 and 19 – the “Wine & Cheese Train.”

Passengers can enjoy the luxurious, climate-controlled first-class accommodations and a tasting of select wine, cheese, and crackers as they travel in style down the tracks from Strasburg to Paradise and back. The train departs at 6 p.m. and the total trip time is 45 minutes.

“Wine & Cheese Train” boarding is 30 minutes before the scheduled departure. Riders must be 21 or older and have their photo ID ready when they board.

Featured wines are carefully selected from Waltz Vineyards, and cheeses are paired accordingly. Beer and select non-alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase upon request. Riders can purchase a souvenir wine glass on board the train if desired. Glasses are $8 each.

In accordance with Pennsylvania law, alcohol is only served during the train ride. The rail line is not permitted to serve alcoholic beverages while the train is berthed in the station.

This popular train is available on select Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the season. Tickets are $70.

On May 18 and 19, The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running its Glen Rock Express” at 11 a.m. and its “Hanover Junction Flyer” at 1 p.m.  each day.

The “Glen Rock Express” will travel to Glen Rock and back with the historic PRR GP9 Diesel Locomotive built-in 1959. The ride will be on a former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline that has been in operation since 1838.

The “Hanover Junction Flyer” travels through the Heritage Rail Trail County Park and southern York County countryside on this trip to Hanover Junction.

Rhubarb can be a negative if it refers to an angry discussion or a positive if it refers to a produce item that is frequently used in fruit pies.

On May 17 and 18, the 2024 Rhubarb Festival will be held at Kitchen Kettle Village (3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, 800-732-3538, www.kitchenkettle.com). The festival starts at 11 a.m. on both days.

In Lancaster County, people have been celebrating rhubarb for more than 30 years. This is the time of year when Kitchen Kettle Village comes alive with the sweet aroma of rhubarb jam bubbling in its kettles.

Rhubarb is the harbinger of spring in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and every year Kitchen Kettle Village pays tribute with a two-day food festival filled with delicious and sometimes zany events.

The not-your-everyday annual event will feature attractions and activities for people of all ages, including a rhubarb racecar derby, homemade desserts, the “Rhubarb Stroll” mini-parade, a “Rhubarb Whoopie Pie Filling Contest” and more.

The free, family-oriented event will also feature a wide array of homemade rhubarb foods, including rhubarb dips, rhubarb sauces, rhubarb pies and rhubarb drinks.

On May 18, the annual Skippack Spring Wine Festival (Skippack Pike, Skippack, 610- 584-1155, http://winetober.com) will be staged along the main street of the scenic village near the Skippack Creek in Montgomery County.

The popular annual event will feature more than 30 wine vendors with a tasty array of wine and food samples along with live music.  There will be more than 125 vendors overall.

Some of the wine vendors who will be participating in this weekend’s event are Grace Winery, Le Garage Winery, Cork Dork Winery, Blue Mountain Vineyards, Juanita Valley Winery, Bee Kind Winery, and Benigna’s Creek Vineyard & Winery, Inc.

This year’s Skippack Spring Wine Festival will be held from noon-6 p.m. Tickets for the event, which include food and wine sampling, are $35.

From May 17-19, it will be time for the New Hope and Lambertville “Pridefest” (https://www.newhopecelebrates.com/pridefest/).

The event’s major festivities are “Pride Parade,” “Pride Fair,” “Best Cocktail Contest Crawl,” and “New Hope Celebrates Pride Dance Party.”

The Annual Pride Parade, the signature event of New Hope Celebrates PrideFest will kick off in Lambertville, NJ before marching into New Hope on Saturday. The parade and fair continue to highlight the diverse and inclusive communities of New Hope and Lambertville.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. where New Jersey’s first same-sex marriages were performed in 2013 – Lambertville City Hall — and continue down Bridge Street into Pennsylvania, making it the only Pride Parade which crosses a state line.

Following the Parade, people can gather for the Pride Fair at the end of South Main St. open to the public in the Legion parking lot at the corner of New St. and South Main St. There will be vendors and live entertainment from noon-5 p.m.

Open to all, this fun-filled day brings everyone together to celebrate diversity. Cash bars are available. Admission proceeds will benefit New Hope Celebrates and all PrideFest events.

Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-343-0965, http://www.ushistory.org/hope/) will be presenting a “Guided Mansion Tour” on May 19.

Hope Lodge was built between 1743 and 1748 by Samuel Morris, a prosperous Quaker entrepreneur. Morris acted as a farmer, shipowner, miller, iron master, shop owner, and owner of the mill now known as Mather Mill. Hope Lodge is an excellent example of early Georgian architecture, and it is possible that Edmund Woolley, architect of Independence Hall, offered advice in building. Samuel Morris owned the estate until his death in 1770.

Visitors can participate by watching a short film and then taking a tour. Guided tours of the mansion will depart at 1 and 2:30 p.m.

Tour admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 65+) and for youth ages 6-17, and free for children under 5. Hope Lodge is a Blue Star Museum which means that active-duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, are admitted free for regular tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

If you’re looking for “attractive” attractions or “special” special events, the First State is great. Delaware always has a lot to offer.

The 2024 Brandywine River ShadFest is scheduled for May 19 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Brandywine Park (1080 North Park Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, www.brandywineshadfest.org).

The Third Annual Brandywine River ShadFest is a family-friendly celebration of the Brandywine River and the return of the American shad.

The festival starts at 11 a.m. with live music scheduled for noon.

The wide array of attractions includes fishing lessons for kids, seining demonstration, face painting, live stream bugs, interactive watershed model, t-shirt fish printing, shad obstacle course, food and craft vendors, adult beverages and more.

It didn’t take very long for the Wilmington Grand Prix (various locations around downtown Wilmington, http://wilmgrandprix.com) to evolve from a regional bicycle race to one of the premier cycling events in the country.

The Men’s and Women’s Professional Criterium Races will be an official stop on USA Cycling’s National Criterium Calendar.

The action starts May 17 with the Monkey Hill Time Trial, a 3.2-mile race against the clock through Wilmington’s Brandywine Park. On May 18, there will be a series of races beginning at 9 a.m. and culminating with the Women’s Pro and Men’s Pro races in the afternoon.

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.

On May 19, it will be time for the Ninth Annual Governor’s Ride and the Eighth Annual Delaware Gran Fondo. Last year’s Gran Fondo attracted cyclists from 20 states, including Maine, Florida and Colorado, by offering them a scenic tour through the Brandywine Valley.

On May 18, you can take a trip back to a different era in America’s history by attending the annual “A Day in Old New Castle” in Historic New Castle (off Route 141, New Castle, Delaware, 302-322-5774, http://www.historicnewcastle.com).

The event, which will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., is a special activity that not only celebrates history but also has a lot of history of its own.

It is a tradition of home and garden tours in New Castle that dates back almost 100 years — in a town that was founded 350 years ago.

Billed as the oldest home and garden tour in the United States, “A Day in Old New Castle” provides visitors with the opportunity to see what life was like during the historic era when New Castle served as the capital of the fledgling colony of Delaware.

New Castle was where William Penn first set foot in North America in 1682. New Castle was also the home to two of Delaware’s three signers of the Declaration of Independence. This weekend’s event will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the year of “Union and Freedom.”

Visitors will be able to tour the many homes, gardens and public buildings that witnessed the rebirth of America at the conclusion of the Civil War. Also included are tours of the A.J. Meerwald.

The cobblestone streets of Old New Castle will be alive with activities. There will be confederate and union encampments by Union Patriotic League and Garrison of New Amstel.

Other attractions include blacksmithing, historic caricatures, a Colonial brewer, children’s games, bell ringers, a maypole, carriage rides, beer garden, tours of historic Buttonwood School.

Tickets for “A Day in Old New Castle” are $25 for adults and $5 for children (ages 6-12).

The Annual Bellefonte Arts Festival (Brandywine Boulevard, Bellefonte, Delaware, www.bellefontearts.com) will be held on May 18.

The event, which is scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., will feature more than 50 local artists and artisans who will be selling and demonstrating handcrafted items such as pottery, photography, paintings, “up-cycled art for home and garden,” jewelry, glass, textiles, candles, and mixed media.

There will also be an array of community booths, activities for children and pet lovers, performances of live music in the festival’s big music tent and tasty food treats at the food truck food court.

On May 18 and 19, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “Mimosas with Mom.”

The winery is honoring mom and mimosa lovers with bubbly pours and seasonal specials. This intimate 60-minute experience takes place in the Barrel Room and provides access to some of its latest wine releases.

Each session will begin with a brief classroom-style presentation by a Chaddsford Wine Educator. After the pairings are introduced and explained, your group will have an hour to enjoy the carefully curated selections while raising a well-deserved toast to all the matriarchs in your life.

Each ticket includes one Mimosa, featuring either Sparkling White -or- Sparkling Apple wine, along with a selection of fresh juices and one handcrafted sweet -or- savory Scone from Oso Sweet Bakery and Café.

Outside food is not permitted during this program but guests can enjoy food truck fare from Common Good Pizza.

This program is $23/person with hourly seatings from noon-5 p.m.

Advanced reservations are required and are non-refundable. Guests under 21 years old are not permitted to attend.

Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) is Hosting several of its ultra-popular “Dog Days” over the next week.

The Zoo’s “Dog Days” event will be held on May 17 and 19 from noon-4 p.m. each day.

All guests visiting the zoo with a furry friend must complete an online waiver and submit required documents before visiting the zoo. You must upload a copy of your most recent veterinary visit, including proof of vaccine and heartworm test here. All items will be required for you to attend “Dog Days.”

Pricing is $12.95 per dog. Regular zoo admission is required for all humans.

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) will be presenting “Elmo’s Springtacular” every weekend now through June 16.

“Elmo’s Springtacular” at Sesame Place is filled with furry fun and exciting events – including an exciting line up of meet & greets, music, magic, pirate adventures, and fireworks.

This weekend will feature “Elmo’s Pirate Weekend” on May 18 and 19.

Elmo and his crew are setting sail for a pirate adventure with exclusive showings of “Elmo and the Bookaneers” in The Sesame Street Theater.

Visitors can join in the fun with a Treasure Hunt throughout the park. And they can get a photo with everyone’s favorite furry friends dressed in their pirate garb.

Kids can enjoy an action-packed day with their favorites. Activity will take place at Sesame Studio.

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment