From Pennsylvania Dutch country to Philly to the Jersey Pinelands to Southern Delaware, there's something for everyone this week. Robin Bloom shares her picks.
Wawa Welcome America, the multi-day festival celebrating America's birthday in America's birthplace, kicks off this Saturday, June 28 with the Liberty Block Party, as the streets around the Shops at Liberty Place are closed down for a free celebration from noon to 10pm. Sample food from local restaurants and food trucks, enjoy live entertainment on two stages, plus many more family friendly activities. R&B group New Edition will be honored by the City of Philadelphia. Events continue with a Mural Arts Paint Day on Sunday, June 29, 12pm-4pm, East Parkside, 1100 N. 41st Street, Philadelphia. Go 4th & Learn activities (including free admission to the Academy of Natural Sciences), outdoor movie screenings, Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert at Penn's Landing on Tuesday, July 1, 8pm and Wawa Hoagie Day, Wednesday, July 2, on the Independence Visitor Center Lawn between 5th & 6th Streets beginning at noon with five tons of free hoagies! Admission to the National Constitution Center is free on July 2 courtesy of Wawa. Catch a special exhibition about the history of the company and the hoagie. In coordination with Independence Week in historic Philadelphia - all leading up to the July 4th festivities.
Cape May - Lewes Ferry at 50
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry has served the twin capes of Cape May, New Jersey and Lewes, Delaware since July 1, 1964, having transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. Celebrate the 50th anniversary with WHYY at our live broadcast of NewsWorks Tonight, Friday, June 27, 6pm at Lewes Canalfront Park. The party continues Saturday, June 28 at the Cape May Ferry terminal and Sunday, June 29, at the Lewes Ferry terminal, beginning at 9am both days. Events include a classic car show, children's activities, food, live outdoor concerts, screenings of the WHYY documentary Billion Mile Journey, and fireworks. Special vehicle and passenger fares offered.
Awesome Fest has returned with free outdoor summer movie screenings at several locations across Philadelphia including Clark Park, the Oval, and Liberty Lands Park, as well as indoor at the Trocadero. The theme is rock & roll - "The Soundtrack of Awesome" – featuring a lineup of independence cinema, retro screenings, yet-to-be-released Hollywood Blockbusters, music, and stand-up comedy.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
Spruce Street Harbor Park opens to the public this weekend, Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28, beginning at 11am. The summer pop-up park features a boardwalk, urban beach, floating barges, mist walk, lily pad gardens and more at the Penn's Landing Marina, Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street, Philadelphia
Out of this World: Works by Steve Tobin
The James A. Michener Art Museum highlights the epic works of Bucks County native and world-renowned sculptor Steve Tobin. Known for his 9/11 public memorial, The Trinity Root in Lower Manhattan, Tobin's internationally recognized sculptures in bronze, metal, clay and various types of media, mirror the intricacies of natural and physical elements. Out of this World opens June 28 and features a broad range of the artist's works from the past decade inside and outside the museum, including placements of his sculptures throughout Doylestown. Opening day festivities shared at Fordhook Farm as part of the Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program, showcasing Tobin's massive sculptures within the garden grounds. The exhibit continues through October 26 at 138 South Pine St, Doylestown, PA. Programs and events include lectures, gallery talks, visits to Tobin's Quakertown studio, a dance performance and more. Pictured: Syntax, cast and welded bronze (photo by Kenneth Ek)
BUGS: Outside the Box
See insects in a whole different way at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. BUGS: Outside the Box showcases the beauty hidden within the mini-beasts of the natural world with giant sculptures by scientific artist Lorenzo Possenti, including a colorful butterfly with a five foot wingspan, a heavily armored stag beetle with jaws as big as a person's leg, a longhorn beetle with antennae more than 12 feet across, and more along with the opportunity to create your own bugs, a Touch Zone, and Magnification station. Learn fun facts about the metamorphosis, adaptability, camouflage, and important roles insects play, through September 1, 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE.
Regional Family Festivals
Jersey Shore Festivals
The 20th annual North Wildwood Italian-American Festival takes place Friday, June 27 through Sunday, June 29. The celebration of Italian-American heritage, food and music features authentic Italian-American foods, vendors, dancing, children's activities, live entertainment, and more, at 1st & Olde New Jersey Avenues, North Wildwood, NJ. Cape May hosts its annual Victorian Family Fair (pictured), Saturday, June 28, 10am-4pm, a traditional Victorian fair with activities for all ages including live musical performances, crafts, collectibles, living history characters, children's activities, refreshments and more, on the grounds of the Victorian House museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. The inaugural Cape May Seafood Festival takes place the same day, 11am-9pm, with local seafood and live entertainment at Convention Hall. The Jazzy Scallop Seafood Festival is Saturday, June 28, 2:30pm-5pm, Viking Village, 19th Street & Bayview Avenue, Barnegat Light, NJ.
Whitesbog Blueberry Festival
The annual Whitesbog Blueberry Festival is Saturday, June 28, 10am-4pm, celebrating the centennial of the cultivated Highbush Blueberry (the official state fruit of New Jersey) with an old fashioned festival including pinelands crafters and artists "row," walking and wagon tours, children's activities, live country bluegrass music, blueberry pie-eating contest, old time General Store, living history actors, and more, including a hunt for the Jersey Devil (pictured), Whitesbog Historical Village, Brendan Byrne State Forest, Browns Mills, NJ.
Kutztown Folk Festival
The 65th Annual Kutztown Folk Festival celebrates Pennsylvania Dutch culture June 28 through July 6, with expanded hours from 10am-8pm. The "oldest folk festival in America" offers festivities for the entire family including traditional crafts by 200 juried American craftspeople, historical reenactments, the largest quilt sale in the nation, children's activities, and food, Kutztown Fairgrounds, 225 North White Oak Street, Kutztown, PA, Route 222, between Allentown and Reading.
Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park
The Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park, "Delaware's largest family picnic," is back with family fun for all ages, including live music, vendors, local restaurants, craft beer garden, eco-crafters and local creameries serving the region's best ice cream, Saturday, June 28, 11am-6pm, and Sunday, June 29, 11am-5pm, Rockwood Park, 4671 Washington St. Extension, Wilmington, DE. Bring your own blanket!
Festival de Aibonito at Camden Children's Garden
Camden Children's Garden hosts Festival de Aibonito, Puerto Rico Family Festival, Saturday, June 28, 1pm-4pm, with Hispanic arts and crafts, games, Puerto Rican activities and tropical fruit! Also, live music, part of Camden's Parada San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist parade), 3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ.
The Schuylkill Canal Association celebrates the 32nd annual Canal Day @ Lock 60, Sunday, June 29, 8:30am-4pm with live music, crafts, food, and more along the Schuylkill Canal at Lock 60 and St. Michael's Park, Mont Clare, PA.
Fairy and Wizard Festival at Tyler Arboretum
Tyler Arboretum hosts a Fairy and Wizard Festival, Sunday, June 29, 10am-2pm, with magical activities and crafts, shows, parade, music, and more, along with the opportunity to explore the Butterfly House, 515 Painter Road, Media, PA. Free with admission, rain or shine.
New season at Freeman Stage at Bayside
The Freeman Stage at Bayside, the outdoor performing arts venue in Selbyville, Delaware, hosts another season of arts and entertainment events with Vocal Trash, Friday, June 27, 7pm, Rehoboth Summer Children's Theatre, Saturday, June 28, 10am, Forever Motown, Saturday, June 28, 7pm, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Wednesday, July 2, 8pm, and more throughout the summer at 31750 Lake View Drive, just 4 miles west of Fenwick Island at the intersection of Route 54 and Route 20.
John Flynn performs this Friday, June 27, 7pm at the Friends Meeting House, 4th & West, Wilmington, DE. The Delaware recording artist and activist is introducing his new CD and raising money for New Beginnings – Next Step, a support group that helps men and women leaving prison to become productive members of society. Many of Flynn's songs have been inspired by his long-time work with ex-offenders and blend folk, country, rock, Celtic, gospel, and blues. His new album Poor Man's Diamonds features guests Kris Kristofferson, David Amram and Steve Fishell.
JJ Grey & Mofro
There are two chances to catch southern storyteller JJ Grey & Mofro this weekend. They'll perform in our area Friday, June 27, 8:30pm at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia. Doors open at 8pm. This show was rescheduled from February 13th, 2014. The country soul-rocker is joined by Thomas Wynn & the Believers. They'll also be in Dewey Beach, Delaware at Bottle & Cork, Sunday, June 29, 8pm, 1807 Highway One.
40th Street Summer Series returns
The 40th Street Summer Series returns to Philadelphia the last Saturday of the month through September at 6pm, opening June 28 with a performance by Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra (pictured) and Music Over Matter (MOM), along with complimentary ice cream and family activities. Upcoming performances include Raphael Xavier W.O.R.X. Meets Bobby Zankel's Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, the Avalon String Band, and Nation Beat, behind the Walnut Street Free Library, 40th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. Free.
Honey Island Swamp Band and the California Honeydrops
Honey Island Swamp Band and the California Honeydrops (pictured) bring blues, roots and New Orleans sound to Ardmore Music Hall, Saturday, June 28. Doors open at 8pm, show is at 9pm, 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA.
Rufus Wainwright stops in our area Tuesday, July 1, 7:30pm to perform in the open air theatre at Longwood Gardens. The son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle is on a world tour promoting his latest release, a career retrospective called Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA.
Tricia Whiting contributed reporting to this week's Guide.