What To Do: Turk’s head Music Festival keeps on rockin’

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

The Turk’s Head Music Festival in West Chester (Everhart Park, Bradford Avenue and Everhart Street, West Chester, 610-436-9010, http://www.turksheadfestival.com) just keeps rocking hard and rolling on —  year-after-year.

The 35th Annual Turks Head Music Festival will be held on July 16 from noon-8 p.m. in the park at the west end of West Chester. The all-day festival, which is one of the most popular and longest-running annual mid-summer events in Chester County, has a diverse line-up of 11 musical acts.

The annual music-oriented party is presented by West Chester Recreation. It is a free event that appeals to the entire family with a wide range of live music as well as a variety of other activities geared to all ages. Attendance usually tops 5,000 — unless there is bad weather.

Raven Hill Bluegrass will be the opening act at noon. Walt & Annie with Larry Roney will take the stage at 12:44 p.m. followed by Joy Ike at 1:28 p.m., Reed Brothers Band at 2:12 p.m. and Forward Motion at 2:56 p.m.

Dukes of Destiny will perform a set at 3:40 p.m. and Kuf Knotz will play at 4:24 p.m. Monopop will perform at 5:08 p.m. followed by Barakka at 5:52 p.m. and Jeffery Washington at 6:36 p.m. Liquid Ambar will be the final act with a set at 7:20 p.m.

Visitors to Everhart Park this Sunday are welcome to bring picnic lunches and are advised to bring lawn blankets or folding chairs. The festival will also feature a wide array of food concessions with hot food and cool beverages.

Other popular annual features at the Turk’s Head Music Festival include kids’ play area with moon bounces and a zip line, a misting tent and an arts-and-crafts show featuring more than 70 talented artisans who will be demonstrating and selling their crafts. There will also be a free yoga class in the park prior to the festival at 10 a.m.

Rain date for the event is July 23.

If you want to attend a traditional summertime fair, you can do it this weekend — the final weekend for the Malvern Fire Company Fair (Monument Grounds, Monument Avenue, Malvern, 610-647-0693, www.malvernfireco.com). The event will be held now through July 15 from 6-10 p.m. each night.

The free event features rides, games and fun for the entire family and discount ride coupons will be available at local merchants. As an added attraction, there will be a gala firework display on July 14 at 9:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks extravaganza will be postponed to July 15.


The annual BlobFest in Phoenixville is unique. In the entire world, there is just one BlobFest and it’s held every year right here in Chester County.

“The Blob” is a low-budget horror film that was filmed at the Colonial Theatre and other locations around Phoenixville in 1958. The movie, which starred a very young Steve McQueen, has evolved over the years into a full-fledged cult classic.

“Blob” fans from all around the globe will be heading to Phoenixville to participate in the 18th Annual BlobFest. The Colonial Theatre (227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-917-1228, www.thecolonialtheatre.com) will host the BlobFest with a variety of special events now through July 16.

On July 14, it will be time for the re-enactment of the “Running out of The Colonial” scene. The dress code is billed as “creative” so that the scene will look just like it did when that classic scene was filmed here many years ago.

As usual, tickets for the screening have sold out already. But, people are invited to still come to Phoenixville to watch the “Runout” spectacle at approximately 9 p.m.

On July 15, the “Blob Streetfair,” which begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m., will feature live music, food booths, a “Fire Extinguisher Parade,” roving entertainment, Merchant Facade Contest, a costume contest and an array of special guests including Mr. Lobo, Dr. Frank H. Stone, Ima Hack & Dash Daring and musical guests Ukelele Madness and Dibbs Preston & the Detonators.

If you want to hear top-flight female music acts such as Angela Sheik, Nadjah Nicole and Nalani & Sarina play in a small, comfortable setting where their performances are upfront and accessible, you can do it on July 20 and 21 at the Sixth Annual Ladybug Music Festival (theladybugfestival.com).

The free event, which will be held in the 2nd & LoMa neighborhood along Market Street downtown Wilmington, is a block party that will run each night from 5-10 p.m. and feature 40 talented music acts — all female.

This year, Third Street and the outdoor courtyard of Del Tech will also have vendors and live music. The music will begin around 5 p.m. and will be nonstop on multiple stages until 10 p.m.

Some of the other featured acts slated to play the 2017 Ladybug Festival are Larkin Poe, Jenny Leigh, Soraia, Nalani & Sarina, Laura Cheadle, Ginger Coyle, Nadjah Nicole, Lori Citro, Meghan Cary, Angela Sheik, June Divided and I Am Snow Angel.

Philadelphia has had a tradition of great jazz going back generations. This area has produced many of the greats in the jazz world, including John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith, Byard Lancaster, Sun Ra and Jaco Pastorius.

Each summer, the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival celebrates the rich history of jazz in Philadelphia. On July 15, PEC (People’s Emergency Center) is hosting its 11th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival (Powelton Avenue at 39th Street, Philadelphia, 267-777-5893, http://www.lancasteravejazzfest.com).

The one-day festival, which this year celebrates “Women in Jazz,” is scheduled to run from noon-7 p.m. at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center’s Saunders Park Greene, which is located at 39th Street and Powelton Avenue (one block south of the Lancaster Avenue business corridor).

The list of acts slated to performer at the free event includes Jaleel Shaw, Josh Lawrence, Matthew Clayton, V. Shayne Frederick, Lee Mo, Phoenix Mystique, Nazir Ebo and Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

Bastille Day

Every year, there is a unique event in Philadelphia to commemorate Bastille Day.

In France, Bastille Day is a major holiday (“Fete Nationale”) that is celebrated on July 14. The holiday commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, which was held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.

Bastille Day is also a major annual event at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site (22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-236-3300, www.easternstate.org).

On July 15 at 5:30 p.m., the site will host the “23rd Annual Bastille Day Celebration” — a celebration that features The Bearded Ladies (an experimental cabaret troupe), food, kids’ games, thousands of TastyKakes, jugglers, the singing of “La Marseilles” and, starting at 5:30 p.m., the storming of a real Bastille.

The troops will capture Marie Antoinette (whose own troops will be pelting the crowd with 3,000 packaged pastries from the prison’s medieval towers). Ignoring her mocking cries of “Let them eat TastyKake!,”, the mob will drag the monarch to a real, functioning guillotine, which was specially built for the occasion. Then, the crowd will decide her fate.

The “completely historically accurate” reenactment will be emceed by the voice of Paris herself, Edith Piaf (portrayed by John Jarboe, Artistic Director of The Bearded Ladies).

This playful reenactment of the storming of Bastille will include appearances by Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin, Vladimir Putin, and a six-foot-tall French Baguette. The script will touch on Philly public school education, the American Healthcare Act, racial injustice, alternative facts, the travel ban, and the border wall.

Attendees can expect confetti cannons, stilt walkers, a cardboard horse, and a catwalk so long it divides Fairmount Avenue.

Back again this year is the French Family Carnival, presented by Valley Green Bank. From 2:00 p.m. until the performance begins at 5:30 p.m., guests can enjoy music, games, and entertainment on Fairmount Avenue, including an inflatable obstacle course, Tastykake eating contest, water balloon toss, jumbo Jenga and Twister, face painting, and arts & crafts.

Tours of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, a 19th-century landmark which was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, will be held throughout the day.

The prison was home to many of America’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone and Willie Sutton. Tours include the cellblocks, the central rotunda, the solitary exercise yards, and death row.

Following the beheading, local Fairmount restaurants will come alive with French-themed entertainment as well as food and drink specials, and the penitentiary will reopen for rare twilight tours at a discounted admission price (Adults, $10; students, seniors and children, $5).

Shakespeare in the Cemetery

On July 14 and 15, Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present a program called “Shakespeare in the Cemetery.” This year’s production is “Hamlet.”

Presented by New York-based REV Theatre Company, this contemporary, opulent production will be ‘revved up’ emphasizing the fusion of Shakespeare’s language and REV’s dynamic physicality.

Another of REV Theatre’s trademarks is the active involvement of the audiences in their outdoor productions (just as it was in Elizabethan playhouses) as witnesses to and participants in the events giving the play’s action great immediacy and excitement.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. (with prescheduled rain date of July 16).

Check in takes place at Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia.

Attendees are requested to bring their own blankets, beach chairs, picnics, and beverages. Tickets are $25. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

The Media Car Show

The 10th Annual Downtown Media Car Show will be held on July 17 from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Veterans Square on State Street in Media.

The free annual event, which is sponsored by the Delco Cruisers Car Club, United Savings Bank, and Granite Run Buick/GMC, will feature more than 250 antique cars on display.

All the stores and restaurants in downtown Media will be open during the event. Visitors can expect comfortable viewing of vintage cars in an area with plenty of trees and shade.

The General Warren Inne (9 Old Lancaster Road, Malvern, 610-296-3637, www.generalwarren.com) is an historic site — a site with a lot of history and a site that is still involved in history of the area.

Since 1745, the Historic General Warren Inne has been center stage for American history and a premier carriage stop for hungry travelers. The Inne was initially called the Admiral Vernon Inne and was changed to the Admiral Warren after the famed Admiral Peter Warren, a hero who defended the American colony at Louisburg, Nova Scotia during the French and Indian War.

Charlie Zahm

During the time of the American Revolution, the Inne was owned by John Penn of Philadelphia, who was a loyalist and the grandson of William Penn. Situated on the main highway between Philadelphia and Lancaster, it became a popular stage stop during the Revolutionary War era — and a Tory stronghold.

The Paoli Massacre was planned and launched from the Admiral Warren Inne in September 1777. In 1825, the Admiral Warren was renamed the General Warren, to honor the American hero of Bunker Hill.

Now, the General Warren Inne annually presents a series of lectures about America’s war for independence. On the second Monday of each month, the Inne will host “Paoli Battlefield Lecture Series” presented by the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund.

This month’s installment of the Paoli Battlefied Lecture Series features Charlie Zahm with “An Evening of Patriotic Music” on July 18.  Zahm will be performing patriot songs from the Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War eras. He will be joined by Tad Marks playing the fiddle on many of these songs.

Seating is limited so it advisable to make advance reservations. Admission, which is $39 per person, includes lecture, buffet, family style sweets, taxes, gratuities and all non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost.

Your admission also includes a raffle ticket for a chance to win a night’s stay at the General Warren. There will be one winner drawn at each lecture.

Friday Night Lights

On July 14 from 8-11 p.m., ChesLen Preserve (1199 Cannery Road, Coatesville, 610-486-6288, www.NatLands.org) will host a special event known as “Friday Night Lights at Natural Lands Trust’s ChesLen Preserve.”

Natural Lands Trust’s Seventh annual Friday Night Lights features an evening of music, beer, wine, and sunset watching on one of Chester County’s most inspiring landscapes – the 1,263-acre ChesLen Preserve.

The once-a-year event will feature live music by Sharon Little and The Chris Paterno Band, complimentary adult beverages from Victory Brewing Company and Borderland Vineyard and marshmallows toasted over a crackling fire.

Another attraction will be stargazing with ChesMont Astronomical Society, the Chester County Astronomical Society, the Delaware Astronomical Society Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association.

Visitors are requested to bring their own blanket or camping chairs, and wear sturdy shoes for the uneven ground. No dogs or coolers will be permitted. Tickets are $30 and advance registration required.

The ChesLen Preserve is one of the largest private nature preserves in southeastern Pennsylvania. It features sweeping agricultural fields, densely wooded stream corridors and rare serpentine barrens. There are many points on the property from which visitors can gaze for miles in any direction and see virtually no signs of modern development.

In 2010, The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) designated portions of ChesLen Preserve — specifically the Unionville Barrens — as a “Pennsylvania Wild Plant Sanctuary.” The program encourages the conservation of natural areas and native plants, and recognizes private landowners who serve as models of good conservation and stewardship of these special resources.

On July 15, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Road, Oaks, 610-529-3614, www.northernberksreptileshow.com) will host the East Coast Reptile Super Expo featuring hundreds of live snakes and reptiles. The event will run from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. this Saturday.

For many people, snakes and lizards are interesting creatures — and maybe even fun pets to own. If you fall into this category, you should check out the show on Saturday. A wide array of reptiles will be on display as part of the popular exhibition, which is an annual event that is closing in on its silver anniversary.

One of the show’s main attractions is a sales exhibit area featuring a large number of vendors with live reptiles, amphibians and arachnids as well as food items, supplies, books, cages, and related accessories.

The roster of very diverse vendors includes RKZ Rodents, Monstar Reptiles, Turtle to Turtle, Delaware Valley Herpetarium, Newville Dragons, PM Herps, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply, VSCV Ventures LLC, Dachiu Dragons, Tom Rogan Reptiles, Native Exotics, A-Bros Reptiles, Turtles and Terrapins, Venomous Addiction, Liberty Reptiles and Perryman Dart Frogs.

The list also includes AZO Reptiles, Rose’s Reptiles, Dale’s Bearded Dragons, Blake’s Exotic Reptiles, Dower Reptiles & Rodents, Reptile Kingdom, DHA Pythons, Gecko Haven, Hunger Reptiles, Jungle Emporium, Delaware Turtle, Just Lizards and Outback Reptiles, Charm City Glam Chams, Fabricdragon Designs, JJR’s Reptile Ranch, The Dragon’s Den, Joe’s Tarantulas, and MJS Reptiles.

Other featured vendors will be Heath’s Frog Farm, Corralus Creations, Rogue Reptiles LLC, Jason R Bartolett Captive Bred Reptiles, Fowler Reptiles, Dragon Fortress, Turtle Towns, Garden State Tortoise, Paws & Claws, Darwin’s Toybox, J&R Constrictors, Karmel Spiders LLC, and North Fork Pets.

Tickets are $10 with children (under five) admitted free.

On July 15 and 16, Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska , 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) will host a special event called “Bluegrass and Blueberries.”

The two-day event will celebrate National Blueberry Month with everything blue at Bluegrass and Blueberries, which will run from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days.

It will feature locally grown blueberries and blueberry treats plus bluegrass and country music acts. The event is held rain or shine. Admission and parking are free.

Visitors will be able to purchase locally grown, field-cultivated berries at Bechdolt’s Orchards Farm Stand, as well as blueberry pies, blueberry butters, jellies and preserves, blueberry shortcakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry cupcakes, chocolate covered blueberries, homemade blueberry fudge, and blueberry soda.

Live music will be provided by Ray Owen, Raven Hill Bluegrass, Borderline, Mike Brill, the hillbillies of Cohesion, Toby Mochel, and Tino & Ashley.

There will also be a sidewalk art show as well as a stilt walker and the always-entertaining pie-eating contests.

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