What To Do: Enjoy an old fashioned circus

Also: BBQ, wolves in the moonlight & reggae

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times


The big top comes alive when Cole Bros. Circus comes to New Castle, Del. this weekend.

If you want to truly appreciate the circus — to take in all the sights, sounds and smells of the circus — then the best way to experience the circus is the old-fashioned way. The best way is to be sitting in the stands at a one-ring circus set up under a tent with performers so close that it seems you’re actually part of the show.

From August 28-30, you can partake in just such an experience when Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars pitches its tent for a three-day, seven-performance run at Blue Diamond MX Park (765 Hamburg Road, New Castle, Delaware, 386-736-0071, http://www.gotothecircus.com). Performance times are 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on August 28, 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on August 29 and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. on August 30.

The Cole Bros. Circus was founded in 1884 by William Washington Cole. The Cole Bros. Circus raises its big top in rural towns and metropolitan areas along the East Coast from Florida to Maine.

The 130th Anniversary Edition of Cole Bros. Circus offers a wide variety of top-flight acts — including the comic artistry of Meatball the Clown and live entertainment by Chang the Elephant.

Some of the other featured acts in this year’s Cole Bros. show are aerial ballet, Human Cannonball, high wire daredevils and the Thunderdrome. As expected, the show will have plenty of what people expect from a travelling circus — elephants, camels, dogs, horses, jugglers and plenty of clowns.

Video link for Cole Bros. Circus — https://youtu.be/5S-LBq_Zyhk.

Tickets are $21 for general admission, $25 for reserved and $28 for VIP for adults; $16, $20 and $23 for children and seniors.

wolf sanctuary

The Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania offers its “Full Moon Tour” Aug. 29.

If you’re looking to have a howling good time this weekend, consider the “Full Moon Tour” at the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania (465 Speedwell Forge Road, Lititz, 717-626-4617, http://wolfsanctuarypa.org).

The Sanctuary offers this tour once a month on the closest Saturday to the full moon. This month, the date is August 29 and the full moon is known as the Sturgeon Moon. This is an event in which participants are invited to create their own experiences.

Instead of following a tour guide from pack to pack at a regulated pace that fits within a 45-minute time line, you get to go at your own pace from pack to pack talking to a tour guide who is stationed at each pack. You can listen to what they have to say about the wolves when stopping at a station or you can ask questions. 

With this tour, you move at your own pace. If you get tired, you can go over and sit next to a roaring bond fire (weather permitting) and just relax. Visitors are requested to bring a blanket, a flashlight, a chair and maybe some hot dogs and marshmallows. The tour starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and no reservations are required. 

linvila-we-kids-rock-bandThis 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 29, Linvilla will be hosting its annual Tomato and Pear Festival.

The theme for this year’s event is “Today is Discovery Day.” Not only will the site be celebrating its juicy tomatoes and succulent pears, it will also be “focusing on the beauty of Discovery!”

Silly Joe will be the host and will be making sure everyone keeps their eyes and ears open to the world of wonder. Jungle John will be presenting an entertaining and educational live reptile show noon. Then, live music will be performed by We Kids Rock Band at 1:30 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m.

“Meet the Beekeeper” and “Tomato Talk & Tomato Tasting with Farmer Norm” will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Linvilla’s own Beekeeper Warren Graham will be displaying an observation beehive and discussing bees and beekeeping.

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, Traveling Train and Mystery Dog.

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.

new holland summer fest

The New Holland Summerfest features the“Pennsylvania State Championship BBQ Cook-Off and Motorcycle Show.”

The 2015 New Holland Summer Fest (New Holland Community Park, 400 East Jackson Street, New Holland, 717-669-1400, http://nhsummerfest.org) will be held August 28 and 29 and will feature the “Pennsylvania State Championship BBQ Cook-Off and Motorcycle Show.”

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. Entertainment for visitors of all ages will be provided by Ron McVey and Summit Hill Bluegrass Band on Saturday and Adriano on Sunday.

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.-9 p.m. on August 28 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on August 29.

Invisible River 2015 (http://www.invisibleriver.org), which will be held on August 29 on and around Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River, is more than just an annual community festival. And, it’s more than just a site-specific aerial arts performance.

The Invisible River event was founded in 2010 and has continued to grow each year. Now, it’s a full-scale celebration of the Schuylkill River — a celebration that incorporates boating, visual arts, dance, music, aerial arts and festive entertainment. It is set along the bank of the river and in the air above the water in the vicinity of the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and East Fairmount Park.

The event, which is being produced and choreographed by performance artist and dancer Alie Vidich, will run from 2-8 p.m. and feature a troupe of dancers, a drum line procession, an arts festival, a beer garden and visual arts installations. The Grand Finale at 5:30 p.m. will showcase aerialists suspended from the Strawberry Mansion Bridge.

At 2 p.m., a group will gather at the Mander Recreation Center at 2 p.m. to start the festival with a drum line procession along the river to the main festival site. From 2-8 p.m., there will be activity on the parking lot of St. Joseph’s University’s boathouse with boat rentals and paddling lessons, environmental-focused demonstrations and classes, free yoga, interactive art installations, and local food vendors.

Spectators are welcome to come to the river bank and enjoy all the festivities for free.

ReggaeAlso on August 29, Fairmount Park will be the site the Fourth Annual Reggae in the Park (Mann Center, 5201 N. Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-566-7900, http://manncenter.org). This year, the annual celebration of Jamaica’s music will feature the “Catch A Fire Tour.”

The tour takes its name from the fifth album by reggae legend Bob Marley and his band the Wailers. The album, which was released in 1973, was unique. The original vinyl release was encased in a sleeve depicting a Zippo lighter. The sleeve functioned like a real Zippo lighter case, opening at a side hinge to reveal the record within.

“Catch a Fire,” which is Jamaican patois for “catching on fire,” was the first stateside release on a major label for the original five-man Wailers’ lineup. It featured classic tracks such as “Stir It Up,” “Kinky Reggae,” “No More Trouble” and “Concrete Jungle.”

The “Catch A Fire Tour” has a direct link to Bob Marley with performances by headliners Stephen “Ragga” Marley (Bob’s second son who was born in Wilmington, Delaware) and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley (Bob’s youngest son) along with newcomer Skip Marley (Bob’s grandson).

The roster of top-flight reggae acts also includes Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Joe Mersa, Black Am I, 9 Mile Roots, SensaMotion, Steppin Razor, I Yahn I Arkestra, Spokey Speaky, Dub Smith, and Muma Gee.

Reggae in the Park will feature music acts on both the Mann’s main stage and on the Skyline Stage. There will also be a live DJ playing at the top of the hill, as well as arts and crafts vendors, Caribbean and global cuisine — and more.

Video link for Stephen Marley — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mOpCL3ggpCQ.

Tickets range from $39.50-$89.50 with children (12 and under) admitted for free with parent (lawn only).


The Allentown Fair is one of the oldest fairs in the United States and it is in full swing this weekend.

The Allentown Fair (17th and Chew Street, Allentown, 610-433-7541, www.allentownfairpa.org) is one of the oldest festivals in Pennsylvania. It’s an event that has been drawing large crowds ever since ’52 — 1852 not 1952.

It was in October 1852 when the Lehigh County Agricultural Society held its first fair and 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 2015 edition opens on September 1 and runs through September 7. It will be the fair’s 163rd 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 foods and some of the top entertainers currently on tour.

The Grandstand Stage hosts the headline acts — Styx, Tesla and Def Leppard (September 1), Little Big Town (September 2), Carrie Underwood (September 3), Eric Church (September 4), deadmau5 (September 5) and Jim Gaffigan (September 6).

All Grandstand shows are ticketed events but the fair also offers a wide array of free concerts at the Music & Variety Show Tent, the MainGate Nightclub and Bier Garten and the RCN Farmerama Theater.

The fair’s list of daily entertainment attractions also includes “Robinson’s Pig Paddling Porkers,” “Lil’ Farm Hands,” “Matt’s Family Jam,” “Elephant Encounter,” “Fired Up High Dive Show,” “Melody Farm Follies” and the “4-H Petting Zoo.”

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.

One of the most popular annual events at the 1719 Hans Herr House and Museum (1849 Hans Herr Drive, Willow Street, 717-464-4438, www.hansherr.org) is the “Historic Driving Tour. This year, the tour will be held on August 29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Central Pennsylvania is filled with small little towns that seem devoid of any seeming historical significance — until you look beneath the surface.

A good example is the village of West Willow. Currently, West Willow is a quiet village but, in the past, it was an important site in the past for agrarian activity and manufacturing.

West Willow is a small village in Lancaster County that was built on land of the original 1710 Pequea settlement. It is on the land first granted to Martin Kendig by William Penn.

Descendants of Kendig have lived there since that original grant. Others, including Harnishes and Mylins moved to the area, forming the nucleus of a small community

The key factor in the industrial development of West Willow was the Lancaster-Quarryville Railroad, a standard gauge line built by the Philadelphia and Reading Company and later sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad company.

When it was first opened on May 11, 1875, it brought a flurry of life and economic growth to the village. Though passenger ridership eventually declined with the expansion of trolley service in the first decade of the 20th century, the freight trains still allowed the manufacturing companies of West Willow to send out finished product and bring in raw materials.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes destroyed the railroad bridge across the Conestoga at Engleside, and the Pennsylvania Railroad decided not to rebuild the bridge. The loss of this link to the broader world forced many of the businesses to close or move. Today the former business sites are primarily residential villages.

The history of West Willow is just one of many things participants will be shown during this year’s edition of the 1719 Hans Herr House’s Historic Driving Tour.

The tour runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and starts at the Herr House, where visitors can pick up a map and directions. The tour is self-paced with participants driving themselves from site to site. At each stop, docents will share stories and pictures from the location’s past.

The tour costs $10 for adults and $5 for children (ages 7-12).

India will be celebrated at a special festival on August 29 — “India Fest 2015 — Rhythm & Spice” (Bob Carpenter Center, 631 South College Avenue, Newark, Delaware, 302-494-1255, www.iaadelaware.org). The event is scheduled to run from noon until 10:30 p.m.

It will feature classical and modern Indian dance performances, cultural exhibitions, vendors with a large array of Indian items and mouth-watering Indian food items such as tandoori chicken, nan (bread) and an assortment of curry dishes.

Special workshops will be presented throughout the day featuring a variety of topics including Vipasana (meditation) and “Laughter Yoga.”

Other activities include a beauty pageant, karaoke singing, a special evening cultural program, demonstrations on the use of spices, live music by the band Friendz, and a special event called “Garbha Nite” from 8:30-11 p.m.

Admission to the festival, which is presented by the Indo American Association of Delaware, is $5 with children (6 and under) admitted free.

Another interesting event in Joe Biden’s home state this weekend is the Auburn Heights Invitational Historic Auto Display at the Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org).

On August 30, the site, which features the Marshall Steam Museum and the Auburn Heights Mansion, is hosting the event which focuses on vintage cars. The annual Auburn Heights Invitational features an exceptional array of historic automobiles from the classic era.

This year’s fundraiser event includes a spotlight display on limos and landaulets, alongside a broad representation of high-end motor cars from the dawn of the automotive age through 1942. A landaulet or landaulette is a car body style similar to a limousine, but with the passenger section covered by a convertible top.

Selection is based on significance of the marque, authenticity, presentation and the history of the vehicle. Limited to approximately 20-25 autos, the Auburn Heights Invitational offers a rare opportunity to compare and contrast early and later classic-era vehicles on display at the elegant Auburn Heights estate.

The roster of limos and landaulets includes 1912 Packard Model 18 Landaulet, 1932 Lincoln Model KB V12 Limousine, 1934 Lincoln Berline Model K Limousine, 1940 Packard Model 1807 Formal Sedan, 1941 Buick Limited 91F 6-Passenger Limousine, 1941 Cadillac Town Car Landau and 1942 Cadillac 7533 Imperial Sedan

In addition to historic autos, visitors can enjoy delicious fare by the Country Butcher Fine Foods Market and Woodside Farm Creamery Ice Cream, rides on the Auburn Valley Railroad, wine and beer tastings, a silent auction, and tours of the Auburn Heights Mansion.

on steam power when it presents “Steamin’ Days,” which run from 12:30-4:30 p.m. each time. Combo Tickets, which cover all rides and building tours, are $19 (13 and older) and $16 (age 12 and under).

Special attractions include fresh steam-popped popcorn from a vintage popper, a “Firing Up” demonstration using a Stanley steam car, tours of the antique-furnished Auburn Heights Mansion (which was built in 1897), rides on the Auburn Valley Railroad and in select antique automobiles from the Marshall Collection.

Also included is entry to the Marshall Steam Museum, which features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars along with a 1930s working Lionel electric train display, a hands-on engine display, kids activities and exhibits and the Museum Gift Shop.

The Auburn Heights Invitational will run from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 at the gate.

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