What To Do: No ‘Laboring’ to find First Friday fun

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

The Budweiser Clydesdales will be making a First Friday visit to West Chester.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will be making a First Friday visit to West Chester.

If you take a glance at the calendar, you might be surprised to see that we’re already into September. You might also notice that September 2 is the first Friday of the month.

When the first Friday of the month comes around, it’s a good time to spend an evening in the heart of West Chester — a time when the borough hosts its version of First Friday (downtown West Chester, http://www.downtownwestchester.com).

First Friday activities, which are held on the inaugural Friday each month, feature great shopping opportunities and delicious food offerings. Stores are open late and many of them feature free refreshments and shopping specials.

This weekend, First Friday in West Chester will be extra-special.

From 5-7 p.m., a team of Budweiser Clydesdales will be delivering the horses’ signature beverage on to venues in downtown West Chester. It all starts at Gay and Matlack streets, then proceeds west to Darlington Street, south to Market Street, and east to Walnut Street.

The Clydesdales will make a number of stops along the way and provide ceremonial deliveries to the following establishments: Root’s Cafe; Avalon; DeStarr’s Restaurant; Teca; The Social Lounge; Side Bar & Restaurant; Kildare’s Irish Pub; Ryan’s Pub; Saloon 151; Landmark Americana Tap & Grill; Pietro’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood; Mercato; Barnaby’s of West Chester; Ram’s Head Bar & Grill; Mas Mexicali Cantina; Limoncello Ristorante; and Split Rail Tavern.

As an added attraction, there will be free on-street parking after 5 p.m.

At 7 p.m. on September 2, West Chester University’s Department of Earth & Space Science will present a special planetarium show. The Planetarium is located in the Schmucker Science Center, on the corner of Church Street and Rosedale Avenue. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the ticket office at (610) 436-2266.

Kennett Square will also celebrate First Friday with its Art Stroll (downtown Kennett Square, http://historickennettsquare.com) from 6-9 p.m. on September 2.

The event, which is sponsored by Historic Kennett Square, celebrates the local art scene with special activities in the galleries, shops and restaurants throughout town.  Many of the town’s businesses and galleries will stay open late for First Friday.

Kennett Square’s Art Stroll is a monthly celebration of the local art scene as it is showcased in the galleries, shops and restaurants throughout town.  Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to wander along the tree-lined streets and browse the many businesses that stay open late.

Lancaster has a hopping First Friday planed as well.

Lancaster has a hopping First Friday planed as well.

Lancaster also has a lively First Friday celebration very month. This month’s edition of First Friday Lancaster (http://www.firstfridaylancaster.com/) will run from 5-9 p.m. on September 2 in downtown Lancaster.

The event will feature attractive exhibitions at art galleries, artisan studios and museums. There will also be live performances presented in a variety of genres — professional theater, symphony orchestra and performing groups.

This year, First Friday is the gateway to Labor Day Weekend — the weekend when summer unofficially comes to an end. The official end of summer arrives later in the month but for some, summer is already over because the new school year has already begun.

One thing that will never change about the Labor Day Weekend is the longevity of the annual events staged on the last holiday weekend of the summer. Many of the area’s annual Labor Day Weekend events have been held continuously for 40 years or longer.

Enjoy a Chester County tradition -- Labor Day at Ludwig's Corner Horse Show.

Enjoy a Chester County tradition — Labor Day at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show.

The Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show (Routes 100 and 401, Bucktown, 610-458-3344, www.ludwigshorseshow.org) sits near the top of the list of the Chester County’s longest-running annual Labor Day Weekend events.

The show, which is held at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds, is closing in on its diamond anniversary. The 2016 edition of the show, which is the 73rd annual staging of the event, will be held September 3-5 at its traditional location in the northern part of Chester County.

The three-day event will feature a variety of fun activities. Families can enjoy rides, vendors, face-painting, hayrides, live music, games, food concessions and children’s games. There will also be a number of booths with representatives of groups that are involved in the preservation of open space.

The very first Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show was staged in 1943 as a small show to raise money for local scout troops. It featured just 88 horses. Now, it is a very large show with over 400 horses competing for three days in both hunter and jumper classes.

The featured equestrian event is the Lexus Jumper Mini-Prix competition. Other competitions will feature dressage, cones and cross country — and over $3,000 in prize money.

The horse show features a number of special events including a country fair, a carriage parade, pie-eating contests, a costumed pet parade, Creepy Crawlers Big & Small, a “Mounted Parade of Hounds,” the Thorncroft Mainstreamers, hay rides, an antique tractor show, the Valley Forge Military Academy & College Mounted Color Guard, “Pioneer Games” and amusement rides.

The show will run from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. Saturday is Family Fun Day and features $10 per carload admission. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children (12 and under) on Sunday and Monday.

duryea day

Duryea Day in Boyertown.

Duryea Day is one of Boyertown’s cherished annual events. This year, Duryea Day (Boyertown Community Park, Second and Madison streets, Boyertown, 610-367-2090, www.boyertownmuseum.org) is celebrating its 51st year with another top caliber “Antique and Classic Car Show.”

The one-day event, which is hosted by the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, serves as a showcase for antique and classic cars and trucks of all types. This year, it will be held on September 3 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the scenic park in downtown Boyertown.

Duryea Day was created as a tribute to local automobile pioneer Charles Duryea, who started building automobiles in Reading more than a century ago. Duryea was making automobiles long before most people in the area had even seen a car.

A Labor Day Weekend tradition, the “Antique and Classic Car Show” draws exhibitors from all over the Mid-Atlantic region with an amazing array of collector cars, antique trucks, hot rods, vintage motorcycles, custom cars and special interest vehicles.

Visitors have the opportunity to get up-close looks at a number of automobiles they probably have never seen before — cars made by long-defunct companies such as Franklin, Winton and Peerless. There will also be displays of timeless classics like the Ford “Model T.”

The auto show will feature awards in the following categories — Pre-War Antique Car, Post-War Antique Car, Antique Commercial Truck, Street Machine, Antique Pickup Truck, Street Rod, Antique Motorcycle and Antique Sports Car.

In addition to the car show, Duryea Day also features live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, a 50/50 drawing, a “car corral” and an auto flea market. There will also be a variety of entertainment and special activities for children.

Admission to Boyertown Park for Duryea Day is $7 for adults and $3 for children (ages 6-12). Visitors to Duryea Day can take advantage of complimentary admission to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. A special trolley will make continuous loops between the park and the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles until 4 p.m.

longs park art festivalLancaster has a pair of craft shows this weekend that definitely qualify as two of the top events in the longevity category.

The Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival (Harrisburg Pike and the Route 30 Bypass, Lancaster, 717-735-8883, www.longspark.org) and the Heart of Lancaster County Arts and Crafts Show (Root’s Country Market-Auction, 705 Graystone Road, Manheim, 717-898-6297, www.heartoflancasterartsandcraftshow.com) have both been around for decades.

The 38th Annual Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival runs from September 2-4 at Long’s Park in downtown Lancaster. The 29th Annual Heart of Lancaster County Arts and Crafts Show is scheduled to take place on September 3 and 4 at Root’s Country Market-Auction.

More than 200 fine artists and artisans representing 30 states were selected through a juried process for inclusion in this year’s show at scenic Long’s Park, an 80-acre park in the center of Lancaster. All proceeds benefit the free Long’s Park summer entertainment series.

A large contingent of artisans will be selling their wares and demonstrating their crafts each day at Long’s Park. The show will feature an array of categories, including drawing, glass, paper, musical instruments, ceramics, leather, printmaking, wearable fiber, mixed media, precious jewelry, painting, metal, decorative fiber, photography, sculpture, toys and wood.

The “Susquehanna Style Bistro” at Long’s Park will offer guests a tasty selection of food from some of the region’s finest restaurants and caterers. The selection of salads, pastas, sandwiches, seafood and desserts will be complemented by a selection of fine wines, craft beers and special mimosas.

The festival will also present live entertainment all three days starting with Temple Avenue (swing band), Over Easy (jazz group) and Ken Gehret (strolling musician) on September 2. Two of a Kind (family entertainment), Amy Banks Quartet (jazz band) Gehret will perform on September 3. Then, on September 4, entertainment will be provided Dave Wilson Quartet (jazz group) and Blues on the Loose (blues band).

Festival hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for one day and $15 for multi-day.

The Heart of Lancaster Arts and Craft Show is celebrating its 29th anniversary this year — and its sixth anniversary as a two-day event. This year’s show will feature a roster of more than 200 artists and fine craftsmen from all around the East.

This juried event features a wide variety of traditional, primitive, and contemporary art and crafts. Importantly, all the items on display at this show are hand-crafted by the artists. The event also offers an array of crafts demonstrations.

There will be vendors with a wide variety of food and beverage items. Additionally, live entertainment will be provided by the Susquehanna Pipes and Drums and the jazz group Over Easy.

One of the nicest attractions offered by the Heart of Lancaster Arts and Craft Show is free admission for all. Show hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.

There is a festival in northern Delaware is well past the century mark. It’s the Arden Town Fair (The Village of Arden, 2126 The Highway, Arden, Delaware, 302-475-3126, www.ardenclub.com) which is celebrating its 109th anniversary this year. It will be held September 3 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The well-attended holiday event has many popular features such as delicious homemade baked goods, the Library Gild’s used book sale, more than 120 vendors of handmade crafts and jewelry, children’s games and rides and the antiques and collectibles market with more than 50 dealers.

Other attractions at the fair are the food court, pony rides, the dunk booth, booths selling plants from the Gardeners Gild, dance demonstrations, the popular Beer Garden with continuous live entertainment and the Holistic Expo at the Buzz Ware Village Center.

The Fair’s lineup of live music this year includes Diamond State Concert Band, Elkhorn, Arden Kind, Montana Wildaxe, Gretchen Emery and Dirty Boots, Falling Rocks, xTra allTra, and Kooligans.

The annual fair features free admission. Rain date for the festival is September 4 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival (Salem County Fair Grounds, Route 40, Woodstown, New Jersey, 302-321-6466, www.delawarevalleybluegrass.org) has also been on the Labor Day Weekend schedule for a long, long time.

This weekend, the eagerly-anticipated annual music event, which runs from September 2-4, will celebrate its 45th anniversary. The festival will feature three days of old-time music — music that takes you back to a bygone era and makes you feel good.

The event was first held on Labor Day Weekend in 1972 in Glasgow, Delaware and was known as the Delaware Bluegrass Festival. It remained in Delaware through 1989 and moved to its current location in 1990.

Live music at this year’s festival will start on September 4 with a lineup featuring Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, Uncle Earl Reunion, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, Malpass Brothers and Steep Canyon Rangers.

Saturday’s performers will be Kruger Bros., Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur, Sister Sadie, Boxcars, Claire Lynch Band, “Tribute to Ralph Stanley with Ricky Skaggs and Special Guests” and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.

The lineup for September 4 includes Cab Grass, Kid’s Academy Showcase, Chris Henry and Hard Core Bluegrass, Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, Mike Compton and Joe Newberry, Kathy Kallick Band and Seldom Scene.

The Children’s Stage will feature Dave Fry, Deborah Pieri, Chris Capehart and John & June Gallagher.

Single day tickets are $55 (September 2 and 3); $4 (September 4); weekend tickets, $110; senior citizens (62 and over), $5 per day off daily tickets or $15 off weekend ticket price. Student tickets are $35 for Friday or Saturday, $30 for Sunday and $60 for the weekend.

The Cannstatter Volksfest is the nation’s oldest German festival.

The Cannstatter Volksfest is the nation’s oldest German festival.

Another really old annual event in the area is the Labor Day Volksfest at the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein (9130 Academy Road, Philadelphia, http://cannstatter.org/).

Held every year since 1873, the Cannstatter Volksfest is the nation’s oldest German festival and one of Philadelphia’s longest-running Labor Day Weekend events.

The 144th annual staging of the festival, which is running from September 3-5, features tasty German food items such as Weisswurst, Bratwurst, Leberkaese, Heisser Leberkäse, Kartoffel-Salat, Schnitzel, Maultaschen, Spätzle, Pflaumenkuchen,  Zwetschgenkuchen and, of course, Frankfurters

One of the most popular sites at the fair will be the biergarten which will have an attractive variety of great-tasting German beer on tap.

The Volksfest is a family-oriented event that has amusement rides, games and an array of activities for every age group. There will be German music and dancing, souvenir booths, German German-American singing and vendors with German clothing.

The Volksfest will have live music each day with a roster of acts that includes Philadelphia German Brass Band, Greater Kensington String Band, the Adlers Band, GTV Almrausch Dancers, and Altweibermühle (Old Ladies Mill).

Admission is $6 for one day, $9 for two day pass, and $11for three-day pass. Children under 12 will be admitted free.

The 51st Annual Polish Festival the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (654 Ferry Road, Doylestown, 215-345-0600, www.czestochowa.us) is being held from September 3-5 and again on September 10 and 11.

Visitors to the festival will be able to feast on such Polish delicacies as kielbasa, pierogies, placki, holubki and chruschicki. There will also be several beer booths on the grounds.

The festival will feature rides, games, a “Polish Wedding & Dozynki,” “Medieval & WWII Polish Living History Groups” and a full slate of Polish music and polka bands.

The roster of live entertainers includes Walt Wagner & the Polka Serenaders, DJ Grzegorz, Maki Children’s Song & Dance, Dennis Polisky and the Maestro’s Men, Little Circus, John Stephens & Doubleshot, Goralski, Marika Szczepek, John Gora & Korona, Polka Country Musicians, Dynabrass, Polish American String Band, Pectus, and T.K.O.

Admission to the festival is $12 per person.

The oldest festival in Pennsylvania just might be the Allentown Fair (17th and Chew Street, Allentown, 610-433-7541, www.allentownfairpa.org). It’s an event that has been drawing large crowds for 164 years.

It 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”, its 2016 edition is running now through September 5.

It 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 presents Chris Stapleton on September 2, Meghan Trainor on September 3, Jeff Dunham on September 4 and J&J Demolition Derby on 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,” “Olympic Glory High Dive Show,” “Robinson’s Pig Paddling Porkers,” “Lil’ Farm Hands,” “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.

Another interesting event in Delaware this weekend is “Steamin’ Days” at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org).

“Steamin’ Days,” which is held on the first Sunday of the month through November, focuses on steam power.

During “Steamin’ Days at Auburn Heights,” the site is bustling with activity. Visitors are encouraged to climb into an antique automobile or board one of the trains and experience what it was like to travel at the turn of the 20th century. They can also tour the magnificent 1897 mansion that was home to three generations of the Marshall family.

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.

Activities 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).

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