What To Do: Devon Horse Show, Kennett Sq. Memorial Day top busy weekend

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

The Devon Horse Show

Memorial Day has arrived and many of the area’s traditional events for the holiday are back – including the Devon Horse Show and Kennett Square’s annual Memorial Day Parade

The Devon Horse Show (Lancaster Avenue, Devon, 610-688-2554, www.devonhorseshow.org) is one of the oldest events of any kind in the state.
The Devon Horse Show is and always has been special.
More than just another annual equestrian event, it is a family event that spans generations and traditionally marks the start of summer. It is a place where attendees go as much to see and be seen as to watch horses compete — a sporting event and a tradition-based social event.

No-one on earth right now is old enough to have attended every edition of the Devon Horse Show.
The 2024 show, which is running now through June 2, is the 128th Annual Devon Horse Show and Country Fair.
The oldest living person in the world is Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who is 121 years old having been born on January 2, 1903. When she was born, the Devon Horse Show had already been held for seven years.
The Devon Horse Show began in 1896 as a one-day show with 28 classes. By 1914, it had grown immensely and had become the largest outdoor horse show in the country — a distinction it still holds.
In 1919, it was decided that a “Country Fair” should be held in conjunction with the horse show and that the event should benefit Bryn Mawr Hospital.
In 2010, the Devon Horse Show became just the fourth American horse show to be honored with the designation as a USEF Heritage Competition.
This award is reserved for those competitions that have been in existence for more than a quarter century, promoted and grown the equestrian sport, and made a contribution to the community outside the gates of the horse show by achieving, maintaining and promoting the equestrian ideals of sportsmanship and competition.
More than 3,000 horses are entered in the Devon Horse Show in over 30 divisions and more than 200 classes with prize money totaling over a quarter of a million dollars. The equestrian competition reaches its peak the final few days with the Devon Grand Prix and the Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake.
The Country Fair offers concessions featuring lemon sticks, cotton candy and buckets of fudge. Other main attractions at the fair are the garden café, sales booths featuring antiques, toys, hand-crafted items, Devon Horse Show souvenirs and over 30 other shops with jewelry, art, clothes and equestrian-related items.
Another popular family attraction is the Midway with its huge Ferris wheel, old-time carousel and wide array of amusement rides and games — plus kid-favorite goodies such as popcorn, cotton candy and funnel cake.
A special attraction will be appearances by the Budweiser Clydesdales. A great American tradition celebrating their 91st Anniversary, the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales are scheduled to appear again here at Devon on May 30 and June 1.
Admission is $25 for adults and $10 for children (under 12) and seniors (over 65).
You can get up-close and personal with Budweiser Clydesdales by visiting Brandywine Ace Pet & Farm (1150 Pocopson Rd, West Chester, http://www.acehardware.com/local/brandywineace) on May 25.
From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Brandywine Ace Pet & Farm will host a free photo opportunity with the legendary horses.
One of the most popular traditional events is Kennett Square’s annual Memorial Day Parade (West State Street, Kennett Square, kennettcollaborative.org). The parade, which honors the area’s veterans, is scheduled for May 27.
The parade, which is expected to feature more than 1,000 participants and twice as many spectators, will get underway at 10 a.m. The parade honors our veterans, many of whom participate in the parade, riding in antique convertibles.
Participants in the parade will represent a wide array of interests with historic battle re-enactors, antique military vehicles, bagpipers, fife and drum units, color guard groups, high school bands, and local youth sports teams — and the Ferko Mummers String Band.

Memorial Day Parade

Spectators also have the opportunity to enjoy seeing dancers, classic cars, colorful floats created by various community organizations, fire trucks, a Viking ship, and much more. The parade reflects and celebrates the community’s great cultural diversity with participants such as the popular Aztec dancers, charros on horseback, and Chinese folk dancers.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Kennett High School and follows South Union Street to East Cypress Street, up the 100 block of South Broad Street, then west on State Street to North Union Street and on to Union Hill Cemetery.
The parade ends at the Union Hill Cemetery with a Veterans Memorial Day Service featuring Kennett & Unionville High School Bands opening with the National Anthem, Civil War Reenactors and a 21-gun salute from Kennett American Legion Post 491.
The Mount Hope Estate & Winery in Cornwall’s Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest has evolved into one of the winery’s most popular annual events.
This year’s 14th Annual Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest will be held May 25 and 26 on Mount Hope’s grounds (Route 72, Cornwall, 717- 665-7021, www.parenfaire.com) from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.
The annual feast for the taste buds features many of the region’s finest wineries sampling and selling their vintages, cooking demonstrations, specialty foods for sampling and for sale, master artisans, live music and an interactive Crafty Kid’s area.
One of the nicest aspects of the event is that it is free — free admission, free tastings and free parking.
There will be more than 20 wineries from Pennsylvania offering samples of and selling of their many varieties. Local restaurants and food vendors will also be offering samples from their menus.
FlavorFest will feature a variety of specialty food vendors. Visitors will be able to sample and purchase gourmet food items such as sauces, dips, pastries, cheeses – along with Pennsylvania Dutch favorites such as whoopie pies and traditional shoo-fly pie.
As an added attraction, chefs from local restaurants will present cooking demonstrations each day highlighting gourmet dishes in their restaurants’ signature styles.
General Admission is $24.95 (Includes Tasting Glass). Tickets for guests Ages 12-20 are $6.95 and children (11 & Under) are admitted free.
The 43rd Anniversary Chester County Mustang & Ford Show is scheduled for May 26 at the Kimberton Fairgrounds (61 Firehouse Lane, Phoenixville, www.thevfmc.org).
The show attracts car enthusiasts from across the region to connect with one another and showcase their most prized possessions.
Visitors can see, admire and take pictures of colorful Mustangs from every era in the sports car’s history.
Also featured will be a variety of other Ford vehicles including trucks and electric vehicles.
On May 25, the 44th Annual Chester County Car Show will be held at the Classic Auto Mall (6180 Morgantown Road, Morgantown, ccacc.club/show.php).
The event will begin with auto registration at 9 a.m. A wide array of vehicles will be on display, including antique cars, motorcycles, classic cars, antique tractors, hit-and-miss engines, Mustangs and street rods.
In addition to all the cars on display, the one-day event will also feature an automobile flea market, an arts-and-crafts show, a food court and music by a deejay. There is no admission fee, but a $2 parking donation is requested.
Fort Mifflin (Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia, www.phillyfaire.com) will be the site of the “Philly Faire” from May 25-27.
The Philadelphia Renaissance Faire® will set up camp at Fort Mifflin this Memorial Day Weekend. Relaunched with the “Philly Faire” moniker, this three-day event promises Renaissance-themed family fun, with entertainment, unique vendors and artisans, and much more.
Historic Fort Mifflin provides a picturesque setting for Philly Faire, which returns this year for a three-day holiday weekend run, Saturday through Monday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. all three days.
Attendees can explore a bustling marketplace filled with artisanal crafts, clothing, and jewelry, while enjoying a hearty meal from a variety of food and drink vendors. After trying their hand at archery or knife and axe throwing, they’ll be entertained by an array of interactive shows and performances, including captivating magic, fire eating, and lively music.
​Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for children.
Thy Geekdom Con, which is running now through May 26 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Ave., Oaks, www.phillyexpocenter.com), is a convention of all things geek in pop culture.
Brought to you by the fine minds behind the YouTube sensation Game Infirmary, the Eighth Annual Thy Geekdom Con is billed as an epic weekend of fun and frivolity.
The festive annual event will include Acts, Anime, Artists, Board Games, Comics, Cosplay, Crafters, Panels, Table Top games, TV/Movies, and Video Game Tournaments.
Visitors are invited to show off their skills in the Cosplay Costume Contest and Masquerade.
Thy Geekdom Con embraces fandoms from all cartoons, comics, video games, anime, TV/Film, so there is truly something for everyone.
Entrance fees are — Weekend 3 Day Admission, $50; Friday Admission, $30; Saturday Admission, $40; and Sunday Admission, $35.
From May 25-27, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “Memorial Day Taco Fest.”
With the weather co-operating, visitors can grab their shades and head to the winery for some warm weather sips, taco trucks and live music.
The featured drink is Frosé Wine Slushies and there will be a wide selection of festival food.
Admission is free.
The Food Truck Line-Up includes Calaveras Street Tacos, Margie’s Colombian Cuisine, The Nacho Depot, Common Good, The Lost Cow and Frios Pops.
Admission is free with only walk-in seating available. First-come, first-serve tables are available across the property or BYO-blanket/chairs to enjoy the live entertainment on the lawn.
Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) will present “Live Music on the Lawn” every weekend in May.
The schedule for May 25 features Jason Ager from 2-5 p.m.
The line-up for May 26 features Paul Wilkinson from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Chris Despo will perform on May 27 from 2-5 p.m. and again on May 31 from 5-7 p.m.
The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, wcrailroad.com) is running its “Memorial Day Special” on May 26 at noon and 2 p.m.
Passengers can enjoy a 90-minute round trip to Glen Mills and return on a peaceful Sunday afternoon while remembering those who have served. All veterans, active military, police, fire, EMS, and first responders ride for a special reduced fare.
Ticket prices are – Adults, $25; Children (2-12), $20; Military, Police, Fire, EMS, First Responders, $5; Under 2 ride free.
The Strasburg Rail Road (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is running a special train on May 24, 25 and 26 — 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 $7 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.
Tickets are $70.
If you enjoy walking around garden displays or if you like to look at model railroad layouts, then you should definitely check out the Garden Railway Display at the Morris Arboretum & Garden (100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, www.morrisarboretum.org).
The ultra-popular Garden Railway Display has become a major summer attraction at The Gardens at Morris Arboretum. The 26th annual edition of the display has its official season opening scheduled for May 25 and then will remain open until September 30.
This summer, Morris Arboretum will unveil a brand-new exhibition in its popular Garden Railway – “Garden Railway: Dinos!”
With more than 15 different rail lines running along a third of a mile of track, visitors will enjoy a spectacular display of dinosaurs including Triceratops, and Velociraptor, as well as other Mesozoic creatures—all made out of natural materials such as bark, leaves, and twigs.
As one of the largest outdoor miniature train displays in the United States, the Garden Railway will delight and amaze visitors of all ages.
The railway has a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under) and bustling model trains.
The buildings and the display are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with miniature rivers.
Philadelphia-area landmarks are all meticulously decorated for the holidays with lights that twinkle. There is even a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.
Visitors will be able to see miniature replicas of iconic structures at some of America’s most famous public gardens including the Climatron at Missouri Botanical Garden, Torii Gate and Pavilion at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Science Pyramid at Denver Botanic Gardens, and so much more.
The Garden Railway is celebrating 25 years with a new addition — 300 feet of track. This is the largest expansion of the Garden Railway since it was installed in 1998. The new looping section of track extends the total model rail trackage to a third of a mile, making it one of the largest outdoor model train displays in the country.
Admission is $20 for adults; $18 for seniors (65 and older); $10 for students (ages 13-17 or with ID), active military and retired military; and free for children (under 3).
A sweet place to enjoy flowers in bloom is Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).
The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Bluebird Nesting Box Tour” at 1 p.m. on May 26.
For more than 50 years, volunteers at Tyler Arboretum have been monitoring the nesting activities of the Eastern Bluebird. This is a family-friendly tour to share this tradition.
Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $18 for adults (ages 18-64), $15 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for children (ages 3-17) and Military with valid ID.
On May 26,  Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present “Hot Spots & Storied Plots” on May 24 at 10 a.m.
In life and death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead?
This introductory tour provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill East’s long history, which includes many marble masterpieces, stunning views, and legendary stories that afford the cemetery its “wow” factor. An experienced graveyard guide will tell stories about the site’s beautiful art, scenic nature, and fascinating history.
The tour guide for this weekend’s event will be Marty Foley.
On May 25, Laurel Hill will present “Sacred Spaces & Storied Places.”
“Sacred Spaces & Storied Places” is the perfect introductory tour that provides an overview of Laurel Hill West including its architectural artistry, stunning trees and horticulture, and the stories of residents that encompass diverse and fascinating Philadelphia history.
Experienced tour guides offer visitors a unique perspective as no two tours are the same. The Tour Guide this weekend will be Joe Lex.
Hagley Museum and Library (Route 141, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) presents a special event called “Science Saturday” on May 25.
Visitors of all ages are invited to discover solutions to science and engineering challenges. Science Saturdays are drop-in activities, so visitors are free to stop by at any time during the event hours – noon-4 p.m.
The program this Saturday will be “Science Saturday: Living Code.”
Participants can learn how living things get their unique traits and discover what strawberry DNA looks like — without a microscope.
Visitors of all ages are invited to discover solutions to science and engineering challenges.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
On May 25, Hagley will present this month’s installment of “Cannon Firings.”
Guests can have a blast during their visit to Hagley by watching a demonstration of the museum’s signal cannon.
Demonstrations take place at 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
Please note that cannon firings are weather-dependent.
The “Cannon Firings” are included with admission and free for Hagley members.
Admission is $20 Adults, $16 Seniors (62+) and Students, and $10 Children (6-14.).
The Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard (1124 East Seventh Street, Wilmington, Delaware, www.kalmarnyckel.org) is beginning its 2023 season of live sails.
Sailing season for the Kalmar Nyckel returns with river cruises in Wilmington and tall ship sails in Historic New Castle. Tickets for day sails plus private ship rentals are now available.
Day Sails from New Castle are scheduled for May 25, 26 and 27. Ticket prices start at $40.
The ship is a beautiful recreation of the original Kalmar Nyckel, which was built in Holland in the 1620s. Her mainmast is taller than a 10-story building, and she carries 7,600 square feet of sail area and six miles of rigging.
The original Kalmar Nyckel was a Swedish-owned, three-masted armed pinnace that sailed from Goteborg, Sweden in November of 1637 and brought the first permanent European settlers to the Delaware Valley.
In 1986 a group of citizens established the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation to design, build and launch a replica of the Kalmar Nyckel at a shipyard adjacent to the original landing site.
The new Kalmar Nyckel was constructed there and was launched on September 28, 1997. She was commissioned on May 9, 1998, and now serves as Delaware’s sea-going Ambassador of Good Will. She is a fully functional sail training vessel and has represented Delaware all over the country.
There will be free deck tours on May 27.
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 24, 26, 29 and 31 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 time to “Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at Sesame Place!”
Visitors will be able to get photos with Elmo dressed in festive red, white, and blue all weekend at Photos with Elmo & Friends.
There will be a spectacular “C is for Celebrate” fireworks display on May 26 at 9 p.m. Guests can rock out with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count, as their music fills the air and the sky is covered with colorful bursts of brilliance.
Kids can enjoy an action-packed day with their favorites. Much of the activity will take place at Sesame Studio.
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