What To Do: Once again, it’s time for Blobfest!

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times


If something is “one of a kind,” it has to be special. The Blob Fest is one of-a-kind and very special.

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 19th 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 14.

On July 12, 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 13, the “Blobfest 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 Pet Parade, a “Costume Contest” and an array of special guests including Mr. Lobo, Dixie Dellamorto, Dash Daring, Patient Creatures, Ghoul-A-

On July 14, the Colonial will present “Blobfest 2019: A Blobby Sunday Smorgasbord and The Blob .”

The event, which gets underway at 12:30 p.m., has grown to include a diverse assortment of specialty treats. This year will feature new short films from the “The Lost Skeleton Returns Again,” a mini-festival of Blobfest Shorty entries from years past, thrilling Q&As, followed by a screening of “The Blob.”

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 13 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 12 at 10 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks extravaganza will be postponed to July 13.

On July 13, it will be time for the annual Exton Park Community Day at Exton Park (800 Swedesford Road, Exton, www.chescolibraries.org).

Activities begin at 4 p.m. followed by a concert at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at dusk. There will be a “Food Truck Festival” with more than 15 food trucks.

Kids activities includer rock wall, inflatables, Gaga ball pit, face painting, petting zoo, pony rides, bike rodeo, touch a truck, teddy bear hospital and more.

Other activities include archery, music from a DJ, and a “health & wellness fair.”

Admission and parking are free. Additional parking will be available at Church Farm School and Valley Creek Corp. Center

Kennett Carnival

The Kennett Athletic Booster Club (https://sports.kcsd.org/booster-club/) will sponsor its annual carnival from July 17-21 at the school grounds on 100 East South Street. The five-day carnival will have exciting rides for all ages, plenty of delicious food and treats, carnival games and prizes, and more.

Ride tickets are $1.25 per ticket and $25 for sheet of 24 tickets. Pay one Price ride wristbands, good for unlimited rides on the night of purchase, are $25 per wristband/per night. Pre-sale ride wristbands are $20 each and are sold through July 16.

The Delaware Astronomical Society is presenting its “Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration” on July 13 from 5-10 p.m. at West Chester University (South High Street, West Chester, delastro.org).

On July 19, 1969, Apollo 11 made history when the first men walked on the Moon.  The Mather Planetarium will be hosting a special event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of these extraordinary NASA Apollo missions.
From 5-6 p.m. at WCU’s Main Hall (building) Room 168, Keynote Speaker John Conrad, NASA Solar System Ambassador, will present “Lunar Reflections: Before, During, and After Apollo 11.”

Conrad followed his childhood interest in space and spaceflight – just before the dawn of the Space Age – and earned  his Astronautical Engineering degrees from the US Air Force Academy and Purdue University. He then went straight into leadership of space programs for the Air Force, NASA, and the aerospace industry.  Upon retirement, he was selected by NASA/JPL as a NASA Solar System Ambassador.

Then from 6-10 p.m., the Mather Planetarium will celebrate the extraordinary NASA Apollo missions. 6-10 PM

A Planetarium Show will be held from 6-10 p.m. with the Fulldome Movie, “Apollo 11: Man’s First Steps onto the Moon.” This movie is a production of the Jenks Planetarium and students from Jenks High School, Oklahoma.

Showings will run every half hour starting at 6 p.m. Free, timed tickets will be given out at the door starting at 5:30 p.m. with a six-ticket limit per person.  Seating is limited — first come, first served.

The “Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration” offers visitors an evening of activities including planetarium shows, telescope viewing, and hands-on activities.

On July 13 and 14, Chaddsford Winery (Route 1, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, www.chaddsford.com) will present a special event called “Wine Slushie Weekend.”

The event’s live music schedule will feature Matt Spitko from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Nick Trill and the Thrillseekers from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on June 13. The entertainment schedule for July 14 features Nick Trill and the Thrillseekers from 2:30-5:30 p.m.

The special weekend activity, which will run from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday, will showcase a variety of “Chaddsford Wine Slushies” — four unique frozen libations made with delicious seasonal ingredients and Chaddsford wines.

Featured Slushie flavors are Peach Bellini made with Niagara, Cherry Bomb made with Chaddsford Red, Prickly Pear made with Chaddsford White and Orange Mango Spring Wine Popsicle.

The “Wine Slushie Weekend” will have a pair of featured food trucks – Haute Wheels and Mama Mia Continental Fusion.

This event is rain or shine. Slushies will be available while supplies last. Admission for children is free if accompanied by an adult (21 or over). Chaddsford Winery reserves the right to refuse entry to any individual not accompanied by an adult.

Seating at the Winery is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or folding chairs to guarantee comfortable seating on the grounds. No outside alcohol permitted.

Admission to “Wine Slushie Weekend” is free and all wine and food purchases are pay-as-you-go.

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) is a great place to enjoy nature’s summertime living flower show.

The biggest attraction at Longwood right now is the Festival of Fountains, which is running now through September 30.

With fountains that jet as high as 175 feet, gardens filled with colorful summer blooms, shade-friendly trees, exotic day and night blooming waterlilies, and live music outdoors, Longwood gardens has something for everyone.

The fountain project took two years and $90 million in renovations. The fountain features more than 1,300 jets and streams, a similar amount of LEDs, a variety of flame features and a wide array of plants from around the world.

Longwood’s popular Main Fountain Garden has returned for a second season after attracting more than 600,000 guests last year with its 1,719 jets twirling and dancing to music. At night, Illuminated Fountain Performances return featuring a selection of dynamic new shows and past favorites.

In addition to the Main Fountain Garden, Longwood is also home to a collection of other fountain gardens, including the enchanting Italian Water Garden and Open Air Theatre fountains, which also perform daily.

The ultra-popular Festival of Fountains features the gardens in their summer splendor. Flowering annuals and perennials abound, as well as the breathtaking Waterlily Display that showcases aquatic plants from all over the world.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and $12 for youth (ages 5-18).

The West Chester Railroad (Market Street Station, West Chester, 610-430-2233, www.westchesterrr.net) is running its special “Summer Picnic Special” trains every Sunday now through September 22.

The round-trip train ride travels to the village of Glen Mills and back and lasts for 90 minutes. During the brief layover in Glen Mills, riders can explore the historic Pennsylvania Railroad station and have a snack in the railroad’s picnic grove along the Chester Creek.

Riders can order a boxed lunch when they purchase their tickets online. Sandwich choices are ham and cheese hoagies, turkey and cheese hoagies, and PB&J. All lunches, which are made fresh, come with chips, fruit, drink and cookies.

Additionally, the lunches are packed in a special reusable lunch bag emblazoned with the WCRR logo. Tickets for the train rides are $15 for adults, $13 for children ages 2-12 and free for kids under two.

Super Hero Express

The Wilmington & Western Railroad (2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-998-193, www.wwrr.com) will run its “Super Hero Express” on July 13 at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Jumping straight out of the comic books, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Leonardo the Ninja Turtle wil visit the Wilmington & Western to ride the rails.

Passengers will be able to ride to the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove with the Super Heroes — and all are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite super hero costume. This is a 1½-hour round-trip.

Due to popular demand, the tourist rail has added an additional date for this event — Saturday, August 31.

This departure is powered by one of W&WRR’s historic first-generation diesel locomotives.

Tickets for these trains are $20 for adults, $19 for senior citizens and $18 for children.

The Morris Arboretum (100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-5777, morrisarboretum.org) has a family-oriented special events on its calendar this weekend.

On July 13 and 14, the Arboretum will welcome a visit from Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.

Kids of all ages can look for their favorite train characters among the whole steam engine gang from Sodor as they take over the Railway for the weekend.

Both events are included in garden admission, which is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $10 for youth (ages 3-17) and free for children under three.

Friday Night Lights

On July 12 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 Eighth 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 with Hoots & Hellmouth and Vanessa Collier and marshmallows toasted over a crackling fire.

The 2019 vendors are 2SP Brewing Company, Baked Cookies and Dough, Dressler Estate Cider, The Happy Pita Food Truck, Sum Pig Food Truck and Victory Brewing Company.

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

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.

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 $35 and advance registration required.

Other small, low-key music festivals around the area this weekend are the 2019 Shady Grove Music Fest in the Village of Arden (2126 The Highway, Arden, Delaware, ardenconcerts.com) on July 13 from noon-9 p.m., and Jazz in the Park from 3-7 p.m. on July14 at Spruce Street Harbor Park (301 South Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, www.delawareriverwaterfront.com).

The lineup and schedule for the 2019 Shady GroveMusic Fest is Hoochi Coochi – 7:30 p.m., Dentist (Band)- 6:15 p.m.,  Sixteen Jackies – 5 p.m., Chvnce – 4 p.m., Lazy Eye – 3:15 p.m., Tetra – 2:15 p.m.,
Glass Doors – 1:30 p.m., Bad Eyesight 12:45 p.m., The Wasted Arrows Band – Noon.

Food Trucks, beer and wine will be available onsite. No dogs or outside food and drinks are permitted. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.

Gates open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate with free entry for children under 12. Proceeds benefit the Gild Hall Restoration Fund.

Jazz in the Park will feature a live performance by Arturo Stable.

Stable was born in Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of the island nation’s most important center of culture and home of such elemental music styles as the Guajira and Son. Nurtured in a family deeply involved in the performing and visual arts and encouraged by his father Arturo Sr., a musician and a painter, Jr. began his formal study of music at the age of four, taking piano and theory lessons.

When the family moved to Havana and continued his music education. He earned his first degree, in percussion, at the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, the same esteemed institution that has over the decades groomed the talents of countless other celebrated Cuban musicians, among them pianists Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Hilario Durán and saxophonist Yosvany Terry.

In 1993, Stable relocated to Puebla, Mexico, a bustling metropolis south of Mexico City. While there he polished his skills as a percussionist working as a sideman, performing everything from Latin jazz to rock and traditional Latin styles. He also began here his career as an educator, teaching classical and Afro- Cuban percussion at the Puebla State University (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla). At the same time, Stable continued his quest of knowledge, pursuing a postgraduate degree in music education from the Puebla State Development University.

His rapidly expanding talents did not go unnoticed. In 2001, Stable received a scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music, where he earned a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production and cultivated friendships with many of the musicians who accompany him on his solo artist career. Arturo also holds a master’s degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

The concert is free and open to the public. Dogs on leashes are welcome.

Islamic Heritage Festival

The Delaware Waterfront will also host another special event this weekend – the Islamic Heritage Festival on July 13

The festival, which is a popular annual event as part of as part of the PECO Multicultural Series, will run from 2-8 p.m. at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

This longstanding event features family-friendly games, speakers, a health-and-wellness fair, free giveaways, entertainment, and a global open market bazaar.

The festival is free and open to the public – and is wheelchair accessible.

Blueberry Festival

On July 13, Linvilla Orchards (137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com) will host its annual “Blueberry Festival.”

This is the season to enjoy outdoor festivals celebrating fresh seasonal fruit — blueberry festivals and strawberry festivals in early July and peach festivals later in the month. This weekend, the blueberry is in the spotlight.

In 1999, the United States Department of Agriculture in 1999 proclaimed July as “National Blueberry Month.” To celebrate, Linvilla Orchards has been presenting its annual Blueberry Festival ever since. This year’s festival is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

There will be plenty of fresh blueberries that you can pick (starting at 8 a.m.) or purchase already picked. There will also be a wide array of freshly-baked blueberry treats available for purchase.

The schedule features a full slate of family-oriented activities throughout the day including appearances by costumed characters, pony rides, face painting and a crafts area.

The roster of entertainers includes Silly Joe and Parlour Noir Ritchie. Strolling costumed characters at the festival will be Traveling Train, Dr. Duck and Vet Girl.

Roasty Toasty will be at the festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. making those delicious ears of corn that Linvilla’s visitors have grown to love.

And, of course, the festival will include the always-popular “Blueberry Pie Eating Contest.”

The 12th Annual Downtown Media Car Show will be held on July 14 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Veterans Square on State Street in Media.

The free annual event, which is sponsored by the Delco Cruisers Car Club and the Media Business Authority, 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.

Rain date is July 21.

On July 12 and 13, Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present a program called “The Hot Spots and Storied Plots.”

The walking tour will take place both days at 10 a.m. departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue.  Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

This monthly tour series provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long and colorful history, which includes many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views and legendary stories. “The Hot Spots and Storied Plots” is the perfect introductory tour for anyone who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature and fascinating history. Laurel Hill’s experienced graveyard guides will offer visitors a unique perspective for every tour.

The cost is $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Youth and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tours take place on the Second Saturday and Fourth Friday of each month; and every Friday at 10:00 am during from June to October.

The Germantown Second Saturday Festival (http://www.freedomsbackyard.com) will be held on July 13 from noon-5 p.m. at Historic Market Square Park (Germantown Avenue and School House Lane, Germantown)

Historic Germantown and Germantown United CDC is beginning its 2018 Second Saturday series featuring all 16 Historic Germantown sites, which will be open monthly (May thru October).

The event highlights the many thriving cultural, civic and business activities that make Germantown an exciting place to visit.

Special attractions at Saturday’s event will be a live music; an arts and crafts marketplace; historic re-enactors, family-friendly programs and free bus and walking tours of Historic Germantown sites.

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival’s run has been extended but be aware –if you snooze, you lose. This is the final weekend for the event.

Now through July 14, Franklin Square (http://historicphiladelphia.org/chineselanternfestival/) will come alive every night with its Chinese Lantern Festival featuring more than two dozen illuminated lanterns – all constructed by lantern artisans from China.

Chinese-inspired performances will take place in Franklin Square twice nightly. Performances, which celebrate Chinese performance art and entertainment, are 30-minutes long and are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m.

Festival hours are 6-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $18 for adults, $12 for youth, and $15 for seniors and military.

On July 13, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Road, Oaks, 610-529-3614, www.eastcoastreptilesuperexpos.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.

Live blues music performed outdoors paired with tastings of fresh cold beer sounds like a perfect recipe for a summer afternoon. That’s just what you’ll find at Mount Hope Estate & Winery (2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim, www.parenfaire.com) on July 13.

Mount Hope Estate, which is the home of the PA Renaissance Faire, will present its 10th Annual Blues & Brews on Saturday with two sessions – noon-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the taste of Maryland with an all-you-can-eat menu featuring crabs, brisket and more at Mount Hope’s annual Blues and Brews. This summer staple, in the feasting glen area of Mount Hope Estate & Winery, welcomes guests to enjoy fresh seafood and other favorites while live music fills the outdoor feasting glen.

Each session features a delicious menu of all-you-can-eat seafood and BBQ options, plus fresh ales, wines and ciders, and live musical performances by Mike McMonagle.

Tickets are $59.95 for adults and $19.95 for children.

“English Country Dancing,” which has its origins in the late 17th century in England and was popular throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. It features elegant formations and grace combined with music that ranges from the haunting to effervescent.

On July 13, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., the Historic Houses of Odessa (Main Street, Odessa, Delaware, 302-378-4119, www.historicodessa.org) will host a special dance event when the Dover English Country Dancers hold their 12th annual Colonial Dance.

Historic Odessa invites the public to immerse themselves in the sounds and dance formations of the 18th-century in an entertaining and memorable experience.

The accomplished performers, including musicians, of the Dover English Country Dancers, who have been promoting 18th century dance since 1979, will instruct participants in a walk through before each dance. Casual dress and comfortable shoes required.

Admission is $10 and will be used to benefit the Historic Odessa Foundation’s educational programming. Guests are asked to bring a sweet or savory dish for all to enjoy.

Additionally, The Historic Odessa Foundation will present “The Secret Garden Children’s Tea” on July 14.

In anticipation of the Historic Odessa Foundation’s 2019 Christmas Holiday Tours, which this year celebrate Francis Hodgson Burnett’s (1849-1924) classic children’s novel The Secret Garden, Historic Odessa will be hosting a Secret Garden Children’s Tea this Sunday 14 at 2 p.m., at the Foundation’s Collins-Sharp House (c. 1700), one of Delaware’s oldest structures.

Children will discover a secret garden as the Historic Odessa Foundation transforms the Collins-Sharp House working kitchen garden into the mysterious walled garden of Misselthwaite Manor. Young attendees will enjoy storytelling, a scavenger hunt, summertime crafts and delicious refreshments.

Tickets are $15.

If you find yourself being affected by a full moon, you should consider attending a “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 July 13 and the full moon is known as the Buck 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. There is also the option of 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 whatever speed you find comfortable. 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. The next “Full Moon Tour” this year will be Sturgeon Moon on August 17.

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