What To Do: Downingtown Fall Fest, Brandywine Wine Trail

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Fall means a cornucopia of fun things to do in and county Chester County

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

down-fall-fest-2There will be a bustle of activity in Downingtown on September 28 when the air is filled with autumn briskness and the Victory Brewing Company hosts its Eighth Annual Downingtown Fall Fest (East Lancaster Avenue between Wallace Avenue and Green Street, Downingtown, 610-514-7000, http://downingtownfallfest.com). The all-ages event that is free and open to the public.

The popular street festival, which runs from noon-4 p.m. and will be held rain or shine, will feature live music, a wide assortment of vendors, a BMX aerial show and the Victory Beer Garden.

The Victory Beer Garden featuring the Brewpub on Wheels will be located in the parking lot next to Minquas Fire Department. There is no cost to enter the beer garden. Food and beer will be available for purchase the beer garden. Children are permitted inside the fenced area but must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Live entertainment will be provided by the Downingtown School of Rock House Band and the Punk Junkies. Additionally, there will be BMX Bike shows 12:30 and 3 p.m. on Green Street.

The roster of food and beverage providers includes Amani’s, Gadaleto’s Seafood Market, Georgio’s Restaurant, PJ Whelihan’s Pub, Lione’s Pizza, Righteous Felon Jerky, Victory Brewing Company, Hot Peppers and Sweet Dreams, Bakers of Buffington, Molly Maguire’s, Corporal Dee BBQ, Stella Rossa, Foodicall, The Cow and the Curd, LJs Burger Shack and Mid-Atlantic Food Service.

The list also includes Christ Foundation Academy,  Gourmet Anywhere,  Dia Doce,  Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, St. Anthony’s Italian Restaurant, Bangles Indian Cuisine, Kimberton Whole Foods,Downingtown Country Club, Carlino’s Specialty Foods, LJ’s Burger Shack, J-Dogs Catering and Sweet Lavender.

Additionally, more than 120 vendor and display booths will be set up at the festival covering a wide range of interests.


If it’s fall, it must be time for the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. Six Chester County wineries will be participating, with food, fun and various events, kicking off this weekend.

When autumn arrives in the area, it means that it is time the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail with special passport weekends at its six member wineries. The 12th Annual Brandywine Valley Harvest Festival is scheduled for the next two weekends. The festival will run from noon-5 p.m. on September 27 and 28 and October 4 and 5.

Harvest Fest passports, which are available at any of the Wine Trail member locations for $15, entitle holders to tour, taste and participate in activities at four member wineries of their choice. They will also receive a commemorative Brandywine Valley Wine Trail 10th Anniversary glass.

The members of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail will be offering grape stomping as a kick-off to Breast Cancer Awareness month. Stomps will be scheduled at all vineyards with donations by stompers sent to Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition may be made by those choosing to take part in grape stomping, taking place at all wineries. In addition, the purchase of designated wines will provide for a portion of the purchase price to be given to these two organizations.

Borderland Vineyard (332 Indiantown Road, Landenberg, 215-436-9154, www.borderlandvineyard.com) will offer hayrides, live music and tasty food. Borderland will also have special festival pricing for selected wines by the bottle.

The schedule of live entertainment includes Gusten Lutter & Friends on September 27 and October 5, Sharon Sable and Shawn Qaissaunee on September 28 and the Bickel Brothers on October 4.

Black Walnut Winery (3000 Lincoln Highway, Sadsburyville, 610-857-5566, www.blackwalnutwinery.com) will be featuring wine, food and music.

The festivities include food items prepared by Forno Inferno, horseshoes and bocce playing, wine tastings and live music by the Distractions and the Dylan McGuire Band (Sept. 27), Good to Go (Sept. 28), Dave Saunders Duo (Oct. 4) and Casey Alvarez (Oct. 5).

Kreutz Creek Vineyards (553 S. Guernsey Road, West Grove, 610-869-4412, www.kreutzcreekvineyards.com) will showcase the music of the Moondawgs this weekend and the Sin Brothers on October 4 and 5.

Paradocx Vineyard (1833 Flint Hill Road, Landenberg, 610-444-9003, www.paradocx.com) will host a variety of activities on its 100-acre farm, including a seven-acre corn maze, horseshoes, hayrides and a pumpkin sling shot. Knowlton Point will perform on September 27 and the Essentials will perform on October 4.

Patone Cellars (1051 Wickerton Road, Landenberg, 302-545-7388, www.facebook.com/patonecellars) is accepting reservations for its stomp on October 4.

Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, 610-459-0808, www.pennswoodsevents.com) will feature live music, wine tastings, artisan sales booths, infused olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar tastings, an oak wine barrel raffle, outdoor games and catered food. Live music will be provided by Arianne Rox (Sept. 27), Capture the Flag Acoustic Rock Duo (Oct. 4) and Greg Jones (Oct. 5).

The annual Dressage at Devon (Devon Horse Show grounds, Lancaster Avenue, Devon, 484-358-5510, http://dressageatdevon.org), is running through September 28. It combines world class dressage competition and the world’s largest open breed show. The six-day event attracts hundreds of horses from around the world and thousands of spectators.

The event also includes the Fall Festival at Dressage at Devon, which features a large selection of vendors and an equally large number of specialty boutiques where visitors can shop for arts and crafts, clothing, horse-related items and gourmet food. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12).

If you have ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), there is an event this weekend that you should definitely avoid. On September 27, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Road, Oaks, 610-529-3614,www.northernberksreptileshow.com) will host the East Coast Reptile Super Expo from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 with children (under five) admitted free.

If you think snakes and lizards are interesting creatures and maybe even fun pets to own, you should check out this show.  A wide array of reptiles will be on display as part of the popular exhibition — 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 Fowler Reptiles, Franken Chams, AZO Reptiles, Rose’s Reptiles, Dale’s Bearded Dragons, Blake’s Exotic Reptiles, DHA Pythons, Skins and Scales, The Snake Pit, Delaware Turtle, RKZ Rodents, Monstar Reptiles, Serpents Plus, Heath’s Frog Farm, Newville Dragons, PM Herps, Dragon Fortress and Reptile Addict.

Baseball is heading into its post-season and the football season is just a few weeks old. It’s a perfect time for collectors of sports memorabilia, trading cards, comic books and action figures to hit the ATMs and head out to a collectors’ event. The Philadelphia Baseball Card and Sports Memorabilia Show at the Valley Forge Casino Resort (First Avenue, King of Prussia, 610-524-0822,www.phillyshow.com) is running now through September 28.

Dealers from around the country recognize this show as an event where they can find a market for their highly specialized goods. Similarly, collectors know that if what they’re looking for is out there, it will be there at the Philadelphia show. Collectors also know they will find excellent selections and competitive prices.

This weekend’s event, which runs from 3-8 p.m. today, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, also features former professional sports stars as autograph guests.

Admission to the show is $8 per day or $21 for a three-day pass.

Some of this weekend’s special guests will be former Philadelphia Phillies players Jim Bunning, Rick Wise, Art Mahaffey, Larry Bowa, Darren Daulton, Bobby Shantz, Frank Thomas and Roy Halladay along with current Phils’ pitching ace Cole Hamels. The show will feature over 250 vendor booths with a huge array of sports memorabilia — ranging from highly collectible items from a century ago to the latest sports card issues featuring today’s stars.

There are plenty of special events on autumn weekends for people to enjoy but very few that are good for both people and animals.

malvern fall festival

The Ninth Annual Malvern Fall Festival for the Arts and Paws in the Park takes place Sept. 28.

Fortunately for animals and area pet owners, there are three local events this weekend that are both family-oriented and beneficial for animals — the Malvern Fall Festival for the Arts and Paws in the Park, Whisker Walk and Brew at the Zoo.

The Ninth Annual Malvern Fall Festival for the Arts and Paws in the Park (King Street between Bridge Street and Warren Avenue, Malvern, 484-321-3235, www.malvernbusiness.com) will be held on September 28 in downtown Malvern.

The free event will feature approximately 150 crafters and artists, food and beverage vendors, children’s rides, pumpkin decorating, balloon art and face painting. Most importantly, there will be booths by local animal rescue agencies – some of which will have animals available for adoption.

Whisker Walk (Railroad Avenue, Oxford, 610-932-8521, store.oxfordfeedlumber.com) will be held on September 27 at 9 a.m. The event is a one-mile leisurely walk through Oxford that participants can take with their dogs.

Here’s something good to do on September 26 — have a brew or two and help the zoo. From 5:30-9 p.m., the Brandywine Zoo (1001 North Park Drive, Brandywine Park, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-571-7747, www.brandywinezoo.org) is hosting its annual “Brew at the Zoo.”

Visitors to the zoo, which is located in Brandywine Park along the banks of the Brandywine Creek in downtown Wilmington, will be able to enjoy ice cold craft beer and ale from local distributors and chow down on delicious food from local restaurants such as Chelsea Tavern and Two Stones Pub. Tickets are $50 at the door.

Corn mazes, along with hayrides, a pumpkin patch and scarecrows, will be featured at Ramsey’s Farm, which is located in northern Delaware on Route 92 just south of the Pennsylvania-Delaware state line. The new season runs on weekends now through November 1.

ramses corn maze

The corn maze at Ramsey’s Farm in northern Delaware, offers a trip around the world for maze fans.

The theme for the Corn Maze at Ramsey’s Farm this year is a trip around the world with sections for North America, Europe, South America, Africa, Australia and Asia. While in the maze, visitors can learn about agriculture, farmers and food around the world. They can find out how new technology and modern farming practices help farmers feed more people every day.

Ramsey’s “Pumpkin Patch” has been in operation since 1995 and the farm’s varied mazes have been delighting and baffling visitors who return each year for the popular annual event. The owners of Ramsey’s Farm raise pumpkins, gourds, ornamental corn, popcorn, feed corn and hay.

The farm’s pumpkin field stretches over 12 acres and yields approximately 20,000 pumpkins each season. Hayrides around the farm will be offered from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. Visitors will be able to shop for pumpkins and other items at the farm store. There will also be hot food and beverages available for purchase.

Tickets are $7 for the corn maze, $4 for the sorghum maze, $3 for the hay maze, $2 for pumpkin painting and $3 for a hayride.

Another popular corn maze in the area is already open at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Ronks (150 Cherry Hill Road, Ronks, 717-687-6843, www.cherrycrestfarm.com). The main attraction is Cherry Crest’s “Amazing Maize Maze,” which is billed as “the world’s most dynamic and interactive corn maze.”

It is a five-acre corn maze with over two-and-one-half miles of paths, scenic bridges, and clues. Participants can walk at their own pace as they encounter the “Kernels of Knowledge” along with a variety of clues, tunnel slides, and watering stations. The average time to complete the “Amazing Maize Maze” course is one hour. Tickets are $15 on Thursday and Fridays and $18 on Saturdays, $18.

The farm’s popular annual “Flashlight Maze” will continue every Friday and Saturday night through November. This special activity allows visitors to experience the Amazing Maize Maze in total darkness.

Additionally, Cherry Crest’s “Harvest Fest” celebration runs every Saturday through October 25. Special activities at the festival include pony rides, face painting and cheek art, pumpkin picking, sand art and a “Corn Cannon.”

Collectors of antiques from all around the country will be heading to Pennsylvania’s Amish region this weekend — with good reason.

This is the weekend for Renningers “Antiques & Collectors Extravaganza” ((740 Noble Street, Kutztown; Renninger’s, Route 272, Adamstown, 570-385-0104,www.renningers.com) now through September 27 and “Special Sunday at Renninger’s Adamstown” on September 28.

The Extravaganza features hundreds of antiques dealers from up and down the Eastern Seabord and beyond. Since 1975, Renningers Antiques & Collectors Extravaganzas have been a meeting place for dealers and collectors from a variety of locales. The dealers buy and sell among themselves and offer vintage items for sale to the general public.

Many exhibitors set up shop outdoors — under tents and in the two large pavilions (each of which cover over 2,000 square feet). Also open is the Indoor Antiques Market and the Indoor Farmers Market. Tickets are $6 on Friday and $4 on Saturday.

renningers 2

Renninger’s Indoor Antiques Market offers those shopping for antiques a wide range of options.

Renninger’s Indoor Antiques Market (2500 North Reading Road, Denver, 717-336-2177, www.renningers.com) is the cup of coffee and piece of pie after the meal for those looking for antiques during the Extravaganza weekend — and it’s free.

Manayunk Fall Equinox Fire (along Schuylkill River, Main Street, Manayunk, 215)-482-9565, http://manayunk.com/dsr) eill take place at sunset on September 26. Visitors are requested to come celebrate the fall season in Manayunk.

The event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with a live animal show hosted by the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Guests will be able to make wishes or affirmations on wishing sticks, which will then be burned in the bonfire. The organizers will light 12 floating pontoons running the length of the Manayunk Canal and celebrate the season with multicolored flames.

Other activities at the free, family-friendly event will be a drum circle hosted by WolfSongs (bring your own drum or percussion if you wish — or make your own) and two dances choreographed by Merge Dance Studio performers.

The Ratha Yatra Festival (Benjamin Franklin Parkway in front of the Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 215- 247-4601, www.phillyrathayatra.com), which is scheduled for September 27,  is one of the oldest continually celebrated spiritual festivals in the world.

It is celebrated by devotees of Lord Krishna all over the world.

Ratha Yatra, the festival of the chariots, is a procession of Lord Krishna in his form of Jagannatha, Lord of the Universe. Traditionally held in Puri, eastern India, where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims sing and dance in the procession, the festival now takes place in cities globally.

The popular annual event will feature live Indian music, yoga demonstrations, meditation sessions, performances of classical and modern Indian dance, arts and crafts booths and a variety of cultural exhibitions.

Fall Fest at Hershey Gardens (70 Hotel Road, Hershey, 717-534-3492, www.hersheygardens.org) is scheduled for September 27. Hershey Gardens blooms with autumn fun during its Fall Fest. Special activities for youngsters include scarecrow stuffing and pumpkin carving.

Adults, meanwhile, will be able to gather tips on how to clean up their yards for fall. Admission to the festival is included in the general ticket price, which is $10.50 for adults, $9.50 for seniors (age 62 and older), $7.50 for juniors (ages 3-12) and free for children under three.

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