Art for fun’s sake, music old and new, fall festivals crowd the calendar

Fall festivals are abundant -- and an exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History is expected to draw in admirers of a cartoonist

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Apple harvest. (Serenkonata/BigStock)

Apple harvest. (Serenkonata/BigStock)

There’s plenty to do in the area this weekend. You can hear a pioneering rock star and one of her many successors perform. Or you might prefer another blast from the past, courtesy of several ‘90s hip-hop acts in town.

Fall festivals are abundant — and an exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History is expected to draw in admirers of a cartoonist with a complicated sense of the absurd.

The Art of Rube Goldberg 
National Museum Of American Jewish History, Fifth and Market streets, Philadelphia
Through Jan. 21

The work of artist and cartoonist Rube Goldberg is having newfound popularity as the YouTube generation discovers his flair for the absurd. Goldberg, who died in 1970, drew fabulous gizmos to accomplish the most mundane tasks. The comprehensive retrospective of his work is the first since the 1970 exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

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Apple Festival at Kirby’s Mill
Kirby’s Mill, 275 Church Road, Medford, N.J.
Oct. 13, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Apples – and all manner of treats featuring apples – are the focus at this festival in a New Jersey town with an 18th-century mill listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There will be more than 100 crafters, things for kids to do, and the ever-popular apple cider doughnuts, a personal fave.

Autumn In Moorestown
Main Street, Moorestown, New Jersey
Oct. 13, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

This festival promises crafts, cruise and brews. Check out the  classic car show, organized by High Octane New Jersey and featuring an array of fun, historic and exotic vehicles. Crafters include Slip Stitch Avenue, a knitting and crocheting business, and breweries from all over the region.

Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits Festival
Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, 866 N. DuPont Highway, Dover
Oct. 13, 12:30–4 p.m.
General admission: $50

Here’s a chance to learn more about the many regional options in wine, beer and spirits. You can sample the wares of area wineries, breweries and spirit distillers — and meet the people crafting those potent potables. Food trucks, live music, outdoor games, special exhibits and guided tours of the museum also are on tap.

Participants include Nassau Valley Vineyards established in Lewes, Delaware, in 1993; Philly’s Stateside Urbancraft vodka producers; and Dover’s own Fordham and Dominion Brewing Company.

27th Annual Wine Festival at Dilworthtown Inn
1390 Old Wilmington Pike, West Chester, Pennsylvania
Oct. 14, noon-4 p.m.
Tickets: up to $225

This festival, which features more than 100 wines, a silent auction and a performance car show benefits the Abramson Cancer Center at Chester County Hospital and the Neighborhood Health Hospice.

Allentown Fall Festival
Main Street, Allentown, New Jersey
Oct. 13 and 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Here’s another chance to sample some seasonal brews at the beer garden and check out classic cars. This kid-friendly festival also features Civil War re-enactment and a petting zoo.

Philly Cheesesteak and Food Fest
2300 Arena, 2300 S. Swanson St.
Oct. 13, 1–6 p.m.
Admission: $14.95 to $59.95

Ben Franklin may not have had a hand in it, but the cheesesteak is one of the most iconic culinary inventions of the Philadelphia area. It so defines the city’s food culture that it’s known worldwide as the “Philly” cheesesteak. Naturally, there must be a festival to celebrate it.

Forty-plus vendors will showcase every possible iteration of the food that’s more of a meal than a sandwich. And a cheesesteak-eating contest may bring the crown back to Philly this year. Last year’s champion was a California woman – Molly Schuyler, who ate an amazing 9.5 cheesesteaks.

Pickledelphia Pickle Festival
Piazza at Schmdt’s Commons, 1001 N. Second St., Philadelphia
Oct. 14, 1–6 p.m.

Philly’s very first pickle festival features every kind of pickle treat imaginable from fried pickles to pickle pizza. Cover bands My Hero Zero and Shot of Southern will provide the sounds,  and a Bloody Mary Bar, a craft beer garden and the Pickle Back Shot Experience provide the libations to accompany selections from Brine Street Picklery. If you ever find yourself in a pickle … well, this would be the one time you’d want to be.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo – A Very Acoustic Evening
Scottish Rite Auditorium, Collingswood, New Jersey
Oct. 13, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $59-$79

Be still, my teenage rebel heart. Pioneering rocker Pat Benatar, known for her anthemic ‘80s hits that perfectly matched adolescent angst, is heading to the area with Neil Giraldo, her husband and musical collaborator of almost 40 years. The acoustic set puts a different spin on the music. But, even all these years after their chart-topping heyday, the songs retain the urgency that made Benatar a rock icon.

Bucks Country Book Festival
Various venues in Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Oct. 13 and 14

Brain food is foremost on the menu of the Bucks County Book Festival that’s bringing more than 50 authors to Doylestown. The festival covers multiple genres and all ages, including special events for children and young adult readers. On Sunday, WHYY’s Tracey Matisak interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges about his provocative new book “America: The Farewell Tour.”

Tickets to that event are $42, but most other events are free.

Festival for the People
Cherry Street Pier, Race Street Pier, Philadelphia
Through Oct. 28

One of Philadelphia’s newest waterfront attractions opens this weekend. The Festival for the People kicks off that new space on the Cherry Street pier with three weekends of art installations showcasing local artists along with food, vendors, markets and outdoor gardens.

It’s a reminder that art can be accessible to all people, and it reflects Philadelphia’s efforts to redesign and repurpose public spaces as well as reflect the city’s vibrant art scene.

Taste of Ardmore
Ardmore Toyota, 219 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Oct. 11, 5:30–9 p.m.
Admission: $40-50

Instead of buying a car, you’ll be able to sample food and drink from some of the Main Line’s finest restaurants, including The Bercy and Besito Mexican. Talented brewers from the Main Line Brewers Association will also offer tastes of their best brews.

Musical coda

‘90s hip-hop hitmakers Ja Rule with Method Man & Redman appear at the former Electric Factory, now North Seventh, Friday night;  Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan will perform at 1 Center Square, Easton, on Saturday; and Talib Kweli is at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer Friday. That means at least two of the Wu-Tang Clan are touring, which is good news for all its fans.

Florence and the Machine will be at the Wells Fargo Center Sunday on her “High as Hope” tour to round out the musical offerings.


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