Comic book and film geeks, guitar gods, Japanese and Ukrainian culture in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

What’s happening on a late August weekend in Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware? Naked bikers, comic book and film geeks, guitar gods, and more!

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U.S. singer Lenny Kravitz performs on the main stage during the opening day of the Paleo Festiva in Nyon, Switzerland, late Tuesday, July 19, 2005.  (AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)

U.S. singer Lenny Kravitz performs on the main stage during the opening day of the Paleo Festiva in Nyon, Switzerland, late Tuesday, July 19, 2005. (AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)

What’s happening on a late August weekend in Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware? Naked bikers, comic book and film geeks, guitar gods, and Japanese and Ukrainian culture are among the diverse offerings in this week’s ‘Things to Do.’

Keystone Comic Con
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
Friday, Aug. 23 – Sunday, Aug. 25; Friday noon – 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$15 (child, one-day) – $155

If you can’t make it to the big annual Comic-Con in San Diego, you can enjoy one right here in Philly. The second annual Keystone Comic Con offers similar programming, with panels, sci-fi stars of the small and big screen, scavenger hunts and cosplay, and of course, appreciators, collectors and creators of comics, movies and graphic novels. Guests scheduled for panels and/or autograph sessions include Tom Holland of “Spider Man Homecoming” and “Spiderman: Far From Home,” director John Carpenter of “Halloween” and “The Fog,” original “Star Trek” actress Nichelle Nichols, and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor Levar Burton. A Pokémon tournament, an appearance by the Philly Avengers, a scavenger hunt, and merchandise galore make it a must-do for serious fans.

Santana: Supernatural Now Tour with the Doobie Brothers
BB&T Pavilion
1 Harbour Blvd.
Camden, N.J.
Saturday, Aug. 24; 7 p.m.
$19 – $203.50

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the three-day music festival in upstate New York that came to be known as a defining symbol of a generation. Carlos Santana was a relative unknown when he and his band walked onto the Woodstock stage on Aug. 16, 1969. They didn’t even have an album out yet. With an eclectic sound combining Latin jazz, rock and blues anchored by his virtuoso guitar skills, Santana walked off the stage to rock superstardom. Since then, he’s sold millions of records, earned 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammys, and in 1998 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Santana, the band. His album “Africa Speaks,” released in June, was produced by Rick Rubin. It features Afro-Latin artist Concha Buika and Santana’s wife, renowned drummer Cindy Blackman. The concert ticket includes the new release.

Jazz in the Park: Pablo Batista
Spruce Street Harbor Park
301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Sunday, Aug. 25; 4 – 8 p.m.

As part of the “Jazz In the Park” series at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Pablo Batista will perform. He is a master percussionist who has worked with an array of artists in multiple genres, including Patti Labelle, Teddy Pendergrass, Musiq, Dianne Reeves, Manny Oquendo and Libre, Kirk Franklin and Eddie Palmieri. His six-piece Latin Jazz Ensemble has played in and around Philadelphia at venues ranging from the Kimmel Center to the Venice Island Recreation Center. Food and drink will be available for purchase, and there is both a beer garden and a barge bar for adult beverages.

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Lenny Kravitz: Raise Vibration Tour
The Met Philadelphia
858 N. Broad St.
Thursday, Aug. 22; 8 p.m.
$30 – $125

Rocker Lenny Kravitz is not just a musician whose career has spanned more than two decades, he’s also a pop-culture phenomenon whose personal aesthetic has helped him launch a second career as a designer and actor. A four-time Grammy Award winner, Kravitz has recorded 10 studio albums featuring big hits like “Let Love Rule” and collaborating with everyone from Prince to Mick Jagger. Though Kravitz has sold over 40 million records, he’s also known for his ability to move freely through the strictures of class and race. The product of an interracial relationship, his mother was the late actress Roxie Roker (“The Jeffersons”) and his father was TV executive Sy Kravitz. His ex-wife is actress Lisa Bonet (“The Cosby Show”), and his daughter is actress/singer, Zoe Kravitz (“Big Little Lies”). His latest release “Raise Vibration” came out in 2018.

Ari Lennox – Femme It Forward Tour
Theater of Living Arts
334 South St.
Saturday, Aug. 24; 7 p.m.
$75 – $205

Ari Lennox, not to be confused with Annie Lennox, is among the new school of up-and-coming R&B artists, but her music sounds refreshingly old school. Her full-length debut, “Shea Butter Baby,” dropped this spring and has already become of fave of your coolest friends. A protégé of rapper J. Cole through his Dreamville Records imprint, Lennox, born Courtney Shanade Salter, is a 28-year-old D.C. native known as much for her stunning visuals and quirky social media presence as she is for her music. But the music is what’s leading the way, including sexy hits like “Up Late” and “BMO (Break Me Off).” Her Philly stop is part of Live Nation Urban’s Femme It Forward tour highlighting ascending (and some veteran) female artists of color nationwide.

Delaware Burger Battle
Rockford Tower At Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, Del.
Saturday, Aug. 24; noon – 3:30 p.m.
$12 – $50

Now in its eighth year, the Delaware Burger Battle brings out top-of-the-line — or should we say top-of-the-grill — burger chefs in the area competing for three different trophies, including the coveted People’s Choice Award. In previous years, over 5,000 guests have enjoyed more than 24,000 burgers from 51 competing restaurants. All proceeds from the event go to charitable organizations — this year, the recipients are Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware ProStart, which prepares high school students for restaurant careers.

Philadelphia Obon Festival
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Lansdowne Drive and Horticultural Drive
Saturday, Aug. 24; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

To remember the ancestors, the Japanese celebrate Obon each August by returning to their hometowns. Regional dances called odori are a part of their celebration, along with family gatherings and cultural events. This weekend, the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia sponsors the event at Fairmont Park’s Shofuso House with Japanese dancers, singers, taiko drummers, and a tea ceremony demonstration by Urasenke Philadelphia. Vendors will be on hand with wares including home goods, and food trucks will serve food for purchase. Admission to Shofuso itself is separate. Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 25.

28th Annual Ukrainian Folk Festival
Ukrainian American Sports Center,
1 Lower State Rd., North Wales
Sunday, Aug. 25; noon – 8 p.m.
$10 – $15

This 28th annual Ukrainian celebration is one of the many festivals that celebrate the diverse cultures to be found in and around Philadelphia. Dance, art and music are highlighted and, given the recent challenges facing the Ukraine, this year’s gathering should be even more special. Programming includes a Ukrainian arts and crafts market, a kids’ zone with face-painting and more, and what is being billed as a celebration of liberty and unity. Performers include the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, violinist Innesa Tymochko Dekajlo, the Vox Ethnika Band, and live reenactments of Ukrainian history from local performance troupes.

Lancaster Craft Beer Fest
Binns Park
120 N. Queen St.
Lancaster, PA
Saturday, August 24; 12 p.m. – 3 pm., 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. (Session 2 is sold out)

The seventh annual Lancaster Craft Beer Festival brings over 40 local and national breweries to Lancaster County for a day of beer sampling, food, drink and music. The rain-or-shine event, split into two sessions, is for 21 and over only. Andy Mowatt’s Frequency Movement is the featured band for Session 1; for those who have already bought tickets to sold-out Session 2, entertainment will be courtesy of Big Boy Brass and KlusterPhunk.

2019 Sunflower Festival
Hellerick’s Family Farm
5500 N. Easton Rd.
Doylestown, PA
Daily through Monday, Sept. 2; 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., 1 – 4 p.m., and 4 – 7 p.m.

Bucks County is home to this year’s Sunflower Festival featuring Hellerick’s Farm’s 2-acre-plus sunflower field. That sounds like a photo opportunity to brighten up any Instagram feed. Not only can you take pics, you can explore and hang out in the festival tent, hear the hourly lecture on sunflowers, and bring the kids for 45 different activities in the Adventure Farm. Ticketed sessions only last for three hours, so you’ll want to choose your activities wisely. One free sunflower is included with admission, but you can purchase more for $2 a stem. Reservations are required.

Philly Naked Bike Ride
Route to be announced 24 hours prior to the event
Saturday, Aug. 24; 2:30 p.m., pre-race activities; 5 p.m. ride

If you wonder why you see a group of bikers sporting more flesh — or body paint — than usual on Saturday, you likely will have unwittingly stumbled across Philly’s annual Naked Bike Ride. Yes, riders can be completely nude, and though it’s technically against local laws on indecent exposure, previous rides have gone off without any hitches. There is a code of conduct participants are expected to adhere to, with prohibitions on sexual activity and harassment as well as limits on photography. The Philly event is just one of a series of rides affiliated with the World Naked Bike Ride, which has been going on since 2004. Originally conceived as a protest against petroleum dependency, the ride has evolved into one focused on cycling activism. You can go as “Bare as You Dare,” but bodypainting is a popular alternative to total nudity and it’s available to participants starting at 2:30 p.m. Look for the event route to be announced Friday at 5 p.m. on PNBR’s Facebook page, as well as info on after-parties.

Dog Day of Summer
Levering Lot 107, Levering Street
Saturday, Aug. 24; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free with general admission: $12 adults; $8 children 5-17, students, senior citizens

Bring your dogs to the biggest canine social event of the summer. Dog vendors, pet stores, veterinary and rescue organizations will all be there to answer questions and offer solutions and anything a dog (or its owner) could possibly want or need. You can even take a portrait with your pet from noon to 3 p.m. If you don’t have a dog, come anyway: The event is open to all, and there will be adoptable dogs on site, so you might come alone and leave with a furry companion. Ten participating restaurants will offer an exclusive summer cocktail using Tito’s vodka, and $1 from each drink sold will benefit the National Canine Cancer Foundation (with a 1:1 match from Tito’s.)

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