Delco Arts week, Amblerfest, rockin’ with ‘Beehive,’ history redux in Germantown, and more in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

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Chris Stapleton performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Friday, May 3, 2019, in New Orleans

Chris Stapleton performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Friday, May 3, 2019, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Amid COVID uncertainty and varying mandates in the Delaware Valley, fueled by the delta and other newer variants, most events are requesting proof of vaccination and returning to mask mandates. Since the situation remains fluid, scheduled events may be rescheduled or canceled as regulations change, so be sure to check with venues and be aware of ticket return/refund policies beforehand.

Delco Arts Week

Delco Arts Festivals
Delco Arts Festivals (provided)

Delaware County is experiencing a media resurgence due to the success of the HBO series “Mare of Easttown,” but the area has long been home to a diverse mix of arts and culture organizations. They are being highlighted during a weeklong celebration that includes the Upper Darby International Festival, the Italian American Heritage Festival, the Delaware County Symphony’s free ‘Explore the Orchestra’ initiative, and other workshops, exhibits, festivals, and kid-friendly events.

  • What: A celebration of arts and culture in Delaware County
  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 2 – Saturday, Oct. 9
  • How much: Various, some events free, some ticketed

Ambler Art and Music Festival

Ambler Arts and Music Festival
(Ambler Arts and Music Festival)

The annual Arts and Music Festival combines the town’s annual Amblerfest, rescheduled from Father’s Day, with Oktoberfest for what is now a two-day fall festival. Over 75 arts vendors and local musicians — including  M.A.F.I.A., Triple Rail Turn, Montoj, and the Vincent James Band —  will be on-site. Two beer gardens, 13 food trucks, and all of Ambler’s restaurants and local businesses are on board.

  • What: In-person festival
  • Where: Main Street, Ambler, Pa.
  • When: Friday, Oct. 1, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • How much: Free, pay as you go

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror

Modern artist Jasper Johns has been hailed as one of the most important artists of his time and assailed as one of the most overrated artists of his time. Whatever you believe, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s latest exhibition of his work will give you the chance to test your theory. The 91-year-old artist is the subject of a dual retrospective running concurrently at both the Art Museum and the Whitney Museum in New York City.

  • What: In-person art exhibit
  • Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 
  • When: Through Feb. 13, 2022
  • How much: Free with museum admission

Mural Arts Month

The theme for this year’s Mural Art Month is resilience, an understandable choice given the global turmoil of the past 18 months. Mural Arts Philadelphia presents a month of activities including tours, panel discussions, a film screening, a dedication of two new murals, an art exhibition, a mural projection at the Cherry Street Pier, and more.

  • What: Cultural event
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Through Oct. 31
  • How much: Various, some events are free, some ticketed

Delaware Contemporary First Friday

First Friday is here and in Delaware, it’s celebrated with arts and culture at The Delaware Contemporary. The event includes a talk with curator Michael Dika and artists from “The Medium is the Message: An Africa Diaspora Story” on display at the University of Delaware, a youth art exhibition, and a spotlight on the featured exhibits “Traces” and “2021 Spirit” both on display now.

  • What: In-person and virtual cultural event
  • Where: The Delaware Contemporary 200 S. Madison St., Wilmington, Del.
  • When: Friday, Oct. 1, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • How much: Free

Revolutionary Germantown Festival

General George Washington lost the Battle of Germantown on Oct. 4, 1777, but the Continental Army won praise for its resilience on the battlefield. It is said that this is the battle that changed the outcome of the American Revolution. This must be why the Revolutionary Germantown Festival was mounted. Food, music, tours of historic sites, and a reenactment of the infamous battle (complete with musket fire) will bring the past to life in the present.

Beehive: The 60’s Musical

During the days when the beehive was the hairstyle du jour, the songs that came along with them became instant classics. Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party,” Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” and Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross’ multiple ‘60s hits all get their just due during the run of “Beehive: The 60’s Musical” at the Walnut Street Theater. The show will take you back to the days when the radio and turntable ruled as well as the women whose voices swelled from them to provide the soundtrack of the era.

  • What: In-person performance
  • Where: Walnut Street Theater, 825 Walnut St.
  • When: Through Sunday, Oct. 31
  • How much: $25 – $175

Truck and Tractor Day

Winterthur
(Winterthur)

While you may think of Delaware’s Winterthur Museum as a tony place whose hallowed walls hold precious art and artifacts, they’re a versatile institution. This weekend, in celebration of its past as a dairy farm, kids of all ages can enjoy an outdoor event that focuses on big farming vehicles. Along with a hayride and the chance to dress up as a firefighter, you and the kids can milk a mechanical cow. Yup, they have one.

  • What: In-person kid’s event
  • Where: Winterthur Museum, 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Del.
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • How much: $6 – $20

Chris Stapleton

Americana and country music are popular in the Delaware Valley along with R&B and soul, and the two aren’t that far apart. Country superstar Chris Stapleton performed with H.E.R. at this year’s CMT Awards, and recorded “Say Something” with Justin Timberlake. The Kentucky native is a prolific singer/songwriter who’s earned five Grammys and ten Country Music Association Awards. His latest album and its title track, “Starting Over” were released in 2020.

Bilal

Philly native Bilal’s debut “1st Born Second” turned 20 years old this July, but it still sounds contemporary. It’s one of the linchpins of the ‘90s Philadelphia neo-soul renaissance that included Jill Scott, Kindred the Family Soul, and Musiq, among others. Bilal will bring his talents as one of its architects to City Winery for two shows on Saturday night, and we’re sure some cuts from that seminal work will make the set list.

Keep checking with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 recovery. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

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