Weekly Entertainment Guide – July 4th celebrations

    From Center City to the Jersey Shore, we’ve got your holiday weekend covered. WHYY’s Arts Calendar curator Robin Bloom sorts through hundreds of listings each week to find out what’s happening in the Delaware Valley. Here are her picks:

    Celebrate “The Roots” of our Independence in Philadelphia

    The Wawa Welcome America Festival is underway with activities to celebrate our nation’s independence including: Taste of Philadelphia Concert and Fireworks Spectacular, Saturday, June 30, 11am-10pm, Penn’s Landing; Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival, Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1, noon-5pm & 6pm-9pm, ($7 admission), Walnut West Parking Lot, Columbus Blvd and Walnut Street; Taste of Philadelphia Gospel, Sunday, July 1, 11am-7pm, Penn’s Landing; Mural Arts Paint Day design honoring The Roots, Tuesday, July 3, 2-5pm, Independence Mall at Independence National Historical Park; “Pops” on Independence, free concert with Peter Nero, Tuesday, July 3, 8pm, Independence Hall; Independence Day Parade, Wednesday, July 4, 11am; Party on the Parkway, Ben Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to Eakins Oval, Wednesday, July 4, 12pm-7pm; Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks with The Roots, Queen Latifah, Common, Daryl Hall, Joe Jonas, and more, Wednesday, July 4, 7pm-11pm, with fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.

    A few more “Grand Nights” left at Walnut Street Theatre

    Walnut Street Theatre transforms an average studio into an extravagant 1950’s night club in “A Grand Night for Singing,” the musical revue celebrating over 40 of Rodgers and Hammerstein timeless hits. The atmosphere is set for comic audience interaction and camaraderie in such songs as “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” and “I Cain’t Say No,” as well as a proper cabaret setting with “Love, Look Away,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” and “If I Loved You.” This talented four person cast allows for fluid motion between the classic songs, and musical director David Jenkins presents creative arrangements of “Kansas City,” “Honey Bun,” and more. This unique production closes Sunday, July 1, Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets: $35. If you can’t catch it at the Walnut, see it at the newly renovated Bucks County Playhouse (below).

    To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington and Religious Freedom

    As the fourth of July approaches, the National Museum of American Jewish History remembers the religious freedom on which our country was founded with a special exhibition, “To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington and Religious Freedom,” focusing on George Washington’s historic 1790 letter to the “Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island,” where he states that Jews living in the US would enjoy “the exercise of their inherent natural rights.” Other examples of religious tolerance featured include a letter to the Quaker community, early printings of the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson’s Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, and a portrait of Washington, ca. 1800. A George Washington Walking Tour, featuring sites in Philadelphia related to the exhibition, is also available. The exhibit opens Saturday, June 30 through September 30 at 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia. Admission: Adult $12, Youth/Senior $11, Children/Military Free.

    The 63rd Annual Kutztown Folk Festival

    The 63rd Annual Kutztown Folk Festival commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with the theme “Pennsylvania and the Civil War,” introducing experts on the Pennsylvania Dutch involvement, Quilts: Directional Signs for the Underground Railroad, reenactments, and more. The festival offers traditional Pennsylvania Dutch quilts, crafts, music, dancing, food, and treats, June 30 through July 8, 9am-6pm, Kutztown Fairgrounds, Kutztown, PA, Route 222, between Allentown and Reading. Admission: One Week Pass $24; One Day Pass Adult $14, Senior (55+) $13, Junior (13-17) $5, Children (12 and under) Free.

    Freedom Blast! at Fort Mifflin on the Delaware

    Fort Mifflin on the Delaware celebrates Independence Day with the annual “Freedom Blast!,” Saturday, June 30, 10am-4pm, highlighting the long history of the fort spanning from its construction in the 1770s to its decommissioning in 1954, with activities for the whole family including drills with wooden muskets and grenade tossings, flag raising ceremony, weapon and cannon demonstrations, guided tours, and more at Fort Mifflin and Hog Island Roads, Philadelphia. Adults $6, seniors $5, Veterans and students under 12 $3, with complimentary admission for active duty personnel and their families.

    Bucks County Playhouse reopens

    The Bucks County Playhouse reopens after almost 2 years with “A Grand Night for Singing,” July 2-29, 73 years and 1 day after the initial grand opening. Directed by Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Lonny Price, this production features over 40 songs by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who called Bucks County home until Hammerstein’s death in 1960. The Bucks County Theatre also presents a Late Night Cabaret series throughout the summer, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA. Tickets: $25-$54.

    Celebrate Independence Day in “Freedom’s Backyard”

    The annual neighborhood festival in Historic Germantown offers guided tours, historical re-enactments, bell-ringing ceremony and family friendly activities on Wednesday, July 4 from 11am-4pm at five sites and historic houses that played a role in our nation’s fight for freedom: Stenton, Hood Cemetery, Concord School and Upper Burying Ground, Johnson House Historic Site, and Cliveden of the National Trust, hosting the new exhibit “Emancipating Cliveden,” a multimedia display incorporating previously unseen images and documents relating the African American slave experience in early America, Germantown section of Philadelphia. Free.

    Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration at Fonthill

    Fonthill Museum’s Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration is Wednesday, July 4, noon-4pm, with early 20th century festivities including a decorated bike parade, old-time games, family activities, live music, food, and more on the castle grounds, 84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown, PA. Adults $4, members $2, children ages 5-17 $1, children 4 and under free.


    Odean Pope performs at AC’s Chicken Bone Beach Concert

    Chicken Bone Beach Concerts continue on Thursdays in Atlantic City, NJ with Odean Pope & Brenda Bass Ensemble, July 5, 7pm; Crosswinds & Tim Warfield, July 12, 7pm; Kennedy Plaza between Mississippi & Georgia Avenues on the Boardwalk. Free.



    Other events happening throughout the region:


    Lights of Liberty’s newest multimedia production, “The Liberty 360 Show,” takes you on a 15 minute, 3-D journey through the symbols of freedom, hosted by Ben Franklin in the PECO Theater, Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia. Family Four Pack $20, adults $6, student/senior/military $5, children 12 and under $5.

    The 132nd Independence Day Regatta, the largest summer club regatta in the U.S., is Friday, June 29, beginning at 9am with heats for all juniors under age 19; Saturday, June 30, 8am heats and semi-finals until noon, then finals until past 5pm; Sunday, July 1, 8am, heats and semi-finals until around noon, then finals until past 3pm; starting line near the intersection of Kelly Drive and Hunting Park Avenue, finish line is at grandstands and Kelly statues, Kelly Drive, Fairmount Park. Free for spectators.

    The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to its summer home in Fairmount Park with the traditional “All-Tchaikovsky Spectacular,” Friday, June 29, 8pm with fireworks; Idina Menzel Barefoot at the Mann, Saturday, June 30, 8pm; PECO Pops @ the Mann with Chris Botti, Thursday, July 19, 8pm; PECO Pops @ the Mann with the music of John Williams, 80

    The National Constitution Center hosts Independence Day festivities with special events, live musical performances: Independence Day Celebration, Saturday, June 30, 9:30am-6pm, included with museum admission; Revolutionary War Re-enactors, July 2-4; School of Rock, July 4, The Fourth of July Show, Flag Etiquette Workshops, Star Spangled Banner Show, arts & crafts and demonstrations, July 2-5, Independence Mall, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Admission: Adults $14.50, Seniors (65 or older) & Students $13, Children (age 4 – 12) $8, Members, Active Military w/ID and Children under 3 free.

    The Clark Park Music & Arts Festival has celebrated West Philly for over 40 years with music, kid’s activities, and art and craft vendors. The festival returns this Saturday, June 30 at 12pm, featuring performances by Mount Joy, Psychic Teens, Samsara, and more, at 43rd and Chester, Philadelphia. Free.

    PA Suburbs & Delaware

    Inner Light Theatre presents “Seussical: The Musical,” Friday, June 29, 7pm, Saturday, June 30, 7pm, and Sunday, July 1, 3pm, at the Newark United Methodist Church, 69 East Main St, Newark, DE. Tickets: $5-$10.

    The First State Symphonic Band Summer Beach Concert is Saturday, June 30, 7:30pm, Bethany Beach Bandstand, Boardwalk, and Thursday, July 5, 6:30pm, Bellevue State Park, Wilmington, DE with marches, show tunes and patriotic music. Free

    Take a ride on a 1/8 size coal-fired train or a 1916 Rauch & Lang electric car in Auburn Heights “Steamin’ Day,” Sunday July 1, 12:30-4:30pm. Tours to the 1897 Marshall Mansion and entry to the Marshall Steam Museum are included with admission, as well as a hands-on exhibit, “Under the Hood: How a Stanley Steamer Works,” and steam-popped popcorn, 3000 Creek Rd, Yorklyn, DE. Admission: Rides Ticket: Ages 13+ $10, Ages 2-12 $7; Mansion Ticket: All Ages $12; Combo Ticket: Ages 13+ $18, Ages 2-12 $15.

    Adopt a firework in Dover, DE for their Independence Day Celebration, beginning at 9am on Wednesday, July 4 with various walking tours, museum exhibits, kid’s rides and activities, culminating in a parade at 6pm, followed by fireworks at 9:20pm, 121 Duke of York Street, Dover, DE.

    Bethany Beach honors the formation of the Revolutionary Delaware Militia in their Independence Day Celebration, kicking off at noon on July 4, followed by a blueberry pie eating contest, live performances, and fireworks at dusk, 214 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE.

    New Hope Film Festival returns for a third year to discover and nurture independent filmmakers from all over the globe, July 6 through 15. This year features a total of 81 films from 12 countries, including “Brush,” “Seven Years Underground,” and “Carbon for Water.” Films will be screened in three venues: New Hope Arts Center, Stephen J. Buck Memorial Theater at New Hop-Solebury High School, and the County Theater in Doylestown, PA. Tickets: At the Door: Patrons $12, Students/Seniors, Matinees $6. Advance Ticket Prices Vary.

    Rudyard Kipling’s novel comes to life in the Media Theatre’s musical, “The Jungle Book,” a collection of fables following the child Mowgli, who develops relationships with personified animals through music and choreography as they work together to build a community, through July 28, 104 East State Street, Media, PA. Tickets: Adult $12, Child $10.

    Clear Space Theatre Company presents their summer repertory season with performances six nights a week of “Annie,” “Broadway at the Beach” and “Cabaret,” through Labor Day, less than a block from the beach, 20 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE. All shows start at 7:30pm.

    After prominent Wilmington illustrator Howard Pyle’s death in 1912, a group of citizens collected his art for what is now the Delaware Art Museum. 100 years later, the museum continues to honor his illustrations and other renowned artists with the Centennial Celebration, “100 Works for 100 Years,” on display through September 16. This unique installation features one or more works of art for each year in the century, focusing on the history and development of the museum’s permanent holdings and core collections, including Pyle’s “So the Treasure was Divided,” Rembrandt Peale’s “George Washington,” and Winslow Homer’s “Milking Time.” Never-before-told narratives of the museum’s most treasured works of art are included, as well as a surprise, recent acquisition, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington DE. Admission: Adults $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Students $6, Youth (7-18) $6. Free on Sundays.

    New Jersey

    The Camden Waterfront hosts Independence Day festivities with events all day on Saturday, June 30: Battleship Blast on the Battleship New Jersey, 5:30pm; Riversharks Game, 5:35pm; Independence Day Splash at Adventure Aquarium, 6-9pm; Military Band Concert and fireworks in Wiggins Park, 7pm; Also, “Summer in the City Music Festival,” Thursday, July 5, 5:30pm, Cooper Commons Park, 6th & Washington Streets, Camden, NJ.

    The 8th annual Freedom festival is Saturday, June 30, 3pm-10pm with family oriented activities and entertainment, food, crafts, live music, children’s activities and more including a fireworks display at 10pm, Mercer County Park, West Windsor, NJ. Free

    The 17th Ladies of Country & Bluegrass Music Show is Saturday, June 30, doors open at 6pm, concert at 7:30pm, Albert Music Hall, 131 Wells Mill Road (Rt. 532), Waretown, NJ. Presented by the Pinelands Cultural Society. Adults $5, Children $1.

    The Cumberland County Fair, “New Jersey’s oldest fair,” returns with six days of concerts, derbies, and fireworks, Monday, July 2 through Saturday, July 7. Every day events include racing pigs, free hayrides, garden exhibits, and various rides. Other special activities include a Walk-a-Thon and Trail Ride benefiting breast cancer awareness, Battle of the Bands, Golf/Utility Cart contest, and more, at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds, Millville, NJ. Fairgrounds Admission: General $10, Children Ages 4 -9 $3, Ages 0-3 Free. Demolition Derby Admission: Pit Area $15, Grandstand $10, Children under 4ft $5.

    Collingswood, NJ hosts “Fun on the Fourth” with a bike parade in Knight Park, Wednesday, July 4, 10am; House decorating contest, To The Max band performing at 8pm with fireworks display at 9:15pm, Collingswood High School stadium, 424 Collings Avenue. Free

    “Down the Shore”

    The Somers Point Beach Concert series is underway with free shows on Fridays at 7pm: The Commander Cody Band, June 29; The Bob Campanell Band, July 4; The Jeremiah Hunter Band, July 6; at the William Morrow Municipal Beach Park, between Higbee and New Jersey Avenues on Bay Avenue in Somers Point, NJ.

    The Wildwoods host special events: Boardwalk Craft Shows, Saturday, June 30, 9am-5pm, Boardwalk at Rio Grande Avenue; Beach concerts at Andrews Avenue, 1pm-4pm; Summer Live Music Series at Centennial Park, 7:30pm; July 4th festivities begin with parade, 9am, 15th and Atlantic Avenues and concerts throughout the day with fireworks at 10pm on the beach at Pine Avenue. Free

    Cape May’s Historic Cold Spring Village hosts an Independence Day Celebration, June 30 through July 1 with concerts, patriotic programs, family activities and more, 720 Route 9. Included with admission: Adults $10, Children 3-12 $8, Children under 3 free.

    The Mays Landing Hometown Celebration offers over 100 crafters, food vendors, merchants, and rides, Saturday, June 30, 10am-5pm. In addition to the train ride, water slides, gladiator pit, and street entertainers, this year’s celebration includes the Auto Plaza classic car show, a Tastycake Pie eating contest, Pooch Parade, live music, and more, at War Memorial Park, Main Street, Mays Landing, NJ. Free.

    Tuckerton Seaport hosts the 10th Annual Red Wine and Blues Festival, June 30, 3-8pm; Tuckerton Creek, 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ.

    Linda Gentille & The Jersey Shore Pops kick off their Summer Concert Series on Saturdays with “The Music and Life of Frank Sinatra,” June 30, 7:30pm, Middle Township Performing Arts Center, Cape May, NJ; “Hooked on Country,” July 7, Lower Cape Regional High School Auditorium. Tickets: $25-$40.

    The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company presents the Gershwin musical comedy “Crazy for You,” accompanied by the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, July 1-5, at the Hughes Performing Arts Center of OCHS, 6th and Atlantic Avenues, Ocean City, NJ. Tickets: $25.

    Historic Smithville, NJ continues their 14 year tradition of honoring veterans and teaching children about America’s history and military with the annual Independence Day Parade and Festival, this Wednesday, July 4. With over 170 entries, the parade begins at 9am at Smitty’s Super Food Town, Smithville Blvd, and culminates at Village Green, where you can see a restored Vietnam helicopter and more in the post-parade ceremonies.

    To submit an event to be considered for the Weekly Entertainment Guide email Robin Bloom at artscalendar@whyy.org.

    Kelly Hagerty contributed reporting to this week’s guide.

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