Entertainment Guide: bugs, crabs and dragon boats

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


Bug Fest

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University hosts the annual “Bug Fest,” Saturday and Sunday, August 11-12, showcasing the current exhibit “Nature’s Assassins: Bug Predators From Around the World,” that features the most venomous, scary-looking invertebrates, along with less threatening bugs like centipedes, butterflies and spiders. Visitors are welcome to learn and watch and even touch bugs while enjoying special events from 10am-5pm both days at 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Admission: $15 for adults, $13 for children ages 3-13, seniors ages 65 and over and military veterans and students with ID. Drexel ID holders and children under 3 are free.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor


WWII Victory Day on the Battleship NJ

Celebrate WWII Victory Day on the Battleship New Jersey, Saturday, August 11, 10am-5pm, with military vehicles, war reenactments and tours of the battleship on the Camden, NJ waterfront. Tickets range from $14-$19.95, children under 6, active military and veterans, free. The WWII Victory Day Dance and BBQ is that evening with old time entertainment, dancing, and food, 6pm-10pm. Tickets $30 per person, $42 including a BBQ meal, dance and battleship tour package.


Cape May Craft Beer & Crab Festival

The first Cape May Craft Beer & Crab Festival kicks off Saturday, August 11, 11am-8pm, with an old-fashioned Victorian Carnival style setting along with all day music on an outdoor stage featuring Reed’s Blues, The JL3 Band, New Pony and more, plus crafts, farmers market, food, art, and beer and crabs, at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Admission is free with charges for some activities and food.


Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival

The Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival races back for a second year to the Penn’s Landing Marina, promoting the understanding and appreciation of the rich, cultural heritage of the people of Southeast Asia, Saturday, August 11, 12-8pm, Columbus Boulevard between Walnut and Dock Streets, Philadelphia. Free.


Blessing of the Animals

Public Eye: Artists for Animals hosts the 8th annual “Blessing of the Animals” Ceremony, Saturday, August 11, 3-4pm, with live drumming with One Nation Ensemble and community Reiki Circle, dancing, children’s activities and more, including guest appearances from La Ronda Stables’ rescued donkeys and burros, Saunders Woods, 1020 Waverly Road, Gladwyne, PA. Free. Animal companions must be on leashes or in carriers.


African American Pride Festival in Trenton

The 2nd annual African American Pride Festival continues its celebration of African American Heritage with a week of events Sunday, August 12 through Friday, August 17, culminating in a festival on Saturday, August 18, 12pm-6pm, with food, live music, children’s activities and more at Cadwalader Park, Trenton, NJ. Free. Weekday festivities are held in various locations. Check website for details.


Rock of Ages at Caesars

The hit Broadway show, “Rock of Ages,” takes to the stage at Caesars’ Circus Maximus Theater, August 14 through September 2, telling the story of a small-town girl and a big city rocker who fall in love to the songs from the ‘80s, 2100 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ. Tickets: $55-$105


Free Concerts in Rittenhouse Square

Philadelphia Weekly’s Free Concerts in the Park return for the 22nd year to Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia on Wednesday, August 15 with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (pictured) with special guest TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, August 22, Ground Up featuring The Lawsuits, and August 29, Strapping Fieldhands/The Spinning Leaves, from 7-9pm.


Atlantic City Air Show

The Atlantic City Air show prepares for another “Thunder Over the Boardwalk” as U.S. soldiers fly high and low above crowds on Friday, August 17. One of the largest beachfront air shows in the United States, the display will begin at 10:30 am. Spectators can watch the aerial maneuvers from anywhere on the boardwalk, beach and surrounding areas in Atlantic City, NJ. Free.  


Brandywine Family Film Festival

The first Brandywine Family Film Festival plans to enlighten audiences with new international films such as Azur and Asmar by French filmmaker Michele Oscelot and Fuchsia the Mini Witch by Dutch filmmaker Johan Nijenhuis. The three day event kicks off Friday, August 17 through Sunday, August 19 with a different full-length feature screened each night, preceded by short animated films for very young viewers, at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE. Animated films begin at 7:30pm. Full features begin at 8:00pm. Tickets: $5 for children,12 and under and $10 for adults per night. Three day package is $15 for children and $30 for adults.


Philadelphia Folk Festival

The Philadelphia Folk Festival continues its reign for the 51st year Friday, August 17 through Sunday, August 19 at the Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville, PA. Featured performances include Brother Sun, Dennis Hangey, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Holmes Brothers, Lucinda Williams and many more. Performances begin Friday at 11am, Saturday and Sunday at 10am.


The “This is Hardcore Festival” is underway through Sunday, August 12 with more than 50 bands performing including Blacklisted, Suicidal Tendencies, Cro-Mags and more at Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street, Philadelphia. 3 day pass $90, Friday and Saturday passes $40, Sunday passes $35.

In its 10th year, the “Give Back Festival” showcases great music and activities that promote volunteering and giving back to the community, Friday and Saturday, August 10, 1pm-10pm, and August 11, 12:30pm-9pm. This year’s theme is “The Sound of Philadelphia” and features a college fair, followed by poetry and “Philly Soul Stock,” a series of jazz, hip-hop, gospel, R&B, and reggae bands. Saturday begins with a Walk for Peace, and continues with boxing competitions, service awards, a tribute to Kenny Gamble, and an evening concert, Nicetown Park, 4300 Block of Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. Free.

Mauckingbird Theatre Company explores marriage, jealously, love, and honor through the eyes of gay men with the Shakespeare comedy “Much Ado About Nothing,” August 10-26, Off-Broad Street Theater, First Baptist Church, 1636 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. Tickets: Adults $25, Seniors $20, Students $15.

Scribe Video Center’s 15th annual “Street Movies,” urban drive-ins without cars, begins Friday, August 10 with outdoor screenings of short films and live performances through the end of August with Sonia Sanchez, Ursula Rucker, Alexa Gold, Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble (pictured), Music Over Matter, Unity Community Brass Band, Cynthia Hughes, Mass Man, and more, starting at 7:45pm in neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Camden. Free.

The 23rd Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival is Saturday, August 11, 8am-5pm, featuring handmade crafts and traditional food at Reading Terminal Market. Enjoy Amish buggy rides and horse drawn wagons, a farm animal petting zoo, and live bluegrass music at 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia.

Kensington Picnic, a free outdoor festival, is Saturday, August 11, 1pm, with Meg Baird, Blues Control, Birds of Maya, Watery Love, Chris Forsyth and Steve Gunn, Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler, Daniel Bachman, and more, on Frankford Avenue between E. Susquehanna & Dauphin, Philadelphia.

The Caribbean Heritage Art Preservation Society hosts its summer carnival Saturday, August 11, 2-8pm, with Caribbean food, art, live musical performances, children’s activities, and more, at the museum and community resource center, 1529-35 Belfield Avenue, Philadelphia. Free.

The monthly summer concerts in Louis Kahn Park continue with a performance by The Molly Blooms, Wednesday, August 15, 7:30pm, 11th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia. Rain date, Thursday, August 16. Free and open to the public.

The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is Thursday, August 16, 5:30pm-8:30pm, an outdoor street festival with more than twenty-five participating businesses offering $1 specials along with live music, street performances, and more, Baltimore Avenue from 42nd to 50th Streets, Philadelphia.

The Mummers Museum hosts free outdoor string band concerts, “String Band Music Under the Stars,” on Thursdays with “Durning,” this Thursday, August 16. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy traditional Philly food and refreshments served at 7:30pm, followed by the performance at 8pm. Series continues through September 27, 1100 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia.

The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival showcases up-and-coming opera stars with the full production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Otello,” accompanied by the Philadelphia Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Louis Menendez, Friday, August 17-18, 7pm-9pm, and Sunday, August 19, 2pm-4pm, at the Ethical Society on 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia and on Thursday, August 23 and Saturday August 25, 7:00pm-10pm, at Congregation M’Kor Shalom, 850 Evesham Road, Cherry Hill, NJ. Tickets: $36 for VIP seating, $25 for adults and $18 for children, seniors and students.

Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre presents the tragicomedy, “Cymbeline,” directed by David O’Connor and performed by The Classical Acting Academy, through August 19, 2111 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. Free

Pa. Suburbs & Delaware

The Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival gets underway Friday, August 10, 5pm-10pm with culturally enriched dance, music, activities for all ages, food and clothing vendors. A parade will kick start the second day of the festival on Saturday, August 11, from 10am-8pm, at the Seaford Sports Complex in Seaford, DE. Free.

Tyler Arboretum’s “Tree House Festival” is Saturday, August 11, 10am-2pm, with the opportunity to bask under their “Totally Terrific Treehouses,” hear readings of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, join in a nature detective scavenger hunt, get up close with live animals, climb up tall trees and more, 515 Painter Road, Media, PA. Bring a picnic lunch. Included with regular admission: Adults $9, Seniors (65+) $8, Children (3-15) $5, Children under 3 free.

Hagley Museum and Library hosts “Hagley’s Creek Kids: A Day in the Life,” their last youth leadership program of the summer, Sunday, August 12, 12:30pm-4pm, with a day in the life of a typical Workers’ Hill family including old fashioned fun with games, music, dancing, lemonade and butter making, off Route 141, Wilmington, DE. Included with general admission: Adults $11, Students and Seniors $9, Children ages 6-14 $4, Children under 6 free.

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire storms the grounds of the Mount Hope Estate and Winery Saturdays & Sundays (including Labor Day) through October 28, featuring a trip back to Merry Old England with performances, period food, crafts, children’s activities, Ultimate Joust, Human Chess Match, Shakespearean plays, and more, Route 72, 15 miles north of Lancaster and 14 miles east of Hershey, one-half mile south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 266.

New Jersey

Onstage at the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre is “Cole Porter’s Anything Goes” and “Pinocchio,” August 10-19, 355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ. Tickets: Adults $15, Children 12 and under $10.

Celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes with the Eagle Theatre’s latest production, “My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra,” August 10-19, 208 Vine Street, Hammonton, NJ. Tickets: General $22. Reservations recommended.

Mullica Hill’s Second Saturday “Food & Farming Festival” is August 11, 2pm-8pm, welcoming visitors to enjoy Main Street’s local food, farming and industry with crafters and other vendors, family activities, live music and more, on Main Street, Mullica Hill, NJ. Free.

The 3rd Thursday Camden Art Crawl continues this summer on August 16, 5-9pm, with the chance to enjoy Camden’s creative arts community in the secure/patrolled historic Cooper Grant Neighborhood on the campus of Rutgers University, Free.

The Trenton Museum Society and the D&R Canal Watch present “Home on the Canal: Bridge and Lock Tenders’ Houses on the Delaware and Raritan Canal,” an exhibit featuring never-before-seen photographs of the historic houses, on view now through August 19. The photographs show great detail of the houses, some still in existence today, of the people who were employed to tend to the bridges and canal locks of the area, some dating to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park, 299 Parkside Avenue, Trenton, NJ.

The Princeton University Art Museum explores how the creation of art is an encounter between the artist and their world with the exhibit “Encounters,” on view through September 16. From ancient to contemporary works from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, the artistic media ranges from painting to calligraphy to photography, in McCormick Hall, Princeton, NJ. Free.

“Down the Shore”

Greater Ocean City Theatre Company presents “Cinderella,” with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, August 14-16, 7:30pm, Hughes Performing Arts Center of Ocean City High School, 6th and Atlantic Avenues, Ocean City, NJ. Tickets: $25 Adult, $15 Children under 12.

The Jersey Cape Shell Club invites shell fanatics to its 38th anniversary Jersey Cape Shell Show and Sale, August 17-19, with shell showcasing competitions, conservation promotion, craft classes and more at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ. Admission: Free for Jersey Cape Shell Club members, non members $2, children 12 and under are free. 

Cape May Stage presents the fast-paced “whodunit” comedy, “The 39 Steps,” a play packed with over 150 crazy characters, virtuoso performances, and inventive stagecraft, through September 7, The Robert Shackleton Playhouse, corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets, Cape May, NJ. Tickets: $15-$35.

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

Pamela Seaton and Jerome Gallman contributed reporting to this week’s guide

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal