Festivals devoted to dragons, design, and natural hair in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Dragons, design, natural hair, and food trucks form the diverse lineup of fall festivals in this week’s “Things To Do.”

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Courtesy of Site/Sound Festival

Courtesy of Site/Sound Festival

Collingswood Book Festival
Haddon Ave. between Collingswood Ave. and East Stiles Ave.
Collingswood, N.J.
Saturday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Adult, young adult, and children’s authors converge at the 17th annual Collingswood Book Festival. Four tents will house the authors as they sign, read from, talk about, and present panels on books with topics ranging from hip-hop to sports to politics. A children’s entertainment zone features storytellers, music, and crafts. One tent is dedicated entirely to poetry and poets.

Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival
Gillin Boathouse, 2200 Kelly Drive
Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The Chinese cultural tradition of dragon boat racing is said to honor the legend of politician and poet Qu Yuan. After falling out of favor in China and being banned for years during the nation’s Cultural Revolution, Hong Kong brought the races back in 1976, reportedly to boost tourism. Since then, the tradition has spread to 60 countries worldwide featuring brightly decorated dragon boats with drummers aboard. Philadelphia’s annual Dragon Boat Festival has been put on since 2002.

Midtown Village Fall Festival
13th St. between Market and Locust, Chestnut and Sansom streets, from Broad to 12th, Drury and Chancellor streets
Saturday, Oct. 5, noon – 8 p.m.
Free, food and drink for purchase

The annual Center City festival is one of Philly’s biggest, taking up several blocks of what’s known as Midtown Village. Those streets are closed to traffic, turning the area into a pedestrian-friendly bazaar with purveyors of food, crafts, art, and more. The festival is also dog- and kid-friendly with specially designated activities for children. The BRU Fall Fest is also part of the festival, with craft beers and specialty fall cocktails for those age 21 and over, and a full day of live performances.

Site/Sound Festival
Various locations between Vine and Spring Garden streets and 9th and 18th streets
Saturday, Oct. 5 – Saturday, Oct. 19

Philadelphia’s Rail Park has helped revitalize part of a three-mile stretch of the abandoned Reading Railroad line, transforming it into a public space with greenery, swings, and brand new paths. Eventually, the entire three miles will be complete and the Site/Sound Music Festival is part of a celebration of that transformation. Multimedia art installations, diverse live music, and spoken-word performances, a special moon-viewing platform, tours, workshops, and panels are included in the free two-week festival.

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25th Annual International Locks Conference
Universal Audenried Charter High School
3301 Tasker St.
Saturday, Oct. 5, Sunday, Oct. 6; noon – 9:30 p.m.
$10, children 12 and under free

Natural hair has been the subject of controversy, inspiration, and affirmation for many African-Americans. Though the origins of the “dreadlock” hairstyle come from numerous countries and ethnic groups, they date back over 3,000 years. In the U.S. and in popular culture, the hairstyle has become further popularized by devotees of the Rastafarian religion and NFL football players, among others. The annual Locks Conference both celebrates and educates proponents and wearers of the hairstyle with guest speakers, panels, vendors, and demonstrations from some of the region’s top hairstylists, scholars, and activists. There will be live music and children’s activities, and rapper-turned-yoga-and-holistic-wellness-practitioner Solè Aja Shah will make a special appearance.

The Wizard of Oz
Delaware Children’s Theater
1014 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Del.
Saturday, Oct. 5 – Sunday, Oct. 27; All shows 2 p.m.
$15 – $16

The children’s musical version of the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” comes to the Delaware Children’s Theater for a nearly month-long run. The timeless story of Dorothy Gale’s search for home and those who helped her along the way is adapted as a musical for the stage with child actors at the center. In fact, although the book was published in 1900, it was first adapted as a “musical extravaganza” in 1902, which predates the better-known 1939 film version starring Judy Garland.

The October Revolution of Jazz and Contemporary Music
Various Venues
Through Thursday, Oct. 31
Individual event tickets or $150 festival pass

The avant-garde jazz festival, put on by the non-profit Ars Nova Workshop, which advances the exploration and adaptation of jazz and contemporary music, has expanded from four days in 2017 to ten performances spread throughout the month. Those performances include a 50th anniversary tribute to Miles Davis’ classic release “In A Silent Way,” with guitarist and local legend Monette Sudler, and drummer Charlie Hall. Other artists include the Ethan Iverson Quartet featuring Tom Harrell, Patty Waters, and the Roscoe Mitchell-Moor Mother duo.

Maggie Rogers – Heard It In A Past Life Tour
Skyline Stage at the Mann Music Center
5201 Parkside Ave.
Friday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m.
$45 – $50

Maggie Rogers was attending New York University when producer Pharrell Williams came to critique students in her music class at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in 2016. The filmed encounter, which showed Williams’ emotional reaction to hearing Rogers’ song “Alaska” for the first time, went viral and resulted in a bidding war and record deal with Capitol Records. Now on her third release, but first full-length for a major label, “Heard It In A Past Life” came out in January.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
National Museum of American Jewish History
101 S. Independence Mall East
Friday, Oct. 4 – Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020

It’s the East Coast debut of the exhibit about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In 1993, the Brooklyn native became the second woman and the first Jewish woman to be appointed to the high court. Already well-known by court watchers and the public, Ginsberg’s pop culture profile grew from the celebratory Tumblr account Notorious R.B.G., a tongue-in-cheek reference to the late rap star, The Notorious B.I.G. That led to a documentary, a 2015 New York Times bestselling book, an ongoing portrayal by Kate McKinnon on “Saturday Night Live,” and a movie, “On The Basis of Sex,” that came out in 2018. Ginsberg’s robe, jabot, and photos of her life and career are all on display in the exhibit.

2019 Design Philadelphia Festival
Various Venues, including Cherry Street Pier and the Center for Architecture and Design
Through Sunday, Oct. 13
Various prices

For almost two weeks, Philadelphia shines a spotlight on multiple disciplines in design during one of the country’s biggest creative festivals. About 100 events are scheduled, including the Philadelphia Furniture Show, the Best in Design competition, as well as multiple exhibitions and installations by local artists, curated dining experiences at four restaurants with special guest hosts, and even an Amtrak design challenge.

Phoenixville Food Truck Festival
Main and Bridge streets
Phoenixville, Pa.
Saturday, Oct. 6, noon – 6 p.m.
Free, food and drink for purchase

The annual Food Truck Festival takes over Phoenixville with more than 30 trucks representing all kinds of cuisines from Mexico to Hawaii. Though usually parked on urban streets, food trucks at the festival allow suburbanites the chance to try out a wider variety of culinary options. New to the event this year are Nude Food, Soul Burrito, Dos Hermanos tacos, and Doughnut Evolution; crafts and other vendors will also be on site. Live music performances by DJ TKO, Vinyl Roots, Rick’s Office Band, and Hidden Treasure are scheduled at four different areas of the festival.

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