Philadelphia and South Jersey host festivals with a witchy bent, musicians Sabrina Claudio and Toto are in town, and pumpkins glow in Fairmount Park in this week’s “Things To Do.”
Witches and Wizards Festival
Various locations in Chestnut Hill
Saturday, Oct. 19, noon – 5 p.m.
Free with registration. Some ticketed events, including Friday night’s 21+ Brews and Broomsticks Pub Crawl
Chestnut Hill celebrates all things magical with its annual Wizard and Witches Weekend. Once known as the Harry Potter Festival, the event was forced to change its name, but not its spirit, due to those pesky copyright infringement issues. This year’s event has expanded to include a 21 and over “Brews and Broomsticks” pub crawl, a Wizarding 5K run, a Wizard’s Warehouse pop-up store, and a Dark Magic scavenger hunt. The festival also includes the ticketed 8th annual Harry Potter Academic Conference, the 10th annual Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch tournament, and Hocus Pocus Headquarters for kids, which features crafting options like spooky spider making, a monster dig, bat pumpkin crafting, and most importantly, free popcorn! There are even more special events and activities, but organizers stress that Germantown Avenue will remain open to vehicular traffic. Taking public transportation is recommended due to limited parking.
Philadelphia Film Festival
Philadelphia Film Center
1412 Chestnut St.
Other venues, including Ritz Five and Ritz East theaters
Through Oct. 27
$8 matinees, $15 nighttime screenings, and pricing for individual events
The 28th annual festival is the final chance to see indie, international, and major studio films before release. The 11-day run will feature 120 films, including shorts and documentaries. Some of the most anticipated movies include “Just Mercy” starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx; Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver; Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated opus “The Irishman” with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci; Toronto Film Festival darling “Knives Out”; and “Harriet” about the enslaved woman-turned-American-she-ro as personified by Tony winner Cynthia Erivo. Parties, panel discussions, and celebrity red carpets bring a little Hollywood to Philly — and many of those events are accessible to the public. Films classified as “Non//Fiction” or “Made In USA” screen for free.
Conjuring and Cocktails
Delaware Historical Society – Old Town Hall
504 N. Market St.
Saturday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
$20 – $30
Magician Ran’D Shine is coming to Delaware with an array of tricks, but also with the story of the largely forgotten illusionist Richard Potter. Potter is thought to be the first American-born magician to become famous (Harry Houdini came along years later and was born in Hungary) and he’s also African-American. Shine will reveal more about Potter’s fascinating life, which included an 1817 performance at Old Town Hall. Advance reservations are required. Parking is free.
Reading Terminal Market
12th and Arch streets
Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
It seems like a no-brainer that the historic food market Reading Terminal would be the location of a fall festival, given its array of culinary choices. Filbert Street will be closed to vehicular traffic so that a pumpkin patch can grow in its place and live music, crafts, a beer garden, farm animals from the Philadelphia Zoo, and even hayrides can flourish in the space. And as you might expect, there will be food and drink for purchase from many of the market’s top merchants.
Jack’s Pumpkin Glow
West Fairmount Park
52nd Street and Parkside Avenue
Through Nov. 3, Various times; earliest start at 6:15 p.m.
$16.99 – $27.99
Fairmount Park will once again play host to Jack’s Pumpkin Glow, an illuminated display of more than 5,000 hand-carved pumpkins. No haunts will jump out to scare you or the kids — just pumpkin versions of 16-foot dinosaurs, princesses, superheroes and movie stars. On Jack’s Lane, an area just short of a mile, you can view elaborate scenes carved and created from pumpkins.
Sabrina Claudio – Truth Is Tour
The Fillmore Philadelphia
29 E. Allen Street
Saturday, Oct. 19, 8:30 p.m.
$27.50 – $100
In 2016, it only took Sabrina Claudio six months to generate more than 3 million plays of her EP “Confidently Lost.” From there, the indie artist released two more critically acclaimed collections, “About Time” and “No Rain, No Flowers.” Claudio used social media to promote her fledgling career and made her breakthrough with the help of Apple Music’s Up Next initiative. Now in partnership with Atlantic Records through her SC Entertainment imprint, she’s toured with singer/rapper 6Lack and contributed a song, “Cross Your Mind” to the “Fifty Shades Free” soundtrack. Her new project, “Truth Is” was released earlier this month.
Lake Lenape Park East
753 Park Road
Hamilton Township, N.J.
Saturday, Oct. 19, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
The same folks who brought you the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival are behind the new Witch-Craft festival held on the banks of Lake Lenape. Costumed hosts from witches to clowns will be on hand with a variety of stews and brews available in tents decorated whimsically and eerily. Bonfires, deejays, mixologists, and even a live séance are all part of the evening, and just in time for Halloween, there will be a horror makeup seminar as well. Parking is available both on and off-site with shuttles to get you to and from the main site.
23rd Street Armory
22 S. 23rd Street
Friday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 19, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
$25 and up, including VIP packages
The 23rd Street Armory will transform into a bierhall for Oktoberfest, one of several celebrations throughout the year in the area. This one uses the Armory’s cavernous, 16,000-square-foot space to add benches and tables imported from Germany, with ceilings covered in traditional Bavarian blue and white. Admission includes live performances by The Bratwurst Boys on Friday and Die Heimatklänge – HK on Saturday, along with a Bavarian pretzel and a liter of beer.
The Met Philadelphia
858 N. Broad Street
Sunday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m.
$39 – $79
Toto marked its 40th anniversary in 2017, but the band is still celebrating. Can you blame them? They’ve had enormous success together and separately and with a variety of recording and touring lineups. Not only are they multiple Grammy winners, its official history states that their music has been heard by 95% of the entire global population. Not bad for a group formed by two L.A. session musicians, keyboardists David Paich and Steve Porcaro. From that unassuming start, they, along with the musicians they recruited along the way, crafted the megahits “Africa,” “Hold The Line,” and “Rosanna” just as MTV was redefining the music business. In 2018, they released “40 Trips Around The Sun” a retrospective of their career with three previously unreleased tracks.
20th annual Peoplehood Parade
Paul Robeson House
4951 Walnut St. (marching to 45th and Kingsessing)
Saturday, Oct. 19; 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Line up for parade starts at noon)
If you’ve ever been in West Philadelphia and have seen a group of colorfully dressed people of all walks of life — some on foot, others on bikes of all kinds, with drummers, stilt walkers, and oversized puppets and wondered if it was a circus troupe or a group of performers — well, you’re sort of right. The Peoplehood Parade is open to all united in the fight against oppression. The annual parade is meant to be inclusive of everyone regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status or sexual preference. This year, Spiral Q, the community organization that puts on the parade, is partnering with the Shut Down Berks Coalition, ACT-UP Philadelphia, and Philly Thrive for a special project called “Arts For Action” that encourages marchers to create art to display at the parade.