Last minute Halloween, feel-good fall festivals and a special Harriet Tubman event in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

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Day of the Dead Celebration at Fleisher Art Memorial. (Justin Mayer on assignment for Colibri Workshop)

Day of the Dead Celebration at Fleisher Art Memorial. (Justin Mayer on assignment for Colibri Workshop)

Philadelphia, Delaware and South Jersey host feel good festivals, Halloween 2019 and Day of the Dead celebrations.

Halloween 2019
Did you forget to plan for Halloween and it snuck up on you (yes, pun intended)! If so, here are some of the adult-themed and family friendly events that still had tickets available (as of this writing) for Halloween night. An area favorite, the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride offers an immersive variety of “high startle” experiences including a haunted trail and hayride and a Laser Tag zombie hunt.

Underground Arts, the theatre, music and poetry venue is hosting Dracula’s Ball with electronic band Conjure One.

Local jazz/funk band Sounds of Liberation ft. David Murray and Creative Arts Ensemble are performing at Johnny Brenda’s.

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The Academy of  Natural Sciences hosts a special Halloween edition of Dinos After Dark that includes kids’ and all-ages costume contests.

The Morris Arboretum hosts their annual Scarecrow Walk, and for those who like to combine sport and spooky, there is Franklin Square’s Spooky Mini Golf event. (Note: The last two event may be impacted by weather, so double check their websites before you head out.)

Harriet Tubman Legacy Hike
Bartram’s Garden
5400 Lindbergh Blvd.
Sunday, Nov. 3; 2 p.m.
Free, with registration
“Harriet” the movie about Harriet Tubman’s journey to freedom and her subsequent rescues of family and dozens of others, hits screens on Friday. The film has inspired women around the U.S. to organize #HarrietHikes in Tubman’s memory. A portion of Harriet’s post-slavery life was in the region – she escaped from Maryland through Delaware (then a slave state) and into Philadelphia where she joined forces with the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. In this area, the hike is happening at Bartram’s Garden. While participants will be encouraged to discuss Tubman’s life and legacy via casual prompts, the hike is intended to be informal. It’s free, but registration is required.

First Person Arts Festival
Various Venues
Nov. 3 – 16
Pricing varies by event
Writers, filmmakers, storytellers, artists and performers from various disciplines are gathering in Philadelphia for the annual First Person Arts Festival. As the name conveys, the festival has, for the last 18 years, focused on personal stories. As there are myriad stories, there are myriad ways of telling them – from poetry to one-woman and one-man shows to discourse to the StorySlams competition which invites the public to share their own. The diversity of voices, venues, stories and ways to tell them, makes this, according to organizers, the only festival of its kind in the world.

Bruce Sudano
Philadelphia Folksong Society
6156 Ridge Ave.
Sunday, Nov. 3; 7:30 p.m.
$5 -$12
Bruce Sudano was married to disco icon Donna Summer for 32 years until her death in 2012. During their marriage, the two collaborated on many of her hits including 1979’s “Bad Girls” album, the top-selling one of her career. But Sudano had his own band Brooklyn Dreams and amassed his own credits as a hit songwriter, including songs for Dolly Parton and a collaboration with Michael and Jermaine Jackson. A solo artist since signing a deal with RCA in 1980, Sudano released a new indie single “With Him,” in September, from a forthcoming EP “Stories of Our Lives Vol. 1.” As part of the creative team of “Summer – The Donna Summer Musical” now touring the country, Sudano was able to share his wife’s legacy with a new generation. His daughters with Summer,  Johnnyswim vocalist Amanda Sudano and actress, Brooklyn Sudano, extend that legacy even further.

Justin Moore – Late Nights and Longnecks Tour
Bob Carpenter Center at The University of Delaware
631 S. College Ave.
Newark, Del.
Saturday, Nov. 2; 7:30 p.m.
Arkansas-born singer/songwriter Justin Moore released his fifth album in ten years “Late Night and Longnecks,” which underscores both his work ethic and his musical sensibility. His music has been characterized as the intersection between country and rock and in 2014, he won an Academy of Country Music Award as New Artist of the Year. Three of his seven #1 country singles have gone platinum, as did his first 2 albums. His latest release “Late Nights and Longnecks” came out in July, with its first single, aptly titled “Why We Drink.” Moore and fellow Arkansas native Tracy Lawrence recently announced a joint tour kicking off in 2020.

Nerdtino Expo
Taller Puertorriquenño’s El Corazón Cultural Center
2600 N. 5th Street
Saturday, Nov. 2; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
$20 online, $25 at the door
Latinx nerds, unite. There is a festival for you – and anyone else who enjoys the “nerd” pastimes of comic book reading and collecting, gaming, sci-fi, graphic and horror novels and movies and more. The first annual festival is designed to foster diversity and inclusion of the Latinx, Hispanic, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean, Iberian cultures and more. The expo is an outgrowth of the Latinx Geek community that grew and flourished on social media. Scheduled to appear are La Borinqueña creator Edgardo Miranda Martinez, the Philadelphia Avengers, “Seis Manos” creator Alvaro Rodriguez and voice actress Christina Vee.

Día De Los Muertos Celebration
Fleisher Art Memorial
719 Catherine Street
Southwark School
1835 S. 9th St.
Friday, Nov. 1 – Wednesday, Nov. 6; various times
Fundraiser $15 – $100, other events free
In conjunction with arts collaborative La Calaca Flanca and in the Mexican tradition, Fleisher Art Memorial hosts its annual celebration of Día de Los Muertos. The three-day event begins Friday. There is the Pachanga de los Muertos fundraiser with accessible pricing from $15 and up. On Saturday, a children’s arts fair at the nearby Southwark School is followed by a community procession ending at Fleischer where live music, vendors and artwork will be featured. Next Wednesday, in the Fleischer sanctuary, a day of reflection and remembrance in honor of loved ones who have passed on is free and open to the public.

Philly Vegan Awards
Friends Center
1501 Cherry St.
Friday, Nov. 1; 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
As plant-based diets become more popular, interest in vegan food and the community around it has grown. This year marks the second annual Philly Vegan Awards, which honor the companies, venues and individuals who had the greatest impact in the past year. Nominees, voted on by the public, must live or work within the eight designated Greater Philadelphia counties (Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Burlington, Gloucester and Camden). The event is sponsored by the national American Vegan Society, a vegan advocacy group that is the longest-running vegan association in the U.S.

Manyunk Cocktail Week
Various Locations
Through Sunday Nov. 3
Varying prices
Manyunk concludes its annual cocktail week on Sunday. But until then you can drink (responsibly, of course) and eat your way through the 14 participating bars and restaurants that each feature cocktail specials, tastings, dinner pairings, cocktail competitions and more. Restaurants with specialty drinks, menus and events through the weekend include Lucky’s Last Chance, Taqueria Feliz, The Spicy Belly and Bourbon Blue.

Fall Food Truck Throwdown
Chaddsford Winery
632 Baltimore Pike
Chadds Ford, PA
Saturday, Nov. 2 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Free, food and drink for purchase
Wine, music and food are among life’s most accessible pleasures and this weekend at Chaddsford Winery, you can indulge in all of them. Eleven trucks, representing some of the area’s most diverse culinary experiences, will be parked at the winery so that you can pair their offerings with Chaddsford’s wine selections. As you might expect, wine tastings and specialty seasonal drinks are available as well. Visitors can vote for their favorite food truck with a winner announced each day. Participating trucks include The Meat House, Olé Tapas Food Truck, and The Sweetest Rose Cupcake Company.

Apple Finale Festival
Hill Creek Farms
1631 State Highway 45
Mullica Hill, N.J.
Saturday, Nov. 2, Sunday, Nov. 3; 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
How ‘bout some apples? As the fall harvest season winds down, so do opportunities to go apple and pumpkin picking. Hill Creek Farms is hosting the Apple Finale Festival to assist all the bakers craving apple pies, cobblers and crisps this time of year as well as to clear out the apples that remain unpicked. They are also discounting apple ciders (and hopefully) apple cider doughnuts. And their apples aren’t  just for human consumption; they are selling bushels of apples suitable for horses and deer as well. Music, food for purchase and family-friendly fun like inflatable axe-throwing, face painting and gemstone mining and bonfires suitable for marshmallow roasting are activity options on both days.

The Great Harvest Cider And Beer Festival
11th St. From Fitzwater to Catherine
Saturday, Nov. 2; 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Free, food and drink for purchase
Philly’s still enjoying fall festival season and South Philly is the location for a major one this weekend. The 4th annual Great Cider and Beer Festival showcases more than 75 seasonal beers and wines at just $5 a pour. Specialty cocktails with intriguing names like Autumn Equinox, Harvest Moon and Boozy Hot Chocolate will also be served, to pair with seasonal food truck fare including selections from Little Sicilian Food Truck, Puyero Venezuelan Flavor and the Grappling Crab Shack. Live music including The Blue Wave Ramblers and The River Bones, start playing at noon, and $100 will be awarded to the winner of the pumpkin and apple pie eating contests.

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