Music festivals, a visit from the United States Women’s National soccer team, and fireworks round out Labor Day weekend in the Delaware Valley.
Labor Day Weekend On The Waterfront
Thursday, August 29 – Monday, September 2
Various Events, Times
It’s Labor Day weekend and you know what that means in Philadelphia – free entertainment! Penn’s Landing is the home of multiple events through Monday and yes, they are all free and most are family friendly. On Thursday night it’s an outdoor screening of “The Incredibles 2” and a performance by Mo Lowda & The Humble. On Friday, the Smooth Jazz Summer Nights series continues with violinist Damien Escobar. On Saturday, it’s Waterfront Day with discounts all day and the annual Labor Day fireworks show that starts off with a concert and then the lighting up of the night sky. The Blue Corn Green And Organic Festival happens on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., the latest in the PECO Multicultural festival series, and at Spruce Street Harbor Park, there’s both a Pop-Up Play for kids and the Art Star Pop-Up art market. Monday is the last day of the Blue Cross River Rink Summerfest, so get your roll on before it transitions into an ice rink for fall and winter. (FYI, this is ticketed.)
48th Annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival
Salem County Fairgrounds
735 Harding Highway, Woodstown, N.J.
GPS Address: 735 Route 40 (Harding Highway) Pilesgrove, N.J.
Friday, August 30 – Sunday, September 1; Friday, 12 p.m. – 11:15 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 11:20 a.m. – 6 p.m.
$25 – $125, children under 18 free with ticketed adult
The 48th annual music festival has expanded its focus from just bluegrass and “mountain music” to now include other Cajun, traditional country, blues and New Orleans style jazz. Organized by the non-profit Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music, the festival, which began in 1971, was created to celebrate traditional American music. What began as a single concert has evolved into a three-day event. Bluegrass pioneer Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, New Orleans jazz collective Tuba Skinny, The Appalachian Road Show and Kathy Kallick are among groups scheduled to perform.
Patty Jackson’s Party In The Park With Frankie Beverly and Maze, Whodini and Big Daddy Kane
Dell Music Center
2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive
Monday, September 2; 7 p.m.
$32 – $82
Longtime Philadelphia radio personality Patty Jackson is having a party and everyone is invited. She’s hosting the “Party in the Park” with old school hip-hop legends Big Daddy Kane and Whodini and R&B stalwart Frankie Beverly and Maze. Frankie Beverly is a Philadelphia native who was discovered by local living legend Kenny Gamble when he was in a doo-wop group. Once Beverly moved to California and formed a band with a totally different sound, he was rediscovered by Marvin Gaye. The group’s classic, signature song “Before I Let Go” is a staple at African-American social gatherings and was recently covered by Beyoncé.
Made In America Festival with Cardi B, Travis Scott, Anderson. Paak Lizzo and More
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Saturday, August 31, Sunday, September 1 – 12 p.m. start each day, see website for artist performance times
$175 – $695
Rapper superstar and music mogul Jay-Z’s massive “Made In America” festival has transformed the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into a concert venue on Labor Day weekend since 2012. While Parkway adjacent apartment residents might not anticipate it with the enthusiasm of the hundreds of thousands of millennial attendees, when a misunderstanding threatened to take the festival out of Philadelphia, the powers that be stepped in quickly to make amends. Could it be the estimated $10 million it generate flowing into the city’s coffers that made the difference? Regardless of politics, MIA has proven to be a popular annual attraction, with approximate attendance figures in the upwards of 125,000. This year’s lineup includes reigning rap diva Cardi B, platinum-selling rapper Travis Scott (better known to some as Kyle Jenner’s baby daddy) and superstar in the making Lizzo, who got one of her big early breaks recording with Prince’s all-female band 3rd Eye Girl. If you’re planning on attending with or sending your kids, you’ll be happy to know the festival includes a “Cause Village” where festival attendees can get more information on philanthropy, social justice activism, financial literacy and sustainability.
Urban Guerilla Orchestra w/Al Chestnut of the Chestnut Brothers
World Café Live Philadelphia
3025 Walnut Street
Friday, August 30th; 8 p.m.
$12 advance, $14 at the door
If the weekend’s two big music festivals are not your taste, there’s another option. The Urban Guerilla Orchestra, under the direction of trumpet player Henri McMillan, are a collective of multi-genre instrumentalists and singers who have played with artists from Michael Jackson to the Roots. Homegrown vocalist Al Chestnut of The Chestnut Brothers was raised in a musical family and toured for many years with his brother, Ty. Along with his anti-violence platform, Chestnut is known as the voice of Miss Black America for performing on the show and for singing the pageant’s theme song.
Glassboro Car Show and Food Truck Festival
Rowan Boulevard, Downtown Glassboro
Friday, August 30th; 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Free, with free parking. Vehicle registration can be done up to and including the day of the event, space permitting
Classic car lovers will unite once again for the annual South Jersey festival which has been going on for the last 14 years. The festival is a showcase for classic cars of all kinds – everything from a 1935 Ford pickup to a 2017 Dodge Caravan is included in the category. Along with the over 300 vehicles expected, there will be a selection of local food trucks and craft beers as well as both live music and a playlist of hits from DJ Pepper Paul. Trophies in several categories will be handed out.
Labor Day Volkfest
Cannstatter Volkfest Verein
9130 Academy Road
Saturday, August 31 – Monday, September 2; Saturday, Sunday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m., Monday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
$6 – $11
The German-American community celebrates Labor Day every year in Philadelphia with the annual Volkfest that honors German music, food and cultural traditions. The three day festival incorporates kid’s activities, performances by German music bands including The Greater Kensington String Band, The Bratwurst Boys and more. The event is held at the Cannstatter Volkfest Verein, a German club that’s been operating in Philadelphia since 1873.
Marvel: Universe of Superheroes
222 N. 20th
Extended through September 11; Daytime session: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., (includes admission to the Franklin Institute) Evening session: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Marvel exhibit only)
$15 – $35, children under 3 are free
The Marvel Comic Universe has moved from comic books onto the big screen, becoming a ubiquitous part of contemporary pop culture. Both kids and adults enjoy the continuing exploits of Spiderman, The Avengers, Black Panther, Captain America and the Fantastic Four, among so many others. Those who are kids or kids at heart can see how some of their faves came to the big screen and enjoy life-size versions of some of the MCU’s most popular superheroes. Aside from galleries lined with costumes and other artifacts, attendees can even see a copy of the first Marvel comic book released in 1939, and the one existing original page that’s left. The exhibit takes up 15,000 square feet with over 300 artifacts and has recently been extended through September 11th. Tickets are timed and while there is a discounted evening admission starting at 5 p.m., it does not include admission to the Franklin Institute, just the exhibit.
Shakespeare in the Park: “Measure For Measure”
First State Heritage Park
102 State Street
Friday, August 30; 7:30 p.m.
Shakespeare remains a pretty popular guy and during the summer months, he – or at least his body of work – is showcased in the nation’s parks through the efforts of local theater organizations. These performances are usually free as is the case in Dover, Del., this weekend. “Measure for Measure” the Shakespeare play that examines corruption at the highest levels (a timeless theme, if our current news cycle is any indication) will be performed by the Brown Box Theater Project. You don’t need tickets but should consider that the play’s themes may be triggering or too mature for some audiences. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and take in the Labor Day holiday with one of the Bard’s most incisive works.
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U.S. Women’s National Team vs Portugal
Lincoln Financial Field
1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
Thursday, August 29; 7 p.m.
$38 – $395
Philadelphia soccer fans have already set an attendance record by buying over 44,000 tickets to the friendly match between the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team and Portugal. But since the Linc holds over 67,000, there’s room for even more. Soccer fans will get their chance to watch the champion soccer team up close and maybe even score some autographs and photos. The team includes Julie Ertz, the wife of Super Bowl Champion tight end Zach Ertz, forever a local hero for his role in Super Bowl LII. However, though both are now champions, Julie owns the family bragging rights of becoming one first as part of the 2015 World Cup-winning team and then earning a second trophy in 2019. We can only hope Zach soon evens that up with another Super Bowl victory.
The Woodmere Annual: 78th Juried Exhibition
The Woodmere Art Museum
9201 Germantown Ave
Through September 2; Thursday, August 29 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday, August 30, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, August 31, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, September 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Closing day reception Monday, September 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
$7 – $10; children and students free
This is your last chance to see the annual juried exhibition curated this year by juror Eileen Neff, a veteran writer and visual artist with a concentration in photography. “Second Nature: The Poetics of Re-presentation” focuses on multimedia artists who live within a fifty-mile radius of the museum. The collection includes the works of 95 artists in various mediums, including Neff, who contributed three of her creations.