Philly Music Fest, Puerto Rican Day Parade, and more in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Mark your calendars for rhapsodies — Bohemian and alternative — plus festivals for music, beer, and arts lovers, and the annual Puerto Rican celebration.

Listen 5:26
The Phillie Phanatic gives hugs on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during the 2017 Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The Phillie Phanatic gives hugs on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during the 2017 Puerto Rican Day Parade. (Brad Larrison for WHYY)

This week in “Things To Do:” Rhapsodies — Bohemian and alternative — plus festivals for music, beer, and arts lovers, and the annual celebration that is the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Delaware Symphony Orchestra
Copeland Hall at the Grand Opera House
818 N. Market St.
Wilmington, Del.
Friday, Sept. 27; 7:30 p.m.
$19 – $80

The Delaware Symphony Orchestra kicks off its fall concert series with an evening of Bohemian-themed classical music featuring works by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and A.I. DuPont Prize winner Missy Mazzoli. Violinist Tessa Lark performs under the direction of conductor David Amado. It’s the first of five concerts that comprise the DSO’s 2019-20 season — its 114th. A pre-concert discussion begins at 6:30 p.m.

Philly Music Fest
Various venues, including Johnny Brenda’s and World Café Live
Now through Saturday, Sept. 28; various times
$13 – $30, $50 for two-day pass at World Café Live

Founded by Philadelphia corporate lawyer and music fan Greg Seltzer, the nonprofit Philly Music Fest encourages support for homegrown musicians and artists, along with locally based food and beer suppliers. The four-day festival, which began Wednesday, wraps up this weekend at World Café Live with a diverse lineup, including trumpeter Arnetta Johnson, folksy indie rockers Tate and trio Thin Lips, who highlight the struggles of the emerging bands Seltzer founded the festival to help, as their touring van recently went kaput. Philly Music Fest directly benefits both local music programs and the participating artists, who are from, live in, or make music in the city.

Ancient History of the Distant Future
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
118 – 128 N. Broad St. (Historic Landmark Building)
Thursday, Sept. 26 – Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020; Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$8 – $15, but discount and free admission is offered to high school and local college students, as well as military members

PAFA is combining works in its historic collection with new ones to encourage viewers to see both in fresh ways. Is all art timeless? How does history inform new artworks? Can you always tell the difference between what’s existed for ages and what’s just been created? Those are just some of the questions the exhibit’s creators, Joseph del Pesco, international director of KADIST, and Jodi Throckmorton, PAFA curator of contemporary art, are posing. Participating artists include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Minerva Cuevas, Carla Zaccagnini, Phillip Andrew Lewis, Mario Garcia Torres, and the collective General Idea.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

50 Strong: Jeff Bradshaw and Friends: Tweet, Algebra Blessett, Conya Doss, and more
Ardmore Music Hall
23 E. Lancaster Ave.
Ardmore, Pa.
Thursday, Sept. 26, Friday, Sept. 27; 8 p.m.
$35 – $139

North Philly-born and raised, trombonist Jeff Bradshaw has established himself as both a sought-after collaborator and solo artist. He’s worked with Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle, Marsha Ambrosius, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Michael Jackson, and released two solo projects — 2004’s “Bone Deep” and 2012’s “Bone Appetit.” To celebrate his 50th birthday and his recovery from diverticulitis, Bradshaw’s throwing a party with talented friends like R&B songstresses Tweet, Conya Doss, and Algebra Blessett, and other guests to be announced.

Glassboro Craft Beer Festival
Glassboro Town Square
1 W. High St.
Glassboro, N.J.
Saturday, Sept. 28; 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Craft beer festivals are as much a part of the fall landscape as the vaunted pumpkin spice latte. Glassboro kicks off the fall festival season with its seventh annual craft beer festival featuring breweries from the tri-state area. Participants include Philly’s Urban Village Brewing Co., Lancaster’s Spring House Brewing Co., and Hackettstown’s Jersey Girl Brewing Co. Food and craft vendors will be on site, and South Jersey band Grass’n Gravel will provide the music.

Puerto Rican Day Parade
Benjamin Franklin Parkway — The Oval
Sunday, Sept. 29; noon – 3 p.m.

The annual celebration of Puerto Rican culture is back on the Parkway this weekend, where it’s been going strong since 1962. The parade is put on by El Concilio, which describes itself as “the oldest Latino organization in Philadelphia,” and it features about 1,500 marchers and draws about 5,000 attendees to enjoy Latin food, music, dance, and poetry. Joanna Otero-Cruz, Philadelphia’s deputy managing director for community services, is this year’s grand marshal. It’s one of several events being held in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Sly Fox Can Jam Music Festival
Sly Fox Brewing Co.
Pottstown Airport Business Center
331 Circle of Progress Drive
Pottstown, Pa.
Saturday, Sept. 28; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Enjoy beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits at Sly Fox Brewing Co.’s annual free festival. Music is also a big part of the day, with five bands on the program. The festival features what is billed as the world’s largest Kan Jam festival. That’s the Frisbee vs. cylinder game that seems like one you’d play after you’ve imbibed a few adult beverages, though its aficionados range from kids to senior citizens. There is an official tournament you must register for, but there will also be opportunities for recreational play once the tourney winners are decided.

Gabby Rivera: `Juliet Takes A Breath’
Free Library of Philadelphia — Parkway Central
1901 Vine St.
Friday, Sept. 27; 7:30 p.m.

Bronx-born Puerto Rican writer Gabby Rivera’s coming-of-age novel “Juliet Takes A Breath” led her to become the first queer Latina to write for Marvel. Rivera created the character America Chavez for Marvel, along with writing for the SyFy network and contributing short stories to several anthologies. Inspired by the lives of her mother and aunts, Rivera drew inspiration from their stories. She’ll be in conversation with Philadelphia-based young-adult author Laurie Halse Anderson, writer of the books “Speak,” “Shout” and “Fever 1793,” among others.

The Roommate
Plays & Players Theatre
1714 Delancey Place
Thursday, Sept. 26 – Sunday, Oct. 20; 2 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m.
$28 – $46

When two women in their mid-50s are forced to share a house, inevitably some revelations, tribulations, and celebrations occur. They happen in comedic fashion in playwright Jen Silverman’s new work “The Roommate.” Sharon and Robyn are the duo in need of some healing and redemption. As both the director and writer are female, expect a play that offers fresh insight into an oft-satirized subject in American media: the struggles and desires of middle-aged women.

Fall for the Arts Festival
Germantown Avenue, from Rex to Willow Grove avenues
Sunday, Sept. 29; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Rain date Sunday, Oct. 6)
Free, food and drink for purchase

Like many neighborhoods, Chestnut Hill welcomes autumn with a signature fall festival. Fall for the Arts turns six blocks of Germantown Avenue into an arts bazaar, with vendors representing disciplines from pottery to poetry. There will be a Maker’s Village that showcases artisans in the process of creation, and two stages where live music will be played throughout the afternoon. The festival offers plenty of activities for kids, as well as a yurt village and live ice sculpting, courtesy of local ice artist Peter Slavin.

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