Reggae legend Bob Marley, Asian history in Philly, and Cowtown Rodeo in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Philadelphia, Delaware and South Jersey host an array of events, from a tribute to Jamaican independence, Train in concert, and bike racing in the ’burbs.

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Participants in the Cowtown Rodeo parade around the arena before competing in events like bull riding, steer wrestling, and barrel racing. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

Participants in the Cowtown Rodeo parade around the arena before competing in events like bull riding, steer wrestling, and barrel racing. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

What’s on the menu this weekend in the Philadelphia area? Discounted dining in Chestnut Hill, for one. Also opportunities to pay homage to reggae legend Bob Marley, experience the true stories of some Asian-Americans, and see professional cyclists race. Plus, music (blues), music (jazz) and music (Kidchella).

Downtown Brew Fest 2019
Chelsea Tavern
821 N. Market St.
Wilmington, Del.
Saturday, Aug. 10; noon – 7 p.m.
$30 – $55
This third annual celebration of beer heads to Market Street, which will be shut down between Eighth and Ninth Streets. Over 100 brews from 50 local breweries will be available for sampling (though we figure no one will get to them all), with 11 local restaurants and two food trucks providing varied eating options. Music will be supplied by two deejays and two live bands, and a “Home Brew” competition will choose a winner from among the “sudsy” competition. Find a list of breweries participating here.

Port Richmond Blues Festival
Tioga and Richmond Streets
Saturday, Aug. 10; noon – 7 p.m.
Free; food and drink for purchase
This neighborhood festival promises “booz,” blues and barbecue on a block closed to facilitate grilling, as well as food trucks, beer tents, and a stage where blues bands including King Groove, Mikey Junior and the Russ Lambert Band are scheduled to play. The all-ages event includes a pie-eating contest.

Clues and Blues and Chews
Cliveden of the National Trust
6401 Germantown Ave.
Friday, Aug. 9; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
An adult scavenger hunt? Count us in. The historic Cliveden estate is hosting “Twilight Tales,” and this year you’ll have to find the clues in a broadsheet, so pay attention. You can do the hunt by yourself or with a group of friends or family. A tour of the Main House is included — and it may offer some relevant information that can help you ace the hunt. Admission includes the game, food, and two drink tickets; the event is strictly 21 and up, and ID will be required. Rain date is Friday, Aug. 16. Cliveden is easily accessible via public transportation.

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Jamaica’s 57th Independence Celebration & Bob Marley Tribute
1599 JFK Blvd.
Sunday, Aug. 11; 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Bring your lawn chairs for the 57th-anniversary celebration of Jamaican independence. Son of Jamaica and music icon Bob Marley will be paid tribute during the daylong event. Jamaican sound system DJ’s will play live music, and cash prizes will be handed out for the bun eating, Jamaican patty eating, and cold beer drinking contests. Other prizes will be awarded to winners of singing contests and a tug-of-war contest. Jamaican food and beverage vendors will be on-site, as well as purveyors of Jamaican T-shirts and other cultural apparel, so it’s a good opportunity to upgrade your collection of Marley fashion and memorabilia.

Restaurant Week: A Taste of Chestnut Hill
Various venues
Sunday, Aug. 11 – Friday, Aug. 16
$15 – $45 per person prix fixe menus; free parking Sunday – Friday after 6 p.m.
Restaurant Week makes its way to Chestnut Hill, with 12 restaurants, including longtime neighborhood faves Paris Bistro and Jazz Cafe, McNally’s Tavern and Campbell’s Place, offering prix fixe, multiple-course special menus in a variety of cuisines over five days. Known as Philadelphia’s Garden District, bucolic Chestnut Hill joins other Philadelphia and suburban neighborhoods that host similar weeks to promote the restaurants in their areas.

Kidchella Music Festival 2019
Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse
3500 Reservoir Drive, East Fairmount Park
Friday, Aug. 9; 4 – 7:30 p.m.
The annual kids’ concert series at East Fairmount Park’s Smith Playground —  which hosts activities year-round to encourage play in a diverse, historic environment — concludes its 2019 season with The Not-Its! and Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats. The live performances are in conjunction with a Youth Arts Zone that starts at 4 p.m. Food will be for sale from popular, kid-friendly food trucks, and there will be activities and more. Bring blankets to best enjoy the show.

Anthony Hamilton with Ledisi and Gregory Porter
Dell Music Center
2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive
Thursday, Aug. 8; 7 p.m.
$35 – $75 
Grammy-winning singer Anthony Hamilton and his stellar band, the Hamiltones, are doing their part to keep authentic R&B thriving in the contemporary era. Though newer acts like Khalid, Lucky Daye and Leon Bridges are garnering rave reviews and big tours, Hamilton remains atop the throne of Southern-fried soul music. His latest release is 2016’s “How I’m Feelin.” New Orleans-born, critically acclaimed vocalist Ledisi has released six albums, including 2017’s “Let Love Rule,” and two-time Grammy winner/jazz vocalist Gregory Porter’s latest is 2018’s “One Night Only – Live At Royal Albert Hall.” (NOTE: This show is currently showing as sold out, but tickets may be available on or via the Dell’s box office.)

Train, Goo Goo Dolls & Allen Stone
BB&T Pavilion
1 Harbour Blvd.
Camden, N.J.
Saturday, Aug. 10; 7 p.m.
$29 – $125
Multi-platinum recording group Train may have formed in San Francisco, but frontman and lead singer, Patrick Monahan, hails from a bit closer to the East Coast (Erie, Pa.). Since getting together in 1993, Train has sold more than 10 million albums. Though the band has had some changing lineups over the years, Monahan has been a constant. Train has earned three Grammy Awards along the way; its biggest hit, “Hey, Soul Sister,” sold over 6 million copies. Like Monahan, Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik has remained the leader of his band, which came together in Buffalo in 1986 and has enjoyed two platinum and two gold albums on the strength of hit singles like “Iris” and “Slide.” The latest project, “Miracle Pill,” is set for release this year. Blue-eyed-soul singer Allen Stone re-released his 2015 “Radius” album as a deluxe edition in 2016.
Smooth Jazz Summer Nights: Vivian Green

Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing
601 N. Columbus Blvd.
Friday, Aug. 9; 7:30 – 9 p.m.
To see Philly’s own Vivian Green for free is a gift to the city that has supported her since her critically acclaimed debut, “Love Story,” in 2002. That album went gold on the strength of the slow-burning hit “Emotional Rollercoaster.” She continues to make music, working with hip-hop and R&B artist-turned-producer Kwame and releasing “VGVI” in 2017. The concert series is for all ages and is accessible for wheelchairs. You can bring chairs but must stay with them.

Cowtown Rodeo
780 Harding Highway
Pilesgrove, N.J.
Every Saturday night through Sept. 28; 7:30 p.m.
Children up to 12, $10; adults, $25
You might be surprised to know that the nation’s longest continuously running weekly pro rodeo is not somewhere out West but right here in South Jersey. Cowtown Rodeo got started in 1929 and has been going ever since. It’s not just the longest-running — it’s the only rodeo in New Jersey, billed as “The Best Show On Dirt.” Cowtown is still owned by the fourth-generation family members of its founder, Howard Harris Sr., who along with his son, Howard “Stoney” Harris Jr., started the rodeo in nearby Woodstown. Inside food vendors accept cash only. Outside food and drink, including alcohol, are allowed but must be in a cooler 12-by-12 or smaller.

Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic in West Chester
Downtown West Chester, Pa., various locations
Saturday, Aug. 10; 3:30 – 10 p.m.
Professional bike racing comes to West Chester with the renamed Benchmark Cycling Classic. It gets started with qualifying races in the morning, then three professional criterium races for both male and female competitors in the evening. There is also the Toldsdorf Trike Challenge and the Kids’ Race. A kids zone and a community festival also have sprung up around the race, now in its 14th year.

“Tommy and Me”
140 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Friday, Aug. 9 – Sunday, Aug. 25
$40 – $50
The play, based on the life of sportswriter/broadcaster Ray Didinger, tells the story of how he helped his idol, Eagles Hall of Fame wide receiver Tommy McDonald, gain entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As many Eagles fans know, McDonald helped the Eagles win the precursor to the Super Bowl, the NFL Championship, in 1960. The game was played at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field, where the Eagles beat the Green Bay Packers, coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi. Each performance of this Theatre Exile production features a post-show discussion with the cast, the director and Didinger, with other guests that include author Mark Kram, broadcasters Vai Sikahema, Micheal Barkann and Amy Fadool, and former Eagles player Joe Conwell and Harold Carmichael.

Philly Asian Histories
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine St.
Friday, Aug. 9; 7 – 10 p.m. 
Saturday, Aug.10; 2 – 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$10 – $30, sliding scale but no one will be turned away
The two-part performance series features an ensemble cast of eight performers from Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists breathing life into true stories of Asian-Americans in Philadelphia. Dance, music, poetry and art installations are the media in which those stories are told. The performances will then be combined into a free Neighborhood Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 17 featuring performers from four different groups from the Shared Spaces program.

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