Scary doings in Phoenixville, new market at Cherry Street Pier, and Bastille Day in Ardmore

Philly and South Jersey are buzzing this week with festivals dedicated to film, arts, and culture. Plus, there's a local celebration of France's Bastille Day.

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Pool Room 11th & Walnut, 1971. Edward Loper, Jr. (born 1934). Oil on canvas, 24 × 36 in. (61 × 91.4 cm). (Courtesy of Stuart Kingston Gallery. © Edward Loper, Jr.)

Pool Room 11th & Walnut, 1971. Edward Loper, Jr. (born 1934). Oil on canvas, 24 × 36 in. (61 × 91.4 cm). (Courtesy of Stuart Kingston Gallery. © Edward Loper, Jr.)

Philly and South Jersey are buzzing this week with festivals dedicated to film, arts, and culture. Plus, there’s a local celebration of France’s Bastille Day, and some warlocks and witches who enjoy craft beers.

20th Annual Blobfest
The Colonial Theatre
227 Bridge Street
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 14; Various times
Various prices

The movies and pop culture of the 1950s are celebrated in this popular Phoenixville festival. Some screenings and events are already sold out, but there are still seats available for the Friday Night Stage Show/Run Out, the Blob Ball and doubleheader screenings including, you guessed it, “The Blob,” “Teenagers From Outer Space,” and “Forbidden Planet.” The Saturday Streetfair is free and features storytelling, a pet parade, a fire extinguisher parade and a costume contest. Among the special guests will be Kris Yeaworth, son of “The Blob” director Irvin Yeaworth, and Sarah Smith Lenz who played Sharon, Barnabas Collins’ younger sister on the TV classic “Dark Shadows.”

The Loper Tradition: Paintings By Edward Loper, Sr. and Edward Loper, Jr.
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, Delaware
Through Sunday, Aug. 4
Free with museum admission; $6 -$12, children 6 and under free. Note: Admission is free 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sundays and on Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Like the Wyeths, N.C. and Andrew, Edward Loper, Sr. and Edward Loper, Jr. were prolific artists who lived and worked in the Delaware Valley. The late Edward Loper, Sr., a self-taught African-American artist, lived and taught in Wilmington, Delaware his entire life, and his son, Loper, Jr., also a distinguished painter, taught at the Christiana Cultural Arts Center. This exhibit includes two documentaries, the Emmy-Award winning “Edward L. Loper: Prophet of Color” and a new documentary of Edward Loper, Jr. as well.

Wizards and Witches Beer Festival
Arts Ballroom
1324 Locust Street, Philadelphia
Saturday, July 13; 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Although you might expect an event like this to happen around Halloween, it’s here at the height of summer. The festival includes samplings of twenty craft beers, as well as food, live music from the Sorceress Sisters, Red Head Party Band, and what should be a “haunting” selection of music from DL DumbleD. Organizers also promise a Lair of Secret Cider Potions and an Adult Butterscotch Beer Tavern, along with plenty of Instagrammable moments. Although there’s no formal dress code, we’re quite sure that your favorite wizard and/or witchy outfits will be appropriate for this event.

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Le’Andria Johnson
Next Level Revival Church
5824-26 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia
Thursday, July 11; 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$20 – $30

Grammy-winning gospel singer Le’Andria Johnson has provided quite a testimony about her struggle with alcohol abuse, even appearing on the OWN reality TV show “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” She credits that experience, along with her faith, with helping her along the path to sobriety. The 2010 winner of Black Entertainment Television’s “Sunday Best” gospel singing competition, she’s also appeared on “Preachers of Atlanta,” where her controversial behavior cost her some gospel music fans. But Johnson persevered through her personal turmoil, releasing her second studio album, “Bigger Than Me” in 2017.

Bring Out Your Dead: A Walk Through Plagues, Madness, and Medicine In Philadelphia
Benjamin Rush Garden
143 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia
Saturday, July 13; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Philadelphia has its share of contributions to American history, but it also has a fascinating, if macabre, medical history. Journalist Elana Gordon, one of the creators of WHYY’s “The Pulse,” will take participants on a walking tour of some of the lesser-known places in the city associated with Philadelphia’s more morbid past. On the tour, you’ll go to a hidden moat, look for a set of keys with their own secrets, and discover how epidemics and plagues impacted the city and its residents.

Eric Roberson with Vertical Current and Res
Ardmore Music Hall
23 E. Lancaster Avenue
Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Friday, July 12; 8 p.m.
$30 – $45

Eric Roberson is actually from a little further north than what could be considered the Delaware Valley, but Philadelphia claims him as a native son due to his frequent collaborations with local talents like DJ Jazzy Jeff and Kindred. The Grammy nominee released a trilogy album set called “Earth, Wind, & Fire” in 2017. Formed at Temple University in 2009, jazz/soul sextet Vertical Current continues to thrive and collaborate with artists including Roberson, Robert Glasper, Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, The Roots, Derrick Hodge, and more. Their latest release, “The Future Is Bright,” came out in 2018. Philadelphia native Res is an alternative R&B/rock/soul artist whose 2001 debut “How I Do” seemed poised to place her among similarly eclectic black female singers like Erykah Badu, Tracy Chapman, and others, but label politics hurt her career. Still her song “They-Say Vision” was a Billboard No. 1 hit and remains a fan favorite. You can listen to her latest work via Soundcloud.

Barnes On The Block
The Barnes Foundation
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
Sunday, July 14; 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Free, with registration

The Barnes Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia have joined forces for the third “Barnes on the Block.” Situated right outside of and adjacent to the museum, it’s a block party with an artistic theme that includes art installations from NDA, live glass blowing, sculptures, and music, interactive performances, and games galore. The event is free and your registration includes the chance to see the Barnes Collection for free, or to win other gifts and prizes.

27th Annual Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Arts Festival
Downtown Haddonfield, New Jersey
Saturday, July 13; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday, July 14; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Free; Food and drink for purchase

Haddonfield, New Jersey is a charming historic town with many beautiful vintage homes. It’s also the location of an annual arts festival, now in its 27th year. More than 250 artists and artisans will be showcasing their work in various disciplines, including paintings, glass, ceramics, wearable art, and more. The town’s main artery, King’s Highway, as well as two adjacent streets will be the festival’s epicenter. On Saturday, there’s also a farmer’s market and activities for kids including balloon animals, face painting, and ceramic figurine painting.

The Food Trust’s Market
Cherry Street Pier
121 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia
Saturdays from July 13 – Nov. 16; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The group behind Night Market brings you another flavorful offering. They are the sponsors of the Food Trust’s Market at Cherry Street Pier, which is billed as more than just picking through produce and taste-testing regional fare, although that’s happening as well. This market will also include visual and performing artists, and the opportunity to commune with like-minded food and art lovers around Philadelphia.

World Café Live
3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
Sunday, July 14; 2 p.m.

Celebrate Latin music at Nuevofest, a live music show featuring a diverse number of Latin musical performers. The all-ages concert brings local, national, and international artists together who do different styles of Latin music including funk, punk, soul, jazz, and more. Performers include Peruvian band Lady HD, Tall Juan, whose music combines South American and African influences, and Puerto Rican alternative rock/pop trio Los Rivera Destino.

The 19th Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival
Wiggins Waterfront Park and Marina
1 Riverside Drive Camden, New Jersey
Saturday, June 13th; 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Delaware Valley features a few Caribbean festivals, so why should South Jersey be left out? The 19th annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival focuses on community, incorporating the diverse music, dance, food, and cultures of the Caribbean. You’ll find activities for the entire family, including health screenings and free giveaways.

Ardmore Restaurant Week
Various venues in Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Monday, July 15 – Sunday, July 28

Bastille Day Block Party – Station Avenue at Lancaster Avenue
Sunday, July 14; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free — $25 for access to wine garden
Ardmore Restaurant Week kicks off with the Bastille Day Block Party on Sunday, July 14, which celebrates French Independence Day, Philadelphia style. Everything French is on the menu from food to music to wine and even can-can dancers. This is the 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and Philadelphia joins 50 other U.S. towns and cities that celebrate the holiday. Bastille Day events are free except for the wine garden, which is $25 in advance. Most of the 21 participating Ardmore Restaurant Week eateries will offer fixed-price menus from $10-$15 for lunch; $15, $25, or $35 for dinner while others will offer specially curated meals at a discount.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO with Dhani Harrison
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia
Saturday, July 13; 8 p.m.
$49.50 – $179.50

English rock band, Electric Light Orchestra, known best for their 1970s hits “Evil Woman” and “Don’t Bring Me Down” broke up in 1986 after frontman Jeff Lynne wanted out. A few other incarnations with other members followed until Lynne rebooted the band as Jeff Lynne’s ELO. Though Lynne, Roy Wood, and Bev Bevan founded the group together, Lynne is the only original member in the current lineup. He’s coming to town with Dhani Harrison, the son of Beatle George Harrison and a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist in his own right. Harrison’s debut solo album “In Parallel” was released in 2017.

Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” – Free Theater in the Parks
Various parks in Philadelphia and the suburbs, including McMichael Park, Everhart Park, and Morris Arboretum
Through July 26; times vary

William Shakespeare’s plays have stood the test of time, but even now, over 400 years later, they are not always accessible to all audiences. The Commonwealth Classic Theater Company’s production of “Measure for Measure” hopes to change this by exposing more people to the Bard’s work via its Free Theater in the Parks program. Now in its 15th year, Free Theater in the Parks expects to reach over 2,500 people in 12 communities this summer. The evening productions, which start at varying times depending on the park, allow those who would not normally be able to see a Shakespeare play to do so in a welcoming atmosphere. Although it should be noted that the plays are open to all ages, “Measure for Measure” is a morality tale with adult themes. Venues designated as “rain or shine” have an inside area where the play can be moved if necessary.

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