Scavenging Fairmount Park and masking up for the Delaware State Fair in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

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The Philadelphia skyline can be seen from Fairmount Park's Belmont Plateau (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The Philadelphia skyline can be seen from Fairmount Park's Belmont Plateau (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Fair enough

The 10-day Delaware State Fair continues through Saturday, August 1 but with some COVID-19 restrictions in place. Following recommendations from the CDC and state health officials, the fair’s motto in its 101st year is “Mask Up, Wash Up and Back Up.” Capacity limits, marked social distancing protocols, and 75 hand-sanitizing stations are new this year. Mask wearing is required for walking around but there are mask-optional seating areas where you can sit and purchase food. The headlining concerts featuring Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams Jr. and comedian Jim Gaffigan are cancelled but there will be live music with seating six to eight feet apart.

As the fairgrounds cover 90 acres, there is room to spread out and organizers have also tiered admission prices to encourage manageable crowds. The parade is also a coronavirus casualty this year, but the fair’s newest attractions include Disc Connected’s K9 dog show and a reconfigured outdoor circus. Contactless payments can be made via your phone or a bracelet that you use to pay for everything from rides to food.

Delaware State Fair, 18500 S. DuPont Hwy. Harrington, Del., through Saturday, August 1. 
8 a.m. – 11 p.m., free 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., $4.50 for 13 and up, $2 for 12 and under, 4 p.m. – closing, 13 and up, $9, 12 and under, $4

Park it

If you’ve been taking advantage of Fairmount Park’s many resources during the pandemic, there’s another reason to love it. The Fairmount Park Conservancy is hosting a scavenger hunt through September 7. Usually, it’s a one-day, in-park competition, but COVID-19 forced the transition to a virtual six-week game. Clues will be provided via the Goose Chase app available for iOS and Android phones and you can play by yourself or with a team. Top challengers will win prizes that include gift cards to minority-owned businesses and Fairmount Park Conservancy merch. Self-directed users compete in photo, text, and video challenges each week based around six Park hubs in East and West Fairmount Park. The hunt is free and kid-friendly.

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Street tales

West Philadelphia’s Scribe Video Center has been serving the community since 1982. Though they have moved educational workshops online due to the coronavirus, their Street Movies! screening and performance series continues this summer at locations around the city including North, West and South Philly. For each screening and performance, Scribe partners with a different community organization. On opening night Saturday, August 1, they’re teaming up with Taller Puertorriqueño and the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival. Performances start at 8 p.m., screenings at 8:30 p.m. All COVID-19 protocols will be in place and there are no bathrooms available onsite, so plan accordingly. The program will also stream live on Scribe Video’s Facebook page and will be simulcast on PhillyCAM Local Cable Xfinity 66/966HD & Fios 29/30.

Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m.
Taller Puertorriqueño, 2600 N. 5th St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Light show

The coronavirus pandemic upended the music industry, forcing theaters, concert halls and most live performance venues to go dark. But intrepid promoters and organizers are working hard to keep the music alive. At the theater company People’s Light in Malvern, the solution is to organize a summer concert series with coronavirus limitations in mind. The Summer 2020 Drive-In Music Series starts on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m. with the John Byrne Band. Shows will take place in the theater’s parking lot and vehicles will be limited to five people who are members of your household or “social bubble.” You’ll be assigned a parking lot location with an adjacent “home space” for lawn chairs. Like everywhere else, masks are required for attendees and for staff, but in your personal area, you can take a mask break. No car idling, no smoking and no pets, but you can order food and adult beverages while on site.

People’s Light, 39 Conestoga Rd. Malvern, Pa.
$75 through Aug. 21

Pat Martino (Photo by Arnie Goodman)

Streaming hot

Chris’ Jazz Café on Sansom Street in Center City — which they say is the longest continuously running jazz club in Philadelphia — closed back in March due to the pandemic. Determined to find a way to continue sharing jazz music, they decided to upgrade their facility to broadcast state-of-the-art livestreams. After a $25,000 investment, they now have a slate of musicians scheduled to perform virtual live shows. The first two are benefit concerts for jazz guitarist Pat Martino who has been unable to work due to a lung condition and the after-effects of a brain aneurysm he suffered in the ’80s. Proceeds from the venue’s first two shows will go to his medical care. Saxophonist Eric Alexander and the Young Philadelphians will start off the series on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. on the café’s website. The first two benefit shows are pay-what-you-wish, all others are $5.

Drive off to see the wizard

Pop-up drive-ins are proliferating in the post-COVID-19 world. Although Pennsylvania is already second in the nation for the most drive-ins and home to the nation’s oldest still in operation, other spaces have been converted to accommodate those who want to see a movie but not yet in a full theater. One of those spaces is the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, which is hosting Cinema Pop Ups through August 16. Movies on the upcoming schedule include “The Wizard of Oz” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” both on Saturday. Movies start at 9 p.m.

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Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave. Oaks, Pa.
Thursday – Sunday through August 16, 9 p.m.
$25 per carload

State dinner

If eating at an indoor restaurant isn’t yet in your comfort zone, you can enjoy open-air dining in Media instead. On Wednesday nights, restaurants are able to offer dinner al fresco on State Street, which is closed to traffic between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. This is the truncated version of Media’s normal Dining Under the Stars that used to take place on Wednesdays and Sundays in the summer. Mask wearing and social distancing are required except when eating. Some restaurants may opt out, so check in with individual eateries beforehand if there’s one in particular you want to visit.

(Courtesy of the Garden at Cherry Street Pier)

Strollin’ on the river

As everyone is seeking a way to keep themselves occupied and entertained in the challenging world we’re currently navigating, a river stroll seems like a great idea. Philadelphia has formalized the relaxing pastime by adding a series of entertainment and open-air dining options along the Delaware. The Philly River Stroll encompasses three brand new venues this summer – the Race Street Pier Beer Garden, the Garden at Cherry Street Pier and the Water Garden at Spruce Street Harbor. The River Beer Garden is first come, first serve, while the Garden at Cherry Street and the Water Garden at Spruce Street require reservations in advance. Coronavirus protocols in place include a two-hour reservation slot, and enhanced sanitization and socially-distanced tables. Food and drink are available through an order-pickup system that limits interaction. Paid garage parking is close by, or you can utilize one of four nearby Indego bike-sharing stations. The River Beer Garden is 21 and over only, but everywhere else is kid and dog-friendly.

From local to global

The Woodmere Museum in Chestnut Hill reopened last weekend and with it, the chance to see its exhibition “Africa in the Arts of Philadelphia.” The showcase of three local artists had just opened in February, but was shuttered the next month when coronavirus hit the area. The exhibit features the work of three artists – Barbara Bullock, Charles Searles, and Nigerian artist and musician Twins Seven-Seven, whose work reflected the African diaspora. All of them came out of the Ile Ife Black Humanitarian Center in North Philadelphia, an arts and culture organization created by dancer/choreographer Arthur Hall in 1969. African traditions — including the name which references an ancient city in Yoruba thought to be where civilization began — informed their work, and the exhibit showcases and amplifies the art they produced there. More information on the exhibit is featured on the museum’s Diving Board podcast with guests including Philly spoken word artist Ursula Rucker.

Keep checking with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

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