Blobfest, Christopher Cross, Tinicum Arts Festival, Shady Grove Music Fest and more in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

July 11 - 14: Blobfest in the Philly burbs, Christopher Cross in N.J., and the Shady Grove Music Fest in Delaware are among the weekend’s highlights.

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People running out of the theater

Part of the movie 'The Blob' was filmed at the Colonial Theater. (6abc)

Steve McQueen’s debut was the campy, cult classic film, “The Blob,” back in 1958. It’s safe to say both the actor and the movie moved past their humble beginnings. McQueen became an icon, and “The Blob” morphed into Blobfest, now celebrating its 25th year. The Tinicum Arts Festival can beat that, though. The juried festival with over 180 artists is now in its 73rd year. Nostalgia continues to rule the music scene as Grammy-and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Christoper Cross comes to Atlantic City (possibly by sailboat, but we don’t know for sure), tribute band Wild Child plays the music of The Doors in Delaware, early aughts singer, Tweet, comes to City Winery and Dr. Dog unretires from touring to showcase their new album at the Mann.

New Jersey | Delaware | Special EventsArts & Culture | Food/Drink |  Music

New Jersey

Christopher Cross

Classic music stays in your DNA no matter how many years have passed since the song came out. That’s why Christopher Cross is still winning. His biggest hits, including “Sailing” and “Ride Like the Wind,” are embedded in the soundtrack of people’s lives. The Grammy and Oscar winner will be onstage in Atlantic City this weekend.

Christopher Cross
Christopher Cross performs during the Fire Relief, The Concert For Central Texas at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 as part of the all-star lineup of Texas musicians organized to help raise money for victims of the late-summer central Texas wildfires. (AP Photo/Erich Schlegel)

30th Annual Haddonfield Crafts & Fine Arts Festival

  • Where: Downtown Haddonfield, N.J. 
  • When: Saturday, July 13, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday, July 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: Free pay-as-you-go

Local and global artists converge on South Jersey for the annual Haddonfield Crafts & Fine Arts Festival on and around Kings Highway. Now in its 30th year, the two-day, juried festival showcases artists in varied disciplines from ceramics to jewelry to fiber, photography and paper. New this year is an emerging artists area where student glassblowers, ceramicists and pottery makers from local art schools will create art live.

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Wild Child: Doors Tribute

If you want to recreate your personal glory years, there are tribute bands that can help you do it. Wild Child steps into Wilmington to put their spin on The Doors catalog. No less of an authority than “Rolling Stone” dubbed tribute artist Dave Brock, who channels Jim Morrison, as the “ultimate Doors tribute singer.”

Shady Grove Music Fest

  • Where: Arden Gild Hall, 2126 The Highway, Wilmington, Del.
  • When: Saturday, July 13, noon
  • How much: $29

Started in 2002, the Shady Grove Music Festival was created to amplify the talents of local rock bands playing original music. This year’s lineup includes Death By Indie, Pink Blush, The Lunar Year, Van Holden, Mavis the Dog and more at the family-friendly outdoor fest.

Special Events

The Oval

It’s summa, summa, summa-time and that means seven weeks of The Oval. The space normally known as Eakins Oval, changes its moniker to “The Oval” to distinguish it from its normal usage as a traffic circle. In the summer, it transforms into an outdoor movie theater, music, arts, activities, and wellness space. This year’s schedule includes mini-golf, Quizzo, a beer garden, Friday night movies, and live music curated by Philly’s well-traveled band Snacktime.

Looking east toward City Hall from Eakins Oval.
File photo: Looking east toward City Hall from Eakins Oval. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Blobfest 25

  • Where: The Colonial Theatre, 227 Broad St., Phoenixville, Pa.
  • When: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 14
  • How much: Various prices

Twenty-five years ago, theatergoers spontaneously recreated the now famous run-out scene in “The Blob” after a screening at Phoenixville’s Colonial Theater. As the scene was actually filmed at the theater, its programming team thought there might be something more they could do. There was, and Blobfest is now celebrating its 25th year. New in 2024 is a second “run-out” (as it always sells out), along with the Blob Ball, Saturday’s Street Fair, multiple races from 3K to marathon, and of course, a screening of the movie that inspired it all.

Shakespeare at the Castle: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Shakespeare’s work deserves a castle and Fonthill has obliged by hosting “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at their suburban location. Get ready for a night of iambic pentameter and a backdrop as picturesque as the Bard’s work deserves.

Fonthill Castle
Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, Pa. (WIkimedia Commons)

The Comedy of Errors: Real Housewives of Ephesus Version

  • Where: McMichael Park, 3299 Midvale Ave.
  • When: Saturday, June 13, 6 p.m. (rain date July 14)
  • How much: Free

Take an hour-long mashup of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” and “The Real Housewives” and you get Shakespeare in Clark Park’s “The Comedy of Errors: Real Housewives of Ephesus Version.”  East Falls is the last stop for the play as it concludes its summer tour around the city. The troupe returns to Clark Park for “As You Like It” July 24-28.

Barnes on the Block 2024

The annual celebration of art, music and culture that is Barnes on the Block returns Sunday. The block will be hot (literally and figuratively if weather forecasts hold up)! But there is limited museum access, which includes A.C., with registration. This year marks the 40th-anniversary celebration of Mural Arts Philadelphia, along with performances by samba reggae band Batala Philly, graffiti artist TAMEARTZ, West Powelton Steppers and Drum Squad, and the ever-popular double dutch troupe Philly Girls Jump. Onsite food trucks are pay-as-you-go.

Arts & Culture

2024 Summer One-Act Bonanza

Smartphones, gaming systems and YouTube have reduced many potential theatergoers’ attention spans, making it hard for some to sit through an entire play. But the 2024 Summer One-Act Bonanza at Old Academy Players makes it easier to focus with a performance of several one-act plays. The Players cull new releases from its membership every year so it won’t be anything you’ve seen before.

ICA Summer 2024 Opening Celebration

The Institute of Contemporary Art welcomes two new exhibits with an opening night event celebrating the confluence of music, food and art. “Where I Learned to Look: Art from the Yard” and “Joanna Piotrowska: unseeing eyes, restless bodies” open on Friday. Not Exotic (Chad Ray Turner) and Chris Lyons perform. Food includes Deke’s Barbeque and mini-ice cream sandwiches meant to represent the colors in Piotrowska’s work (that will be welcomed in the heat!)

2024 Tinicum Arts Festival

  • Where: Tinicum Park, 738-1098 Wanamaker Ave. Essington, Pa.
  • When: Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: $10 for adults, $1 for children 6-12, children under 6 and parking free

Now in its 73rd year, we can consider the Tinicum Arts Festival an unqualified success. The showcase for artists in various disciplines includes a book sale, live music, children’s activities and more. The works from more than 180 regional artists are displayed in the festival’s signature Red Barn, with proceeds benefiting the Tinicum Civic Association.


Ice Cream Festival

  • Where: Reading Terminal Market, 1136 Arch St. (Filbert Street side)
  • When: Saturday, July 14 noon – 4 p.m.
  • How much: Free, pay as you go

There’s no better time than a hot July day to enjoy ice cream. Reading Terminal’s annual Ice Cream Festival is a good way to sample ice cream from the city’s most popular purveyors of heat and humidity’s tastiest antidote. Live music, deejays, artisanal ice cream demonstrations, specials and multiple ice cream eating contests are all on the schedule at the rain-or-shine event. Pro tip: Get there early.

Blueberry Festival

  • Where: Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Rd.
  • When: Saturday, July 13, (rain date Sunday, July 14) 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • How much: Admission is free. But picking your own fruit and other on-site attractions are ticketed

It’s blueberry pickin’ time as the sweet treats are ripe and ready! Linvilla Orchards hosts its yearly Blueberry Festival with multiple options for family-friendly fun. Picking your own does come with a fee, as do activities like fishing and train rides. As you might expect, there are numerous varieties of blueberry-related foods available and live entertainment hosted by Silly Joe. And, if you can “stomach” it, there’s also a blueberry pie eating contest for teens 13-17, and adults 18 and up with a prize attached.



Tweet hit back in 2002 with her debut album “Southern Hummingbird,” which spawned “Oops (Oh My)” a collaboration with Missy Elliot that became one of the earworms of the era. Though her star faded afterward, fans of the early aughts sound appreciated her soulful vocals, whether she was singing an uptempo hit like “Oops” or ballads like “Smoking Cigarettes.” Now she’s on a City Winery tour heading to Philly for two shows.

Music Alive: Odeon Pope Quartet

Jazz saxophonist Odeon Pope will bring his quartet to Historic Germantown as the latest artist in the Music Alive concert series. The North Philly native played with John Coltrane and will share some of his experiences in the fertile local jazz scene at the time, as well as play his original compositions. The concert is also part of Historic Germantown’s Second Saturdays promotion running through October.

The Martha Graham Cracker Choral Spectacular

Drag Queen Martha Graham Cracker is performing a Choral Spectacular that will add a four-part choral section to her irrepressible cabaret show. Mr. Johnny Showcase will join the one-night-only show that includes a homage to the 40th anniversary of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” which happens this month.

Martha Graham Cracker
Drag performer Martha Graham Cracker is seen on stage. (Courtesy of Martha Graham Cracker)

Dr. Dog

Straight out of West Chester, Dr. Dog returns to the Philly stage for a comeback show under the stars at the Mann. Though they announced their “last” tour in 2021, they’ve gotten the band back together (though they were never officially broken up) for a new tour and new music. The single and video “Love Struck” dropped a month ago in advance of their 11th self-titled album coming out July 19.

Second Sunday: Sounds of Summer Concert Series

There’s no shortage of musical choices this weekend. But if relaxed, free, family and food are your vibe, Second Sunday’s Sounds of Summer Concert Series sounds like a safe bet. MIC’d Up, a student music mentorship initiative, kicks off the program followed by a performance from Luke Carlos O’Reilly and Emily Braden. Smith Playground delivers the kid’s fun and pay-as-you-go food trucks are also on site.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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