Penn Relays, Mexican Week, Zepparella, VinylCon! and more in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

April 25–28: The Philadelphia Show, “Kill Move Paradise” in N.J. and the Delaware Symphony’s performance of Mahler are among this weekend’s highlights.

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File photo: BalletX performance (Courtesy of BalletX)

File photo: BalletX performance (Courtesy of BalletX)

Get your walking shoes ready! — They’ll likely come in good use this weekend. At the Philadelphia Show, sensible shoes will be a must to comfortably peruse the artwork pulled from over 40 of the nation’s most prestigious galleries. Also, for lovers of finer things (but at a more budget-friendly price), the 20th annual Fairmount Arts Crawl will showcase local and international artists. For those who prefer to stay on the beaten path, Saturday is national “Celebrate the Trails Day,” with associated events in the Delaware Valley.

And for you music heads, VinylCon! brings rare collectibles to the 23rd Street Armory. Dance is given its just due at the BalletX Festival, with performances by local troupes and live musicians. In West Chester, over 50 filmmakers are slated to present their short films in the 18th annual West Chester International Short Film Festival. Plus, the 128th running of the Penn Relays is a great chance to see Olympic hopefuls before they dash off to Paris. There is something for everyone this weekend.

New Jersey | Delaware | Special Events | Arts & Culture | Sports | Outdoors | Wellness | Music

New Jersey

Kill Move Paradise

Playwright James Ijames
Playwright James Ijames (Emma Lee/’WHYY)

A Pulitzer Prize winner for “Fat Ham,” James Ijames also penned “Kill Move Paradise,” which heads to the South Camden theater. In the play, after four Black men meet in a “waiting room” heading to the afterlife, they explore how their various life choices led them there.


Amado Conducts Mahler

In their last concert of the season, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra brings maestro David Amado back to conduct a performance of Mahler’s “Symphony #7: Song of the Night.” This symphony includes music written for the guitar, tenor horn and mandolin, which were not commonly used in symphonic compositions then.

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Special Events


  • Where: 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd St.  
  • When: Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, April 28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • How much: $22.50, Saturday early entry, $8, Saturday and Sunday general admission, free

Collectibles are generating insane sales these days from coins to comic books. Perhaps on the top of that list are vinyl records, feeding a wave of nostalgia that makes previously obscure records more valuable than ever. VinylCon! could produce that valuable find or just a favorite record you’ve been looking to add to your collection. More than 70 vendors will be there. If you want to beat the crowds to the good stuff, there’s an option to buy an early-entry ticket.

Mexican Week 2024

  • Where: Multiple venues
  • When: Sunday, April 28 – Saturday, May 4
  • How much: Free

Kicking off with Carnaval de Puebla, Philly’s Mexican Week 2024 celebration focuses on Mexico’s culture and global contributions. During the week, there will be free museum access and tours, a Children’s Day celebration that reflects one held annually in Mexico, a film screening and an awards luncheon.

Arts & Culture

Poets ‘Gon Poet Awards

Voices in Power is a group of poets coming together for the Poets ‘Gon Poet event to honor each other in their first-ever awards ceremony. The evening includes a performance by AJ McQueen, surprise guests and the awarding of Poet of the Year and Trailblazer Poet, among others. Come dressed in your best for the orange carpet at 7 p.m. Organizers say the dress code is “Grammy-ready.”

The Philadelphia Show

A rooster antique
An item at a past Philadelphia Show (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The Art Museum’s annual art showcase, the Philadelphia Show, encompasses three days of art from more than 40 top dealers nationwide. Works in multiple disciplines, including ceramics, jewelry, textiles and furniture will be displayed. Special events to look out for include a preview party, an “Antiques Roadshow” panel and a chat with former Philadelphia Eagle and art collector Malcolm Jenkins.

BalletX Festival

File photo: BalletX performance (Courtesy of BalletX)

Dance is center stage at a two-day BalletX Festival that combines choreography with live music. A dozen dance troupes, including  Metropolitan Ballet Academy & Company, Bucks County Dance Center, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts and the Esperanza Academy Dance Ensemble will perform. Takehiro Ueyama’s 2019 dance Heroes, with live music performed by Kato Hideki, will make its Philadelphia premiere alongside other live music and dance pairings at the festival.

When Rich People Spend Money on Bad Art

It sounds like the provocative title of a new play, but When Rich People Spend Good Money On Bad Art is a discussion about how deep-pocketed art collectors are sometimes swayed by status more than substance. In this lecture, author and historian Thomas H. Keels shares the cautionary tale of the Foerderer family, whose purchase of the “Old Masters” collection in the 1890s revealed the widespread problem of fake art flooding the market.

The Mill Studios 32nd Annual Open Studios

Art and artists from near and far converge on a busy cultural weekend in greater Philadelphia. But the more than 30 artists at the Mill Studios live and work in the city full-time. They’re opening their doors for the 32nd Annual Open Studios event, which brings people directly to their workspace. The daylong event provides insight into the creative process and a platform for artists to sell their work directly to the consumer.

Arts Roundup

The Woodlands
The Woodlands will host its annual West Craft Fest, which offers live music and make-and-take crafts, this weekend. (Ryan Collerd/The Woodlands)
  • Where: Multiple venues
  • When: Through Sunday
  • How much: Various prices

The weekend’s arts and culture offerings don’t stop there. The 18th annual West Chester International Short Film Festival comes to the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center, starting with the Opening Night Party on Friday. The slate includes more than 50 films. On Saturday, celebrate the season at PAFA’s family-friendly, and free, Spring Festival. Or, head to the Woodlands for the annual West Craft Fest, which offers live music and make-and-take crafts. And on Sunday, the Fairmount Arts Crawl celebrates its 20th year.

Food and Drink Roundup

  • Where: Multiple locations
  • When: Through Sunday
  • How much: Various prices

The best events in town almost always involve food and early spring brings a host of them. On Thursday, dine for a great cause at the 34th annual Dining Out For Life event, which raises funds for people with HIV. On Friday, Crafted in Philly, a two-month brewery tour, kicks off. Your ticket gets you a free pour and a chance to vote on the winner at 11 participating breweries across five neighborhoods. Saturday is Food Truck Frenzy at Linvilla Orchards, the annual event that includes live music, (separately ticketed) hayrides, pony rides and face painting. And on Sunday, East Passyunk is the place for Flavors on the Avenue, the neighborhood’s yearly food fest.


Penn Relays

A view of runners running around a track.
File photo: Villanova has the lead during the College Men’s 4 x Mile Championship of America Invitational during the Penn Relays athletics meet, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

The 126th running of the Penn Relays is here. The annual track and field meet is the nation’s oldest, bringing 100 high school and college teams to Franklin Field. Saturday is typically the big day with several collegiate Championship of America finals, but all eyes are on U.S. high jumper Vashti Cunningham as she competes in the Olympic Development high jump on Saturday. (Yes, that’s Randall’s daughter and he’ll be there to cheer her on.) Pro tip: Take a rideshare to the field as you may have to walk several blocks to park anywhere nearby. Here’s a guide and schedule.


Celebrate Trails Day

A group of people stand next to a sign in a grassy area.
New signs along the Cobbs Creek Trail with maps, nature information and community bulletins were designed by neighbors. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)
  • Where: Multiple locations
  • When: Saturday, April 24, all day
  • How much: Free

Greater Philadelphia already has the Circuit Trails, a robust trail system connecting Philly and New Jersey, which will expand from 300+ to 800 miles when it’s completed in 2040. So there are plenty of places to enjoy Saturday’s Celebrate Trails Day, which encourages the use and appreciation of the nation’s trail system. In the Philly area, there are multiple events. One at Cobbs Creek includes guided bird walks, a falconer demonstration, a plant identification and printing workshop and horseback riding.


Wellness at the Willows

  • Where: The Willows Park Preserve, 490 Darby Paoli Rd., Villanova, Pa.
  • When: Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • How much: Free

The Willows Park Preserve couldn’t have chosen a better weekend (if the forecast holds up) for an event that takes advantage of the Willows Mansion and its vast expanse of outdoor space. On Saturday, they’re hosting Wellness at the Willows, an all-day, comprehensive event with expert discussions and multiple fitness classes. Health and community organizations will be onsite as well.


Ruth Naomi Floyd and Valerie Gay perform ahead of the unveiling of a state historical marker at the Mother Bethel AME Burying Grounds in 2019. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Ruth Naomi Floyd: Are We Yet Somehow Alive?

  • Where: Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 19 S. 38th St. 
  • When: Thursday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.
  • How much: $42

Songwriter and composer Ruth Naomi Floyd is performing her latest work “Are We Yet Somehow Alive?” inspired by the first-person accounts of enslaved Americans. Mezzo soprano Floyd makes her PennLive Arts debut with a world premiere piece combining elements of jazz, blues and gospel, along with photography to tell a story in images and music.

Paula Holloway and the No Name Pops Sing Gershwin and Porter

The No Name Pops are still in search of a permanent moniker but have already established their reputation of stellar musicianship. Paula Holloway joins them in concert to share her renditions of classic songs by George Gershwin and Cole Porter.

Belle & Sebastian

Scottish indie band Belle & Sebastian have enjoyed a cult following since their debut “Tigermilk” in 1996. Since then, they’ve released 11 more studio albums, including their latest, 2023’s “Late Developers.” The rockers have a receptive audience in Philly as only resale tickets for their tour stop at Union Transfer are still available.

Zepparella: The Led Zeppelin Powerhouse

Trip at a Philadelphia music venue and you’ll likely fall onto a band paying homage to one of the all-time greats. But it’s not every day that it will be an all-female band playing the classic tunes of an all-male one. Zepparella is one such entity. Vocalist Anna Kristina, guitarist Angela Pitrelli, bassist Holly West and drummer Clementine faithfully recreate the rock outfit’s biggest hits while improvising just like they did.

One Night of Queen

As mentioned above, it almost feels like tribute bands have outpaced the artists and groups whose legacies they keep alive. Gary Mullen & The Works have been the tribute band for Queen since 2002, surpassing the original group’s tenure together. With Mullen as the late Freddie Mercury, guitarist David Brockett, bassist Billy Moffat, keyboardist Malcolm Gentles and drummer Jon Halliwell, they have put together a two-hour-plus show with all the theatrical prowess that defined Queen in its heyday.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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