Philly Bike Ride, ‘Black Angels over Tuskegee,’ Coltrane Fest, Design Philadelphia, and ‘Rocky the Musical’ in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Oct. 13 - 16: Philly Bike Ride, "Alice & John: A Coltrane Festival," and "Rocky the Musical" are among this week's highlights.

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Frank Olivieri (right), owner of Pat’s King of Steaks, holds up a frozen ribeye for punches from Matthew Amira, who will portray Rocky in Walnut Street Theatre’s production of ‘’Rocky, the Musical.’’ (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Frank Olivieri (right), owner of Pat’s King of Steaks, holds up a frozen ribeye for punches from Matthew Amira, who will portray Rocky in Walnut Street Theatre’s production of ‘’Rocky, the Musical.’’ (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Food and drink festivals remain strong this week, with the South Street Festival, the Cider Fest, and the Philly Street Food Festival all going on. In New Jersey, wellness is the focus at the Holistic Health and Healing Expo, and in Delaware, the play “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” explores the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. In Philly, streets are cleared for the Philly Bike Ride, and Spiral Q hosts its 22nd annual Peoplehood Parade.

Delaware | New Jersey | Arts and culture | Food and drink | Sports | Music | The rest


Black Angels Over Tuskegee

The heroics of the Tuskegee Airmen have been documented in films and in a documentary. But not a play until “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” until Layon Gray, inspired by their accomplishments, wrote one. The play focuses on six of the Airmen and their struggles to be fully accepted as the first Black flying unit in the U.S. Air Force. Gray says he was inspired to write after seeing a group of Airmen receive their Congressional Gold Medals in 2007. Coincidentally, he lived near one of the aviators and says talking to him also informed his work. 

New Jersey

Holistic Health and Healing Expo

  • Where: The Westin Hotel, 555 Fellowship Rd., Mt. Laurel, N.J.
  • When: Sunday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: Free

Wellness is prioritized at the Holistic Health and Healing Expo. It will bring together practitioners from multiple disciplines to share their expertise. Workshops in homeopathy, crafting herbal tinctures, thermography, and the connection between emotional health and finances are offered throughout the day.

Arts and culture

Alice & John: A Coltrane Festival

  • Where: Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. 
  • When: Through Sunday, Oct. 23
  • How much: Various prices

Alice and John Coltrane were a musical power couple who also raised a family together. Although harpist Alice is less known than her saxophone master husband, the two changed the course of music forever with their innovative projects together and separately. The Fest acknowledges the couples’ achievements with musical performances from their son, Ravi Coltrane, groundbreaking saxophone player, Lakecia Benjamin, who also acts as the Fest’s artistic director, choreographer Pam Tanowitz and harpist Brandee Younger.

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First Glance Film Festival

The Colonial Theater is the home of the 25th annual First Glance Film Festival, the nation’s longest-running bicoastal independent film fest. The festival has always been open to independent filmmakers of all ages, races, and ethnicities around the world and accepts submissions from feature films to trailers to student films. It’s also a juried fest that confers awards in over 25 categories.


Philadelphia Open Studio Tour

  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 15, Sunday, Oct. 16 (also Sat. Oct. 23, Sunday, Oct. 24) noon – 6 p.m.
  • How much: Free

If you’ve ever wanted to see an artist at work, now’s the time. The Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) welcomes attendees to the largest group of organized studio visits in the area, plus an array of artist-focused events around the city. The first weekend focuses on artists in the designated South and West quadrants of the city, and the second on artists in the Northwest and Northeast quadrants. Check the schedule before making plans, as many studio visits are by appointment only, and the pop-up programs, events, talks, and programs are listed there as well.


DesignPhiladelphia Festival 2022

  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Through Sunday, Oct. 23
  • How much: Various prices

The Center of Architecture and Design is behind the annual DesignPhiladelphia Festival which brings together architects, urban planners, and designers to craft the future of the city. Tours, workshops, parties, and panels are going on throughout the almost two-week festival. Highlights include the 4th Annual Smart and Healthy Cities Forum, Fashion as Activism: Designing for Impact, DesignPhilly Kids Fest, the Interior Design Awards Kick-Off Session, and the Opening Reception event.


Maker Faire Philadelphia

If you’re not already at the architecture and design fest, you can join the one-day Maker’s Faire, which focuses on arts, crafts, and local makers of all kinds. The family-friendly fest bills itself as “part science fair, part country fair, and part something else entirely new.” It brings together creators who are there to both showcase their efforts and provide insight into their creations.


Kimchi Festival

Korean culture is the focus of the first annual Kimchi Festival. Traditional Korean drummers and dancers, taekwondo demonstrations, and performances of Korean folk songs are planned. Kimchi cooking demonstrations and tastings will be accompanied by vendors and food trucks selling Korean cuisine at prices of $15 or less.


Rocky, The Musical

  • Where: Walnut Street Theater, 825 Walnut St.
  • When: Through Sunday, Nov. 6
  • How much: $33.50 and up

Yo Adrian! Philly’s most popular and enduring movie character returns – but this time, to the stage in the musical adaptation of the 1976 movie classic. Yes, Rocky Balboa is still a tenacious small-time boxer who gets the chance at a big break and Adrian is still the woman who ultimately wins his heart. The play includes reworkings of the big pop hits that the movie is associated with from “Eye of the Tiger” to “Gonna Fly Now,” along with 20 original songs. It was first adapted from the film in 2012, and did a Broadway run in 2014.

Gianna Yanelli (left), who portrays Adrian in Walnut Street Theatre’s production of ‘’Rocky, the Musical,’’ and Matthew Amira, who portrays Rocky, take turns punching a frozen ribeye in the meat room at Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Food and drink

Philadelphia Street Food Festival

Who loves street food like Philadelphians? You’ll have the chance to enjoy many of your faves at the Philadelphia Street Food Festival. Cheese fries, tacos, hoagies – food trucks will be there to serve them right up and all for $5 or less. Also scheduled are live music and entertainment, ‘crazy’ eating challenges, pumpkin patch and pumpkin painting and a kid’s fun zone, a silent disco at 1100 Social, axe throwing, and a DJ and sports game watch party in the NBC Sports arena.


Cider Fest

  • Where: Woodford Mansion, 2300 N. 33rd St. 
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 15, Sunday, Oct. 16, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: $35 and up

The historic Woodford Mansion in Fairmount Park is the location for the two-day cider fest. This is adult cider, and along with the beverages, cider makers will be there to answer questions. You can add on a lunch basket from Liberty Kitchen or buy from vendors, including gluten-free and vegetarian ones, onsite. On Saturday, Todd Fausnacht music, The Cheddar Boys, and the Punk Cellist perform, and on Sunday, Maggie Boots and Hey Slow are scheduled.

(Ciderfest 2022)


South Street Fest

It’s a block party over several blocks of South Street on Saturday. Rescheduled from a previous date due to weather, the forecast looks good for the weekend. The 2022 Fest incorporates Brauhaus Schmitz’s 14th annual South Street Oktoberfest and the Philly AIDS Thrift’s 17th anniversary Block Party, so expect one of the biggest gatherings in its history. The 400 businesses in and around South Street are expected to be open and participating, along with vendors, food, live music (including Snacktime, yep, them again!) a pie-eating contest, face-painting, and more.


I Am Athlete podcast live

  • Where: City Winery, 990 Filbert St.
  • When: Thursday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m.
  • How much: $30 and up

Former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall has enjoyed a high-profile second career as an announcer, athletic facility owner, and clothing designer. Now, his YouTube podcast “I Am Athlete” is bringing him even more fans. Along with Lesean “Shady” McCoy and Adam “Pacman” Jones the podcast weathered the controversial departure of original co-hosts Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor, and Ocho Cinco. McCoy will not be at the live event due to a previous commitment, Eagles fan favorite Desean Jackson will step in for this appearance.


Philly Music Fest

  • Where: Various venues
  • When: Through Saturday, Oct. 15
  • How much: Various prices

The Philly Music Fest concludes Saturday with its final four performances at Underground Arts. The annual fest focusing on independent musicians still has tickets to Thursday shows at Johnny Brenda’s and at The Dolphin, though they are selling quickly. If there’s a sold-out show you want to see, you can check the IG’s for the festival, the bands, and the venues to see if anyone is selling tickets they can’t use.


Ghost Light

  • Where: Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia, 1009 Canal St.
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 p.m.
  • How much: $20

In 2017, guitarists/singers Tom Hamilton and Raina Mullen, pianist Holly Bowling, bassist Dan Africano, and drummer Scotty Zwang formed the band Ghost Light, which turned out to be very different from what any of them had done in the past. Somehow, they created a cohesive band though they hadn’t been together in person until the Philadelphia recording sessions for their 2019 debut “Best Kept Secrets.” It seems a fitting title considering their origin story. The band is on tour in support of that project and their latest release “The Healing” which came out Oct. 7.


Gorillaz with Earthgang

The Gorillaz have been honored as the world’s most successful virtual band by the Guinness Book of World Records. Despite selling over 27 million albums and winning a number of awards, including a Grammy and two MTV Music Awards, they’re basically a fictional band from the minds of UK musicians Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn. But they do make real music and have collaborated with real musicians including Elton John, St. Vincent, Skepta, and Fatoumata Diowara. Their live shows have been a combination of musicians playing behind a screen, video projection, and other visuals or sometimes fully visible live musicians. Gorillaz’ latest release “Song Machine: Season One: Strange Times” came out in 2020.

The rest

Philly Bike Ride

Consider this Philly’s best community bike ride you can do WITH your clothes on. Not to be confused with the Naked Bike Ride, this is a 20-mile bike ride through streets closed to traffic with music, fun stops, photo zones, and activities along the way. Organized by The Bicycle Coalition, the ride’s purpose is to support and encourage cyclists and to help celebrate the coalition’s 50th anniversary.


Peoplehood Parade

  • Where: Paul Robeson House, 4951 Walnut St. to Clark Park
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 15, 1 p.m., performances at Clark Park start around 2:30 p.m.
  • How much: Free

Spiral Q is hosting the 22nd annual Peoplehood Parade which puts people first. The colorful parade with drummers and musicians winds through the Spruce Hill neighborhood of West Philly from the Paul Robeson House to Clark Park. A group of community organizations has already signed up to participate including ACT-UP Philadelphia, Philadelphia Rent Control Coalition, Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, PA Youth Vote, The Poor People’s Army, Artwell, Batala Philly, The Attic Center, Trans March Philly, and the Philadelphia Children’s Movement, among others.

(Courtesy SpiralQ)

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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