Kensington Derby, Mother’s Day concerts, Neil Young and more in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

May 9–12: Mother’s Day gospel concert in Philly, Neil Young in N.J. and “Little Women: The Musical” in Delaware are among the weekend’s highlights.

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The Kensington Kitty soars through Philadelphia Brewing Company’s ‘Peacock Passage’ obstacle during the race at the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival on Saturday.

The Kensington Kitty soars through Philadelphia Brewing Company’s ‘Peacock Passage’ obstacle during the race at the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival in 2022. (Erin Blewett/Billy Penn)

Mother’s Day Weekend is here and concerts in Philadelphia and Atlantic City are good choices for R&B- and gospel-loving moms. If mom’s a foodie, here’s a list of Mother’s Day brunches. If she’s a hip-hop hipster, Sushi by Bou offers two price tiers for brunch in their new ‘90s rap-inspired space. If house and EDM are more to her liking (but she still checks the hipster box), DJ Ben Arsenal is at Vinyl, an intimate speakeasy-like space that features live music, on Saturday. If she’s more hippie than hipster, Neil Young is in town, too.

Australian comedian Celeste Barber is at the Miller Theater on Sunday, and in Delaware, “Little Women: The Musical” sounds like a good choice for a nostalgia-loving mom. If her memories extend as far back as the Beatles, then “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” is at the Miller through Sunday.

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New Jersey

Mother’s Day Music Festival with Kem, Silk, SWV, Dru Hill

Moms are the focus as we head into Mother’s Day. ‘90s R&B is the preferred music of many moms in the Delaware Valley, so it makes sense that Kem, Silk, Dru Hill and SWV are in town. The Mother’s Day Music Festival comes to Atlantic City on Saturday.

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Neil Young Crazy Horse Love Earth Tour

FILE – Neil Young poses for a portrait at Lost Planet Editorial in Santa Monica, Calif. on Sept. 9, 2019. (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP, File)

Lighting canceled two Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Texas shows, which might be nature’s way of cosigning the band’s continuing relevance. A review of one of the shows that did happen raved about the 78-year-old’s “epic guitar riffs,” so it appears he’s lost little with age. Barring any inclement weather (you should stay on top of the weekend forecast, which at present, does include rain), he’ll be onstage at the Freedom Mortgage Pavilion ripping off some more.


Little Women: The Musical

  • Where: The Playhouse on Rodney Square, 1007 Market St., Wilmington, Del.
  • When: Thursday, May 9 – Sunday, May 12
  • How much: $50 and up

Louisa May Alcott’s 1968 book “Little Women” detailing the lives of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March has more than stood the test of time, spawning several movie and TV adaptations. The musical version comes to Wilmington for a limited engagement of five performances.

Special Events

Festival of Fountains

Longwood Gardens’ most popular attraction opens for the season this week, with daily and nightly fountain shows, performances and special events. Festive Fridays starting May 24 includes live music and themed nights featuring the music of Taylor Swift, Adele and the Beatles and music from and inspired by Prince.

Opa! Festival

  • Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 7921 Old York Rd., Elkins Park, Pa.
  • When: Thursday, May 9, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, May 10, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday, May 12, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • How much: Free, pay as you go

Greek culture, food and music are celebrated at a three-day festival in the suburbs. The menu includes moussaka and spanakopita, along with gyro cut fresh off the cone. That goes along with pastries including baklava, kataifi and tsoureki. Traditional and modern Greek music and dance performances are also on the schedule.

Kensington Derby & Arts Festival

Comic artist Greg Labold, known for his work, “Bald Spot,” won Best Use of Materials at the 2019 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

One week after the Kentucky Derby comes the Kensington Derby, the annual human-powered vehicle event features contestants in any manner of vehicle — as long as it doesn’t have a motor. The costumes are as inventive as the transportation. The Derby expanded in 2015 into a concurrent arts festival featuring music, vendors and food. Proceeds benefit the East Kensington Neighborhood Association.

Arts & Culture

Philly GRIT: A Pirate, A School Girl and a Good Person

  • Where: Theatre Exile, 1340-48 S. 13th St.
  • When: Through Thursday, May 19
  • How much: $30 per play, $60 for all three performances

Philly GRIT’s “A Pirate, a School Girl and a Good Person” stars three actresses in three shows, which you can see separately or as part of a package. Jenna Kuerzi is the frontwoman for “Johnny Depp: A Retrospective on Late Stage Capitalism,” which takes on the circuitous route of the actor’s career. Kelly McCaughan’s “Catholic Guilt” takes on the contradictions of growing up Catholic, and in “Good Person,” Brett Ashley Robinson unpacks just who gets to be considered “good” in the cultural zeitgeist.

Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles

(Matt Christine Photography)

Since we’ll never see the original Fab Four live, “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” is the next best thing. The show recreates Paul, Ringo, John and George’s heyday during the “Sgt. Pepper” and “Magical Mystery Tour” eras. The production is part of Ensemble Arts’ Broadway series, which means it worked for tough New York City crowds. The stage production has evolved from a tribute band of the 1970s, becoming a full-scale, multimedia production. Ironically, some performances in “Rain” are ones the Beatles never played live when they were still together.

2024 Spring Rittenhouse Square Fine Craft Show

Rittenhouse Square (Jim Saska/WHYY)
  • Where: Rittenhouse Square, 1800 Walnut St.
  • When: Friday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, May 11,  Sunday, May 12, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: Free, pay as you go

Rittenhouse Square’s seasonal art show’s spring iteration is here, transforming the park into an open-air art gallery. The 2024 Spring Rittenhouse Square Fine Craft Show focuses on more than 150 crafters in multiple disciplines who display their work in one of the city’s most beautiful public spaces.

A Golden Girls Murder Mystery

“Without a Cue Productions” provides a fun night out for the women in your life — or anyone really, but if you need a Mother’s Day plan, “A Golden Girls Mystery” might work. Think irreverent “murder mystery” starring the characters from the classic sitcom “The Golden Girls.”

Food & Drink


  • Where: Marine Parade Grounds at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 4747 N. Broad St.
  • When: Saturday, May 11, 11 a.m. race, Beerfest, noon – 3 p.m.
  • How much: $29 – $39

Years ago some injured NYC marathon runners who couldn’t make the race decided to create a 26-bar, 26-beer crawl instead. It was a success that ultimately moved around the U.S., but it didn’t stop there. The beer fest was combined with a 5K race, dubbing it Beerathon. It’s now off… and running. (We couldn’t resist!) You can earn your beers per completed mile, or opt for just the run, or just the beers. Organizers promise each option will be awesome.


Friends of the Wissahickon 100th Anniversary Backyard Bash

  • Where: Valley Green Inn, Valley Green Rd.
  • When: Friday, May 10, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • How much: $25 – $100

One hundred years goes by so fast. The Friends of the Wissahickon are celebrating their centennial Friday night with a Backyard Bash that will benefit stewards of the park. Your ticket includes a catfish and waffles dinner and a beer specifically created for the event by Chestnut Hill Brewing. An exhibition from Photography Without Borders and family-friendly activities are part of the deal, too.

Mt. Airy Day

  • Where: 7000 block of Germantown Avenue
  • When: Saturday, May 11, noon – 5 p.m.
  • How much: Free, pay as you go

Mt. Airy Day has been celebrated since the ‘70s, beginning as an effort to dispel blight on Germantown Avenue and create connections between neighbors. DJ Big Cuz of 98.5 will host and local artists Young Granny, Boogieman Dela and Expressions of Soul are among the local artists scheduled to perform. Vendors and family-friendly activities are on the schedule, as well.

Love Your Park

  • Where: Multiple parks
  • When: Saturday, May 11 – Sunday, May 19
  • How much: Free

It’s time to give the parks a little love. The biannual Love Your Park community cleanup solicits volunteers to help tend and tidy Philly’s array of parks both large and small. It starts on Saturday with cleaning events throughout the city including at Belmont Plateau, Brewerytown Garden, Chew Recreation Center and more. But over nine days, Love Your Park also features a (sold out!) guided tour of East Fairmount Park, The Rail Park Public Three Mile Vision Tour, Friday Flicks at the Fountain and the Flavors of FDR Food Market Tasting Tour.


Art Therapy Guide to Your Inner Palette

Moms can always use a little time off. At the Art Therapy Guide to Your Inner Palette, they can exhale with meditation, mindful writing and mandala drawing. Light refreshments and “heart-opening” tea are part of the admission price, as are all materials, including paint, pens, canvases and easels. The idea is to help create a calmer state of being for moms and anyone else looking for the same.



Children’s entertainer Raffi checks into The Met for a late afternoon Mother’s Day concert. Aside from recording the hit song “Baby Beluga,” among other children and family favorites, he’s also written three books for adults. His Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring is a children’s advocacy organization.


Celeste Barber: Backup Dancer

Celeste Barber arrives at the 2019 Daily Front Row’s Fashion Los Angeles Awards at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Australian comedian Celeste Barber gained millions of followers when she duplicated the dubious posts of celebrities on Instagram. Barber’s posts went so viral that other celebs started suggesting people she should do next. Riding off that wave and her designation as Australia’s “queen of comedy,” Barber heads to Philadelphia this Sunday on her Backup Dancer tour. She may dance, but at almost 10 million followers (and that’s just on IG!), she’s a backup no more.


Sean Paul – Greatest Hits Tour 2024

FILE – Sean Paul arrives at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

“Just Gimme the Light”… and point it at Sean Paul, who turned his dancehall toasting skills into a mainstream hit parade with songs like the aforementioned track as well as “Get Busy,” “Temperature” and “No Lie.” (You might also remember “Baby Boy,” his No. 1 platinum single with Beyoncé.) He showcases all of those songs on his Greatest Hits 2024 tour. Sometimes he records and tours with Sting.

Music Alive Series: Roy Book Binder

Historic Germantown’s Music Alive series kicks off on Saturday with a performance by Roy Book Binder. He’s a blues guitarist who toured with Hot Tuna, JJ Cale and Bonnie Raitt, among others. He called blues legends Rev. Gary Davis, Pink Anderson and Robert Lockwood friends and collaborators, as he’s toured for over 45 years. He’s even been interviewed on “Fresh Air” — and that was only 13 years into his life on the road.

Mother’s Day Gospel Celebration

  • Where: Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St.
  • When: Sunday, May 12, 4 p.m.
  • How much: $55 and up

Ricky Dillard, Donnie McClurkin, Jason Nelson and the legendary Clark Sisters will make a joyful noise at the Mother’s Day Gospel Celebration at Liacouras Center. Whether you take your mom, grandmom, auntie, sister, cousin or whoever you want to celebrate on Mother’s Day, we can promise you these artists will leave them uplifted.

Chicano Batman

The four-piece band Chicano Batman is one of those groups that defies easy genre characterization, dipping into everything from ‘60s and ‘70s soul to tropicália. They’re touring in support of their latest album “Notebook Fantasy,” which came out in March.

Madeleine Peyroux

Venerable chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux makes her PennLive debut this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day. Though she was born and lived in the U.S. until she was a teenager, she made her breakthrough while busking in the streets of Paris. She’s in town to play her catalog of hits and preview her upcoming album “Let’s Walk.”

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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