Honoring fallen service members, Devon’s mane event and the art of tango are just a few of this week’s “Things To Do.”
Memorial Day Concert and Fireworks
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
May 25; 8-10 p.m.
The traditional Memorial Day fireworks kicks off Saturday at 8 p.m., with a concert by Full Spectrum, an eight-piece pop/hip-hop band formed from the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America band. The band members are all active-duty military based at Langley Air Force base in Virginia. The fireworks, commemorating those killed while serving in the nation’s armed services, begin at 9:30 p.m.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
May 24-26; 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Free, food and drinks for purchase
If you’re looking for something to do over the Memorial Day weekend, the Delaware River waterfront offers multiple options. One of them is the UNIVESTival at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Music and food at the picturesque setting that lends itself to people watching and relaxation, and fireworks, mentioned above, are all part of the three days of activities that include the possibility of prizes. Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome.
PhilAesthetic Summerfest Celebration
African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
May 26; noon-6 p.m.
Billed as a celebration of the African diaspora, among the free events this weekend is the African American Museum’s PhilAesthetic Summerfest. The all-ages outdoor festival features African dance and drumming, DJs and activities for kids and teens. Vendors of food and African- and African American-themed wares will be on hand. And you can pay what you wish to see the museum’s new exhibitions by Dr. Fahamu Pecou and Sonya Clark.
Rodin Garden Bar
2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Through Sept. 29; various hours, subject to weather conditions
Garden admission is free; admission to Rodin Museum, pay what you wish, but suggested admission is $10 for adults
If you want to spend the Memorial Day weekend relaxing in a beautiful outdoor space, you can always picnic in Fairmount Park. Or, you can head to the Rodin Museum Garden where you can do the same thing — according to its BYO picnic policy — surrounded by amazing sculpture from one of the old masters. Beer and wine are also provided at cost, though we can safely assume listening to the music that comes along with it is free. Any evening the Rodin Bar is open, a 6 p.m. museum tour is offered.
Brandywine River Museum
1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
May 25-27; 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
May 24; 6-9 p.m.
Antiques are not just beautiful, they are a way to collect history. While you may not secure a life-changing multimillion-dollar “find” at an antiques show, you might discover something that enhances your space or enlightens your view. The 48th annual Antiques Shows can facilitate that process by providing the best options in fine antiques including rugs, porcelain, needlework and furniture. Nearly 30 dealers, most from the mid-Atlantic region, will be on hand to help you discover the right piece. Expert talks, a preview party and a continental breakfast with N.C. Wyeth ephemera collector Douglas Allen (at additional cost) are among the show’s highlights. Music and a cash bar are offered daily from 2-4 p.m.
From Negro Pasts to Afro-Futures: Black Creative Re-Imaginings
The Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust St.
Through Oct. 18
May 24 exhibit opening; 5:30-7 p.m.
Free, with registration
The Library Company of Philadelphia’s archives serve as a link to the city’s rich and important history. A new exhibit takes a different angle on the city’s African American history by showcasing how residents in the past viewed Philadelphia’s future. To that end, it has amassed a collection of poetry, songs, speeches, protests, and art that provides insight into the consideration of Afro-futurism then and now. Mezzo-soprano, Marquita Raley-Cooper will perform a selection of music culled from the library’s archives.
Memorial Salute with the Philly POPS
The Mann Center
5201 Parkside Ave. Philadelphia
May 25; 7 p.m.
Free, with registration
The fourth annual Philly POPS concert is among a plethora of free events honoring the service of fallen service members. Given its theme, areas of seating have been specifically reserved for veterans, active-duty military, Philadelphia law enforcement and firefighters, as well as students and Boy and Girl Scouts. Maestro Todd Ellison leads the 65-piece POPS orchestra, along with Philly-area student choirs, Philly’s own Justin Hopkins, The POPS Festival Chorus and the Voices of the POPS offer a holiday-friendly combination of show tunes and other all-American musical selections.
Liberty Flea Market
Cherry Street Pier
121 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia
May 25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shopping in the contemporary sense no longer means heading to your favorite bricks-and-mortar store the items you want. More than ever, thrifting and flea markets fill the wide expanse between discount and luxury shoppers. If your Memorial Day plans include looking for all the best deals, then head down to Liberty Flea Market where you can likely find them from vintage and artisanal sellers. While you do have to purchase your selections, you don’t have to pay for admission. Food will be available for purchase and, as is becoming the norm for many Philly events, you can bring your dog, as long as it’s leashed and likes vintage items. OK, we’re kidding about Rover or Fluffy having to appreciate the finer points of thrifting, but the rest is true.
Philly Tango Festival
Lithuanian Music Hall Association
2715 E. Allegheny Ave.
May 24-27; various times
$14 and up
As they say, it takes two to tango. But, at Philly’s ninth annual Tango Festival, there are many more teachers who can assist you in learning the art of the tango. Even if you are hopeless on the dance floor, like yours truly (cough, cough), this might be the place that can transform your two left feet into a coordinated pair that make smooth, sexy moves on the dance floor with the help of teachers during the three-day festival. You don’t need prior dance experience or a partner, just some shoes you can dance in and a willingness to learn, as partners will be rotated throughout the festival. If you just want to enjoy the art of tango, tangeuros will be in attendance from around the world. And tango orchestra Típica Messiez will perform and provide private lessons.
Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival
Prime Hook Nature Wildlife Refuge
RD3 Box 195 Milton, Delaware
May 25; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Nature lovers – this weekend’s festival is for you. If you eschew fireworks and other traditional Memorial Day events in favor of quieter pursuits, the Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival is a perfect alternative. The daylong festival encompasses entertainment, food and nature vendors, as well as arts and crafts at Milton Municipal Park. The Prime Hook refuge offerings include a kayak trip, a horseshoe crab tank to see and touch the crabs, and nature hikes. According to the Delaware Shorebird Project, May is prime time to see the crabs and birds, as hundreds of thousands of the creatures make the shores of the Delaware Bay a pit stop on their way to the Canadian Arctic. It’s the largest such gathering in the world.
Citizens Bank Park
May 24; 8 p.m.
$59.75 and up
Billy Joel turned 70 earlier this month, but he shows no signs of stopping. His storied career, which began 54 years ago, has made him one of the nation’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters. He hasn’t released a studio album since 2001, but Joel classics — from “Piano Man” to “Only the Good Die Young” to “She’s Always A Woman” to “Uptown Girl” to “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” — are firmly ensconced in the American pop canon. This year, he achieves a rare honor as the recipient of the first music franchise at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies organization will award him a ceremonial key to the park on the occasion of his sixth consecutive year playing there.
Citizens Bank Park
May 25; 8 p.m
$33.30 and up
You have your choice of classic artists this weekend as The Who are also in town, right behind Billy Joel. (Wonder if he’ll stay to check out their show?) The English rockers started around the same time as Joel, and they’ve been playing ever since. Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are the only ones left of the original quartet, which included drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle. Over five decades, The Who have greatly influenced music and pop culture, from their classic hits “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Who Are You” from their “Quadrophenia” album to the “Tommy” rock opera concept album and film. The 1975 film starred Daltrey and Ann-Margret. The Who have announced an upcoming as yet untitled album, their first since 2006’s “Endless Wire.”
Glassboro Memorial Day Parade
Glassboro Town Square
1 S. Main St., Glassboro, New Jersey
May 27; 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
What would Memorial Day Weekend be without a parade? Well, that’s not a question Glassboro residents have to confront as they commemorate fallen service members as they have done for more than a century. Parade participants include The Boys and Girls Club, The Coast Guard, the Garden State Jeep Club, The Rotary Club, The Little League, the Cub and Girls Scouts.
Parks on Tap
South Broad and Pattison (at the Gazebo), Philadelphia
May 22-27; various times
Philly’s traveling beer garden is back, and this weekend it’s at South Philly’s FDR Park. Since its inception in 2016, via an initiative sponsored by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy and Avram Hornik of FCM Hospitality, the beer garden has brought brews and good vibes to various Philly park locations. If you don’t like beer, there is wine, non-alcoholic drinks and food for purchase. Though billed as a beer garden, the events are family-friendly and while outside food is prohibited, it’s OK to bring snacks and drinks for kids. And yes, leashed dogs are OK, too.
Devon Horse Show and Country Fair
Devon Horse Show Grounds
23 Dorset Road, Devon, Pennsylvania
May 23-June 2; 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
$15 and up
It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means that Devon is the place to be if you like horses or festive, historical events. Starting in 1896, the Devon Horse Show became one of the very first annual events on the Main Line. From humble enough beginnings, the Main Line and the Devon Horse Show have evolved into what they are today. Now the largest and oldest multi-breed horse show in the U.S., in 2010 it was honored as a U.S. Equestrian Heritage Competition. The Country Fair, added in 1919, includes an art gallery, a tea party, the traditional Ladies Day and its storied Hat Contest, a Children’s Day and a concluding plant sale. Of course, the main draw remains the equestrian events, which this year feature elite equestrian talents including two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, Devin Ryan and four-time Olympic medalist Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden, the 2018 World Cup champion.
Swing into Spring
Society Hill Dance Academy
409 S. Second St., Philadelphia
May 24; 4-8 p.m.
Throwback band Swing That Cat! will provide original live music for the “Swing Into Spring” USO dance party hosted by Society Hill Dance Academy. Food trucks, swing lessons for novices, and food and drink for purchase will be available along with what should be a convivial atmosphere. It also helps that the dance party is absolutely free.