Go green, enjoy French cabaret, celebrate the mushroom, honey, blues, the coast, Irish heritage, gardens, and the new Dilworth Park. And, of course, the Fringe Festival!
Dilworth Park reopens
Philadelphia’s Dilworth Park reopens after years of planning. Designed for many purposes, the over 120,000 square foot public park boasts a Great Lawn, interactive playful fountain that will serve as an ice skating rink in the winter, and a new café operated by Jose Garces. Join Mayor Nutter for the official opening on Thursday, September 4 at 11am with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a three day arts and cultural festival, September 4-6 with live music and activities for all ages, West Side of City Hall, Broad & Market Streets, Philadelphia.
The 5th Annual Philadelphia Honey Festival is back to raise awareness about the importance of bees to our environment, the impact of local honey on our economy, and to promote urban beekeeping and gardening with sweet activities for the whole family including children’s activities, open hive talks, honey tastings, guest authors, home brewing with honey, cooking with honey, honey Happy Hour, vendors, and more. The Festival takes place Friday, September 5, Wagner Free Institute of Science, Saturday, September 6, Wyck Historic House and Garden, Sunday, September 7, Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public, rain or shine. Celebrate Coast Day at the Independence Seaport Museum Saturday, September 6, 10am-5pm. Highlights include the Philadelphia Ship Model Society Regatta – various scale model ships including warships, steamships, sailing ships and submarines from 1-6 feet in length and TEACH FLEET, the world’s largest LEGO ship model collection (pictured). Also, knot tying, navigation activities, tours of the historic ships Olympia and Becuna, boat rentals inside the basin and more, included with admission, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard and Walnut Street, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia. The 9th annual Greenfest Philly is Sunday, September 7, 10am-4pm, the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area, with over 100 exhibitors and vendors, food, live music, live demonstrations, beer garden, kid-friendly activities, and more, Headhouse Square, between 2nd and South and 2nd and Pine, Philadelphia. Free.
Head to the “Mushroom Capital” for the 29th annual Mushroom Festival this weekend. Festivities kick off on Friday, September 5, 6pm, with a community parade and dancing in the streets and continues on Saturday, September 6, 10am-7pm and Sunday, September 7, 10am-5pm. Enjoy cooking demonstrations by professional chefs, a mushroom appetizer cook-off, mushroom delicacies, children’s activities including an old fashioned carnival, nearly 200 vendors, an antique and classic car show, Soup and Wine Event, live music, and more, rain or shine off Route 1 in Kennett Square Borough, PA. The annual Brandywine Festival of the Arts is this Saturday, September 6, 10am-6:30pm, and Sunday, September 7, 10am-4pm, featuring hundreds of juried artists exhibiting one-of-a-kind works along with live music, children’s activities, street fair with food and more, at Brandywine Park’s Josephine Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware. The 5th annual Phoenixville Blues Festival returns Saturday, September 6, 12pm-10pm, with Shane Speal’s Snake Oil Band, Coco Butter Band, The Paul Michael Band, Billy the Kid and The Regulators, The Noah Wotherspoon Band, Albert Castiglia, and more. Bring lawn chairs and blankets to Reeves Park, Borough of Phoenixville, PA. Rain or shine.
Regional Irish Festivals
The Delaware Irish and Celtic Music Festival is back at World Café Live at the Queen, Friday, September 5, 7pm (doors open at 6pm) with The Young Dubliners (pictured), Barleyjuice and Brother, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE. Enjoy the NE Philly Irish Festival this Saturday, September 6, 12pm-10pm and Sunday, September 7, 12pm-6pm with food, Irish vendors, children’s activities and non-stop entertainment featuring Jamison, the Bogside Rogues, Belfast Connection, Celtic Connection, Highland Rovers, Screaming Orphans and more, under the big tent at Cannstatters German Club, 9130 Academy Road, Philadelphia. Kids under 16 free and parking is free. Bring lawn chairs, rain or shine. The 9th annual Ship Bottom Irish Festival takes place Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7 with craft and food vendors, live music by the United States Air Force Band Celtic Aire, Ocean County Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, the Captain N’ O’Neil, Toe Heads, Irish Step Dancers and more, rain or shine, 10th Street and Shore Avenue, Long Beach Island, NJ. Children 15 and under free.
First Friday! French Cabaret at the Barnes Foundation
Escape to Paris with a French Cabaret at the Barnes Foundation, First Friday, September 5, 6pm-9pm. Dance to the sounds of the Avalon Jazz Band, taste French fare and listen to a talk on the exhibition “The World is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne,” 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.
South Philly Garden Tour
Enjoy South Philly Food Co-op’s 4th annual South Philly Garden Tour, Saturday, September 6, 1pm-4pm, with over 20 private gardens and public spaces featured. Check in at Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton Street at 12:30pm and stroll on a self-guided tour the area from 2nd to 10th Streets, Fitzwater to Moore. Highlights include the only Japanese tea garden in South Philly, a garden that’s been maintained by the same family for five generations, and a community garden with several Isaiah Zagar murals. An after party will be held at The Industry, 1401 E. Moyamensing Avenue. Rain date is September 7.
2014 Fringe Festival
FringeArts‘ 2014 Fringe Festival kicks off Friday, September 5 through 21, celebrating its 18th year with 18 days of cutting-edge dance, theater, music, visual and interdisciplinary works by artists from the U.S., international, and local arts scene. In addition to the festival’s annual selection of “Presented Fringe” performances, also featured are over 120 independently produced “Neighborhood Fringe” shows at the FringeArts headquarters on the Delaware River waterfront and other various locations around the Philadelphia region.
La Peg & Late-Night Fringe
New this year is the grand opening of La Peg, a restaurant by Philadelphia chef Peter Woolsey, onsite at FringeArts, including a new stage for cabaret-style performances year round. Free late-night Festival Bar programming is featured every night of the Festival with a grand opening celebration on Friday, September 5 with a performance by Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra at 11:30pm. Additional performances include virtuoso Israeli cellist Maya Beiser (pictured), Sunday, September 7, 9pm.
This year’s provocative, boundary-pushing festival features six world premieres including an unprecedented collaboration between the Pennsylvania Ballet, Curtis Institute of Music and FringeArts as well as the following Presented Fringe:
The experimental performance ensemble New Paradise Laboratories presents The Adults, September 3-14. The highly physical show about adults behaving badly on a family vacation is influenced by Anton Chekhov and the paintings of Eric Fischl and set to a score by local experimental composer Bhob Rainey at Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City Philadelphia.
Experiment #39 (Old City)
New York based Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure (IPA) offers Experiment #39 (Old City), September 6-7, 11:30am-4:30pm, guided exploits in Old City. Philly’s oldest neighborhood becomes a giant stage as audience members fill out a psychological survey and are sent one by one on a personalized walking tour to discover strategically placed artists and surprise performances in unlikely places as perspective and conscious awareness changes. Starting location revealed via email in advance. New performance every 15 minutes, rain or shine. Wear comfortable shoes!
German artist collective Rimini Protokoll’s 100% Philadelphia is part-theater, part-data analysis. The interactive public practice performance piece features a cast of 100 Philadelphia non-actors based on Philadelphia’s 2010 U.S. census data. Find out what happens when Philly citizens of all backgrounds share the stage together. The show has been performed around the world and this is the first time a major U.S. city has been selected, September 19-21, Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 North Broad Street, Philadelphia.
The Four Seasons Restaurant
The U.S. premiere of The Four Seasons Restaurant is September 11-13, by Italian experimental theater maker Romeo Castellucci and his company Societas Raffaello Sanzio. Inspired by Mark Rothko’s withdrawal of his commissioned work in New York’s Four Seasons Restaurant, the stimulating and stunning performance can be seen at the 23rd Street Armory, 22 South 23rd Street, Philadelphia.
Experimental New York-based choreographer Trajal Harrell imagines what would happen if the Harlem ball culture of the 1960s had made its way into downtown New York’s early postmodern dance scene with Antigone Sr., September 12-13. Performed by all men (as it was performed in Ancient Greece), the show explores dance styles from the gay ballroom scene, as well as fashion and the runway, race and gender at FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard at Race, Philadelphia.
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, known for interpreting classic absurdist works, presents Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, now through September 21. The ensemble cast of nine actors playing 17 roles tells the story of residents who grow horns and destroy their city as they turn into rhinos! Directed by Tina Brock at the Skybox @ The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.
BalletX Benefit Exhibition
More than 220 artists have been selected to create 400 paintings, photographs, collages, and sculptures on one or two ten inch donated square panels for Bridgette Mayer Gallery’s 4th annual Benefit Exhibition supporting the Philadelphia contemporary ballet company BalletX. The exhibit opens with a reception this Friday, September 5, 5pm-8pm and will be on display through October 9. On September 9, 12, and 14, BalletX dancers will perform intimate improvisational solos in the gallery space inspired by the artwork on display as part of this year’s Fringe Festival, 709 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
Fringe for kids
Join the fun with Two Ducks Theatre Company’s first production, Rainbowtown, September 6-20. The quick change comedy was written by Carrie Nielsen and is directed by her husband Bill D’Agostino with Amanda Curry playing Queen Annie and Victoria Rose Bonito as the other nine characters. Featuring original live music by Michael Covel. A playtime celebration follows the performance at Radnor United Methodist Church, 930 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr, PA.
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