What To Do: Summer fun bursting from Labor Day events

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times 

Ludwigs Corner

Hard as it is to believe, we’ve arrived at Labor Day Weekend — the weekend when summer unofficially draws to a close. The official end of summer arrives later in the month but for some, summer is already over because the new school year has already begun.

One thing that will never change about the Labor Day Weekend is the longevity of the annual events staged on the last holiday weekend of the summer. Many of the area’s annual Labor Day Weekend events have been held continuously for 40 years or longer.

The Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show (Routes 100 and 401, Bucktown, 610-458-3344, www.ludwigshorseshow.com) is in elevated status near the top of the list of the Chester County’s longest-running annual Labor Day Weekend events.

The show, which is held at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds, has passed its diamond anniversary. The 2021 edition of the show, which is the 77th annual staging of the event, will be held September 4-6 at its long-time site in the northern part of Chester County.

The three-day event will feature a variety of fun activities. Families can enjoy rides, vendors, face-painting, hayrides, live music, games, food concessions and children’s games. There will also be a large number of booths with representatives of groups that are involved in the preservation of open space.

The very first Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show was staged in 1943 as a small show to raise money for local scout troops. It featured just 88 horses. Now, it is a very large show with over 400 horses competing for three days in both hunter and jumper classes.

The featured equestrian event is the Lexus Jumper Mini-Prix competition. Other competitions will feature dressage, cones and cross country — and over $3,000 in prize money.

The horse show features a number of special events including a country fair, a carriage parade, pie-eating contests, a costumed pet parade, Creepy Crawlers Big & Small, a “Mounted Parade of Hounds,” the Thorncroft Mainstreamers, hayrides, an antique tractor show, Silkie’s Farm Alpacas, “Pioneer Games” and amusement rides.

The show will run from 8 a.m.-dusk each day. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children (12 and under).

There is a festival in northern Delaware that sailed past the century mark more than a decade ago.

Arden Town Fair

It’s the Arden Town Fair (The Village of Arden, 2126 The Highway, Arden, Delaware, 302-475-3126, www.ardenclub.org) which is celebrating its 113th anniversary this year. It will be held September 4 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The well-attended holiday event has many popular features such as delicious homemade baked goods, the Library Gild’s used book sale, more than 120 vendors of handmade crafts and jewelry, children’s games and rides and the antiques and collectibles market with more than 50 dealers.

Other attractions at the fair are the food court, pony rides, the dunk booth, booths selling plants from the Gardeners Gild, dance demonstrations, the popular Beer Garden with continuous live entertainment and the Holistic Expo at the Buzz Ware Village Center.

The Fair’s lineup of live music in the Shady Grove this year includes Diamond State Concert Band, Woz, Hot Breakfast, Splashing Pearls, Rag Tag Ensemble, Free Radical Groove, the Blues Reincarnation Project and Montana Wildaxe.

Having been around for more than a half-century, Duryea Day has one of Boyertown’s most popular annual events. This year, Duryea Day (Boyertown Community Park, Second and Madison streets, Boyertown, 610-367-2090, www.boyertownmuseum.org) is celebrating its 55th year with another top-flight “Antique and Classic Car Show.”

The one-day event, which is hosted by the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, serves as a showcase for antique and classic cars and trucks of all types. This year, it will be held on September 4 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the scenic park in downtown Boyertown.

Duryea Day

Duryea Day was created as a tribute to local automobile pioneer Charles Duryea, who started building automobiles in Reading more than a century ago. Duryea was making automobiles long before most people in the area had even seen a car.

A Labor Day Weekend tradition, the “Antique and Classic Car Show” draws exhibitors from all over the Mid-Atlantic region with an amazing array of collector cars, antique trucks, hot rods, vintage motorcycles, custom cars and special interest vehicles.

Visitors have the opportunity to get up-close looks at a number of automobiles they probably have never seen before — cars made by long-defunct companies such as Franklin, Winton and Peerless. There will also be displays of timeless classics like the Ford “Model T.”

The auto show will feature awards in the following categories – Antique Pre-War Car, Antique Post-War Car, Antique Commercial Truck, Street Machine, Antique Pickup Truck, Street Rod, Antique Motorcycle and Antique Sports Car.

In addition to the car show, Duryea Day also features live entertainment, food and beverage vendors, a 50/50 drawing, a “car corral” and an auto flea market. There will also be a variety of entertainment and special activities for children.

Admission to Boyertown Park for Duryea Day is $7 for adults and $3 for children (ages 6-12). Visitors to Duryea Day can take advantage of complimentary admission to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. A special trolley will make continuous loops between the park and the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles until 4 p.m.

The Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival (Salem County Fair Grounds, Route 40, Woodstown, New Jersey, 302-321-6466,www.delawarevalleybluegrass.org) has also been on the Labor Day Weekend schedule for a long, long time.

This weekend, the highly popular annual music event, which runs from September 3-5, will celebrate its 49th anniversary. The festival will feature three days of old-time music – the kind of music that takes you back to a bygone era and makes you feel good.

The event was first held on Labor Day Weekend in 1972 in Glasgow, Delaware and was known as the Delaware Bluegrass Festival. It remained in Delaware through 1989 and moved to its current location in 1990.

Live music at this year’s festival will start on September 3 with a lineup featuring Del McCoury Bnad, Kathy Mattea, Blue Octane, Bill & the Belles, Irene Kelley and Alan Bibey.

The lineup for September 4 features Rhonda Vincent, Appalachian Road Show, Sister Sadie, Compton & Newberry, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley and Jourdan Thibodeaux.

On September 5, live music will be provided by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Danny Paisley & Southern Grass, Henhouse Prowlers and Tatiana Hargreaves & Allison de Groot.

Ticket prices start at $50.

Cannstatter Volksfest

Another really, really old annual event in the area is the Labor Day Volksfest at the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein (9130 Academy Road, Philadelphia, http://cannstatter.org/).

Held every year since 1873, the Cannstatter Volksfest is the nation’s oldest German festival and one of Philadelphia’s longest-running Labor Day Weekend events.

The 147th annual staging of the festival, which is running from September 4-6, features tasty German food items such as Weisswurst, Bratwurst, Leberkaese, Heisser Leberkäse, Kartoffel-Salat, Schnitzel, Maultaschen, Spätzle, Pflaumenkuchen, Zwetschgenkuchen and, of course, Frankfurters.

One of the most popular sites at the fair will be the biergarten which will have an attractive variety of great-tasting German beer on tap.

The Volksfest is a family-oriented event that has amusement rides, games and an array of activities for every age group. There will be German music and dancing, souvenir booths, German traditional singing and vendors with German clothing.

The Volksfest will have live music each day with a roster of acts that includes Greater Kensington String Band, GTV Almrausch Schuplattlers, Altweibermühle (Old Ladies Mill), The Heimatklänge, and MountainXpress.

Admission is $10 for one day, $15 for two-day pass, and $20 for three-day pass. Children under 12 will be admitted free.

Polish Festival the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

The 55th Annual Polish Festival the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (654 Ferry Road, Doylestown, 215-345-0600, www.czestochowa.us) is being held from September 4-6 and again on September 11 and 12.

Visitors to the festival will be able to feast on such Polish delicacies as kielbasa, pierogies, placki, holubki and chruschicki. There will also be several beer booths on the grounds.

The festival will feature rides, games, a “Polish Wedding & Dozynki,” “Medieval & WWII Polish Living History Groups” and a full slate of Polish music and polka bands.

Admission to the festival is $12 per person.

When it comes to festivals in North America, the Allentown Fair (17th and Chew Street, Allentown, 610-433-7541, www.allentownfairpa.org) is without a doubt one of the oldest – if not the oldest. It’s an event that has been drawing large crowds ever since ’52 – that’s 1852.

The popular Allentown Fair was first staged in October 1852 when the Lehigh County Agricultural Society held its first fair. The huge annual fair in Allentown is still one of the state’s premier late-summer attractions.

Now known as “The Great Allentown Fair”, the 2021 edition runs now through September 6. It will be the fair’s 168th anniversary this year.

The Allentown Fair is a fun-filled event that spans generations and appeals to people of all ages. The multi-day event at the Allentown Fairgrounds features thousands of farm, garden and home exhibits and competitions along with thrill rides, amusement games, variety acts, international food and some of the top entertainers currently on tour.

The Grandstand Stage’s 2021 schedule features Toby Keith on September 2, Carrie Underwood on September 3, AJR on September 5 and Demolition Derby on September 6.

The fair’s list of daily entertainment attractions also includes Zuzu Acrobats, The One Wheel Wonder, The Flying Wallendas, “Robinson’s Pig Paddling Porkers,” The Puppy Pals Comedic Stunt Dog Show, Hot Diggity Dog, Moodonna, and “4-H Petting Zoo.”

As always, amusement games and rides are one of the fair’s main attractions. This year, the Great Allentown Fair will again feature thrilling rides and games of skill and chance presented by Powers Great American Midways.

There will also be a wide array of agricultural competitions and exhibits each day at the fair. Tickets are $8 for adults with children under 12 admitted free.

This year’s 41st annual staging of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (Mount Hope Estate and Winery grounds, Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021,www.parenfaire.com), an event that bills itself as “the most wondrous event in all the Knowne World”, is running now through October 31.

The festive annual event features authentic Elizabethan food and drink, traditional crafts from the guildsmen of yore and old-time games of skill — and a cast of hundreds of colorfully costumed re-enactors.

Each week, the Faire presents a themed weekend. On August 21 and 22, it will be Grand Opening Weekend.

Visitors can join the Shirefolk and beloved Majesty, Queen Elizabeth Regina Glorianna, as the festival swings wide the Castle Gates and kicks off its 41st glorious season of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

Each weekend, the Faire gas a themed weekend. This week, it is “Hero’s Chivalry” on September 4, 5 and 6.

The Shire gathers for the only three-day weekend of the Faire season to honor modern-day heroes and their selfless sacrifices and courageous accomplishments.

Featured events are Recognition of Armed Forces, First Responders and Heroes; Renewal of Vows; and Featured Event: Chivalry Lessons.

Every summer, the Faire, which takes place at Mount Hope Estate and Winery’s authentic 35-acre recreation of a 16th-century village in Olde England, features a new story from a different year of England’s past.

The following is the description of the 2021 scenario — England has finally established a colony in the New World. Sir Walter Raleigh, one of Elizabeth’s favorite privateers and newly appointed Governor of Virginia has made Mount Hope a key trade port, and the Shire has never been so prosperous.

Of course, where there’s money to be made, there will be people who want that money. The Earl whose lands Mount Hope sits upon has suddenly taken interest in the shire which he once left alone.

Now he’s come to collect his share of the bounty and perhaps set up a more permanent residence with little care if he displaces some peasants along the way.

Will Her Majesty intervene? Will the Shire ever be the same? People will become heroes, heroes will be made legends, and legends will be proven real.

More than 70 shows are scheduled throughout each day on the Faire’s numerous stages.

Without a doubt, the most popular attraction is the Jousting Arena. Visitors to the Faire flock to Bosworth Field whenever it’s time for the Ultimate Joust. Peasants lead cheers for their favorite knights while musicians pound out a heart-thumping beat. The Master of the List announces the combatants and soon an encounter of royal proportions ensues.

The Faire offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, including listening to bagpipe music, checking out handsome Lords in their colorful silks, watching a jester’s acrobatics, learning how to juggle, being the recipient of a gypsy woman’s flirtations and watching the march of Beefeater Guards.

Guildsmen’s Way is the area that features a large variety of merchants and artisans, including jewelers, candle makers, potters, herbalists, leather smiths, clothiers, and pewter makers — all offering for sale and demonstrating their ancient wares.

And there are more than 20 Royal Kitchens located around the faire with menus featuring a wide variety of food and beverage.

Single-day tickets are available at the gate for $30.95. For children (age 5-11) single-day tickets are available at the gate and online for $15.95.

The 43rd Annual Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival runs from September 4-6 at Long’s Park in downtown Lancaster. The 33rd Annual Heart of Lancaster County Arts and Crafts Show is scheduled to take place on September 4 and 5 at Root’s Country Market-Auction.

More than 200 fine artists and artisans representing 30 states were selected through a juried process for inclusion in this year’s show at scenic Long’s Park, an 80-acre park in the center of Lancaster. All proceeds benefit the free Long’s Park summer entertainment series.

A large contingent of artisans will be selling their wares and demonstrating their crafts each day at Long’s Park. The show will feature an array of categories, including drawing, glass, paper, musical instruments, ceramics, leather, printmaking, wearable fiber, mixed media, precious jewelry, painting, metal, decorative fiber, photography, sculpture, toys and wood.

The “Susquehanna Style Bistro” at Long’s Park will offer guests a tasty selection of food from some of the region’s finest restaurants and caterers. The selection of salads, pastas, sandwiches, seafood and desserts will be complemented by a selection of fine wines, craft beers and special mimosas.

The festival will also present live entertainment all three days.

Festival hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $24.

The Heart of Lancaster Arts and Craft Show is celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year — and its ninth anniversary as a two-day event. This year’s show will feature a roster of more than 200 artists and fine craftsmen from all around the East.

This juried event features a wide variety of traditional, primitive, and contemporary art and crafts. Importantly, all the items on display at this show are hand-crafted by the artists. The event also offers an array of crafts demonstrations.

There will be vendors with a wide variety of food and beverage items at the event, which is scheduled for September 4 and 5 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.

One of the nicest attractions offered by the Heart of Lancaster Arts and Craft Show is free admission for all.

This weekend, the Museum of the American Revolution (101 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, www.amrevmuseum.org) is hosting the final days of “Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today.” The exhibit is running through September 6.

Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today, showcases dozens of rare American flags alongside historic early state constitutions and the first printing of the proposed U.S. Constitution of 1787.

The flags — many of which have never been exhibited before — trace the evolution of the Stars and Stripes through the addition and subtraction of stars as new states joined the Union and the nation battled through the Civil War. The flags serve as a visual narrative of America’s national story. The flags are showcased alongside historic documents including early printings of more than 16 different state constitutions and the Choctaw Nation Constitution of 1838 to shed light on the triumphs and tensions that the United States faced as it expanded and worked toward creating a “more perfect Union.”

Visitors can also check out the “True Colours Flag Project” and follow the process of recreating — and the history behind — the flags flown by 18th-century ships at sea during the Revolutionary War.

Guests can explore the work of Betsy Ross, Rebecca Flower Young, and other Philadelphia seamstresses who supported the Revolutionary War by making the large flags flown by privateers and navy ships at sea. On-site visitors will have an opportunity to interact with the modern makers recreating these early flags from countries like the United States, France, Britain, Spain, Portugal, and more, including handling the flags, trying their hands at sewing, and learning about historic textile work.

Admission to the museum is $19 for adults, $18 for seniors, active military and students and $13 for youth.

Chaddsford Winery (Route 1, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, www.chaddsford.com) is hosting a “90’s Labor Day Festival” from September 4-6 – noon-7 p.m. on Saturday and noon-6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday

Guests are invited to wear their best 90s outfit and prepare for a fun-filled, three-day weekend of wine, food and music.

Visitors can celebrate summer’s last hoorah with weekend-long savings on these exclusive offerings:

  • Guns and Rosés – 2020 Dry Rosé: Redux, good vibes only., and Sunset Blush
    • Wine Flight: $16 for a 2-ounce pour of each
    • 3-Pack:  $50 for all 3 bottles
  • Motley Crú – ’18 Harbinger, good vibes only., and ’20 Niagara Demi-Sec
    • Wine Flight: $16 for a 2-ounce pour of each
    • 3-Pack: $60 for all 3 bottles

During the visit, guests will be able to keep it cool with nostalgic sippers like the Smells Like Teen Spirit Wine Cocktail – a Basil Peach White Sangria made with our luscious Niagara wine.  Or reach for a Barbie Girl Wine Slushie featuring Sunset Blush wine with whipped cream and neon sprinkles.

Live Music will be provided by Ryan Shubert, Rebel Hart, Alexis Cunningham and Cailin and Erik Acoustic. Participating food trucks will be The Plum Pit Food Truck, Munchy Machine and Bucky’s BBQ

Admission is free.

On September 4, the Lionville Fire Company (15 South Village Avenue, Lionville, https://www.facebook.com/LFCO47/) is hosting its annual “Clam Bake.”

Guest are invited to come to the event and support the Lionville Fire Company in one of its biggest fundraisers of the year — and the biggest block party of the season.
Just $40 gets you three dozen clams, all-you-can-eat corn on the cob, hamburgers, hot dogs, deli salads, Fred’s Homemade Clam Chowder and drinks.

The $20 children’s tickets for kids 3-12 do not include clams. Kids under 3 are free.

A popular event in Delaware this weekend is “Steamin’ Days” at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org) on September 5.

“Steamin’ Days,” which is held on the first Sunday of the month through November, focuses on steam power.

During “Steamin’ Days at Auburn Heights,” the site is bustling with activity. Visitors are encouraged to climb into an antique automobile or board one of the trains and experience what it was like to travel at the turn of the 20th century. They can also tour the magnificent 1897 mansion that was home to three generations of the Marshall family.

Also included is entry to the Marshall Steam Museum, which features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars along with a 1930s working Lionel electric train display, a hands-on engine display, kids’ activities and exhibits and the Museum Gift Shop.

Activities run from 12:30-4:30 p.m. each time. Combo Tickets, which cover all rides and building tours, are $20 (13 and older) and $14 (age 12 and under).

The “Summer Concerts at Bellevue” series at Bellevue State Park (800 Carr Road, Wilmington, Delaware, destateparks.com) is coming down the home stretch.

Just two shows remain in the 2021 program – John Flynn on Septembe 2 and Malarky Brothers on September 6.

Guests are invited to bring a blanket and enjoy the free Summer Concert Series at the band shell. Park entrance fees are in effect.

The event will also feature several food trucks — Wilmington Brew Works, Bucky’s BBQ, Gotta Lotta Gelata and Kettlecorn.

On September 5, Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” walking tour at 10 a.m.

In life and in death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead?

This tour provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long history, which includes many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views, and legendary stories about Laurel Hill.

“Hot Spots and Storied Plots” is the perfect introduction for anyone who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature, and fascinating history. An experienced graveyard guide will offer a unique perspective. No two “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” are alike.

The tour will take place on August 14 at 10 a.m. — departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia. The tour Guide will be Bill Linhart.

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are: $12/General Admission, $10/Seniors (65 & Up), $10/Students with ID, $7/Members, $6/Youth (6-12), and $0/Child (5 & Under). Youth and children must be accompanied by an adult.

A fun summertime family activity is taking a trip to the past by riding behind a vintage locomotive on a tourist rail line.

The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.westchesterrr.net) is running its “Summer Picnic Specials” every Sunday now through Sept 19. There will be one excursion each day at noon.

Passengers can enjoy a 90-minute round trip train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on a warm summer afternoon. Riders are invited to pack a lunch to have during excursion’s stop at the Glen Mills train station picnic grove.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for children (2-12) and free for children (under two).

Wilmington and Western Railroad (Greenbank Station, 2201 Newport-Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, www.wwrr.com) is running its Mt. Cuba Meteor excursion on September 4.

Passengers can take a leisurely 1½-hour round-trip ride up the Red Clay Valley to the rail line’s Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, which includes a ½-hour layover to have a picnic or simply admire the natural surroundings. The Mt. Cuba Meteor excursion is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon outside with family or friends.

If you don’t want to get off the train at Mt. Cuba, you can remain onboard and travel further up the line through the communities of Ashland and Yorklyn. On the return trip, we’ll make a brief stop at Mt. Cuba to pick up the picnic passengers.

This event is powered by either our historic first-generation diesel locomotive, by our 1929 Pennsylvania Railroad Doodlebug railcar, or by one of the railroad’s antique steam locomotives.

The excursion will also run on September 4, 11, 18, 25 and 26 and October 2.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for children (ages 2-12) and $16 for seniors.

This weekend, the Strasburg Railroad (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is celebrating one of its locomotives with a series called “611 at Strasburg: The Return of an American Icon.”

The Norfolk & Western Class J 611, a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is known as an engineering powerhouse of steam, technology, and near mechanical perfection.

The N&W Class J 611 is the sole survivor of 14 Class J steam locomotives designed and built by the Norfolk & Western Railway. The locomotive rolled out of Roanoke’s East End Shops in 1950. Its mission was to pull the Powhatan Arrow, a 15-car passenger train, from Norfolk, Virginia, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Now, the powerful and sleek locomotive is running the rails at the historic Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County’s scenic Amish Country.

Offered as part of the tourist railroad’s regular daily steam train service, N&W No. 611 J will be the motive power for the day’s main train on select days. She will pull 45-minute excursion rides to Paradise, Pennsylvania on the following days: September 24-26; and October 2 and 3.

Ticket prices range from $9.50-$45.

The New Hope Railroad (32 Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-2332, www.newhoperailroad.com) is running its “Grapevine Express,” which features “Wine & Cheese Tasting,” from September 3-6.

Riders are invited to take part in a romantic “Wine and Cheese Excursion” and enjoy fine gourmet cheese, artisan crackers, meats, fruit, and our featured local wines. Additional Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic beverages are also available onboard.

Wine and cheese will be served to passengers as they travel along the same railroad line passengers did when it was built in 1891 connecting New Hope with Philadelphia. The journey travels through the beautiful hills and valleys of Bucks County, along once vital waterways and streams and across numerous trestle bridges.

The excursions will take place aboard one of the railroads lavishly appointed early 1900’s first-class parlor cars.

Tickets are $79.99 (Ages 21 and older only).

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