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NEIGHBORHOODS: A fresh batch of First Fridays, pie eating contests and much more

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By BRIAN BINGAMAN
bbingaman@thereporteronline.com

The following is a sampling of weekend events in the region.

Taste of Tuscany
Chef and author Maria Liberati appears at the Montgomery County Community College Culinary Arts Institute at 1400 Forty Foot Road, Towamencin, from 5 to 8 p.m. May 10. “Cooking Authentic Tuscan Style” includes a five-course Tuscan meal, a copy of Liberati’s book, “The Art of the Tuscan Meal,” and a cooking lesson. The cost is $179, and reservations are required by calling (215) 641-6486.
Area artist
Get to know the paintings of Lynne Solomon with “Introspective: Discovering, Rebirthing and Evolving,” on view through May at the Pagus Gallery in the Norristown Arts Building, 619 W. Washington St., Norristown. An opening reception is set for 1 to 4 p.m. May 18, with a gallery talk by Solomon at 3:30. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, or by appointment.
May fair
Pottsgrove Manor’s “Annual Colonial May Fair” takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 3. There will be games, music, crafts and dancing for all ages. Tucker’s Tales Puppet Theatre will present interactive puppet shows and will also provide festive historic music around the grounds during the event. A variety of early American crafters and demonstrators will be on hand to display historic skills and trades and sell their wares. For more information, call (610) 326-4014, or visit www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown.
Berry good
The Peddler’s Village Strawberry Festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 3-4. Free activities include strawberry dishes, artisan vendors, strawberry pie-eating contests, family entertainment and musical acts and more. The village is near the intersection of routes 202 and 263, Lahaska. Visit www.peddlersvillage.com or call (215) 794-4000.
Open house
The Highlands Masion & Gardens, 7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington, hosts a community day from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 4. The event is free to the public. Visitors can stroll through the two-acre formal garden and see the restored 1918 greenhouse. Also featured are demonstrations and music. Reservations are recommended. Call (215) 641-2687.
Eggs, feathers, meat.
Ever thought about raising chickens, or have questions about keeping a personal flock? Visit the Peter Wentz Farmstead in Worcester between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 10 to learn more about the many aspects of raising chickens, from the 18th century to today. The historic farm site is at 2030 Shearer Road. Call (610) 584-5104.
First Friday
◆ Get ready for Dancing Down the Line from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 2 during First Friday events on the Main Line. The Cricket Avenue Block Party features dancing classrooms with Philly Allstars Ballroom from 6 to 6:30 p.m., First Position Dance Arts from 7 to 7:50 and much more. For more information, check www.FirstFridayMainLine.com.
◆ Uptown! Entertainment Alliance announces its new First Friday Film Series, beginning on May 2, at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 110 W. Market Street, West Chester. The series is planned to coincide with West Chester’s First Fridays shopping and dining events, and will continue throughout the summer with subsequent showings on June 6, July 11, August 1 and September 5. Screenings will begin at 8:30 p.m. and viewers will be able to purchase light refreshments, including beer and wine, to enjoy with the films. Tickets are $7.50 per person, with discounts for groups of four or more, and may be purchased in advance at www.uptownwestchester.org, or at the door. A list of the featured films is also available on the website.

The cunning wolf, played by Tom Tansey, tries to send Little Red, played by Maggie Griffin-Smith, down the wrong path to her granny’s in the Storybook Musical Theatre production of “Little Red Riding Hood.” For information: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org   Photo by Mike Levin

The cunning wolf, played by Tom Tansey, tries to send Little Red, played by Maggie Griffin-Smith, down the wrong path to her granny’s in the Storybook Musical Theatre production of “Little Red Riding Hood.” For information: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org
Photo by Mike Levin

◆ Discover Lansdale presents First Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. May 2 in the borough’s Railroad Plaza, Wood Street and Susquehanna Avenue. Entertainment includes Where’s Pete, Just Jay, inflatables, games and activities, the Family Corner and a “Mini HeartChase” event. See www.discoverlansdale.org.
◆ First Fridays begin for the season in Skippack 5 to 9 p.m. May 2. Eat, dine, shop, stroll and enjoy music, art and other activities in Skippack Village on Route 73. Call (610) 584-0124 for more information.
Also, the village’s Spring Wine Fest is set for 1 to 6 p.m. May 3, with wine, food and live music. Contact Tara at (610) 584-1155 or www.winetober.com.
Let’s dance
A Spring Swing Fling to benefit North Wales Parks and Recreation is held 7 to 10 p.m. May 10 at Brau Haus, Walnut and Main streets, North Wales. The music will be by the Society of Music Makers Swing Band. Tickets are $25, $40 per couple, and include light fare, beer, wine and soda. Call (215) 699-4424.
Great outdoors
◆ State Rep. Bob Godshall and the Franconia Park and Recreation Commission will be sponsoring the 23rd annual Youth Fishing Derby 9 to 11:30 a.m. May 3 in Branchwood Park, off of Camp Road. All youths up to age 12 are invited to join the fishing contest for prizes.
◆ Pennsylvania’s seventh annual Walk for the Wounded and 5K Warriors Run is being held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 3 in Rose Tree Park in Media. This is a fundraiser for Operation First Response. One of the main events at this year’s walk is a POW rally at 11 a.m. in the Flag Courtyard. Check out www.OperationFirstResponse.org or www.WalkForTheWounded.org.
◆ West Chester Parks and Recreation’s May Day Festival of the Arts is held 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 4 in Everhart Park in West Chester.
◆ The Downingtown Main Street Association presents “The Search for the Blob” Family Bike Ride, starting at 8 a.m. May 10. The ride departs from the Victory Brewing Co. parking lot and takes riders through the borough park system trails, returning to the brewery for breakfast and a showing of the 1958 movie “The Blob.” Visit www.downingtownmainstreet.com or call (484) 593-0935.
◆ Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Willowdale Steeplechase on May 11. This family-friendly event is held at the Willowdale Steeplechase grounds at routes 82 and 926 in Kennett Square. Highlights include an antique and unique car display, Jack Russell races and pony races. First race is at 1:30 p.m. Last races ends at approximately 4:30 p.m. Gates close at 6. Buy a general admission ticket for $25 in advance, $30 on race day, free for children 12 and under. Host a tailgate party at your reserved space. Prices range from $175-$450 per space and include four tickets. Go to www.willowdalesteeplechase.org.
Hand-made
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Craft Fair is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 9-10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11, along the sidewalks around Rittenhouse Square Park in Philadelphia. Admission is free. Pay parking is available in nearby garages. For more information, directions and parking tips, call (717) 431-8706 or visit www.pacrafts.org.
On stage
◆ North Penn High School Theatre’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” takes the stage at North Penn High School auditorium, 1340 Valley Forge Road, Towamencin. Performances are 7:30 p.m. May 2-3 and 2 p.m. May 4. Tickets are $10, $5 for students. A free show for Gold Card members is at 1 p.m. April 30. Visit http://nptheater.ticketleap.com/beautybeast.
◆ A middle-aged couple whose children have left the nest discover that they are to be parents once more in “Never Too Late” May 1-17 at Playcrafters, 2011 Store Road, Skippack. Tickets are $17. For show times call (610) 584-4005 or go to www.playcrafters.org.
◆ Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, concludes its 15th anniversary season with the musical “Man of La Mancha” April 29-June 8. Tickets range from $28- $39, with discounts are available for students, groups and seniors 65+. Visit www.act2.org or call (215) 654-0200.
◆“And a Child Shall Lead,” the true story of artistic young people coming of age in Czechoslovakia under Nazi persecution, is presented at 7 p.m. May 1-3 at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School’s Clemens Theater, off Detwiler Road, Towamencin. Tickets are $10, $5 for students. See www.dockhs.org or call the school office at (215) 362-2675. These performances will be accompanied by an art show featuring the works of Dock students and artist members of Peaceful Living’s “Creative Gifts” program.
◆ Storybook Musical Theatre’s “Little Red Riding Hood” is at the Bluett Theater of St. Joseph’s University, 56th Street and Overbrook Avenue, Philadelphia, from May 5 -10, and then at the Gratz College Theater, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, from May 27-June 1. Tickets are $12 for children, $14 for adults. Call (215) 659-8550 or see www.storybookmusical.org.
*Celebrating their 50th anniversary season, Pennsylvania Ballet presents “Director’s Choice,” a mixed bill of dance works, May 8-11 at the Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Tickets range from $30-$125 and performances are at 7:30 p.m. May 8-9, 2 and 8 p.m. May 10, 2 p.m. May 11. Learn more with a Pre-Show Talk at 6:30 p.m. May 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Broad and Locust streets. Visit www.paballet.org or call (215) 551-7000.
◆ Momix multimedia dance company presents “Alchemia” at 7:30 p.m. May 8, 8 p.m. May 9, 2 and 8 p.m. May 10 and 3 p.m. May 11 at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Tickets range from $20-$80. Visit www.annenbergcenter.org or call (215) 898-3900.
The Annenberg Center is also hosting the “30th birthday” Philadelphia International Children’s Festival through May 4. Enjoy family-friendly theater performances and activities like the Fun Zone on the Outdoor Plaza, with crafts, face painting, jugglers and more.
Pitch perfect
A cappella groups from Penn State University and Central Bucks School District open for Rockapella at the fifth annual Central Bucks A Cappella Festival at 7 p.m. May 3 at Central Bucks West High School, 375 W. Court St., Doylestown. Tickets range from $10-$25. Call (267) 893-2925.
Montco movies
Before Hollywood became the center of the movie-making world, there was Betzwood in Montgomery County. The 25th annual Betzwood Film Festival revisits archival silent films, including footage of a 1914 train crash done specifically for a movie, at 8 p.m. May 3 in Montgomery County Community College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Whitpain. Tickets are $12, $8 for children under 12. Visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call (215) 641-6518 for tickets.
Time warp
It’s a World War II encampment weekend 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3 and noon to 4 p.m. May 4 on the grounds of Graeme Park, 859 County Line Road, Horsham. Reenactors will be camping out and staging a battle between American and German troops on the property. A large-event tent will be transformed into a venue for U.S.O.-style entertainment including ‘The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show,” Society Music Makers Swing Band, and a concert of patriotic music. Additional attractions include weapons demonstrations; a period vehicle display; American, German, British and Polish camps; World War II veterans and a luminary ceremony and gun salute to honor their service. Admission is $10, $15 for a weekend pass, $5 for youths 13-17, free to veterans and children 12 and under. Family rates are also available. Call (215) 343-0965 or visit www.graemepark.org.
Cheers
◆ McCoole’s Arts and Events sponsors a Whiskey, Wine & Home Brew Festival 3 to 7 p.m. May 3 at the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, 21 N. Main St., Quakertown. Enjoy unlimited samples of premium whiskeys, wines and home brewed beer. There will be live music, food and craft vendors. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Designated driver tickets are $10. There will be a complimentary shuttle and discounted rooms at the nearby Best Western. For the latest on either event, go to www.mccoolesbeerfest.com.
◆ Want to get in the Guinness Book of World Records? “The World’s Largest Bar Crawl” involves more than 100 locations in Northern Liberties, South Street, Old City, Rittenhouse, University City, South Philly, Center City East/West, Mid-Town Village and Fairmount. It begins at noon May 3. Keep in mind that in order to be counted as being part of the record, you will need to visit 10 different locations in a span of no more than eight hours. Tickets are $10, $25 for VIP tickets. Visit www.thecrawl.com for more information, including shuttle service. Tweet @TheCrawlPhilly during your crawl.
A portion of the proceeds benefits “Young Variety, The Children’s Charity” and the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5.
◆ Boyertown hard cider-maker Frecon’s Cidery debuts “Wassail” (an old English custom involving singing and drinking to awaken the cider apple trees, scare away evil spirits and toast the health of the trees for a good harvest) noon to 5 p.m. May 3 at Frecon Farms, 231 Powder Mill Hollow Road, Boyertown, and will feature music by The Manatawny Creek Ramblers, Mason Porter, and La Overtoner. Sample apple hard ciders The Crabby Granny, The Early Man and The Hogshead, which are all gluten-free. Designated drivers and those under 21 will be able to enjoy sweet cider. Offering food pairings will be Hillbilly BBQ, Vernalicious and WildeFire Trading Authentic Wood Fired Pizza. Tickets are $30 and include an 8-ounce hard cider with a food pairing. Designated driver/under 21 tickets are $15. Go to www.freconswassail.com.
En garde!
On May 4, the Bucks County Academy of Fencing will host its fifth annual Women’s 3-Weapon Day Fundraiser at the academy’s Lambertville, NJ, location at 287 S. Main St. Featuring more than 50 athletes, this event is open to the public, with a portion of the proceeds donated to Animal Alliance. Fencers will compete at 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., featuring all three fencing weapons — foil, épée and sabre.
All that jazz
ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, presents RiverJazz, with concerts from May 8-30, including Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Pat Martino, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Jane Monheit and more. Get the complete schedule and ticket information at www.artsquest.org/festivals/riverjazz.
Book signing
Jonathan Cross will host a book signing from 1:30 to 3 p.m. May 10 at Jus’ Java, 1601 DeKalb St., Norristown, for his novel and film, “Cry of the Drummer.”
Mother’s Day tea
As part of the new Second Sunday Living History Series, Rock Ford Plantation, at 881 Rock Ford Road, Lancaster, will be hosting “Tea at Rock Ford” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 11. Visitors can tour the mansion and learn about federal American tea time, from etiquette to the making of tea. Admission is $8, $7 for seniors 65+, $6 for children 6-12. Visit www.rockfordplantation.org or call (717) 392-7223.
Follow Brian Bingaman on Twitter @brianbingaman.
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