STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Great Allentown Fair
Allentown Fairgrounds: The 163rd Allentown Fair returns Sept. 1-7, with food, agricultural displays and demonstrations, vendors, rides, J&J Demolition Derby, midway games and concerts featuring Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla; Jim Gaffigan; deadmau5; Carrie Underwood; Little Big Town; and Eric Church. Hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Sept. 1 (Preview Night), noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 2-6, noon to 10 p.m. Labor Day Monday. The fairgrounds are at 302 N. 17th St., Allentown. Admission — not including ride tickets, games, grandstand shows or the Folks Butterfly Exhibit — is $8, free for children 12 and under and to all noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 2-4, $4 for seniors 65+ after 2 p.m. Sept. 2, $3 on Sept. 1 (or get in for $1 on Preview Night with a food item donation to the Fair for Second Harvest Food Bank). Get more information at www.allentownfairpa.org.
Fringe in the majority
Fringe Festival: This year’s full schedule of dance, comedy/improv, spoken word, visual art, music, theater and more happens Sept. 3-19 in several neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Times and ticket prices vary. A digital version of the festival guide can be found at www.fringearts.com.
Religion and science
Academy of Natural Sciences: Check out “The Clergy and the Academy’s Collections” 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays Aug. 31-Oct. 23 in the Academy Library Gallery of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. From its founding in 1812, the Academy has been enriched by the work Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker, Jewish and Moravian clergy. The exhibit showcases the plant and animal specimens, objects, books and archival materials that can be linked to these clergy naturalists. During the week of the World Meeting of Families Sept. 21-25, the library will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $15.95; $13.95 for children 3-12, seniors, students and military personnel; free for members and children under 3. Call (215) 299-1000 or visit www.ansp.org.
Adventure Aquarium: The aquarium celebrates its first-ever Hippo Awareness Weekend Aug. 29-30. Hippo programming includes feedings, a behind-the-scenes hippo video and enrichment sessions, including various ways humans can help save hippos in the wild. Hashtag your selfies with Button and Genny with #HippoSelfieSpot. The aquarium is at 1 Riverside Drive, Camden. N.J.
Lansdale Founders Day: From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 29, it’s the fifth annual Founders Day in Lansdale Borough. Events throughout town include the Lansdale Farmers’ Market; open houses at the police station, municipal building and Jenkins Homestead; a water battle at Fairmount Fire Company; an activity area in Railroad Plaza; a dedication ceremony of the municipal building; the presentation of this year’s Lansdale Lifetime Achievement Award; a Family Fun Festival; the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce Health Expo and a fireworks display. Also part of the festivities is the 27th annual Lansdale Festival of the Arts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Memorial Park, off East Main Street (rain location is Penndale Middle School). The festival features fine art, hand-made crafts and live music.
Norristown’s Verdi Band: At 7 p.m. Aug. 30 The Verdi Band will celebrate its 95th anniversary at the Elmwood Park Bandshell off of Harding Boulevard in Norristown. A fixture at local church feasts, the band will play both Italian and American songs.
Montgomery Cemetery: The Historical Society of Montgomery County presents a “Deaths by Train” program at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 in the cemetery at 1 Hartranft Ave., West Norriton. Take a walk with a historian and learn about the dangers of train travel in the late 19th and early 20th century. Learn about one local passenger car accident, the Exeter train wreck, that took many lives, some of whom are buried at Montgomery Cemetery. The moonlight tour followed by a wine and cheese reception. Cost is $10 per person, and you must be 21 or over. Make reservations at (610) 272-0297.
Elmwood Park Zoo: WXTU’s Andie Summers, games, crafts, raffles, mechanical bull riding and live music by Kendal Conrad and Amanda Nolan will be at Country Fest 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at the zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown. Admission is $14.95, $10.95 for children 3-12 and seniors 65+, $12.95 for students. Mechanical bull rides cost extra.
Susquehanna Bank Center: Tim McGraw “Shotgun Rider” Tour with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant is featured at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, N.J. Tickets range from $35-$255. Call (856) 365-1300.
SaikouCon: SaikouCon — “best convention” in Japanese — is the Lehigh Valley’s first convention dedicated to Japanese pop culture, including anime, manga and J-Rock and J-Pop musical acts. Held Aug. 28-30 at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center, guests include writers, artists, distributors, English dub and original Japanese voice talent, cosplay talent and more. The Best Western is at 300 Gateway Drive, Bethlehem. Learn more at www.saikoucon.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/SaikouCon and @SaikouCon on Twitter.
Peddlers Village: “Italy in the Village” is a series of dining events running through Aug. 30 at the village, which is at Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska. Events Aug. 28 and 29 are Afternoon Tea in Tuscany at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Garden Room, with two seatings each day at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Cost $22 per person. Italian Wine Strolls in the Village, which are $40 per person, can be done Hourly 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Linguini Code,” an Italian themed Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, is on the Main Village Green at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost is $59.95 per person inclusive. On Sunday only is Italian Brunch at Cock ‘n’ Bull served 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $25.95 per person. Reservations are required for each event. Call (215) 794-4051.
Silver Lake Nature Center: Join the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Delaware River Fishermen’s Association for a free day to learn all about fishing fundamentals 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 29 at the center, 1306 Bath Road, Bristol. Activities will include fish identification, learning about equipment and fishing techniques. Bring your fishing rod if you have one. Call (215) 785-1177.
Lansdale: First Friday returns 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 4 on Main Street in downtown with live music, family-friendly activities and more. For updates, see www.discoverlansdale.org or call (267) 498-5060.
Skippack: The first Friday of the month means live music, art exhibits and shopping in Skippack Village from 6 to 9 p.m. along Skippack Pike.
Ambler: The First Friday community block party in Ambler is due again Sept. 4 along South Ridge Avenue. For updates, see www.firstfridaysinambler.wordpress.com.
Merwood Park: Grateful Rob opens for Jeffrey Gaines during a Kelly Music for Life Pavilion Concert Aug. 29. The park is on East Hathaway Lane in Havertown. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $8, free for children under 12. Light concessions will be available and you are invited to pack a picnic basket or bring your own refreshments. Bring your own seating.
Theatre of Living Arts: WXPN presents Citizen Cope in concert at 9 p.m. Aug. 28 at the TLA, 334 South St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $42. Call (215) 922-1011. Citizen Cope also opens for Counting Crows at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center. Check on ticket availability at (610) 297-7414.
Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing: If you missed them at Musikfest, O.A.R. will play the Festival Pier at 6:30 p.m., with openers Allen Stone and Brynn Elliot, Aug. 28. Tickets are $35. The venue is at Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia. Call (215) 922-1011.
Mann Center: Reggae in the Park presents Catch a Fire Tour 2015 with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Jo Mersa, Black Am I, Skip Marley, Jemere Morgan, 9 Mile Roots, SensaMotion, Steppin Razor and more. The music starts at 3 p.m. Aug. 29. Tickets range from $39.50-$89.50. Children 12 and under get free lawn seating with a parent’s ticket. At 8 p.m. Aug. 30 it’s Lenny Kravitz. Tickets range from $30-$89.50. R5 is on for Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Sept. 3. Tickets range from $29.50-$45. The Mann is at 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia. Go to www.manncenter.org.
Susquehanna Bank Center: Experience 5 Seconds of Summer at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4. WMGK’s Big Gig features The Doobie Brothers and Steve Miller Band at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5. The center is at 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, N.J. Check ticket availability at (856) 365-1300.
Lincoln Financial Field: The Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium at 1020 Pattison Ave. hosts Philly funny man Kevin Hart at 8 p.m. Aug. 30. Then One Direction performs at 7 p.m. Sept. 1. Check ticket availability at (888) 972-2203.
DCP Theatre: The deputy mayor of New York has just shot himself and four couples are about to blunder into a farce of miscommunication. “Rumors” by Neil Simon takes the stage at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 4-13, and at 8 p.m. Sept. 17-19. The opening weekend features a wine and cheese Director’s Reception. Tickets are $15, $13 for seniors. The theater is at 795 Ridge Road, Salford Township. Call (215) 234-0966 or see www.dcptheatre.com.