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Beer, wine, food, fall seasonal events among must-do happenings

Imaginative scarecrows, like this "Peter Pan" one, are featured in the Peddlers Village Scarecrow Competition and Display. Photo courtesy of Peddlers Village.

WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
bbingaman@21st-centurymedia.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Cheers
Tavern Night: The Morgan Log House, 850 Weikel Road, Towamencin, hosts Tavern Night Sept. 18. This year’s

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Come out for annual Trappe Community Day

pony

STORY WRITTEN BY REBECCA D. CATAGNUS 
For 21st Century Media

There aren’t too many things for free these days but on Saturday, Sept. 13, residents of Trappe and the surrounding area are in for a

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Craft beer crawl, Brewfest and wine tastings ready to pour

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Cheers
Craft beer crawl: Held noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 6, the Great Philadelphia Craft Beer Crawl involves 12 bars in the city’s Fairmount section. Tickets are $20, $10 for designated drivers. Get tickets and details at www.upcomingevents.com/the-great-philadelphia-craft-beer-crawl.
Brewfest: The Philadelphia Union’s PPL Park, 1 Stadium Drive, Chester, hosts Delaware River Craft Brewfest 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 6. Sample craft and import beers as well as ciders. Jamison will be the musical entertainment. Advance tickets are $35, $50 for VIP tickets, $10 for designated drivers. Parking is free, but there will not be shuttle service. See www.philadelphiaunion.com/ppl-park/craft-brew-fest.
Chaddsford Winery: The winery’s Labor Day celebration Aug. 29-Sept. 1 includes wine tastings, wine slushies, live music and fare from food trucks and food vendors at 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, till 6 p.m. Monday. Tastings are $10. Check www.chaddsford.com/root/visit-labor-day-weekend.asp.

Days of yesteryear
World War II serial: Indian Valley Family YMCA, 890 Maple Ave., Franconia Township, hosts a public screening of a 12-episode, World War II motion picture serial from 1943 from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 2. For more information, call (215) 723-3569.
Hot jazz: Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society will play music from the “hot jazz” era of 1897-1935 at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Aug. 31 at Paris Bistro & Jazz Café, 8229 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill. Call (215) 242-6200 and visit www.parisbistro.net.
On stage
Montgomery Theater: A wealthy Pennsylvania socialite believes herself to be a star operatic soprano. In reality she’s so famously tone deaf that her recitals draw big audiences that laugh at her. Look through the eyes of her accompanist with “Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins” Sept. 3-28 at Montgomery Theater, 124 Main St., Souderton. Tickets are $21. For show times, call (215) 723-9984 or visit www.montgomerytheater,org.
DCP Theatre: The adult comedy “Unnecessary Farce” is presented Sept. 5-20 at DCP Theatre, 795 Ridge Road, Salford Township. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sept. 18, 2 p.m. Sundays. Opening weekend director’s wine receptions are held Sept. 5 and 6. Bagpiper Charlie Rutan will be a special guest, performing and offering information on the history of the bagpipes following the Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening performances. Tickets are $15, $13 for seniors and students. Call (215) 234-0966 or go to www.dcptheatre.com.
Philly Fringe: From a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Ballet and Curtis Institute, to a personal show in the disguise of an Old City walking tour, to a one-man show called “It was All Downhill after Fleetwood Mac,” The FringeArts Fringe Festival presents cutting edge performance art Sept. 5-21 at various times and locations throughout Philadelphia. For complete show information, see www.fringearts.com. Call (215) 413-1318 for tickets.
Big weekend
First Friday: A back to school fashion show, live music by Vox Tonic and York Street Hustle and “Prelude to the Cruise” are some of the free events of First Friday Lansdale 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 5. See www.discoverlansdale.org.
Bike Night: Lansdale Bike Night 2014 is held 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 6 along Main and Madison streets in Lansdale. Highlights include a ride-in bike show with judging; food; vendors and live music on two stages. Admission is free. The rain date is Sept. 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. Visit the Blue Comet Motorcycle Club website at www.bluecometmc.com.
Rides and games
Upper Gwynedd carnival: Upper Gwynedd Township’s annual carnival in Parkside Place is Sept. 4-7 this year, running 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Ride mega-passes are $35, or ride for $20 during Family Times, which will be all night Sept. 4 and 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 5-6. Fireworks nights are Sept. 5 and 6. The Parkside Place complex is off of Sumneytown Pike.
Broomall carnival: The Broomall Fire Company brings the Majestic Midways Carnival to Malin Road and West Chester Pike from 6 to 11 p.m. Sept. 5, 3 to 11 p.m. Sept. 6 and 1 to 6 p.m. Sept. 7. Sunday is Family Day, with a ride special from 1 to 5:30. There will also be face panting.

Cultural celebrations
Philadelphia Ganesh Festival: The 10th annual Philadelphia Ganesh Festival runs Aug. 29-Sept. 7 at Bharatiya Temple, 1812 County Line Road, Montgomery Township. Events include the YComm Sports Fun Event Sept. 6, a Young Stars Indian music and dance concert Sept. 2, a three-day, outdoor India Fest Aug. 30-Sept. 1, a Hindustani vocal music concert with Meeta Pandit and Gwalior Gharana Sept. 3, a Kathak dance recital Sept. 4, sitar concert with Ustad Nishat Khan at 7:45 p.m. Sept. 6 and more. Free shuttle will be running to the parking lots at Montgomery Elementary School and the Montgomery Township building, both off of Stump Road; as well as the lots at Panacea Technologies off of Commerce Drive, and Penn Manufacturing Industries at Stump Road and Commerce Drive. You’ll need to phone (484) 800-1-PGF as soon as you’re parked to call the shuttle. For the complete schedule of religious and cultural programs, click on the brochure tab at www.philadelphiaganeshfestival.org. Also, get updates at www.facebook.com/pages/Philadelphia-Ganesh-Festival-at-Bhartiya-Temple.
Polish-American Festival: The annual Polish-American Festival runs noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 30-Sept. 1 and Sept. 6-7 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, 654 Ferry Road, New Britain. Enjoy live entertainment, arts and crafts, re-enactments, ethnic foods, midway rides and more. Admission is $12 (some rides require additional cost). Check www.polishamericanfestival.org.
Scandinavian Fest: The 30th annual Scandinavian Fest is held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 31 in Vasa Park, 1 Wolfe Road, Budd Lake, N.J. The day includes entertainment, re-enactors, dancers, Vikings (and a Viking boat), children’s activities, Nordic foods, a Scandinavian marketplace and more. Advance tickets are $ 11, $14 at the gate, $13 for seniors, free to children under 12 and anyone in authentic regional Nordic folkdress. Get more information at www.scanfest.org.
German style: Cannstatter Club’s 142nd annual Volksfest runs noon to 10 p.m. Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at 9130 Academy Road, Philadelphia, with German beer and wine and classic German fare like bratwurst and frankfurters. Also enjoy performances, rides, a raffle and crafts for children. Admission is $6, $9 for two days and $11 for all three days. Call (215) 332-0121.
Ship ahoy
SS U.S.: An exhibit on the SS United States, a trans-Atlantic ocean liner with links to Philadelphia that sailed in the ‘50s and ‘60s, will be in the Independence Seaport Museum’s Community Gallery through Sept. 14. The museum is on Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. and Walnut Street. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $13.50, $10 for seniors, students, children and military personnel.
Labor Day Cruise: On Aug. 31, the Spirit of Philadelphia hosts a moonlight cruise on the Delaware River. The cruise boards at 10:30 p.m. and departs at 11. Tickets are $36.90 and available online at www.spiritcruise.com/philadelphia.
In touch with nature
Wild about Wildflife: The Indian Valley Public Library, 100 E. Church Ave., Telford, hosts “Wild about Wildlife and Our Home” with workshops from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 6 on “The Nature of Trees” Lenape tree manipulation, monarch butterflies, “Why We Care for Mother Earth” and more. The Philadelphia Zoo will have live animals at the library from 10 to 10:45. Check the schedule at www.ivpl.org.
Fireworks
Longwood Gardens: A “Power and Passion” Fireworks and Fountains show is set for 8:15 p.m. Aug. 30, and is set to the music of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Tickets are $38, $22 for children 15 and under (discounts for members) and include all-day access to the gardens. Longwood Gardens is at Routes 1 and 52, Kennett Township. Visit www.longwoodgardens.org.
Sesame Place: It’s a Labor Day Barbecue and Fireworks weekend Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the “Sesame Street” theme park Sesame Place at 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne. Start the evening with hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue pulled pork, chicken fingers and more at the Labor Day barbecue at 5 p.m. At 8:25 p.m. on Sunday and Sunday only, fireworks light up the sky to the music of “Sesame Street.” Twilight after-3 p.m. admission will be honored. Reservations are required for the barbecue by calling (866) GO-4-ELMO. For rates and park hours, go to www.sesameplace.com.
In retrospect
Mercer Museum: The national touring exhibit “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” opens Sept. 6 and continues through Oct. 26 at the Mercer Museum, Pine and Ashland streets, Doylestown. The museum will also have companion exhibits: “The Negative Imagery of Race: 100 Years of Stereotyping” and “A Selection of Quilts by Linda N. Salley in Honor of the African-American Museum of Bucks County.” Admission is $12, $10 for seniors, $6 for ages 6-17. For hours, call (215) 345-0210 or visit www.mercermuseum.org.

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Main Line native educates with stories about Benjamin Franklin

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STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN JOHNSON 
For 21st Century Media

Once upon a time, a young man spent his summers telling stories about Philadelphia’s most historic figures: Benjamin Franklin. Anyone wandering through Franklin Court can hear all about the icon who lived quite the life, one worthy of being remembered (and memorialized by having a bridge named after him).
That young man is Ed Stroud and he tells stories about Franklin all day long.
Stroud, who grew up on the Main Line, has worked with Historic Philadelphia — an organization that aims to make U.S. history relevant and real through interpretation, interaction and education — for five years. Every day, he sits on a bench at Franklin Court and tells stories to passersby.
“Did you know,” he’ll ask, “that Franklin, who grew up in Boston, wanted to construct a fishing pier as a young man? He stole stones to do so and, through that experience, learned not to be dishonest.”
Other stories tell how Franklin became an abolitionist after owning slaves and about his electricity experiments. The stories — about two to three minutes for kids and up to six minutes for adults — are written by historians who research the subjects thoroughly.

Ed Stroud. Submitted photo

Ed Stroud. Submitted photo

Stroud studied history at Drexel University. He’s a John Adams fan, but enjoys talking about Franklin. He found the fact that Franklin owned slaves surprising.
“I thought he would have been above it,” he said, “That was a huge shock.”
The most interesting thing about Franklin, though, is that he wasn’t formally educated. Stroud, who recently graduated from Drexel and who lives in West Philadelphia, finds that fascinating.
“He didn’t go to college, but he was able to become this learned person by himself,” Stroud said. “I’ve had all this education and I don’t even feel like I compare to his intellect.”
Loving history makes the job interesting; enjoying speaking and acting makes the job fun.
“When I was little, I went to acting camps and thought maybe I want to be an actor, but that went by the wayside,” Stroud said. “I’m outgoing. Once you get me talking, I sort of run with it.”
His first year of storytelling was trying — he wanted to make sure he got everything right. But now he’s comfortable.
Generally, people stroll by him and ask for a story — he wears a uniform indicating who he works for and why he’s there. Other times, he’ll ring a bell to announce that he’s going to tell a story and people gather around.
“I yell, ‘Free story!’ and people come over,” he said.
He determines what to tell based on his audience — younger children might not understand the slavery story as much as adults, for example.
“It’s all based on what I think they might want to hear,” he said.
The weather sometimes puts a damper on his day — rain forces storytellers inside or under some sort of cover. The heat can do so, too.
“Really, that is the only downside of storytelling. You know in mid-July in Philadelphia when it feels like you’re wearing a hot wet blanket all day? That’s a challenge,” he said.
As long as he can do his job, he doesn’t care where he does it.
“I love what I’m doing,” he said.
He hopes that people enjoy listening as much as he enjoys the telling.
“It’s history in a fun way,” he said. “Teaching people and having them have fun with history —there’s nothing better than that.”
Franklin Court is on Market Street between 3rd and 4th streets. Other storytellers perch on benches throughout the historic sections of Philly. Information about Stroud and other storytellers, as well as July 4th activities by Historic Philadelphia, is available at www.historicphiladelphia.org.

 

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