WEEKEND FUN GRAB BAG: From Thomas the Tank Engine, to cycling to bluegrass and much more. Don’t miss the fun

Dan Halloway, shown above, earned back-to- back victories in 2014 and 2015 before placing seventh last year in West Chester. He returns to race this year.
Dan Halloway, shown above, earned back-to- back victories in 2014 and 2015 before placing seventh last year in West Chester. He returns to race this year. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Laura Van Gilder is shown at left, racing in West Chester.
Laura Van Gilder is shown at left, racing in West Chester. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Thomas from TV

Morris Arboretum: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 12-13 the Garden Railway features Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends on the garden’s 15 rail lines at 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia. Admission is $17, $15 for seniors 65+, $9 for students, active and retired military and children 3-17. Check www.morrisarboretum.org or call (215) 247-5777.

Strings galore

Celebrate music: The 89th Chester County Old Fiddlers’ Picnic has been postponed to the rain date of Sunday, Aug. 13, according to http://chesco.org/2415/Old-Fiddlers-Picnic. The event is hel at Hibernia County Park, 1 Park Road, Coatesville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. Event features music, vendors, demonstrations and more. Hibernia Masion tours will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission to the event is free. Parking fee is $5. Rain date is Aug. 13. For more details, check http://chesco.org/2415/Old-Fiddlers-Picnic

Huzzah!

Mount Hope Estate & Winery: The 37th season of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire continues 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (plus Labor Day Monday) through Oct. 29. The grounds are off Route 72, Cornwall. The Daily Revels schedule is filled with more than 90 shows daily. Areas of the Faire grounds are being specially themed for 2017. For example, Swashbuckler Grove will take on an expanded piratical theme with the move of the Rusty Scupper kitchen into the area. New themed weekends are World Carnival Weekend (Aug. 12-13), Wizarding Weekend (Sept. 9-10) and Autumn Harvest Weekend (Oct. 7-8). On Saturdays and Sundays in August and September, dog lovers and their furry friends are invited to join the revelry after completing the Dog Days admission registration form and waiver at www.parenfaire.com. Admission is $31.95, $11.95 for children 5-11. Parking is free, but games, rides, foods, beverages and crafts have additional costs. Visitors can save $5 off the regular gate price with advance ticket purchases. Call (717) 665-7021.

Area heritage

Mennonite Heritage Center: “Opportunity & Conscience: Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania” continues through March 31, 2018. In 1717 three boatloads of Palatine Germans arrived in the port of Philadelphia, including numerous Mennonite families seeking religious freedom. In recognition of that 300th anniversary, the Mennonite Heritage Center at 565 Yoder Road, Franconia Township, is highlighting the experiences of those 18th century immigrants, their motivations and process of migration and how they settled in eastern Pennsylvania. The exhibit includes a simulation by local craftsman Earl Ludwig of a passenger compartment on an 18th century immigrant ship and a depiction of a stube (parlor/living room) in an early immigrant home furnished with original artifacts of the 18th century. Enlargements of scenes and images from the period further illustrate the theme. The exhibit also has a collection of stories of recent immigrants to the Delaware and Lehigh valleys, some of whom have connected with local Mennonite churches. Many similarities can be observed between the motivation and experience of today’s immigrants and those of the 18th century, from whom many Americans are descended. Admission donation is $5. Call (215) 256-3020.

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Henry Antes Plantation: The Goschenhoppen Historians’ 51st annual Authentic Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival is held noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 11 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 12 at the historic site at 318 Colonial Road, Upper Frederick. Highlights include food, crafts, farm animals, horse drawn wagon rides, stage programs and tours of the Antes house. This year’s theme is “Handwarricks Gscharr,” or Tools of the Trade. Admission (not including a donation for parking) is $12, $18 for a two-day pass, $3 for children 6-15. Call (215) 234-8953 or visit www.goschenhoppen.org.

Spring City: A Hot Air Balloon Festival is planned for 4 to 9 p.m. Aug. 11 as part of the municipality’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. Foods and entertainment are among the highlights. Hot air balloon rides are available for purchase, for more information check http://springcity150.com/hot-air-balloon-festival. On Aug. 12 a parade is planned, stepping off from Main Street at 10 a.m.

Thrill of the race

Downtown West Chester: Previously known as the Iron Hill Twilight Race Series, the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic will take place Aug. 12. It includes a 0.6-mile course over eight city blocks, featuring four 90-degree turns and one short rise. Races include the Iron Hill Twilight Pro Men’s Criterium, Brumbaugh Wealth Management Pro Women’s Criterium, West Chester Dental Arts Kid’s Race, the Tolsdorf Trike Challenge and the Rothman Institute Amateur Trials (which is open to the public). Family festivities include a Community Festival, Kid’s Zone and Market Street Block Party. For more information, call (610) 696-4046 or visit http://greaterwestchester.com.

Peachy keen

Oley Fire Company: A Peach and Ice Cream Festival runs 2 to 10 p.m. Aug. 12, with garden tractor pulls, an antique tractor and farm power equipment display, a car cruise, a peach dessert contest, a quoits tournament, music by Midnight Special, food and a fireworks display. The fire company grounds are at 477 Main St., Oley. For more information call (484) 256-8009.

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ: The church at 1312 Old Swede Road, Douglassville, hosts its 36th annual Peach Festival 3 to 8 p.m. Aug. 19. Call (610) 689-9364.

Linvilla Orchards: The Peach Festival is held Aug. 12, and features Makin’ Music, picking peaches, costumed characters, a dunk tank and games such as bean bag toss, balloon relay, egg toss, pony rides and face painting. Linvilla Orchards is at 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media. Visit www.linvilla.com for more information.

Peddler’s Village: Celebrate National Peach Month in August at the Peddler’s Village Peach Festival and Sidewalk Sale 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 12-13. Enjoy peachy treats, peach pie eating contests, children’s activities in the Family Fun Area, live musical entertainment and artisan displays. Admission is free. The village is on Route 263, off Route 202, Lahaska.

Crawly critters

Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University: The 10th annual Bug Fest Aug. 12-13 features hundreds of live insects, conversations with academy entomologists, bug tastings and activities museum visitors have picked as their favorites over the years. Eat a cooked bug; examine the scariest and grossest insects up close; commune with a cockroach creating a painting; enjoying a series of live bug shows; or make a buggy craft to take home. The academy is at 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. For the full list of activities, and to get tickets, visit www.ansp.org.

Weekend of wheels

New Hope Automobile Show: The New Hope-Solebury Community Association is celebrating 60 years of the auto show, with a weekend celebration Aug. 11-13. On Aug. 11 it’s the Whitewall Black Tie Cocktail Party, featuring Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra, at Hotel du Village. Tickets are $125 per person. Aug. 12 is the Vintage & Classic Road Rally, open to all wishing to take their vehicles to the open road for a non-timed adventure. Aug. 13 is the show itself, held on the grounds of the New Hope-Solebury High School, 180 W. Bridge St., New Hope. At 2:30 p.m. winners participate in the Parade of Champions. Call (215) 862-5665 or visit www.newhopeautoshow.com.

Coming together

Suzanne Roberts Theatre: The Come Together Dance Festival features 41 local, regional and national dance companies Aug. 16-20 at 480 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Five mixed programs will stage an eclectic range of styles, juxtaposing genres from hip-hop, tap and jazz to ballet, modern, contemporary dance, acrobatic physical theater and traditional dance. Get more information at (215) 985-0420 or go to http://philadelphiatheatrecompany.org/tickets.

Kimmel Center: At 3 and 8 p.m. Aug. 12, Broadway Dreams and the Kimmel Center present #COMETOGETHER, with a tribute by young performers to the Broadway legends who came before in the Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Tickets range from $21-$101. Call (215) 893-1999 or go to www.kimmelcenter.org.

In concert

Great Marsh Farm: The Jamz Music and Arts Festival is held 12:30 to 11 p.m. Aug. 13 to benefit Forever Home Rescue. The site is at 301 Marsh Road, Elverson. For the lineup and ticket information, visit www.thejamzfestival.com.

Festive summer

Mater Dei Catholic School: The annual St. Stanislaus Summer Festival features rides, games, food and music from 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 15-19 on the school grounds, 493 E. Main St., Lansdale. More details are at www.ststanislaus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Email-blast.pdf.

Kutztown Fair: The 146th annual Kutztown Fair features carnival rides, midway shows, livestock exhibits and farm and craft exhibits Aug. 14-19. Gates open at 4 p.m., 2 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $10 for everyone 18 months and older and parking is $2. The grandstand shows are free, except for Wednesday night racing, which is $8. Monday is Senior Citizen’s Day, with half-price admission for ages 65 and older. Saturday is Children’s Day, featuring prizes. Look up www.kutztownfairgrounds.com/fair/mainpage.htm.

Geek out

Sellersville Museum: A Sci-Fi Double Feature Art Show opens 7 to 11 p.m. Aug. 11, with films and live music. It continues noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 12-13. The artwork will be available for sale. Admission is free at the museum at 120 E. Church St., Sellersville.