A ghost­ly cir­cus, black girl­hood books, Obon dance fes­ti­val and more for a whim­si­cal weekend

2 minute read
Family Fun Day satisfies interactive curiosity at AAMP. (Photo by J. Fusco)
Family Fun Day satisfies interactive curiosity at AAMP. (Photo by J. Fusco)

This weekend roundup sounds like something straight out of my childhood. Which means it couldn’t be any more perfect. Seriously, a friend of mine told me earlier this week that my whole persona is like someone out of an cartoon show. And if the Steven Universe shirt that I’m wearing isn’t any reinforcement of that, then an annual bug festival, celebrating black girlhood joy in books, a ghostly circus, and a Japanese dance festival should sell you on the idea that I am, indeed, the embodiment of your favorite animated character.

Never grow up, Philadelphia!

The Secret Life of Bugs

Sometimes you’ve got to give the little guys in life a little love. Not the underdogs—I’m talking about the bugs! The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is holding Bug Fest on August 10-11, an annual festival of live insects, bug tastings, goo making, and experts unveiling the secret life of bugs. Yes, that may make you squeamish at the sound of it all. Even more reason to go, right? The bugsploration of events begin 11am, and you can see a full schedule online.

Experiments in Joy: Black Girlhood and Beyond

Performance memoirist Gabrielle Civil and children’s and YA author Zetta Elliot are in town for a reading of collaborative and solo work drawn from black girlhood and a discussion of black feminism, honesty, and imagination. Former Philadelphia poet laureate Yolanda Wisher will moderate the free event that is open to the public on Saturday, August 10 at 4pm at the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street.

Family Fun Day at AAMP

On Saturday, August 10 at 11am, Family Fun Day brings an afternoon of interactive art making activities, including yoga and drumming at the African American Museum of Philadelphia. If the summer heat isn’t your thing, that’s okay, too! AAMP assures all summer-themed activities will happen inside. The first 250 people will receive free entry to the museum.

Obon Dance Practice and Festival

The Philadelphia Obon Festival kicks off at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden on Sunday at 1:30-4:30pm. Learn about the history of bon dance, and watch, practice, and perform the bon odori folk dance. The once Buddhist practice is now associated with the Japanese summer festival. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable athletic clothing and shoes and don’t need any prior dance experience. A follow-up dance festival happens later on Saturday, August 24.

The Ghostly Circus: Tides of the Climates

The Ghostly Circus returns for its sixth year at the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue, with an evening of site-specific performance fire and aerial theater. On August 9 and 10, the gates open at 7pm and the show begins at sunset. Tickets range from $15 for 12 and under, and $30-$40 for all the grown up kids, and are available online.

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