Do This!

The Academy of Natural Sciences celebrates its 200-year past and looks to the future.
The Academy of Natural Sciences celebrates its 200-year past and looks to the future. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 01, 2012


Pedaling for good

It's the first Sunday in June and time for the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship. This year, a new event has been added as a fund-raiser for local charities. The Bicycling Magazine Open, this Gran Fondo or "Big Ride" will allow riders to pedal all or parts of the 14.7-mile circuit for up to three laps. The route begins on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, heads out Kelly Drive to Manayunk, climbs the infamous Manayunk Wall, winds through Fairmount Park, descends Lemon Hill, and runs back past the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the finish line on the Parkway. The Bicycling Magazine Open will be held at 7 a.m. before the professional race. Riders can be sponsored through Charity of Choice. Information is at


Great time for green

The annual Montgomery County Irish Festival, hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Notre Dame Division, is scheduled this weekend on the grounds of St. Michael's Picnic Grove, 203 Jacob St., Mont Clare, just outside Phoenixville. And on Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m., the Philadelphia Irish Festival will be held at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. Guests can enjoy the music of Jamison, Blackthorn, and the Hooligans. Irish dance schools and musical groups performing at the landing will include Celtic Flame, Emerald Isle, Cummins, Coyle, Campbell, Rince Ri, McDade, Cara, McHugh, Christina Ryan Kilcoyne, Gibson, Timoney, and Second St. Irish Society. Information: 215-629-3200,

In Mont Clare on Friday night, Tom McHugh and the McGillians will give a musical performance at 7. On Saturday at 2 p.m., Bogside Rouges will be on stage, and at 5:45 p.m., Jamison will entertain with the Irish Dancers of Celtic Flame. On Sunday, the annual outdoor Mass is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. For tickets and information, call 610-277-4868.

Friday-March 2013

A bicentennial

"The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery" celebrates the groundbreaking discoveries by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. It offers a glimpse into the future of one of the world's great natural history museums. Visitors will see how academy scientists search for new species, how human activity is affecting the environment, and how plants and animals from the collection are used to investigate environmental issues. The celebration is at the academy, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Admission is $15; $13 for seniors, students, military, children ages 3 to 12; free under 3. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, to 5 p.m. weekends. Information: 215-299-1000,


Let freedom ring

A free, two-hour family-friendly tour will delve into the early history of Philadelphia. It includes information on founders George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton, and the sites where they made history. Walks are from 10 a.m. to noon, starting at the Independence Visitor Center, 1 N. Independence Mall West. Information: 267-712-9512.


New music premieres

Hesperus Is Phosphorus, a new concert-length work by Lewis Spratlan, who won the Pulitzer Prize in music in 2000, will be performed Saturday by the Crossing and Network for New Music. Drawing on the words of American poets, playwrights, and physicists, Spratlan's music explores growth and loss in the ever-expanding world of discovery. Hesperus or Vesper - the evening star - was thought by the ancient Greeks to be distinct from Phosphorus, the morning star. Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave. At 6:30 p.m., there will be music by Roberto Pace and his advanced-theory students from Settlement Music School and at 7 p.m., a composer talk with Spratlan. Information: 215-848-7647. Tickets:

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