The second annual Philly F/M Festival culls hordes of independent films and live music, emphasizing the interplay of the two media. Thursday night hosts the event's kick-off party as Philadelphia Slick douses the crowd with waves of toe-tapping beats and games of Simon Says. The neighborhood's lights dim on Friday as the film screenings begin at 7 p.m. with Sound It Out, a phonetically precise documentary that chronicles the last vinyl record shop in Teesside, England. Meet Me on South Street, The Story of JC Dobbs (September 24 at 6:30 p.m.) delves into Philadelphia's artistic subculture and underground crocheting scene from the 1970s to 1996 through the lens of one of its signature and now defunct musical establishments.
For one day in early December, more than 50 craft breweries will converge at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center for Valley Forge Beer Festival. Spread across two sessions, the Festival will feature more than 100 beers ready for sampling and critiquing, including special brews from Victory Brewing, Sam Adams, Sly Fox Brewing Company, and Magic Hat. As if that weren't enough to make you feel warm inside, the Festival proudly supports and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Committee to Benefit the Children, a Philadelphia charity that provides treatment and support to children with cancer, leukemia, and blood disorders.
Run by Anna Maria Florio, the daughter of Italian immigrants, La Cucina at the Market imparts vital culinary arts to its students in intimate, informative classes. Students plunge their hands into the world of handmade pasta in Making Handmade Pasta: Easy as 1, 2, 3, which runs through the art and science of noodle and sauce. In classes of up to 15 people, pupils knead, roll, and slice pasta dough to infuse homemade Italian entrees with a personal touch. Nascent noodle artists acquire the art of lengthy fettuccine and broad pappardelle, and afterward pastacrafters will be able to construct an edible sculpture of a penguin in formalwear using bowtie-mimicking farfalle.
Presented by Gourmet Shows, the annual Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine and Spirits showcases celebrity chefs, restaurants, wines, spirits, and vendors. More than 150 food-centric stations pepper the Valley Forge Casino Resort. On the expo's stage, local chefs and culinary personalities teach onlookers their cooking techniques and favorite recipes during demonstrations. Attendees will have the chance to watch the likes of Rocco DiSpirito of the Food Network's Restaurant Divided, and 2014 Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi, in action. Other educational add-ons include beer seminars from award-winning beer writer Gary Monterosso and wine seminars that explain why, despite popular opinion, grape soda doesn?t complement veal as well as chardonnay does.
A mechanical bull bucks in Deuces Wild Buckin' Bull Saloon, Valley Forge Casino Resort's onsite rock-‘n’-roll and country bar. Revelers clad in cowboy boots strut through line dances with drinks in hand beneath the dance floor's green and blue lights. But unlike the Wild West, there's no blazing desert outside. Instead, there are 3,600 lush acres of national-park land, whose hiking trails hibernate beneath glinting winter snow. Inside the hotel, 600 slot machines and 50 tables of blackjack, craps, and roulette fill the casino. Seven onsite restaurants cater to different cravings: there's casual sushi at Asianoodle, and Pacific Prime's upscale atmosphere complements dishes such as maine lobster and loch duart scottish salmon.
It all started with a farmer's generosity. In 1924, a civic-minded citizen handed over 16 acres of lush farmland and a small group of critters to the Borough of Norristown. Today, the Elmwood Park Zoo welcomes guests in hopes of creating a future stock of wildlife lovers and conservation advocates. A menagerie of around 300 beasts indigenous to the Americas?including jaguars, howler monkeys, gray wolves, and bald and golden eagles?peer back at visitors. Guests can also spy on more than 15 species that are threatened or endangered.