During evening and early dawn hours before Skippack Days, crafters, food vendors, and hawkers of assorted wares set up tent-like structures along the sidewalks and in the parking lots; modern day nomads traveling across the suburban desert and creating a temporary encampment along Skippack Pike. And following the rise of these temporary structures come people, wonderful people, actual crowds: children, families, couples, young, old, middle-aged. For a day or two at least the town acquires the human horde needed to give a much-needed boost to the local economy. To paraphrase a popular song, towns that need people are the luckiest towns in the world.
Get ready to go back to school. Way back. This weekend, Miss Hawkesworth’s one-room schoolhouse recreates the experience of attending school early in this nation’s history.
The schoolhouse is part of Washington’s Encampment in Skippack, a fun-filled annual living history event, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, Sept 24 and 25, at the IndenHofen farmhouse at corner of Evansburg Road and Skippack Pike. This Skippack event is enjoyable for adults and children of all ages.
Miss Hawkesworth brings history alive; her classroom is engaging and interactive. She will open her schoolroom each day of the event at 2:15 pm. Please arrive on time. Miss Hawkesworth believes tardiness is a sign of poor character.
About Our School
Miss Hawkesworth’s schoolhouse is located at the Indenhofen farmhouse, the home of the Skippack Historical Society. Please, however, do not think you are stepping into a Colonial schoolhouse. Women rarely, if ever, taught school during the 1700s. That job was meant for a man. Women didn’t appear in the schoolroom until after the Revolutionary War, when people began to realize women could contribute to society. Imagine that.
Classes were held in the church or children were taught at home. Our dear President, Thomas Jefferson, had another idea — a public education for all. And so this story begins in the Federal period of our country, the early 1800s.
With this in mind, Miss Elizabeth Hawkesworth, formally of the British country of Wales, enters the scene, having recently arrived in her new found home in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. She is an unmarried woman of an older age who travels to schools and teaches when the regular teacher is ill or needs help. She has been to many locations over many years, whipping many students into shape.
Miss Hawkesworth’s Personal Invitation to You
Good Day young scholars. It is my duty and, yes, my joy to invite you to my schoolroom once again this year at Skippack. If you think Skippack is a backward, seemingly unpopulated town and that the small number of inhabitants includes a disproportionate percentage of Germans, you would be correct.
The purpose of my classroom is to educate your farmhands, otherwise known as your children, in the etiquette, manners, and lessons of the day so they are better prepared to receive the word of God from their Bibles. They will learn ciphering, spelling, penmanship and elocution.
I am not to be trifled with. It is my way to keep order in the school. I am hoping that, you, as parents, place a high value on educating your children and will, this year, allow them to keep to the classroom under my care. There are many swindlers out and about, and education is the best way to keep them at bay. You are dismissed.
This blog post was written by Karin Koons Stocking AKA Miss Elizabeth Hawkesworth, and edited by the Skippack Blogger.
Tomorrow is a special evening in Skippack. One of the times I look forward to most of all. Mrs. Skippack Blogger and I will leave the house, walk into town, and head to the Barn theater on Store Road, home of Playcrafters of Skippack. A peaceful evening walk thru a beautiful village, followed by great live theater. What a lifestyle.
This time, theater night in Skippack promises to be especially rewarding — a world premiere play, Pursued by a Bear by John O’Hara, a writer based in Skippack. I’ve met with the playwright, director and cast members — one of the pleasures of being the Skippack Blogger. Now it only remains to sit back and relax as this talented crew delivers the goods.
Tears, Laughter, and a Special Request
Pursued by a Bear poses a simple but powerful question. “If you knew you had only six months to live, what would you ask for from those closest to you?”
Director David Deratzian explains, “The main character in the play, Jack, must figure out what to do with regard to the future of his six year old daughter.” He turns to his friends for help, asking them to look after his daughter after he’s gone. The story of the play evolves from this request.
Writer John O’Hara gives his play a feeling of reality, creating characters who make believable decisions, behave in authentic ways (not always nice but real), and find humor in the most challenging circumstances.
The unfolding drama explores both the joys and limits of friendship. One question posed — are these people, who’ve been friends for thirty years, really friends?”
Pursued by a Bear performed in the intimate setting of the Barn theater offers a very personal entertainment experience. Watching a dress rehearsal, I found myself drawn to the characters as their awareness of the meaning of events deepens. I got so caught up in the play that I left my notebook at the theater and had to walk back for it.
The Right Place for this Premiere
It is fitting that Pursued by a Bear have its world premiere in Skippack. We are town that thrives on interpersonal relationships. Shop here a few times and shop owners will know you by name. The server who pours my coffee at breakfast knows me. Authenticity and warmth are our ace in the whole; what Skippack can offer you that you can’t get easily at Walmart or the King of Prussia Mall.
Human connection is the essence of small town life and the defining characteristic of Skippack. Men and women trying to get along, find happiness, and build meaningful relationships, in the face of their own mortality.
In such places, happiness Is found. In such places, great drama is written and produced.
For more information, visit Playcrafters of Skippack.
There’s a magical being in our beautiful village — the knavish sprite called Robin Goodfellow, otherwise known as Puck. There are others as well — Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed. And traveling in a different circle, you may meet Peter Quince, Nick Bottom, and Francis Flute. Please give them a warm welcome to town.
I am talking about the characters in William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, currently in performance at Playcrafters of Skippack. I saw it last weekend and it is excellent. The brilliance of a Playcrafter’s cast and crew never ceases to astound and impress me. To cut to the chase: go see it.
Why We Need Puck and Co.
Why welcome Puck and his friends?
Midsummer Night’s Dream is filled with magic, enchantment, and lightheartedness – three elements sadly lacking in the world today. Without them, we live in a world of daily brutality reported on nightly news, rants on social media, endless SEPTA rides and endless hours in a corporate cubicle, and taxes and bills and other meaningless stuff.
The antidote is here, right in our village. We need the world of magic and enchantment depicted so beautifully in Midsummer Night’s Dream to make our real world bearable.
And Skippack needs to be sprinkled with magic dust now and again. We pride ourselves on being no ordinary suburban or exurban town, but instead a lively and, yes, enchanting village, with our own low-key and unobtrusive style. To maintain our identity, we need the magic of the theater in the heart of our village. We need to pay attention to productions like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which honor the extraordinary, the fantastical, and the power of the human imagination.
To misquote Shakespeare, “banish Puck and you banish the world.”
Thursday, July 28, at 8 pm
Fridays, July 22 & 29 at 8 pm
Saturdays, 23 & 30 at 8 pm
Sunday matinee July 24 at 3 pm.
Buy tickets online
Playcrafters of Skippack
2011 Store Road
I love Fourth of July in Skippack.
I love watching people line up along the parade route, the anticipation of fun in a small town, the beautifully restored antique cars as they roll down Skippack Pike, the optimistic music of marching bands, floats sponsored by local shops and organizations, mummers in their peacock colors, fire engines blasting their sirens and firefighters spraying the crowd with cooling water, the excitement and laughter of children.
I love fireworks at dusk in Palmer Park.
I love it all.Read More
The 2016 Skippack Village Carnival takes place Wednesday, June 1 thru Sunday, June 5. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the carnival starts at 6 pm and closes around 10 pm (may stay open later if busy). On Saturday and Sunday, the carnival runs from 3 pm to 10 pm or later if busy. The address is 4059 Skippack Pike.
Carnivals, old-time amusement parks and the circus of yesteryear hold an endless fascination for me. Thankfully, each year Skippack Village brings a real carnival almost to my doorstep. The bright lights, the colorful signs, and classic rides like the merry-go-round and ferris wheel, indeed the whole carnival atmosphere, are as refreshing as a glass of ice-cold, freshly-squeezed lemonade on a scorching summer afternoon.
What is it about a carnival that is so refreshing?
Most entertainment in the 21st century, even for children, is branded and backed by multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. Children of all ages now tell jokes tinged with bitter irony and sarcasm. Fun and laughter have become disengaged from innocence.
Suddenly, a carnival rolls into town. In the atmosphere of the carnival midway, I wipe the jaded residue of our times from my eyes, ears and tongue. I see colorful lights. I hear the joyful notes of the band organ. I taste the sweetness of cotton candy. I feel the power of clean, good old-fashioned fun to restore the soul.
This post was written by Scott McMaster, a local actor who appears this season in RENT at Playcrafters of Skippack.
When you think of Skippack Village, you may not picture rundown buildings, rusty fire escapes, and shanty towns. However, all of these can be found at the heart of Skippack in Playcrafters’ production of RENT, opening Thursday, April 28 and continuing thru Saturday, May 14.
Set in the East Village of New York City in the 1990s, RENT explores the lives of a group of struggling artists who try to find love, friendship, and happiness during a time when poverty, homelessness, addiction, and AIDS shook the city.
RENT may seem like an odd show to do in quaint Skippack. However Skippack, much like the East Village, has a bohemian culture of its own with musicians, artists, performers, and galleries on display during First Fridays.
I am an actor at Playcrafters of Skippack and frequent patron of Skippack businesses. When in the village, I meet people of different shapes, sizes, ages, colors, incomes, orientations, and cultures. Skippack audiences will enjoy the message of embracing diversity and friendship offered by RENT.
To quote one of my favorite lyrics from the show, “give in to love or live in fear.” I believe that Skippack lives up to this lyric by creating a community in which we celebrate our differences and create “connection in an isolating age,” to quote another lyric from the show. That is the true message of RENT. It is about celebrating love and triumph while embracing the fears that come with it. It is about owning emotion, not renting it.
The Tony award-winning musical of RENT is celebrating its 20th year. There is “no day but today” to get your tickets to see this show.
For more information, see Playcrafters of Skippack.
Spring is always a special time in Skippack. It marks the beginning of our events season — several months of festivals, parades, car shows, First Fridays, and more. Our beautiful shops display their new inventory. Each shop has its own story, as well as beautiful new items for sale. The sidewalks begin again to be populated with locals and visitors. Tables are brought outside, people take their seats, and lively conversation begins. The village comes to life.
This season, a new restaurant has opened called Swirls & Nibbles, close by the Skippack Firehouse. I met the owners, Blair and Louella, eager and enthusiastic to begin serving customers and to join the community of local business owners in Skippack. I think this family-focused restaurant will be a great addition to Skippack.
I’ve started taking my Sunday walks again thru town. Look for ideas for writing blog posts. I find inspiration everywhere I turn. You will see my ideas in blog posts in weeks and months ahead. For now, here are my initial thoughts. A rough sketch if you will. A simple list of 10 things you can do in Skippack in early spring.
- Attend one of the wonderful in-store events at Floral & Hardy. Some of the great programs and events that will take place this spring include vertical vegetable gardening, introduction to landscape design, easter egg hunt, and a bonsai making workshop.
- Check out the spring fashions at Wooden Duck Shop, Skippack Hope Chest, and Accent on the Rocks.
- Get your hair highlighted or a new hairdo at Skippack Stylekrafters.
- Indulge in a spring makeover at Merle Norman Skippack.
- Rid yourself of winter aches and pains with healing massage from Simply Be Well.
- Subscribe to the the 2016 season at Playcrafters of Skippack, which starts with the ambitious Broadway classic Rent. It’s going to be another great season at Playcrafters.
- Turn your lawn into a spring paradise with beautiful hardscaping, plants, and waterfalls from Andrew Welsh Landscaping.
- Remove corrosive winter rock salt off your car with professional service from T-Bone Detailing.
- Start cafe life early: Sit at one of the outside tables at Euro Delights and enjoy something scrumptious.
- Take the kids out for an enjoyable family meal at Skippack Pizza or the new Swirls & Nibbles.
It’s spring. Time to rediscover Skippack.
Mark your calendar for First Fridays 2017: May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, and November 3. Live entertainment starts around 6 pm and continues until 9 pm. This monthly event features:
- Live music
- Art exhibits
- The beautiful restaurants, galleries, and shops of Skippack Village
- Ample, free parking
Live Music and Art
First Fridays in Skippack offers an opportunity for people to get away from their routine and enjoy entertainment, the village, and a chance to spend time together. There are live musical performances and exhibits by local artists, which take place in porches, patios, and restaurants throughout the village. While you are in the village, consider taking in a performance at our outstanding community theater, Playcrafters of Skippack.
The Skippack Factor
It’s true that some other nearby towns offer First Fridays as well. Skippack First Fridays are unique because they include the pleasures that our village offers year round:
- eclectic, boutique shopping with all locally-owned businesses
- delectable dining with both informal and upscale options
- a variety of personal and professional services including salons and spas, computer repair, custom framing, and more
All First Friday activity takes place in the beautiful setting of Skippack Village, with its elagantly restored buildings, many dating back to the nineteenth century; open spaces; and emphasis on local ownership and individual identity. You do not want to miss First Friday in this extraordinary community.
Skippack Village offers visitors the best of many worlds — Victorian charm; a great European gourmet bakery called Euro Delights; a great pizza place; small town friendliness; quality theater; a vital local music scene; and much more. Join us and celebrate the remarkable diversity of dining, culture, entertainment, and art that thrives in Skippack Village.
Contact Info and More
- Live entertainment begins at 6 pm
- If you want to visit to your favorite Skippack shop as part of your First Friday experience, be aware that individual business hours vary. We recommend calling or going online to check their hours before your arrive.
- For general information about First Friday, call Art at the Wooden Duck Shop at 610-584-0124 or Butch at the Southwest Trading Post at 610-584-2774.
Check out these pics and videos from First Fridays past.
Skippack all year round, yes. But fall is my favorite time.
The Rest of the Year
True, I love the giddiness of spring, when Skippack Village reawakens, and people start to reappear in numbers along the sidewalks and in the Cabana Bar. Youthful expectation fills the air; the unexpressed potential of months ahead.
Summer days are warm and relaxed, more easygoing. Perfect for dining outside and an occasional escape into one of our beautiful, air-conditioned shops, each individually owned and run and a special world unto itself.
November ends and December brings the holiday shopping season, decorations, lights, and boisterous gatherings at our restaurants and pubs: The festive flicker of a candle before the quiet of late winter.
And yes, I welcome the rest that comes in January and February.
But fall is special: it is Skippack in her prime, elegantly dressed in rich red and orange, confident with experience of past seasons, but still retaining her youthful energy. Her appetite for activity is still in full force: She is now a seasoned hostess, undiminished by the passage of time.
And how is this autumn energy expressed? Fall is the busiest season on the events calendar. There is the first fall First Friday on Oct 2. First Fridays have been consistently excellent this year, so you don’t want to miss this kick off event in the month of October.
Quick upon the heels of First Friday is Skippack’s most well-known and well-attended event, Skippack Days, a two-day craft, shopping, and entertainment extravaganza. Skippack at its liveliest, with crowded sidewalks and exhibit after exhibit of crafts, household items, jewelry, and gifts.
The following week is Winetober, our popular wine festival. And the next week is the International Car show. This is no ordinary car show. Classic and antique automobiles shine like jewels set against the green velvet beauty of Skippack Village. It is an event not to be missed. A powerful display of the potential for elegance and sophistication in small town life.
And there is always more. Don’t overlook our community theater. Also here you find the incredible potential for sophistication in a small town. And if you want peak into Skippack’s past, checkout events of the Skippack Historical Society’s Annual Banquet, which takes place in November.
So much depth to this village. Who can know her? Who can know her?