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FunTimes Magazine

Make it a reggae moment!

Black women in reggae pants, dancing

FunTimes Fun Events Education & Entertainment!

August has some real interesting themes to observe the month: Be An Angel Day, World Mosquito Day (no thanks), Tooth Fairy Day (if it’s your second set of teeth, then no), Toilet Paper Day (really?), Ride the Wind Day (some motorcycle gang must have made that one up), Kiss and Make Up Day (how nice), Toasted Marshmellow Day (better), and then there’s Prosecco Day and Rum Day (much better). But no where can we find anything like “Dance Day.“ So, we will make that up and hope it catches on  after this column, which celebrates the culturally aspects of the breezy Caribbean islands -- from night life for the night owls to the day life for the morning birds who fly among us. Please respect the ongoing pandemic safety protocols, and check individual event-attending instructions with the organizers.



Explore the language, arts and dress styles of the Islands

August 21, 2022. We don’t have the cool pristine light-blue waters of the Caribbean, but we do have the Delaware River (don’t swim in it). Experience the authentic culture of the Caribbean -- Cuba, the Dominican, Jamaica and other fascinating areas of the islands. The 36th Annual 2022 Philadelphia Caribbean Festival featuring the cuisine, art, music, performances, culture and traditions is the perfect place to do that. It’s all part of PECO’s Multicultural Series to celebrate the diversity of the world in Philadelphia. Noon to 8 p.m., free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Chestnut Street at the Delaware River, 101 S. Columbus Blvd., 215-922-2FUN,


The ‘Groove Merchant’ holds the strings


August 21, 2022. Jazz in the Gardens featuring accomplished Philly guitarist Rashaan Rich, the “Groove Merchant,” and his band will hold down the beat. Enjoy his live music, some vegan soul food in the café and a chance to shop for authentic jewelry, clothing and art. Rich has the music end covered. He performed original music on the Philly club scene in the 1980s highlighting a rich blend of jazz, jazz fusion and smooth jazz. He has graced the stage exploring many genres, from R&B to jazz and soul. The chords of his guitar has connected with many performers: Phyllis Hyman, Cecil Bridgewater, Raasan Roland Kirk, Lonnie Liston Smith, Curtis Weaver, The Orlons, The Intrigues, Roberta Flack and Karma. His all-star band includes Richard Whaler III (drums), Alfie Pollitt I (piano); Terry Tyler (bass) and Marion Salaam (saxophone). Show: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. $20. Event also is online. The Nile Gardens, 6008 Germantown Ave., 215-843-0900,

Caribbean & Hip Hop Night is an island breeze of fun

August 19, 2022. Enjoy the sick fusion of Island beats in Northeast Philly courtesy of DJ Mistah Sleepy – Afrobeats, Hip Hop, Dance hall, Reggaeton and more at Caribbean & Hip Hop Night. DJ Mistah Sleepy mixes his own lively style of Caribbean music with a blend of Progressive and Electro. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., $25, Ali Baba Hookah Lounge, 7704 Castor Ave.,

Taking the islands to the city

August 10, 2022. Bust out your best dance moves and party with DJ Lioness who turns out a tight mix of soul, top 40, hip-hop and colorful Caribbean sounds for a night of Shine Like the Diamonds, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $10, CLUB FESTIVALS, 5222 Walnut St.,


Enjoy a fun day of Brazilian music

August 14, 2022. Enjoy a fun day of music by Dendê – an international percussionist, singer, composer, bandleader, teacher and multi-instrumentalist -- on a scenic farm. Performing since he was 14 years old, has Dendê appeared with Timbalada, Carlinhos Brown’s superstar percussion ensemble. He performs mostly in the United States and Bahia, northeastern Brazilian state, working with his own ensembles. Set on 16 acres at The Farm at Awbury Arboretum, also walk and explore family-friendly weekend activities including viewing the goats and chickens and taking part in wellness classes, farm tours and gardening workshops. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., free, no registration required. The Farm at Awbury Arboretum, 6336 Ardleigh St., 215-849-2855,


A meet-and-greet for super-young professionals

August 20, 2022. Here’s a chance to bring your entrepreneurial passion, ideas and start-up business skills to the table. Literally, to the table. At the Youth Entrepreneur Festival, kids, ages 9 to 17, can set up shop for a day of networking, idea-sharing, business promotion, fun and food – all in the setting of your passionate peers. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., free. Imperial Caribbean & Seafood, 725 N. 42nd St. Register in advance:



Go to Club Motown at home

August 20, 2022. You’ve heard of line dancing. Well, check out on-line dancing.  Yo, it’s pandemic times. It’s sort of a virtual nightclub for folks who don’t want to go out on a Saturday night to get their funk on. But no fear of missing out here. No cabs, cover charge and pricey drinks. Dance in your yoga outfit. Or listen, as DJ Cynthia creates a magical Motown night spinning The Spinners and other juke-box classics from the Berry Gordy Detroit 60’s soul factory. This is a dance jam on Zoom, so you can chat with future friends. Don’t be tardy for this remote party: 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., free. Register at


Driven to succeed


Inspired by the philosophy that good writers are good readers, Mighty Writers youth literacy nonprofit is promoting the joy of reading right to your neighborhood. Books may be coming to your block. The local group has accelerated its efforts and is delivering hundreds of free high-quality children’s books with its snazzy bookmobile this summer. Reading at your very fingertips. Here’s how to donate to buy a Mighty Writers book for a children ages 2 to 13, or to volunteer as a delivery driver:, or e-mail Jennifer Ailey, [email protected].


Artists showcase their new works

August 10 & 12, 2022. What’s going on in the community of Black creatives? Black Art Conversations, hosted by the Women’s Coalition of Empowerment, Inc., has the answer. It’s a three-part series of moderated discussions and live performances showcasing local independent Black artists. They share their new projects and discuss their experiences in the creative world. Presented by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and the PHLGovTV on Arts Access TV highlighting cultural organizations and artists. 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., free. Online at TV 64 and 1164, Verizon channels 40 and 41; 215-686-8446,

Cortney Wills

Telling the story of the Black experience in Hollywood

The return of journalist Cortney Wills' "Acting Up" podcast began it second season recently as part of theGrio Black Podcast Network. The podcast features Hollywood actors, producers and creators like actor Samuel L. Jackson and singer Kelly Rowland.  Willls’  guests this season includes Amanda Seales, Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins and Michelle Buteau. Through in-depth interviews, Wills goes one on one with these actors, writers, producers, directors, executives and insiders “who shape how our communities are represented in films and  on TV. The promotional release notes: “The show takes a look at how Hollywood influences our lives, beauty standards, political participation, and the rest of the world’s perception of Black America.” Check out theGrio’s new mobile app or on your favorite podcasts like iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher.