Who says beads are just for hippies? Aug. 23-26, more than 200 exhibitors will convene to display their colorful, shapely merchandise at Bead Fest Philadelphia in Valley Forge Convention Center’s Expo Hall. This year’s event features a bounty of classes and workshops for all skill levels, taught by more than 60 renowned bead- and jewelry-making experts from around the country. Participants can learn to string and stitch beads, make wire and metal clay jewelry, and weave and stitch seed beads. Or you can train to tackle the basics of wire knitting and crochet. Classes are scheduled all four days; the festival is open to shoppers Friday-Sunday. Registered Bead Fest Philadelphia students receive free admission to Expo Hall. $10-$14; classes and workshops $50-$345. 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia. Call (610) 354-8212 or visit stepbystepbeads.com/beadfest/philadelphia.cfm. —Kate Savo
Grammy-caliber singer/songwriters John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin team up Aug. 14 for an intimate evening of powerful, literate folk rock at the Keswick Theatre. Both will perform solo acoustic sets of material spanning their decades-long careers. Though Hiatt does have a fiercely loyal following, his best-known tunes have been recorded by more famous artists—everyone from Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt to Eric Clapton, B.B. King and Paula Abdul. Colvin’s popularity peaked with 1996’s A Few Small Repairs and its hit, “Sunny Came Home.” But from the sounds of her latest CD, the enthralling These Four Walls, she still has plenty of relevant music left in her. Hearing these modern-day troubadours on one stage should be a real treat—and the potential for some soulful duets is always there. 7:30 p.m. $37.50-$47.50. 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. Call (215) 572-7650 or visit keswicktheatre.com. —Kelly Farber
The first Friday of every month, the art galleries of Kennett Square stay open late for special demonstrations and exhibits enhanced by yummy refreshments and live music. On Aug. 3, things take a chilling turn when the Kennett Amateur Theatrical Society concocts a fictional whodunnit for strollers. The First Friday Murder Mystery Art Stroll translates this popular form of interactive theater to an indoor/outdoor setting—one that encourages everyone to help solve the Clue-like whodunit by questioning suspects stationed in the galleries. Each character will be outfitted with a potential weapon and an alibi; it’s up to strollers to discern whose telling the truth. The evening’s sharpest detectives can qualify to win prizes donated by local merchants and artisans. 6:30 p.m. Call (610) 444-8188 or visit historickennettsquare.com. —K.F.