The much-anticipated 79th Radnor Hunt Races open with piano music and light buffet stations at the Wildflower Dinner May 15 (formerly the Wildflower Ball). This year, it’s a night to let loose, so leave the ball gowns and black ties at the dry-cleaner; reserved seating is also out. On May 16, fluff up those swanky hats and join 20,000 fellow race lovers for the third leg of the Steeplechase Triple Crown, where adroit jockeys and their mighty chargers will hurdle across 70-plus acres of hilly Chester County countryside for a total purse of $215,000. Race-day attractions include family-friendly tailgate picnics and the classic carriage parade. The dinner and races benefit the Brandywine Conservancy. Grounds open at 10 a.m. $50/car (sales close May 8). Radnor Hunt, 826 Providence Road, Malvern. Visit radnorhuntraces.org or call (610) 647-4233. For more info on the Wildflower Dinner, call (610) 388-8324. —Shannon Hallamyer
May 1-3, Paradise City Arts Festival showcases unique contemporary crafts and fine art by nearly 150 nationally juried craftsmen and artists—some from as close as Bala Cynwyd and Glenmoore. You’ll find everything from wedding rings to 30-foot clocks at this seventh annual event, staged for the first time in collaboration with the Avenue of the Arts at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The event’s centerpiece is a 2,500-square-foot indoor Sculpture Garden—co-designed and built by Paoli’s Martin Nosowitz—with areas to dine and enjoy live jazz among exotic orchids. The music carries into the adjacent Shall We Dance exhibit, which pays homage to the performing arts through paintings, art glass, furniture, wearable art, sculpture, dancing teapots, and more. $8-$12; kids under 12 free. Hall D, 1101 Arch St., Philadelphia. Call (800) 511-9725 or visit paradisecityarts.com. —Jacqueline Sharkey (Pictured: “Endless Time Grandfather Clock” by Douglas Durkee)
Act II Playhouse celebrates its 10th anniversary season May 5-31 with a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Packing theaters since its debut in 2004, Respect: A Musical Journey of Women revives over 50 catchy oldies-but-goodies, including classics like “I Will Follow Him” and “I Will Survive.” The all-female cast traces a rocky road to independence, calling to mind such indelible icons as Betty Boop and mothers everywhere. For two nights only, May 5-6, reminisce with author Dorothy Marcic, who wrote the script and the book on which the play is based. $25-$35; discount tickets for May 5-7 shows. 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. Call (215) 654-0200 or visit act2.org. —Jennifer Hricko
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