It’s not just any day – It’s Haverford Township Day!

Ah, H-Town. You might have grown up here, you might forever be considered a newcomer. But on October 7, 2023, in this quaint little corner of the world all will be considered Townies!

Darby Road will again be transformed into a bustling hub of activity, celebration and community spirit. It’s the 28th annual Haverford Township Day (HTD), and listen up newbies: If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat.

Imagine waking up to the gentle hum of a community coming together. The day kicks off with a flea market and craft fair at 10:00 am. Now, I’ve been to many a flea market in my time, but there’s something about the Haverford one that feels… well, homey. Local and artisan vendors will set up shop. 

If I’m being honest, in the last several years, I’ve been a bit “meh” about many of the vendors, especially the Multi-Level Marketing pyramid schemes like LuLaRoe (they should be banned from the festival). There’s also a lot of overpriced, mass-manufactured jewelry. I try to suss out the hand-beaded, hand-made wares. The good thing is you can always find some vendors with true flea market finds like old books, vintage clothes, and trinkets you don’t need but you’ll definitely want. Watch out for the one table with the small wind instruments, though – if you blow it, you bought it!

If shopping isn’t your thing, perhaps a 5K race at the Middle School at 8:30 am might get your heart racing. Or, if you’re like me and prefer a more leisurely pace, the parade starting at Manoa Shopping Center at 10:30 am is a sight to behold. It comes up Eagle and down Darby, ending at the Skatium. The *rocking* Haverford High School band plays, there’s usually Mummers (because: Mummers – they’re everywhere!), and various scouts. Sometimes there are politicians waving and throwing candy from the backs of convertibles. No floats though really. Sad. But! The firehouses usually toss a few treats and blast their sirens. Bring ear plugs and maybe don’t bring the dog. Our dog howled his little throat out last time. 

Are you not entertained at HTD? The Skatium Stage has a lineup that’s hard to beat. From the Newspaper Taxis playing from 9-11 am to the soulful sounds of Philadelphia Heart & Soul from 1-3:45 pm, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re in the mood for some quirky fun, the Skatium Area boasts a stilt walker, juggler, caricaturist artist, balloon sculptures, and even face painting. And for those who fancy a bit of ice skating, there’s free skating at Skatium from 2:30-4 pm. Those food vendors roasting whole pigs are usually at the skatium too. Yum. 

Over at the Brookline Stage, Bill Whitney will serenade you from 10 am-4 pm, followed by kids’ entertainment and the band Thrill Ryde. And for the little ones, Brookline Blvd offers a train, moon bounce, and other children’s rides from 12-3:30 pm. That sh*t gets mobbed though so show up at like, 11:30. 

Music aficionados will appreciate the Haverford High School Orchestra playing at the Brookline Fire House and The De La Salle Orchestra’s big band music at the Yale Rd Stage. We ADORE hearing the orchestra every year. These kids are good.

Of course, an event of this magnitude wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of sponsors. A big shoutout to the 2023 Platinum Sponsor, Kelly Music for Life, and the many gold, business, and other sponsors who’ve made this day possible.

So, if you’re looking for a day of fun, community, and a touch of nostalgia, Haverford Township Day is where you’ll want to be. And who knows, you might just bump into me there, enjoying the festivities and shooting pics on my iPhone that I won’t publish anywhere ever. Maybe here. But these pics are from 2016.

[This post was written with the assistance of CHATGPT Plus, because it knows more about HTD than I do]