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Road Trip

A Riverfront Festival Along the Delaware

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

WHERE: Southeastern Pennsylvania.

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WHY: Ramble and roll on the river, Philly has soul and what makes a horse race.

HOW FAR: About 17 miles from start to finish, and about 120 miles from Washington.

Are you ready to ramble? On Saturday, the fifth annual Riverfront Ramble takes over 14 miles of the Delaware River, the waterway between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Though locals can argue over which shore is better, for this event, the Keystone State has the advantage.

Often overlooked, this stretch of the Delaware is dotted with up-and-comers, including a soon-to-be Major League Soccer stadium at Barry Bridge Park in Chester (scheduled to open in 2010) and Harrah's Chester Casino and Race Track, which opened last year on the grounds of a former boatyard.

The Ramble is known for its lighthearted attractions, including pony rides, pirate reenactors and free concerts. More than 25,000 people are expected to attend this year's party, held at five main locations connected by free shuttle buses. Hopping around is encouraged.

At Market Square Memorial Park in Marcus Hook, the Dining on the Delaware food festival feeds the masses with booth-served meals by 20 area restaurants. Over at Anchorage Marina in Essington, revelers can go boating for two bucks, and at Ridley Township Municipal Marina, little anglers can feel like big fish in a free bait-and-hook competition. For the grand finale, Barry Bridge Park will send off the rockets' red glare during a $40,000 fireworks display. The Delfonics, a Philadelphia soul group from the 1960s and '70s, will warm up the crowd. And since we're rolling on the river, we'd like to make a song request: "Proud Mary," please.

-- Ben Chapman

Riverfront Ramble: Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Rain date is Sept. 21. Various locations in Delaware County. For a schedule and information, call 610-565-3679 or visit http://www.riverfrontramble.org. Prices vary; most events are free.

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