May 2, 2013
Roundup: Our Updated Guide To The Dozens Of Spring And Early Summer Festivals Hitting Philadelphia In The Coming Weeks
The month of May overflows with awesome spring events and outdoor festivals, so to help you navigate through them all and find the ones you definitely do not want to miss, we’ve updated our Spring Festivals roundup with a more comprehensive list of all the festivals we could find this month and next.
From blockbuster annual festivals like the Rittenhouse Row Spring Fest and the Italian Market Fest and newcomers like this weekend’s South Street Spring Fest to festivals taking place in neighborhoods around the city like Plazapalooza, the Chestnut Hill Spring Fest, the Pie in the Sky Food Truck Fest and the Trenton Avenue Arts Fest, every weekend this month has multiple options for cool spring festivals for you to add to your must-do list.
And these festivals cover it all: food, drink, music, art, races, water, shopping and more — Philadelphia has a spring festival for pretty much everything.
Look out for additional coverage on a lot of these events and festivals in the days and weeks to come, but for now, start making your plans. Some weekends are going to require careful planning to maximize the number of festivals you’ll be able to attend. (And if you know of another festival coming to your neighborhood, be sure to let us know!)
As always, you can reference our events calendar to see what’s happening on a specific day or weekend.
Check out our updated guide to more than 45 spring festivals coming up in May and June below.
• Philadelphia International Children’s Festival: The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts plays host to a fun festival for the kids. The Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, which is now in its 29th year, offers a week of family-friendly performances, crafts and interactive events. The event is set for April 30 to May 4.
• Equality Forum: Putting the spotlight on LGBT history and culture, Equality Forum brings together people from around the world for panel discussions, parties, art and theater events and a lively community fair from May 2 to 5.
• Plazapalooza: Graduate Hospital hosts yet another awesome festival this Saturday, May 4. From 1 to 7 p.m., the Grays Ferry Triangle at 23rd and South Streets will be abuzz with the festival known as Plazapalooza. It boasts beer from Grace Tavern, food from local eateries and even a visit from the folks from the upcoming Odunde Festival to keep the young entertained.
• Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party: The Piazza hosts a score of great events all spring and summer long including the 104.5 Summer Block Party which welcomes popular bands to Philadelphia. The first show is on Saturday, May 4 and boasts Family of the Year, Atlas Genius and Jackson Kingsley as the musical acts. The concerts continue throughout the summer, the next show is on Saturday, June 8. For the full lineup check here.
• South Street Headhouse District Spring Festival: As the weather warms, expect serious crowds to gather for the inaugural South Street Spring Festival, an open-air party with local eats, drinks and goods from the street’s wide-ranging vendors. This year’s event on May 4 marks the first event.
• Maifest: Brauhaus Schmitz presents a beer-filled daylong festival that purposely coincides with South Street Headhouse District Spring Festival on May 4. Maifest brings a taste of Germany to the 700 block of South Street from noon to 8 p.m. Fill up your stein and get ready to chow down on German food and dance around the Maipole.
• Pie in the Sky Kite and Food Truck Festival: Fishtown’s waterfront spot, Penn Treaty Park, hosts the outdoor festival Pie in the Sky Kite and Food Truck Festival on Saturday, May 4 from noon to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own kite to fly through the sky, or for those who do not own a kite, kite-making will be available at the day’s event. Prizes will be awarded to kites in numerous different categories. Also enjoy fare from favorite food trucks like Vernilicious, Sweet Box Cupcakes and FooTruck.
• Strawberry Festival: Peddler’s Village hosts its annual Strawberry Festival on May 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Strawberries take the spotlight at this weekend-long event; enjoy chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberry fritters, strawberry shortcake, strawberry butter and even get a peek at a strawberry pie eating contest. Live music also abounds on both days of the festival. Arts and crafts will be available for children.
• Broad Street Run: The annual Broad Street run runs through town on Sunday, May 5 at 8:30 a.m. The 10-mile race spans from Northeast Philly at Broad Street and Somerville Avenue all the way down Broad Street where it finishes at the Navy Yard. Non-participants are encouraged to cheer on the runners all along Broad Street. The race passes by major Philadelphia landmarks like Temple University, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and City Hall.
• Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival: Head out to Chestnut Hill on Sunday, May 5 for a day of spring blooms, handmade home accessories, live music and lots of festival fare at the annual Home and Garden Festival. Get your home and garden ready for the summer months by shopping the special collection of items presented by a number of vendors along Germantown Avenue.
• Burger Brawl: The third annual Burger Brawl swoops in to Fleisher Art Memorial in Bella Vista on Sunday, May 5. More than 20 popular restaurants battle it out to create the best burger in Philadelphia. Participating restaurants include Alla Spina, Shake Shack, Barbuzzo and The Dandelion. In addition to burgers, beer from Dogfish Head will be plentiful.
• Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta: The Schuylkill River is home to a number of world-renowned races including the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. On May 10 and 11, the river welcomes more than 100 schools to the annual (and free) regatta. Shuttle buses leave the art museum frequently for free trips to and from the race course. Hint: The Grand Stand, located two miles north of Boathouse Row, is the best place to catch the action.
• Fitler Square Spring Fair: On Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, Fitler Square hosts its annual Spring Fair. A silent auction is set to occur and contains items from local restaurants and shops. Booths featuring flowers, baked goods, Fitler Square memorabilia, children’s clothing and games and more also surround the area. Surrounding the square, vendors create an outdoor market full of a variety of items.
• Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair at Rittenhouse Square: Browse some of the finest pieces of handmade jewelry, furniture, photography, sculptures, clothing and more at Rittenhouse Square’s Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair. On May 10 and 11, visit the Center City park for unique and handcrafted items. Bonus, this festival falls right before Mother’s Day, browse gifts of all sort at the festival. Live music will fill the air on both days, and even a moon bounce makes an appearance on May 11.
• Sister Cities Park International Festival: Sister Cities Park International Festival celebrates Philadelphia and its 10 sister cities on Saturday, May 11. Learn to speak different tongues at mini-language lessons and get insider tips at how to create delicious food from each of our Sister Cities. Also on schedule, a Cameroonian fashion show, Taiko Drummers from Japan and music from the Italian Consul. The festival runs from noon to 5 p.m.
• Spring Arts Star Craft Bazaar: Lovers of one-of-a-kind finds descend on the annual Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar, where the handmade goods include housewares, ceramics, clothing, art, paper goods and much more. The weekend-long sale on May 11 and 12 at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing is punctuated with live music, food and art demonstrations.
• Clark Park May Fair: Head out to Clark Park for its annual May Fair festival. The festival falls on Saturday, May 11 and offers arts and crafts tables for Mother’s Day gift creation (which is the day following the festival), a used book sale, live music, family-friendly games and much more.
• LOVE Your Park Week: From May 11 through May 18, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy are encouraging citizens to show their love for all of Philadelphia’s great parks at this weeklong festival featuring volunteer opportunities, clean up days and other events.
• Fairmount Night Market: The Food Trust’s first Night Market of 2013 is coming up and is taking over Fairmount on Thursday, May 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. Some of Philly’s most loved food trucks will be in attendance, and Fairmount restaurants like Alla Spina, Lemon Hill and Urban Saloon will set up shop. Fairmount’s Eastern State Penitentiary will offer discounted admission and free brews to after-hours guests.
• Phillies Phestival: Citizens Bank Park invites children and adults alike down to the stadium for the Phillies Phestival. The annual ALS benefit at the ballpark invites fans to mingle with Phillies players, coaches and broadcasters at the May 16 event. Some lucky fans will even have the opportunity to receive one-of-a-kind autographs from their favorite Phillie. Attendees are also invited to take part in the festival’s silent auction featuring great items for the great cause.
• Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival: Along with the blooming rhododendrons of spring comes the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival on Saturday, May 18. The event is Walnut Street’s annual fete with food, fashion, music and art, plus a slew of activities for kids.
• Italian Market Festival: On May 18 and 19, the nation’s oldest outdoor market and the already-bustling heart of South Philadelphia welcomes the city for the Italian Market Festival, a foodie’s dream with flavors from its restaurants and shops, along with the Annual Procession of Saints and plenty of activities for kids.
For lots more spring festivals in May and June, see below.
• Brewerytown Spring Festival: Away from the hustle and bustle, Brewerytown hosts a Spring Festival 27th and Girard to 28th and Girard on Saturday, May 18. From noon to 5 p.m., visit the festival for live music, family-friendly activities, art vendors and 15 to 20 tasty food trucks.
• Radnor Hunt Races: On Saturday, May 18, a tradition returns to the Main Line’s Radnor Hunt. Gather with friends at the annual Radnor Hunt Races and watch dozens of horses and horse racers compete to win their race. Spectators pack food and drinks to eat before and during the races. Food vendors are also in attendance.
• Trenton Avenue Arts Festival and Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby: Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most creative human-powered vehicles along with food and art galore. This year’s festival is on Saturday, May 18.
• Clemente Fest: It’s all about family fun at Clemente Fest, a fundraiser for the Spring Garden park named for the famed Puerto Rican baseball player. Attractions include local art, music and performance, plus a moon bounce and games for kids. The event is set for Saturday, May 18.
• South Philadelphia Taproom’s Wheat Beer Fest: Indulge in all of the wheat-based beers that your heart desires at the South Philadelphia Taproom Wheat Beer Fest. More than 30 wheat beers will be available for only $3 a brew on Saturday, May 18 from noon to 8 p.m. Pair your beer with smokin’ barbecue at the annual block party and enjoy live music from a number of local bands.
• 40th Street Summer Series: All spring and summer long, University City District, The Rotunda and Penn join forces to present a series of outdoor concerts in the warm weather. The 40th Street Summer Series welcomes acclaimed performers of all types; from jazz to a ukulele orchestra. The first concert is on Saturday, May 25 and features the Brooklyn Qawwali Party, a jazz fusion group that incorporates the sounds of Pakistani folk music. The next concert is on Saturday, June 29 and features the Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra.
• Devon Horse Show: The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is a multiday horse-centric event. The Devon Horse show is the largest and oldest multi-breed outdoor horse festival in the country and runs from May 23 to June 2. The Country Fair section of the event incorporates food vendors, super candy offerings, shops, an art gallery and more. A number of events in addition to horse shows occur over the multiday festival. The full schedule of events is available here.
• Hidden City Festival: The Hidden City Festival shines the light on Philadelphia landmarks that are often looked over. The festival, which lasts from May 23 through June 30, welcomes local and national artists who are slated to create visual and performing arts installations at each site. Landmarks range from The Athenaeum of Philadelphia to Congregation Shivtei Yeshurun-Ezras Israel, a South Philadelphia storefront synagogue.
• Memorial Day Weekend at Chaddsford Winery: All weekend long, Chaddsford Winery hosts live music and of course lots of wine in celebration of the holiday weekend. From May 24 to 27, head out to the winery for a number of events.
• Fireworks and Fountains at Longwood Gardens: Just in time for Memorial Day, Longwood Gardens hosts its first Fireworks and Fountains event of the summer. On May 25, watch the attraction’s fountains light up and fireworks erupt to the music of Elton John. The event runs through the summer.
• NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Lincoln Financial Field: Philadelphia plays host to some of the best college lacrosse players in the country. The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship is coming to town and bringing with it a number of festive events for visitors and locals alike. Lincoln Financial Field will be abuzz with talented athletes and their friends and family to cheer them on from May 25 to 27. Attendees can check out the LaXperience Fan Fest just outside of the field. The area has a place for guests to show off their lacrosse skills, food and drink vendors, live entertainment and a chance to meet some of the championship’s biggest stars.
• PECO Multicultural Series at Penn’s Landing: Penn’s Landing hosts a score of summer events that center around Philadelphia’s diverse cultural scene. The exact dates of the PECO Multicultural Series are still to be announced, so stay tuned. The frequent summer events bring a taste of numerous cultures to Philadelphia through music, food and outdoor celebrations.
• The Roots Picnic: The start-of-the-summer event, The Roots Picnic, is set for Saturday, June 1 and boasts an impressive lineup. The Roots, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Solange, Trinidad James, Naughty By Nature and many more artists are set to grace Festival Pier stage at Penn’s Landing.
• Philly Beer Week: The local obsession with all-things fizzy and fermented comes to new heights during Philly Beer Week, a regional bacchanal with special dinners, tastings, pub crawls and brewery tours from May 31 to June 9. Venues across the city open their doors for tons of events during this festive week.
• Craft Beer Day: During Philly Beer Week, East Passyunk plays up its roots with a daylong Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day. The event encompasses a pub crawl with a distinctly red sauce flavor, offering samples, brewer meet-and-greets and plenty of special deals on Sunday, June 2.
• Manayunk Bike Race: Bikers flock to Manayunk on Sunday, June 2 for the annual Manayunk Bike Race, this year called the Philly Cycling Classic. This year’s course is shorter than previous year’s, but still brings bikers through Manayunk, East Falls, Kelly Drive and Fairmount Park. The women’s race begins at 8:30 a.m., and the men’s race follows shortly after in the early afternoon.
• Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show: Rittenhouse Square’s 82nd-annual Fine Arts Show is slated for June 7 to 9. The art-packed festival boats tents all along Rittenhouse Square that showcase unique pieces of art for sale. More than 100 artists come together to present their finest work for this annual festival.
• Vendy Awards: Philadelphia’s food trucks offer some fine food, and on Saturday, June 8, indulge in all the tasty food and beer you want as the food vendors come together for a giant festival known as the Vendy Awards. Now in its third year in Philadelphia, the Penn Treaty Park festival invites some of the most loved food trucks out for a day to determine which food truck is crowned best in Philly. The annual event is also a benefit for the Food Trust. Tickets are expected to sell out, so reserve your spot soon.
• Odunde Festival: Based on Yoruba traditions, the Odunde Festival on June 9 celebrates the coming of another year for African-Americans and African people around the world with a procession, ceremonial offering and African marketplace, along with live music and dance.
• Philadelphia LGBT Pride Parade and Festival: On Sunday, June 9, the 25th-annual Philadelphia’s LGBT Pride Parade and Festival marches around the city and keeps prideful spirits on high. The parade begins at noon in the heart of the gayborhood and makes it way down to Penn’s Landing. Penn’s Landing comes alive at noon with festival events for all.
• Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll: The super popular Baltime Avenue Dollar Stroll returns for 2013 on June 13 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. From 42nd Street to 50th Street on Baltimore Avenue, area vendors will provide discounted items from their shops for just one dollar. Can you say Little Baby’s scoops for $1? We can.
• Awesome Fest: Awesome Fest, the 80s themed film and music festival brings Philadelphia great outdoor and indoor programming all summer long. The festival runs from June 14 to August 19, kicking off with a performance by The Psychedelic Furs at the Trocadero Theatre on June 14 at 8 p.m.
• Bloomsday: James Joyce’s masterwork Ulysses serves as the focal point of Bloomsday, and the Rosenbach Museum and Library hosts the Philadelphia outpost of a worldwide all-day festival for literary enthusiasts on June 16.
• Drexel Park Film Series: As part of the Awesome Fest festival, Drexel Park hosts outdoor movies every Thursday night for the duration of the festival. The first film is the 1980s classic, Revenge Of The Nerds on Thursday, June 20 at 9 p.m. Future (and free) programming includes Adventures in Babysitting and Die Hard.
• Manayunk Arts Festival: Billed as the largest outdoor juried art show in the region, the Manayunk Arts Festival welcomes nearly 200,000 collectors, buyers and designers to peruse fine art and handmade goods along charming Main Street on June 22 and 23.