Get a sweet taste of cuisine inspired by both Italy and beyond right in South Philly during the two-day blockbuster Italian Market Festival, May 17-18. (Photos by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
South Philadelphia’s Italian Market is the nation’s oldest continuously operating outdoor market, and always filled with lively and entertaining action.
But on May 17 and 18, the already-bustling heart of South Philly welcomes more than 70,000 visitors to the neighborhood’s streets for its annual 9th Street Italian Market Festival.
As this city’s best-attended block party, naturally the neighborhood revolves around the festival for the weekend, with 9th Street from Fitzwater to Federal streets shut down to vehicle traffic and the shops and stalls of the market spilling onto the sidewalks from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. rain or shine.
Festivalgoers enjoy a weekend filled with the flavors and sights of local Italian-American culture and South Philly spirit, from tastes of Italian cuisine and the Annual Procession of Saints to Mexican-American treats and rocking live music.
For more than six blocks, the streets are lined with food vendors, so anyone heading to the fest should definitely arrive hungry. Truly, the Italian Market has become a delicious melting pot of cultures, and the festival highlights the tasty variety of global cuisine available in the neighborhood.
In addition to selections of nearly every Italian and Italian-American delicacy imaginable (cannoli! roast pork! sausage and peppers! pizza!), the festival delivers tons of international flavor with Mexican, South American and Asian fare on offer, too.
Beyond the eats, artisans peddle handmade wares, local organizations offer family-friendly activities and multiple stages fill the entire area with day-long live entertainment — expect lots of dancing in the streets.
New this year, historic Saint Mary Magdalen dePazzi Church at 712 Montrose Street will be open for tours and a photo essay book offering a look at the market will be on sale.
Check back soon for a complete festival guide.
Looking for even more festival coverage? Click here for the full list of spring festivals coming your way this month and next.
9th Street Italian Market Festival
Where: 9th Street between Fitzwater and Federal Streets
When: May 17-18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
More info: www.italianmarketfestival.com