Old City becomes festival central during its third annual Old City Fest, returning this Sunday, October 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
With more than 100 vendors and 30 restaurants, tons of live musical and street performers, circus artists, fashion shows and free family fun ready to take over the streets, the festival – attracting over 20,000 attendees in 2015 – is expected to draw a record number of people to the neighborhood this year.
Old City Fest Fast Facts
- The festival runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday, October 9.
- Enjoy shopping from 100+ vendors.
- Find 30 restaurants selling food outdoors.
- Spans N. 3rd Street from Market to Race streets and Arch Street from 2nd to 4th streets.
- Admission is free, with eats and drinks on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Designed to celebrate America’s most historic square mile and the merchants, artists, makers and creative community within it, Old City Fest lights up the area along North 3rd Street from Market to Race streets and along Arch Street from 2nd to 4th streets. Admission is free, with food and drink on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Old City is home to some of the city’s top restaurants, and more than two dozen local spots will take their eats outside for the festival. New to the 2016 fest include Chef Jose Garces’ Amada and The Olde Bar, the just-opened seafood-centric Wister BYOB, The Little Lion and creators of small-batch delights Chocolate Bar Suppliers.
Returning favorites such as Cuba Libre (masters of the mojito and other Cuban cuisine), The Franklin Fountain (known for old-timey, handmade ice cream), United by Blue (a sustainable apparel store and coffee shop) and many more will also set up shop.
Be sure to come hungry – and, for the 21-plus crowd, thirsty, too!
With its plethora of historic attractions, independent boutiques and top-notch art galleries, Old City Fest naturally takes on a distinct art-and-design focus.
Look for more than 100 vendors in all, including a ton of galleries, design houses, artisans and independent retailers selling an array of goods and services.
Local cultural groups will be out, too, like the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Philadelphia History Museum, the American Philosophical Museum and more. Head to the Betsy Ross House, the Center for Art in Wood and the Clay Studio to catch free, interactive demonstrations.
Meanwhile, Independents Row, a special designated area along 3rd Street, will offer the chance to peruse a selection of handmade goods and meet the local artists and makers behind them.
For a complete list of vendors, click here.
Beyond eating and shopping, live entertainment takes center stage at the Old City Fest.
At 4th and Arch streets, find a stage hosting musical performers Worldtown Soundsystem, DJ D-ILL, Ernest Stuart and Hannah Taylor and the Rekardo Lee Trio at set times throughout the day.
Meanwhile, the Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and other pop-up performances will unfold offstage all afternoon long.
Old City Fest will also host two fashion shows (2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) at 3rd and Cherry streets, featuring an array of boutiques, designers and styles.
And for the kiddos, a family fun zone promises a slew of fun. Here, find performances from the Give & Take Jugglers, Philadelphia Dance Academy, Music Monkey Jungle and many more. Activities throughout the area will also take place, like a colonial chocolate making discussion and sampling at the Betsy Ross House and a temporary tattoo parlor opportunity at Momo’s Tree House booth.
Getting There and Staying Over
Old City is super accessible via foot, bike, Indego Bike Share and public transportation. Street closures are going to mean limited parking, so taking the Market-Frankford line, riding Indego or walking gets our vote for the most highly recommended mode of transport to the fest.
Want to keep exploring Old City after the festival ends? The ’hood has a ton of great restaurants and bars to check out after you wrap up your visit. Check out the Old City Neighborhood Guide on visitphilly.com for a great map of places to stop by afterwards.
You can also make a weekend of the festival and book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which gives you two nights at a hotel, free parking and a gift.
See you on the cobblestones!