Get ready Philadelphia — one of the largest spring festivals in Philadelphia hits South Street this Saturday!
The South Street Spring Festival takes over a dozen city blocks, filling the area on South Street from Front to 8th streets and along Headhouse Plaza between South and Lombard streets with a ton of action for those of all ages.
Featuring more than 35 participating restaurants and food trucks, 30 different bands and Brauhaus Schmitz’s annual dance- and German-beer-filled Maifest, this massive neighborhood festival includes tons to explore.
The annual fest is rain or shine.
FESTIVAL FAST FACTS
- South Street Spring Festival takes place Saturday, May 6, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
- The free event spans 12-plus city blocks, primarily on South Street.
- Expect 35-plus food vendors, 30 bands and seven performance areas.
- Brauhaus Schmitz’s Maifest anchors the festival with German brews, maypole dancing and Bavarian food.
South Street Spring Festival Overview
Returning for its fifth year, the South Street Spring Festival offers nine hours of festival action – from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. – to the neighborhood, creating an entire day of entertainment.
The festivities run along South Street, closing off traffic starting at Front Street and concluding at 8th Street. The festival grounds also branch off along Headhouse Plaza between South and Lombard streets.
The entire area transforms into a big vendor bash that invites festival-goers to shop, eat, drink and get to know the wide array of local businesses. Plus, 30 bands are set to play across three stages set up throughout the festival grounds and seven performance areas welcome entertainment of all sorts.
Adding to the festivities, Brauhaus Schmitz returns with Maifest, a German-style beer garden party — complete with a soaring maypole and dancing — to the 700 block of South Street.
Festival Eats and Drinks
More than 35 restaurants, bars, vendors and food trucks will serve up delicious eats and drinks throughout the festival. Look forward to free samples, special one-off dishes, grab-and-go festival fuel and more.
Participants include Cow and the Curd, Nomad Pizza, Whetstone Tavern, Banh Mi & Bottles, Basset’s Ice Cream and more.
The South Street Headhouse District will also host a special Philly-centric taco-eating contest. The ambitious challenge utilizes an oversized Lorenzo and Sons pizza slice to take the place of a traditional taco tortilla. It is then filled with an entire Jim’s Steaks cheesesteak, which naturally acts as the taco filling.
The contest is a simple race to the finish line for whoever can finish the mammoth meal the fastest.
In conjunction with Whetsone, find one of the festival’s newest additions, the South Street Vineyard Court. Here, guests can enjoy an array of wine options and ciders from Commonwealth Ciders.
Maifest at Brauhaus Schmitz
For the 21-plus crowd, the South Street Spring Festival becomes two awesome festivals in one.
Coinciding with all of the activities curated by the South Street Headhouse District, Brauhaus Schmitz hosts Maifest just outside of its restaurant on the 700 block of South Street.
The German-inspired celebration features a bevy of German beers, traditional music and Bavarian food and authentic dancers gathering around the city’s largest maypole.
The pay-as-you-go food options include roast pork, bratwurst and bauernwurst (hickory smoked pork and beef seasoned with garlic, pepper and mustard seed), and the beer selection features the Warsteiner Pilsner, Konig Ludwig Hefeweizen, Hofbräu Original, Hofbräu Maibock and more. Pastries from Little Bird Bakery will also be available for purchase.
Throughout Maifest — starting at 11 a.m. and concluding with the last call at 8 p.m. — an array of entertainment is scheduled to take place. Events include a liter lift competition, maypole dancing, a German-style wood-chopping contest, folk dance performances and more.
Admission to Maifest is free, but guests are required to purchase tickets for food and drinks. VIP tickets are also available for access to a buffet, private bathrooms, multiple drink tickets and more. Click here for ticketing information.
In addition to tons of live music going on across three different stages (at 2nd, 5th and 8th streets), the festival hosts the South Street Sideshow Stage at 5th and South streets this year. Expect to find an array of strange and unusual performances.
The South Spring Street Festival also brings out 125-plus vendors from the area and beyond. Vendors like Moon & Arrow, Steel Pony and Urban Princess will be selling everything from jewelry to clothing to vintage finds.
Additionally, the festival coincides with the nationwide Free Comic Book Day. On the 600 block of South Street, Atomic City Comics will celebrate with some special festivities, including free giveaways, a cosplay contest and superhero sightings.
And after the festival officially concludes, the TLA will keep the fun going with a DJ-hosted screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show accompanied by a live stage show and outdoor dance party.
Getting There and Staying Over
If driving, there are parking lots or garages at spots such as 516 South Street and 419 Bainbridge Street.
South Street can get busy, so if able, arrive on foot, by bike (try Indego!) or by public transportation via SEPTA.
Those who want to turn the festival into a getaway (or a staycation!) should book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package featuring more than $200 in free perks, including free hotel parking, free Indego bike share passes, a free Uber ride and more.
See you on South Street!