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July 29, 2014

The Trestle Inn Hosts Its First Dog Wash For PAWS With Summer Brews, Hot Dogs And A Drag Queen, Saturday, August 2

The Trestle Inn

Bring your dog down to The Trestle Inn this Saturday, August 2 for a beer-fueled dog wash to benefit PAWS. (Image courtesy The Trestle Inn)

The dog days of summer take on new meaning this weekend at The Trestle Inn, the updated go-go bar under the Reading Railroad tracks with undeniable hipster appeal.

The spot may look like a typical dive from its exterior, but those who hang out in the groovy environs, get down with go-go dancers and pick from the long list of whiskey, 65 in all, soon realize this bar is far from commonplace.

This weekend, the Callowhill neighborhood’s premier dive bar goes to the dogs in the best way.

On Saturday, August 2, the bar hosts its first Dog Wash for PAWS, a fundraiser for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

From 1 to 5 p.m., dog owners and dog lovers should head to the Trestle with pooches and pups in tow. For a $20 donation to PAWS, furry friends will cleaned up with oatmeal shampoo by the pet experts from BONeJOUR (nail trim is also available for an additional $10 donation),
and pet parents will receive one complimentary beer or wine.

Plus, attendees can also enjoy KelSo Pilsner, Hot Dirty Dog BBQ, ’70s funk classics and a special appearance by Brittany Lynn, the “Hardest Working Drag Queen in Philly.”

RSVP here early for this great event for a great cause.

The Trestle Inn Dog Wash for PAWS
When: Saturday, August 2, 1-5 p.m.
Where: The Trestle Inn, 339 N. 11th Street
Cost: $20 donation
More info:

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July 29, 2014

Smooth Jazz Summer Nights, Free Friday Night Concerts, Return To Penn’s Landing For The Month, Fridays, August 1-29

Live and free jazz fills Penn's Landing on Friday evenings in August for the well-loved summer series, Smooth Jazz Summer Nights. (Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Live and free jazz fills Penn’s Landing on Friday evenings in August for the well-loved summer series, Smooth Jazz Summer Nights. (Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Live music fills Penn’s Landing for its summertime series, Smooth Jazz Summer Nights, a free weekly series occurring every Friday night in August.

The concerts put the spotlight on renowned jazz musicians from across the globe.

Beginning this Friday, August 1, the free alfresco concerts kick off with a performance by David Benoit, a jazz pianist and Grammy-nominated musician.

Next Friday, August 8, get down to the sounds of Chris Standring, a British jazz guitarist. On Friday, August 15, groove to tunes by Next Generation and on August 22, Eric Darius, a jazz saxophonist and composer takes the stage.

The summer series closes out on August 29 with a performance by Valerie Simpson of the former group Ashford & Simpson.

All Smooth Jazz Summer Nights concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are totally free.

No matter what night (or nights!) you choose to rock out to a Smooth Jazz Summer Nights concert, you’re sure to be in for a treat.

The full list of performing musicians and their corresponding nights is available, below.

Smooth Jazz Summer Nights at Penn’s Landing
When: Fridays, August 1-29, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street
Cost: Free
More info:


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July 28, 2014

Our Guide To The BlackStar Film Festival, Returning To Philly For Its 3rd-Year Of Screenings, Events, Discussions And More, July 31-August 3

The BlackStar Film Festival returns for year three of films about the global black experience, July 31 through August 3. (Image courtesy BlackStar Film Festival)

The BlackStar Film Festival returns for year three of films about the global black experience, July 31 through August 3. (Image courtesy BlackStar Film Festival)

Beginning this Thursday, July 31, the BlackStar Film Festival screens more than 40 films about the global black experience and films by people of African descent. Running through Sunday, August 3, the festival has been hailed as “the black Sundance” by Ebony magazine and aims to bring forward oft-overlooked films.

This year’s theme “Music is the Weapon,” promises a heavy music presence during many of the renowned screenings at the third-annual festival.

Split into juried categories, the festival ends with an awards ceremony on Sunday, August 3. Access to the awards ceremony is only open to those with festival passes.

BlackStar Film Festival fills public spaces across the city with four-days of film of all sort, read on for our guide to the festival.

The Films

The BlackStar Film Festival puts the spotlight on films of all sort — feature films, documentaries, short films in addition to a number of Philadelphia premieres. Read on for our festival film picks.

Dreams Are Colder Than Death: Thursday, July 31, International House Philadelphia. What does it mean to be Black in America today? Dreams Are Colder Than Death answers this question with thought-provoking discussion from influential thinkers. Learn how times have changed since the iconic March on Washington to life for blacks now.

BlackStar Presents Kahlil Joseph: Friday, August 1, International House Philadelphia. On Friday night, BlackStar hosts an evening of discussion and film screenings with Kahlil Joseph, an award-winning filmmaker who specializes in films about music and musicians. Following the screenings, listen to Joseph discuss his films at a question and answer session.

They Die by Dawn: Saturday, August 2, International House Philadelphia. Based on the lives of African American cowboys of the Wild West, They Die by Dawn is a feature-film starring familiar names in Hollywood including Rosario Dawson and Isaiah Washington. Stick around after the screening for a question and answer session led by the film’s director and a cast member.

Half of a Yellow Sun: Saturday, August 2, International House Philadelphia. Half of a Yellow Sun tells the story of two wealthy Nigerian twins and their very different paths of life after returning from school in the United States. Their own problems fill their worlds until they become involved in the Nigerian civil war. The Philadelphia premiere stars household names like Thandie Newton and Joseph Mawle.

Time is Illmatic: Sunday, August 3, International House Philadelphia. Time Is Illmatic closes out the film festival with a feature-length documentary about the making and social conditions that influenced the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic.

Additional festival highlights like Planet Rock: Hip Hop Shorts, Til Infinity: Souls of Mischief, a youth-created series of short films and more.

This is just a number of the scores of film screenings slated for the festival, the full 2014 Program Guide is available right here.

International House Philadelphia, pictured above, hosts a slew of screenings for the BlackStar Film Festival. (Photo courtesy International House Philadelphia)

International House Philadelphia, pictured above, hosts a slew of screenings for the BlackStar Film Festival. (Photo courtesy International House Philadelphia)

More, below. (more…)

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July 28, 2014

Reminder: The Tony Award-Winning Musical Comedy The Book Of Mormon Opens At The Forrest Theatre Tomorrow, July 29

From the creators of South Park, Broadway musical The Book of Mormon takes a tounge-in-cheek look at religion with Tony Award-winning results. (Photo courtesy The Kimmel Center)

Who needs a trip to New York to see an amazing musical? The hottest tickets to top Broadway shows can be had right here in Philadelphia, thanks to the touring performances of the Kimmel Center-affiliated Broadway Philadelphia series.

A bona fide Broadway hit, The Book of Mormon is still a tough ticket to score in New York.

But starting tomorrow, July 29, oh-so-hot The Book of Mormon opens at the Forrest Theatre on Walnut Street for a run through September 14.

Created by the minds behind South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and the co-creator of the hit puppet musical Avenue Q, Robert Lopez, audiences can expect a show that is absurd, subversive, sometimes crude … and hilarious.

Much like South Park, The Book of Mormon takes on sensitive subject matter — religion, faith, missionaries — and satirizes the heck out of it. So, take note, the show really isn’t for those who are easily offended.

But, by winning nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Book of Mormon proves that inflammatory comedy combined with the right undertone and superb choreography is a winning combination.

For those who haven’t yet scored tickets, or are just looking for a sweet deal, this production has announced a pre-show lottery for Philly fans — a rarity in this town — that makes a limited number of tickets available for just $27. Check here for lottery details and be prepared to show up more than once; lotteries in other cities have attracted hundreds of entries for certain performances.

For those who would rather not risk missing out on seeing the curtain rise, tickets start at $67 and are available online.

The Book of Mormon
When: July 29-September 14
Where: Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street
Cost: $67-$252
More info:

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July 28, 2014

The Beer Camp Across America Festival Makes Its Mid-Atlantic Stop At Penn Treaty Park With More Than 80 Regional Breweries, This Saturday, August 2

Beer Camp Across America Philadelphia

The Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America festival series makes its mid-Atlantic stop in Philadelphia at Penn Treaty Park with 80 breweries this Saturday, August 2. (Image courtesy Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)

Philadelphia’s excellent craft brew scene is celebrated on deep draft lists, with huge beer festivals and by all beer lovers in the City of Brotherly Love.

So it’s no surprise, then, that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s epic beer-fueled tourBeer Camp Across America — makes its mid-Atlantic stop right here in Philadelphia.

Part of a groundbreaking craft brewery collaboration and seven-city traveling beer festival, the Beer Camp Across America Festival: Mid-Atlantic Edition arrives in Fishtown’s Penn Treaty Park this Saturday, August 2, noon-5 p.m.

This past spring, California-based Sierra Nevada invited more than 2,700 craft breweries from all around America to take part in a multi-weekend traveling beer festival this summer.

The result? The Beer Camp Across America Festival choose seven cities — all with thriving craft beer cultures — to celebrate this country’s craft beer community and bring together brewers and beer lovers.

Moving from west to east, each tour stop features that city’s local and surrounding regional brewers. In Philadelphia, that means a huge lineup of 80 breweries from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington D.C.

Local heroes to look out for at the beer festival in Philadelphia this Saturday include Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Nodding Head Brewery, and Dock Street Brewery. And that’s just some of the Philadelphia contingent!

All the participating breweries are set to pour up to two different types of beer, and there will be live music and food vendors.

Tickets, $65, include a tasting glass and unlimited tastings. Designated driver tickets are available, too, for $30. Tickets are available online, and we recommend scooping up spots now. Other cities on the tour have sold out!

Plus, the whole event gives back to the regional craft brew scene since proceeds from this festival benefit the Brewers of Pennsylvania.

But beer lovers can experience the craft brew love beyond the festival, too. In conjunction with the tour, Sierra Nevada partnered with a dozen craft breweries to create 12 different beers for one mixed Beer Camp Across America 12-pack.

Can’t wait until Saturday to check out the collaborative action? The Beer Camp Across America Preview Party hits Victory Beer Hall at Xfinity Live! this Wednesday, July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Tickets, $25, are available online and include four-ounce samples of the 12 specially crafted brews included in the Beer Camp Across America 12-pack, a food buffet, live music, cornhole, giveaways and more.

See below for a video preview with more on Beer Camp Across America.

Cheers to craft beer!

Beer Camp Across America Festival: Mid-Atlantic Edition
When: Saturday, August 2, noon-5 p.m.
Where: Penn Treaty Park, 1341 N. Delaware Avenue
Cost: $65 per person
More info:

Beer Camp Across America Preview Party
When: Wednesday, July 30, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Victory Beer Hall, 1100 Pattison Avenue
Cost: $25
More info:

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July 28, 2014

Now Open: The Latest Location Of Union Taco, A BYOB Mexican Restaurant On Main Street In Manayunk

Chef Nick Farina recently expanded his Philly-area restaurants with the grand opening of Union Taco on Main Street in Manayunk. (Image courtesy Union Taco)

Chef Nick Farina recently expanded his Philly-area restaurants with the grand opening of Union Taco on Main Street in Manayunk. (Image courtesy Union Taco)

Heads up, taco lovers!

Chef Nick Farina of Union Taco on Girard Avenue and Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Bryn Mawr, recently opened the doors to a new location of one of his popular restaurant Union Taco in Manayunk.

The new location, located in the hub of the action on Main Street Manayunk, promises a menu similar to the original location on Girard Avene (except for the flatbread pizza).

Guests can expect tacos, tortas, salads served on a tortilla shell, burritos, made-to-order guacamole and plenty of Mexican-inspired sides — think chorizo cheese fries and fried corn on the cob.

The full menu is available right here.

Union Taco is BYOB. Guests are encouraged to bring wine, beer or tequila for house-made margarita mixers.

Manayunk’s newest restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday through Sunday.

Now Open: Union Taco
When: Tuesday-Sunday
Where: Union Taco, 4229 Main Street
Cost: Pay as you go
More info:

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July 28, 2014

The Annual ACANA African Festival Entertains With Live Music, Dance, Food And More On Penn’s Landing, Sunday, August 3

African Festival Philadelphia

Celebrate African culture at the annual ACANA African Festival at Penn’s Landing, Sunday, August 3. (Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront)

Why travel overseas for a taste of world culture? Just head to Penn’s Landing for its PECO Multicultural Series, a succession of outdoor festivals that celebrate cultural traditions from across the globe.

The PECO Energy Multicultural Festival season runs on weekends all summer long, and this weekend is no different.

On Sunday, August 3, the annual ACANA African Festival celebrates African culture with live musical performances, dynamic dance, entertaining games, authentic food and much more.

From 2 to 8 p.m., bring the family, and head down to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for a lively day of events. For the youngsters, an assortment of crafts and other family-friendly activities abound, and for the music-seekers, just listen up.

Enjoy a number of live performances from dancers and musicians hailing from Africa. Listen to a variety of music selections — from modern Afropop to hip-shaking reggae.

Along Penn’s Landing, shop items from the bunches of clothing and food vendors.

The family-friendly celebration welcomes guests of all ages to enjoy the varied music, food, crafts and culture of Africa.

Plus, if you haven’t yet had a chance to check out Spruce Street Harbor Park, the pop-up park on the Delaware River, this is a perfect opportunity.

ACANA African Festival 2014
When: Sunday, August 3, 2-8 p.m.
Where: Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Streets
Cost: Free
More info:

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July 28, 2014

Deal Alert: Cool Off With Free Cold Brew Iced Coffee From Saxbys Coffee And Visit Philadelphia Every Friday This August


This summer, Saxbys and Visit Philadelphia have teamed up to give away free 12-ounce cups of Saxbys new Cold Brew Iced Coffee every Friday in August. (Photo by Nick Kulick)

Philadelphia’s ever-brewing coffee scene continues to develop fresh cups worth sipping.

This August, Saxbys Coffee and Visit Philadelphia have teamed up to bring Philadelphians and visitors alike a buzz-worthy deal.

All day every Friday in August (there are five of ’em), just visit one of the participating Saxbys locations to pick up a free 12-ounce cup of the local coffee company’s new Cold Brew Iced Coffee.

The giveaway spotlights Saxbys recent launch of the cold brew method, a cold-filtering process that results in a smoother, tastier cold cup of joe.

A Philadelphia-based company, Saxbys corporate headquarters are currently in Broomall, but will soon move to Center City. Plus, the company is on track to open five more cafés in the greater Philadelphia region this year.

So, as a thanks to coffee lovers in the City of Brotherly Love, Saxbys and Visit Philadelphia are giving away free cold brews every Friday in August at 11 Philadelphia-area locations.

Participating Philadelphia-area locations include 30th Street Station, Rittenhouse, Liberty Place, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Ardmore Farmers Market, Haverford, Exton Square Mall, Haddonfield, Lansdale, and Plymouth Meeting Mall.

See below for the complete list of participating locations, and to find the Saxbys closest to you and score your free cold brew, visit

Free Cold Brew Iced Coffee From Saxbys Coffee & Visit Philadelphia
When: Fridays, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Where: Participating Saxbys Locations
Cost: Free
More info:

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July 28, 2014

The Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival Returns To Penn’s Landing With Boat Races, Music, Food, Vendors And More, This Saturday, August 2

Spend your Saturday learning about the varied cultures of Southeast Asia through food, music, dance and more at the annual Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival, August 2.  (Photo courtesy Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival)

Spend your Saturday learning about the varied cultures of Southeast Asia through food, music, dance and more at the annual Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival, August 2. (Photo courtesy Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival)

This Saturday, August 2, the food, music and traditions of Southeast Asia take the spotlight at the fourth annual Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival.

Penn’s Landing and the Delaware River turn into a hub of festival activity from noon to 8 p.m. as traditional and non-traditional performances take over Festival Pier and food from a number of Southeast Asian countries fill food stands throughout. Look forward to traditional fare from Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and more.

Family-friendly activities and shopping opportunities will also fill the waterfront public space.

In addition to food, drinks, performances and activities, a Dragon Boat Race will bring hundreds of boats to the Delaware River.

The sport of Dragon Boat Racing is an ancient tradition hailing from Southeast Asia, and plays a pivotal role in numerous festivals and traditions. This weekend, take the spectacle in Philadelphia on the Delaware River.

This year, more than 400 teams are slated to race Dragon Boats down the Delaware River. Cheer on the teams as they paddle down the river in hopes of taking home a cash prize or winning the Festival Cup.

Presented as part of the PECO Multicultural Series, the summer series of festivals bring forward traditions from a variety of cultures.

Entry to the festival is totally free.

Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival
When: Saturday, August 2, noon-8 p.m.
Where: Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street
Cost: Free
More info:

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July 25, 2014

Save The Date: Philadelphia’s 2014 Fringe Festival Arrives With Hundreds Of Shows September 5-21 And Its Annual Culinary Bash, Feastival, Thursday, September 18

Philadelphia Fringe Festival

The 2014 Fringe Festival hits Philadelphia this fall, September 5-21, with hundreds of performances and a huge culinary bash to celebrate FringeArts. (Photo by Kate Raines, Plate 3 Photography)

Every fall, Philadelphia’s arts scene steps up its game from consistently amazing to truly phenomenal with the advent of the annual Fringe Festival, now in its 18th year of bringing progressive performers from near and far to Philadelphia stages and places.

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival returns September 5-21, with 17 days filled with hundreds of performances of theater, dance, visual arts, music and spoken-word presentations performed in venues from traditional stages to street corners, cars, galleries, cabarets and restaurants.

Curated and organized by FringeArts, the 2014 Fringe Festival features works by acclaimed contemporary artists in its presented performances and welcomes any and all artists to its neighborhood shows. The festival’s performances and complementary events span an incredible range of genres, often pushing limits beyond traditional artistic boundaries.

An expansive and compelling array of works make up this year’s presented show lineup, including four world premieres: The floating public art installation WetLand; a world-premiere co-creation from Pennsylvania Ballet, Curtis Institute of Music and FringeArts; the new 99 Breakups from Pig Iron Theatre Company; and, last but not least, The Adults from New Paradise Laboratories.

And that’s just the start.

Tickets are on sale now for all Fringe Festival performances, including both the neighborhood and presented shows.

Plus, adding an exciting element to this year’s festival, the full-service restaurant and bar from acclaimed Philadelphia chef and restaurateur Peter Woolsey — La Peg at FringeArts — will open in conjunction with the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. La Peg promises to bring casual French dining to the waterfront venue, and amp up the daily traffic as an indoor-outdoor, come-one-come-all brasserie with seating for more than 100, a full bar with a dozen seats, and outdoor seating for 40.

In yet another culinary element, come Thursday, September 18, this city’s culinary artists rally to support Philadelphia’s performing artists, too, with the annual Feastival event, a fabulous benefit for contemporary arts organization FringeArts and the Fringe Festival that gathers dozens of top Philadelphia chefs and live entertainers to raise funds for the city’s cultural economy.

Tickets to the 2013 Fringe Festival range from $10 to $30 are on sale right here. Tickets to the Feastival benefit event, which start at $250, are on sale here.

Stay tuned right here for more on FringeArts and for tons more on the 2014 Fringe Festival as this year’s showcase draws near.

2014 Fringe Festival
When: September 5-21
Where: Multiple venues
Cost: Varies
More info:

Feastival 2014
When: Thursday, September 18, 7-10 p.m., VIP begins at 6 p.m.
Where: Penn’s Landing, 1 N. Delaware Avenue, between Market and Chestnut streets
Cost: $250 general, $350 VIP
More info:

Feastival celebrates both Philadelphia's artistic and culinary scenes in a FringeArts fundraiser that promises to deliver a delicious and entertaining evening. (Photo by Peggy Baud-Woolsey for Feastival)

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