The First-Ever Old City Seaport Festival Hits The Delaware River Waterfront This Weekend, October 5-7: Tall Ships, River Tours, Live Music, Crafts, Pirate Battle, Food Trucks, Beer Garden And Much More

The Independence Seaport Museum presents the first-ever Old City Seaport Festival this weekend, a celebration of the region's historic Tall Ships. (Photo courtesy Independence Seaport Museum)

This Friday through Sunday, October 5-7, the Independence Seaport Museum is launching the first-ever Old City Seaport Festival, a weekend-long celebration of the Delaware River Waterfront.

The festivities span the gamut from a riverfront parade of Tall Ships to live music and activities to great food from Philadelphia food trucks and a beer garden on the museum’s outdoor second floor balcony.

Check out our rundown of what to expect at the Old City Seaport Festival, and secure your schedule.

Parade of Boats and Tall Ships

The festival kicks off Friday, October 5 with a parade of boats along Penn’s Landing from 5-7 p.m. There will also be dozens of classic boats on display both in and out of the water. The finale of the evening will be a gun salute from Olympia with participation from the Battleship New Jersey firing her signal guns from across the River. Unlike the rest of the festival, there are no tickets required to watch the boat parade. Note that the Tall Ships will be open for deck tours on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

River Tours

The schooners Summer Wind, Kalmar Nyckel, A.J. Meerwald, Pride of Baltimore II and Quintessence will be taking passengers for river tours throughout the festival. We especially like the sound of the Sunset River Tours, offered from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Each ship has a different schedule and ticketing; information available here.

Vino Voyage

On Friday, October 5, the evening continues with a Vino Voyage aboard cruiser Olympia from 6–9 p.m., produced by Old City’s Pinot Boutique. The event is timed to give guests a great vantage point for watching the Parade of Boats and Tall Ships. Vino Voyage guests will sample a huge variety of wines, with insights provided by Pinot’s certified wine educators. Food from Brûlée Catering will complement the wine, and live jazz will be provided by trumpet player extraordinaire Matt Cappy and Friends.

Tickets, VIP $125 and general admission $95, are available online.

Food and Drink

Chow down on fare from Philadelphia food trucks, including Nomad Pizza, throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a pay-as-you-go beer garden set up on the second floor outdoor balcony of the museum. The balcony will have tables and chairs for people to hang out and the band is set up on the tug, Jupiter (floating stage) just below the balcony, so you’ll have great mealtime entertainment.

Music and Crafts

Inside the museum, younger visitors will delight in the Pirate’s Lair, a family-friendly zone featuring sea chantey singers in pirate dress, live parrots from the Philadelphia Zoo’s Zoo on Wheels, games and activities. The museum’s regular exhibit areas will also be open, and special pirate-themed items from the collection that are not usually on display will be shown throughout the weekend.

There will be live music courtesy of the Sea Dogs from noon-4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, a great background for the hands-on activities you can participate in. There will be everything from basin rowboat races to steam bending demos to face-painting. Great for kids.

Pirate Battle

The epic conclusion of the festival, a Pirate Battle, begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 7. Ships take to the Delaware River, pirates aboard, to enact a historic battle in front of your very eyes. Pirate attire is highly recommended!


All visitors must purchase tickets to gain access to the festival area. Festival tickets include admission to the Seaport Museum, the museum’s historic ships, crafts, entertainment, activities and deck tours aboard the Tall Ships. Discounted online tickets can be purchased in advance, which also gets you express entry at the gates.

Adult single-day online tickets are $15, adult two-day passes are $20, children single-day tickets are $10 and children two-day online passes are $15.

Old City Seaport Festival
When: Friday-Sunday, October 5-7
Where: Penn’s Landing
Cost: Tickets range from $10-20; additional cost for river tours and Vino Voyage
More info:


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