Festival fans, get excited: One of the biggest bashes of the year hits the city this Saturday, May 21!
Anyone who loves Stephen Starr restaurants, outdoor drinking, games and music (so, everyone) should head to the ever-popular Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival returns for 2016 this weekend, rain or shine.
Festival Fast Facts
- The festival runs Saturday, May 21, noon-5 p.m.
- The free, all-ages festival spans six city blocks of Walnut Street from Broad Street to 18th Street.
- Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is rain or shine.
Be sure to arrive at the festival with an empty stomach and ready to drink, dance, shop and ready to explore the neighborhood.
Throughout the length of the festival, Rittenhouse-area bars and restaurants set up shop alfresco with either street food versions of popular menu items, one-day-only fare or adult beverages for the spring day.
The festival fills much of the Rittenhouse neighborhood — it runs from Broad to 19th streets on Walnut Street and on 17th and 18th streets from Sansom to Locust — with food, drinks, music, fashion, family-friendly activities and more.
The afternoon-long festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. and is rain or shine. Admission to the fest is free and all food and drinks are pay as you go.
Food and Drink
Where to Dine
The Rittenhouse neighborhood is known for its concentration of popular restaurants and bars with a number of excellent Stephen Starr restaurants lined throughout the neighborhood, too (look for a specific Stephen Starr block at the festival).
The Stephen Starr block will run along the 1800 block of Walnut Street and will promise food and drinks from some of Rittenhouse’s most popular Starr restaurants including Barclay Prime, Alma de Cuba, Continental Midtown, The Dandelion, Butcher and Singer and Parc. All of the Starr restaurants are set to serve street fare-inspired versions of popular menu items.
New this year, El Rey will host an all-out block party, located at 19th and Walnut streets, that calls on the restaurant’s annual Cinco de Mayo street festival for inspiration — think live music, margaritas and Mexican street food.
Food trucks will park all along 17th and Walnut streets for Capital One’s Food Truck Alley. Guests can stop by this area of the festival for food from Sweet Pea Ice Cream, Baby Blues BBQ, Waffles and Wedges and more.
Where to Drink
Those looking for spiked beverages should make sure to visit booths set up by XIX, Butcher & Singer, Alma de Cuba, A. Kitchen, Rouge, Parc and Devon for delicious drinks.
Even more drinks will be available along the 1500 block of Walnut Street where Ketel One, Bulleit, Blue Moon and Don Julio will set up shop with an array of drink tastings.
Other Festival Highlights
Where to Shop
The Rittenhouse neighborhood houses some of the best shopping in the city, and on the day of the festival the shops get in on the action with outdoor shopping opportunities and sales. Browse goods from Nicole Miller, Joan Shepp, Timberland, South Moon Under, Knit Wit and more.
A number of neighborhood businesses also get in on the action by setting up along the festival footprint and dishing out information about their business (and some giveaways, too!). Look for businesses like Flywheel, Philadelphia Film Society, Rescue Spa, CKO Kickboxing Center City and more.
Where to Play
At 18th and Walnut streets, SugarHouse Casino invites guests of all ages to try their hand at a number of games while hanging out with the SugarHouse mascot.
Those who want to add some music to their festival-filled day can head to 17th and Walnut streets for live tunes from Norma Michaels Entertainment, a local talent group that performs everything from Top 40 and Motown to Latin and Jazz.
Getting There and Staying Over
While driving is an option, there are lots at 1616 Sansom Street, 36 S. 19th Street and more, we recommend that festival-goers arrive on foot, by bike (you can rent bikes via Indego!) or by public transportation via SEPTA.
The Walnut-Locust subway stop on the Broad Street line leaves you in the midst of the action (at Broad and Walnut streets) and those arriving by regional rail can hop off at Suburban Station and walk just a few blocks South to the festival.
Or, you could just make a weekend out of the festival and stay overnight in Philadelphia. Check out Visitphilly.com for deals on hotel stays and the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package.