10 of Philly’s Coolest Festivals to Attend This Summer

Written By: Alexa Zizzi

 No plans for the summer?  We got you!

Philly is home to an eclectic music scene, a creative arts community, and so much cultural diversity—the city gives us a lifetime of events each year to celebrate its history. With so many to choose from, here’s a look at 10 of this year’s coolest summer festivals you don’t want to miss!

1.Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival – Franklin Square

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Date: April 22nd-June 12th

Location: 200 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Admission: Free during the day, $17 for adults and $12 for under 17 starting at 6p.m.

The first festival of its kind has finally arrived in the Northeast and plans to light up Franklin Square for the historical landmark’s 10th birthday.   A cultural celebration will illuminate the square at 6th and Race Streets throughout Philadelphia’s Chinatown and Old City. Homemade crafts, vendors, handcrafted flowers, nightly performances like acrobatics and balancing acts will align the streets along with 25 beautiful Chinese lantern. Not to mention—there will be a 200-foot-long Chinese dragon in honor of Chinese cultural tradition. 

Find more information at Historic Philadelphia.


2. Carnival de Puebla en Filadelphia – South Philly

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Date: April 24th

Location: South 9th Street and Washington Ave

Admission: FREE!

Time: 8:00a.m.-6:00p.m.

Another 10th birthday celebration will be honored this year in Philly as a day-full of Mexican culture and history aligns. Inspired by Mexico’s colorful parades and street fairs, Carnival de Puebla brings thousands of locals and people from all over the U.S and Mexico to celebrate with food, fashion, live music, dancers and much more. As a Cinco de Mayo celebration held on April 24th, the festival honors the day to mark Mexico’s military victory over invading foreign forces. Many of the colorful outfits and masks worn by performers at the festival represent Mexican folk dramas and historical figures.

Find more information at Carnaval de Puebla 2016 10/o. Aniversario

3. Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival – Germantown Avenue

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Date: May 1st

Location: Red and Willow Grove Avenues Philadelphia, PA

Admission: Free

Time: 11a.m.-5p.m.

The 20th annual home and garden festival covers the heart of Chestnut Hill in some of nature’s most beautiful aesthetics. Over 150 vendors will align Germantown Ave. with numerous assortments of horticulture, agriculture vegetation, handmade crafts and collectibles such as furniture, art, quilts and much more. Whether you live in a big single home or a tiny apartment, this festival has everything you need to liven and beautify your home for summer. Plant enthusiasts will provide a variety of nature’s finest, including various flowers, orchids, succulents, terrariums, vegetable plants, pottery, home decor and much more! Along with food and beverage stands, guests can also enjoy amusement rides, face painting and family-friendly events at the festival.

Find more information at Chestnut Hill Philadelphia’s Garden District

4. 9th Street Italian Market Festival – East Passyunk

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Date: May 21-22

Location: 9th Street from Fitzwater to Federal Streets

Admission: Free

Time: 11a.m.-6p.m.

As the nation’s oldest full-time outdoor market, South Philly’s Italian Market celebrated its 100th birthday last year and returns this year for two days of its 9th annual street festival celebration. The block-party will fill the streets  with various shops and sidewalk vendors. With every Italian-American and authentic Italian dish imaginable, the market features specialty butchers, cheese carvers, gift and cookware shops and a vendor for every Italian entrée you can think of (pizza, meatballs, sausage, pasta, cannoli’s, etc.!)  The festival features the finest of Italian cuisine, as well as a melting-pot of culture, including additional international stands like Mexican, South American and Asian.

Find more information at  Italian Market

5. The Roots Picnic – Penn’s Landing

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Date: June 4th, 2016

Location: Festival Pier (at Penn’s Landing), Philadelphia, PA

Admission:Prices starting at $125. Tickets  can be purchased here. 

Time: 12pm

Honoring Philly’s beloved band The Roots, the 9th Annual festival returns to Penn’s Landing this year with an amazing lineup—all handpicked by The Roots themselves. Festival Pier will be filled with multiple vendors, bars, stages and diverse genres of music performances to kick off the beginning of summer. The Roots promise a day full of great music with a few special surprises along the way. Some acts in this year’s amazing lineup includes artists like Future, Leon Bridges, Kehlani, Swizz Beatz, DMX, Migos, Willow Smith, Blood Orange, Metro Boomin and Usher, who will perform alongside The Roots.

6. Odunde Festival 

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Date: June 12th

Location: 23 Street and South Street Philadelphia, PA 19146

Admission: Free

The 41st year of African-American culture returns to South Street this June, one of Philly’s oldest, historically black neighborhoods. ODUNDE, Inc. is an educational and cultural organization that sponsors programs about the African Diaspora. In its honor, the huge celebration covers 12-blocks of the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, featuring hundreds of vendor’s performers and cultural celebrations brought to Philly from around the world. The festivities will stretch from 23rd and Lombard Streets to Greys Ferry Avenue and Christian Street, and 20th-24th Streets along South Street. The celebration begins with a procession to the Schuylkill River, where a cultural tradition of fruit and flower offerings are made to Oshun, the Goddess of the River, then returns to the streets to kick-off the festival. Along with live music and performances, over 100 vendors with crafts, clothing, jewelry, and tons of African, Caribbean and soul food will be throughout the neighborhood.

Find more information at Odunde Festival.

7. Make Music Philly Festival 

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Date: June 21st

Admission:  Free

Time: 8:00a.m.-8:00p.m.

In honor of World Music Day, Philly kicks off the first day of summer with an all-day “do it yourself” music festival including events and live performances by both professional and amateur musicians all throughout different neighborhoods in the city. The festivals goal is to inspire and provide an equal platform for all musicians no matter the skill level—giving everyone a spotlight to perform in. This unique music festival features participants of all ages, professions, backgrounds and music genres. Anyone can sign-up to participate.

Find more information at Make Music Philly.

8. Philadelphia Zoo Summer Ale Festival 

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Date: July 16th

Location: 3400 W. Girard Ave.  Philadelphia, PA 19104

Admission: $60

Time: 6:30p.m.-10:00p.m.

Where else better to enjoy cold summertime brews on a hot July day than in a zoo right? The Summer Ale Festival showcases over 40 of Philly’s local craft breweries that feature signature ales and the newest brews in town, as well as food trucks, live music, games and more, all while enjoying the zoo’s beautiful exhibits and scenery. This festival offers various ticket packages with options of unlimited beer sampling in souvenir tasting cups, complimentary shuttle services, evening admission to the zoo and more!
Admission.

Find more information at Philadelphia Zoo.

9. 2nd Street Festival 

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Date: August 7th  

Location: Second Street & Poplar Street ( Between Germantown Avenue and Spring Garden) Philadelphia, PA

Admission: Free

Time: 12:00p.m.-10:00p.m.

This intimate, neighborhood festival aims to celebrate the local, hardworking community and bring awareness for a healthy and positive lifestyle.  The Northern Liberties neighborhood advocates togetherness by uniting strangers through live music, food, games and more. Solely based on sponsors of the local community, hundreds of local businesses contribute donations to keep the festival going. The  main goal is to advocate awareness to the thriving “No Libs” neighborhood and promote it as an exciting place and ideal community for young families, entrepreneurs, businesses and all people to prosper.

Find more information at 2nd Street Festival.

10. Mad Decent Block Party

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Date: August 6th-7th

Location:  The Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing

Originated in Philly as the infamous home of “block party culture,” Mad Decent is two days full of a live-music dance party all throughout Festival Pier. Hosted by DJ and Philly lover Diplo, who began his DJ career during his time as a Temple student, this music festival originated in Philly and has expanded to touring all throughout the U.S and now to other countries as an international celebration—even a boat party on a luxury cruise. With various food stands, bars, and the city’s most live dance party—this year’s lineup is yet to be released, but past acts have included artists like Diplo’s Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Skrillex, Odesza, Vic Mensa and more!

Find more information at Mad Decent Block Party.

 

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