Spring into Festival Season in South Philly

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By Catherine Murray

Windows and patios are open, spring buds are blooming brilliantly, and there’s a buzz in the air all around town. Spring is finally upon us and brings with it outdoor fun for all ages. Mark your calendars for the following spring festivals, kicking off with East Passyunk’s Flavors of the Ave.

Flavors on the Avenue
Sunday, April 28
East Passyunk Avenue from Broad Street to Dickinson

Courtesy C. Smyth/Visit Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s tastiest food festival is back! Flavors on the Avenue returns with five blocks of street food, seasonal sips, craft beer, live music, sidewalk sales and free family fun – from Broad to Dickinson streets. Over two dozen award-winning restaurants and bars will bring their signature cuisine outside. Craft beer, wine and seasonal sips will be pouring to quench your thirst. Free to attend and open to all ages. Save the date, invite your friends!

Look for live music and entertainment throughout the festival, plus bring the kids for free family fun activities in kids zones up and down the street.  nice things…handmade presents nearly 80 of the region’s top makers and crafters with home décor, paintings, candles, jewelry, pottery, furniture, soaps, artisan foods, handmade pet treats, fashion – and everything in between.

East Passyunk’s spring festival showcases not only the best food the city has to offer – but shows off the hidden retail, family and fashion gems along the strip. While you sip and savor, look for shopping, sidewalk sales, special events, workshops and much more. Make sure to stop in and meet some of the Ave.’s boutique owners.

Check out the list of participating restaurants and other activities.

South Street Festival
Saturday, May 4
South Street between 2nd and 8th Streets, and the 2nd Street/Headhouse Plaza

Courtesy Brauhaus Schmitz

South Street will be filled with music, food, drinks, crafts, and vendors between 2nd Street and 8th Street, including the Brauhaus Schmitz Maifest celebration. 30+ restaurants and bars will serve food and drink outdoors. Music and entertainment will be featured on three stages throughout the festival. Children of all ages will enjoy free family fun in the Family Fun Zone. 100+ artists and retailers will cater to your shopping needs.

Brauhaus Schmitz’s 7th Annual German Maifest brings the sweet taste of Germany to the 700 block of the South Street. This festival-within-a-festival features authentic German food, liters of beer, flower crown making, schnaps-ski tent, traditional German-Hungarian dancers, and live music from the Heimatklänge band. Maifest is free and open to the public, but a limited number of VIP tickets are also available. More details here.

Other festivities include celebrations of National Comic Book Day, Kentucky Derby watch parties, and Cinco de Mayo drink specials. Stay tuned for more details in our upcoming events highlights.

South Street Spring Festival is free and open to the public. Food and drink are pay-as-you-go. 21 and up with identification to drink. Rain or shine.

Italian Market Festival
Saturday, May 18 – Sunday, May 19
South 9th Street between Wharton and Fitzwater Streets

Photo by L. Bercky, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

The nation’s oldest outdoor continuous market hosts this annual family event, which is Philadelphia’s largest block party. The annual festival features live entertainment, artists, crafters, games –including a greased pole-climbing contest – and, of course, food!

Add this to the Italian Market’s dazzling array of homemade sausages, delicious cannoli, imported meats and cheeses, luscious cappuccino, butcher-cut beef and poultry, specialty cookware and fresh pastas – and its a recipe for success!

Odunde Festival
Sunday, June 9th
Heart of the festival is located at 23rd and South Street

Photo by A. Ricketts, Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia 

The Odunde Festival, held each June on Philadelphia’s South Street, is the largest African-American street festival in the nation. The festival covers 14 city blocks and features 100 art, craft and food vendors, as well as two stages of live entertainment by African, Caribbean and African-American performers.

According to Visitphilly.com, “The food is a huge attraction at Odunde, with a variety of vendors rarely seen at other regional festivals serving all sorts of African, Caribbean and Soul food. Guests should be sure to check out the awesome cuisine, including a variety of fried fish and chicken dishes, corn on the cob and much more.

In addition to local vendors, the festival’s authentic African marketplace promises shoppers items from countries in Africa, the Caribbean and South America.

As the festival’s website explains, the celebration originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, “It is an occasion highlighted by a colorful procession from  23rd and South Streets to the Schuylkill River where an offering of  fruit and flowers is made to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river.”

Stay tuned for more information about all of these festivals – and other exciting South Philly events – in future posts!