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Top Five Spring Festivals

The season of outdoor events has arrived! Don’t miss the many festivities.

1. Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival

Date: May 21, 2011
Location: Walnut Street, between Broad and 19th Streets

The annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival attracts more than 50,000 people from across the region to Rittenhouse Square for one Saturday each May. Walnut Street is closed off to traffic (between Broad and 19th Streets) and the Festival takes over one of Center City’s coolest neighborhoods. Area restaurants set up stalls and offer their most popular dishes in tasting sizes. Music pours from multiple stages and a fashion show featuring the latest looks from local shops struts down a temporary runway.

Come Hungry: The appetizer-sized portions from Butcher and Singer, Il Portico and other dining spots are not to be missed.

2. Manayunk Arts Festival

Dates: June 25 – 26, 2011
Location: Main Street and Levering Street (Festival is along Main Street from Carson to Shurs Lane)

One of the largest outdoor arts festivals in the Delaware Valley, the Manayunk Arts Festival draws thousands of people to its historic Main Street for a two-day festival of arts, crafts, music, food and more. Celebrating its 22nd year, the region’s largest outdoor, juried arts festival features more than 275 artists from across the country.

Bring your appetite: Don’t miss a chance to dine at one of Manayunk’s great restaurants while your at the festival.

3. Sorrento Cheese 9th Street Italian Market Festival

Dates: May 14 – 15, 2011
Location: 9th Street, between Fitzwater and Federal Streets

For one weekend each May, 9th Street — in the heart of South Philadelphia — closes down to traffic and a huge, multi-block festival takes over the neighborhood. Expect to see stands offering a display of fresh sausage and peppers, antipasto salads, roast pork sandwiches, cheeses, cured meats, an infinite array of pastries, famous mango roses and so much more. Many nearby restaurants will extend their table service to the sidewalk so you can dine alfresco and enjoy the festival atmosphere.

Come Prepared: Wear your walking shoes and be ready to eat. You’ll find more than a mile of food prepared just for the occasion.

4. Brandywine River Blues Festival

Dates: May 29 – 31, 2010
Location: Chaddsford Winery

Chaddsford Winery hosts an annual festival featuring great music, good company and plenty of wine. Located in the scenic countryside of bucolic Chester County, Chaddsford Winery is a great place to take in a spring afternoon/evening. You can see the wine-making and barrel-aging cellars, or just relax and picnic on the grounds while you listen to the spirited sounds of two live blues bands each day.

Adults Only: With multiple wine tastings and long hours in the sun, this isn’t an event for children or pets.

5. West Oak Lane Jazz Festival

Dates: June 18 – 20, 2010
Location: Ogontz Avenue, between the 7100 and 7400 blocks

In its seventh year, the 2010 West Oak Lane Jazz Festival features three days of non-stop music on four outdoor stages. Performers at the 2009 festival included WAR, the Average White Band, the Mingus Big Band, Bill Paul, Ron Ayers and Tower of Power. Don’t miss the Vendor Village, which features African-inspired crafts, will complement the music — along with a food court and other family-friendly activities like face and body painting.

Getting There: This three-day festival effectively shuts down the entire neighborhood of West Oak Lane. Consider taking Septa or the complimentary shuttle bus from the Independence Visitors Center instead of driving.

Bonus

Odunde Festival June 10 – 12, 2011

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