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Top Spring Festivals in Philadelphia

Celebrate the season with arts, science, beer, music and more

The longer days and warmer temperatures mean many things, including the arrival of outdoor events and fantastic festivals all around the city.

Many of the festivals on tap for the spring have been around for so long that they’ve turned into tried-and-true spring traditions — the Italian Market Festival, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show — while many have gained popularity in fairly recent years — The Roots Picnic, Awesomefest and Philly Beer Week.

Check out more fun happenings in our guide to the spring and early summer festival season, below.

Celebration of Black Writing

May 1-31
This year marks the 30th year for the Celebration of Black Writing, one of the country’s oldest African-American literary events. Hosted by the Art Sanctuary in Graduate Hospital, the festival features a photography exhibition, live performances, storytime for children, a street festival on Saturday, May 3 (as part of the South Street Spring Festival) and much more. Free/Ticketed

LOVE Your Park Week

May 10-17
From May 10 through May 17, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy encourage citizens to show their love for all of Philadelphia’s great parks during LOVE Your Park Week, a weeklong festival complete with volunteer opportunities, clean up days and other events. Free

New Hope Celebrates Pride

May 11-18
New Hope’s 11th annual New Hope Celebrates Pride includes the Pride Parade, athletic events, family activities, performances, dance parties and more. Proceeds benefit national and local charities. Free

Night Market Old City

Thursday, May 15
The Food Trust continues to feed Philadelphians with its recurring Night Markets, super-popular food truck corrals in various Philadelphia neighborhoods. The first one of 2014 falls on Thursday, May 15 and is slated to take over the streets of Old City. Free

Art in the Open

May 16-18
From the Fairmount Water Works to Locust Street Green, Art in the Open puts the spotlight on 30 artists from all around the United States as they create works of art in many of the city’s public outdoor spaces. On Saturday, May 17, families are invited to create their own works of art with help from a number of the city’s art spaces. The family fun is slated to take place across from the Fairmount Water Works. Free

Trenton Avenue Arts Festival and the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby

Saturday, May 17
The Trenton Avenue Arts Festival lines the cobblestone streets with artists of all stripes and genres, while next door, a quirky competition for the most creative human-powered vehicles takes place at the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Free

Radnor Hunt Races

Saturday, May 17
On Saturday, May 17, a tradition returns to the Main Line’s Radnor Hunt. Gather with friends at the annual Radnor Hunt Races and watch dozens of horses and horse racers compete to win their race. Pack food and drinks to enjoy during the races or purchase food from on-site vendors. An admission fee is required for entry, click here for more information. Ticketed

South Philadelphia Taproom’s Wheat Beer Fest

Saturday, May 17
Indulge in all of the wheat-based beers that your heart desires at the South Philaelphia Taproom Wheat Beer Fest. More than 30 wheat beers will be available for only $3 a brew on Saturday, May 17. Pair your beer with smokin’ barbecue at the annual block party and enjoy live music from a number of local bands. Free

Italian Market Festival

May 17-18
On May 17 and 18, the nation’s oldest outdoor market and the already-bustling heart of South Philadelphia welcomes the city for the Italian Market Festival, a foodie’s dream with flavors from the area’s restaurants and shops, along with the Annual Procession of Saints and plenty of activities for kids. Free

Phillies Phestival

Monday, May 19
Citizens Bank Park invites children and adults alike down to the stadium for the Phillies Phestival. The annual ALS benefit at the ballpark invites fans to mingle with Phillies players, coaches and broadcasters at the May 19 event. Attendees are also invited to take part in the festival’s silent auction featuring great items for the great cause. General admission to the event is $15, ticket add-ons are available for an additional cost. Ticketed

PHAIR Open-Air Market and Artisan Market at The Oval

May 22-24
Local artisans and vendors make their way for The Oval, the pop-up park on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, for PHAIR Open-Air Market from May 22 to 24. Browse an array of items created by area crafters — clothing, art, photographs, jewelry and more. In addition to shopping, sip brews from the Victory Brewpub on Wheels, groove to live music and enjoy fare from local food trucks. Free

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

May 22-June 1
The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, the country’s oldest and largest event of its kind, features hunters, jumpers, Saddlebreds, four-in-hand coaching and more, plus exhibitions and an old-fashioned Country Fair at the Devon Show Grounds. Tickets are required for entry and are available online. Ticketed

Fireworks and Fountains at Longwood Gardens

Saturday, May 24
Just in time for Memorial Day, Longwood Gardens hosts its first Fireworks and Fountains event of the summer. On May 24, watch the attraction’s fountains light up and fireworks erupt to the music of Broadway and Big Bands. The event runs through the summer. Ticketed

Jam on the River at Penn’s Landing

Sunday, May 25
After a six-year hiatus, Jam on the River returns to Penn’s Landing with a number of notable musicians in tow. Over Memorial Day weekend, watch groups such as Lotus and Griz entertain the crowd from River Stage. Ticket prices vary, but start at $47.35 (including processing fees). Ticketed

Philly Beer Week

May 30-June 8
Philly Beer Week, the seventh annual celebration of Philadelphia’s vibrant beer culture, takes over the city and region for 10 days and features events ranging from tastings to lectures to beer-pairing dinners in all parts of the city. Popular venues include Memphis Taproom, 23rd Street Armory, Frankford Hall, Varga Bar and The Cambridge. Free/Ticketed

Roots Picnic

Saturday, May 31
Philly’s own Grammy-winning hip-hop band The Roots bring together artists from various genres for the 7th annual Roots Picnic at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. This year’s lineup includes Snoop Dogg, Janelle Monae, A$AP Ferg, Biz Markie, Chill Moody and of course, The Roots. Tickets are available online. Ticketed

Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day

Sunday, June 1
During Philly Beer Week, East Passyunk plays up its roots with a daylong Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day, a pub crawl with a distinctly red sauce flavor, offering samples, brewer meet-and-greets and plenty of special deals. Free

Philly Cycling Classic

Sunday, June 1
Bikers flock to Manayunk for the annual Philly Cycling Classic (formerly the Manayunk Bike Race). The race zooms through East Falls, Fairmount Park and Manayunk on a 12-mile circuit that begins and ends at Lyceum Avenue in Manayunk. Free

Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show

June 6-8
Rittenhouse Square’s 83rd annual Fine Arts Show is slated to inhabit the Center City park from June 6 to 8. The art-packed festival boats tents all along Rittenhouse Square that showcase unique pieces of art, all available for sale. More than 100 artists come together to present their finest work at this annual festival. Free

Strawberry Festival at Linvilla Orchards

Saturday, June 7
Strawberries are plentiful in the summer months, and the folks at Linvilla Orchards celebrate the fruit with an all-day festival on June 7. Stop by to pick fresh strawberries from the acres of fields and to check out the Delaware Valley’s largest Strawberry Shortcake. Yum. Free

Odunde Festival

Sunday, June 8
Based on Yoruba traditions, the Odunde Festival celebrates the coming of another year for African-Americans and African people around the world with a procession, ceremonial offering and African marketplace, along with live music and dance in Graduate Hospital. Free

Pride Day

Sunday, June 8
The 25th annual PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival takes place during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and features live music, DJs, food, drinks and a festive parade that runs from the Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing. Free

The Awesomefest

Friday, June 13
Awesomefest returns for another summer of hit movie screenings at public spaces throughout the city. Look forward to alfresco movies under the stars, visits from directors and cast members and more. The full lineup has not yet been released, but the first night of Awesomefest is slated for June 13. Stay tuned for more information. Free

Stripes and Stars Festival

Saturday, June 14
Celebrate our grand ‘ol flag with a honorary festival, the Stripes and Stars Festival, at a number of sites throughout historic Philadelphia. Along Independence Mall, find military vehicles, veterans organizations and performances by groups like the U.S. Army Silent Drill Team. In celebration of Flag Day, admission to both the National Constitution Center and the Betsy Ross House will be discounted to $5. Free

Art for the Cash Poor

June 14-15
Start (or grow) your art collection as the annual Art for Cash Poor event brings affordable art to the Crane Arts Building. Presented by InLiquid Art and Design, the art sale features paintings, photographs, fashion, jewelry, prints and ceramics that all ring in at under $199. Shoppers will also be treated to live music from area bands and will have the opportunity to fill up on food truck fare. Plus, admission is totally free. Free

Bloomsday at the Rosenbach Museum and Library

Monday, June 16
This year marks the 22nd anniversary of Bloomsday, the day on which novel hero Leopold Bloom made his “odyssey” through Dublin in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The Rosenbach Museum & Library commemorates the holiday with a free daylong reading from the novel on June 16. Free

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

Thursday, June 19
The super popular Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll returns for 2014 on Thursday, June 19. From 42nd Street to 50th Street on Baltimore Avenue, area vendors will provide discounted items from their shops for just one dollar. Can you say Little Baby’s scoops for $1? We can. Also enjoy live performances and food truck fare. Free

Night Market West Oak Lane

Thursday, June 19
The Food Trust’s Night Market makes its way out to West Oak Lane for the June edition of the festival. Fill up on super tasty eats and sip beer from a number of local vendors. Free

Clark Park Music and Arts Festival

Saturday, June 21
Clark Park salutes the summer solstice with its annual Music and Arts Festival. Listen to a number of local bands set the park a rockin’ while shopping items from local vendors, taking part in family-friendly activities and more. Free

Urban Beach Party

Saturday, June 21
Summer in Fairmount begins with the Urban Beach Party, held on the Brown Street lawn at Eastern State Penitentiary. The alfresco festival offers guests games, music and food for the family. Free

Manayunk Arts Festival

June 21-22
If it is June, it must be the Manayunk Arts Festival, marking its 25th anniversary in 2014. The festival continues to attract huge crowds to Main Street to check out a variety of artwork from 300 artists and crafters from around the country. Up-and-coming local talent get in on the action in the Emerging Artist Tent, too. Free

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