9th Street Italian Market Festival
Enjoy a weekend of authentic Italian American culture in South Philadelphia
South Philadelphia’s Italian Market is the nation’s oldest continuously operating outdoor market. What better way to celebrate its more than 100 years in existence than with a blockbuster street festival?
On Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, the already-bustling heart of South Philly will welcome over 70,000 visitors to the area for its annual 9th Street Italian Market Festival.
As one of the city’s most popular block parties, the entire neighborhood directs their attention towards the festival for the weekend. Tons of vendors and local businesses set up booths along 9th Street, which a portion of will be closed off to traffic. (Last year, 9th Street closed from Fitzwater to Wharton streets Stay tuned for this year’s map of events).
Food and Drink
The Italian Market Festival is all about the food. Those who attend can enjoy two days filled with the flavors of local Italian-American culture and South Philly spirit, browsing and sampling their way through the numerous specialty butcher, cheese, gift and cookware shops that line the market and from the food vendors setting up shop on 9th Street.
In addition to selections of nearly every Italian and Italian-American delicacy imaginable (cannoli! roast pork! sausage and peppers! pizza!), the Italian Market Festival delivers tons of international flavor with Mexican, South American and Asian fare on offer, too.
For a sit-down experience, many nearby restaurants extend their table service to the sidewalk so you can dine al fresco and enjoy the festival atmosphere.
Check out a full list of events below.
Entertainment and Games
Yes, food is the name of the game at the festival. But there’s plenty more to dig into in between eating and drinking.
Music fans can look forward to live entertainment from an array of bands and DJs. Meanwhile, a half ball tournament brings a lineup of the city’s best players for sports enthusiasts to watch as they engage in the baseball-like game, and a grease pole competition brings 30 feet of crazy lard-filled action that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
Procession of Saints
May 21, 2017
11 a.m. to noon
A Roman-Catholic tradition, the annual Procession of Saints is held every year on the third Sunday of May. St. Paul Parish in the Italian Market holds a procession where parishioners carry statues of saints throughout the neighborhood. Children who have recently made their first holy communion attend, too, donning their white first communion attire.
The procession starts at historic Saint Mary Magdalen Church at 7th and Montrose streets, and pauses for the Blessing of the Market at 9th and Washington. The procession ends at Saint Paul Catholic Church at Christian Street.
Getting There and Staying Over
Public transportation is likely the best way to get to the Italian Market. Taking the Broad Street line and getting off at either Lombard or Ellsworth and walking to the Italian Market works as does taking any number of buses.
Should you drive, there are parking lots at Christian and 8th streets, Kimball and 8th streets, and many others.
For more information about the 9th Street Italian Market Festival, click the button below.
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