Trenton Avenue Arts Festival
One-of-a-kind shopping, human-powered vehicle floats and family-friendly programming
May 16, 2015
Note: The information below is from 2014. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s event as it becomes available.
The Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, organized by the East Kensington Neighbors Association, raises a hat to the community in East Kensington with a blowout festival lining Trenton Avenue on Saturday, May 17.
Shop one-of-a-kind items from more than 200 local artisans and indulge in a variety of street eats from food trucks and area vendors.
Plus, don’t miss the playful Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a one-of-a-kind competition that brings together human-powered vehicle floats for a design competition down Trenton Avenue.
The Trenton Avenue Arts Festival raises money for projects in the area while exposing people to an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood.
Come hungry to taste-test a veritable smorgasbord of fare from more than a dozen local food trucks and food vendors.
The lineup of trucks to be onsite includes The Cheesesteak Guy, Chewy’s, Foo Truck, Jeremiah’s Jersey Corn Roast, Just Jackie’s Food Truck, KAMI, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Mucho Bueno, Prime Stache, Primo Pizza, The Real Latin Flavor, Smokin Tacos Food Truck, Sum Pig Food Truck, Surf and Turf Truck, Sweet Box Cupcakes, and Taco Mondo.
Plus, look for fresh produce from Greensgrow Farms and local craft brews from Philadelphia Brewing Co.
All of the eats will be conveniently grouped together on Trenton Avenue, surrounding picnic tables near the intersection of Dauphin and Blair streets.
The Festival spans approximately six total blocks, four along Trenton Avenue — between Norris Street and Frankford Avenue — and another two along Susquehanna, crisscrossing Trenton — from Martha Street to Frankford Avenue.
Click the button below for a detailed layout.
Kinetic Sculpture Derby
Complementing the arts festival, the playful Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby takes art and design on parade from noon to 5 p.m. Both a design competition and a fantastical pageant of human-powered vehicle floats, the quirky tournament seeks to award the most creative human-powered vehicles, and entertain crowds with hilarious costumes and float themes.
Kicking off the whole shebang at noon on Trenton Avenue and Norris Street, a fantastical design competition and derby of human-powered floats moves along Frankford Avenue and Girard Avenue until 5 p.m.
The Kinetic Sculpture Derby parades mobile sculptures along a three-mile urban obstacle course through the Kensington and Fishtown neighborhoods, finishing with a mud pit — and a chance for both judges and the public to vote on their favorite floats.
The juried derby has seven awards: Judge’s Choice Award, Best Engineering Award, Best Art Award, Best Costume Award, People’s Choice Award, Best 1 or 2 Person Entry and Best Breakdown Award.
Prizes are announced and awarded to each winner — after they cross the mud pit finish line, naturally — at an awards ceremony slated for 4:30 p.m.
The Artisans & Music
The Fishtown and East Kensington neighborhoods contain an incredible mix of local artists. Don’t miss the handmade goods and wares on view and for sale during the festival, nor the tunes by a half dozen local acts.
Among the more than 200 vendors, look for vintage decor, handmade jewelry, children’s clothing, organic bath, body and home goods, ceramics, custom photography, screen-printed t-shirts and so much more!
Check out more information on the bands playing at the festival by clicking the button below.
The Post-Festival Bottle Bar After Party
The derby and festival may conclude at 6 p.m., but stick around for the official after party of the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival at Bottle Bar East from 7 to 11 p.m..
A percentage of bar and food sales will benefit Rock to the Future, and folks will keep rocking to live music from Leaf Prints, The Cats and DJ TRPRKPR.
Arriving at the festival is a cinch via public transportation. The festival is just five blocks from the Berks stop on the Market Frankford Line. Also, there is plenty of street parking in the area — look to Trenton Avenue North of Frankford and York Street.
In the neighborhood
Restaurants & Dining
Museums & Attractions
Trenton Avenue and Norris Street
Philadelphia, PA 19125
- Bottle Bar East
- Soup Kitchen Cafe
- Philadelphia Sculpture Gym
- The M Room
- Kung Fu Necktie
- Fishtown Shadfest
- Fishtown Recreation Center
- Oktoberfest at Frankford Hall
- Black Vulture Gallery
- View more attractions