Fete Day Celebration at Elfreth’s Alley
Residents on America’s oldest street open their doors
June 8, 2013
Spend the day on the the nation’s oldest residential street during the annual Fete Day at Elfreth’s Alley. Get a rare glimpse into the private homes of residents on the historic street while enjoying food, crafts, music and colonial games.
Dating back to the 1930s, the traditional celebration is the only opportunity this season for visitors to actually step into the private homes of Elfreth’s Alley and discover how generations after have continued to preserve, alter and add to the historic structures.
Sample authentic colonial cuisine and visit historic figures, including seamstress Sarah Milton and Ben Franklin himself. Families can enjoy live performances, colonial games, scavenger hunts and more.
In addition to an afternoon of entertainment, free guided tours are available for Fete Day visitors. Learn the Alley’s back stories, like the tale of a resident who was hung for joining the British side during the Revolution or how the neighborhood once earned its reputation as “helltown.”
$10 Students & Seniors
Elfreth’s Alley Museum
Located in the only homes open to the public year-round, the Elfreth’s Alley Museum offers visitors guided tours and gifts.
Running east from Second Street between Arch and Race Streets, Elfreth’s Alley is the oldest residential street in the country with more than 300 years of history.
In the 18th century, the Alley was home to cabinetmakers, pewterers, merchants and sea captains. Famous past residents include Moses Mordecai, a founding member of Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia’s first synagogue); Stephen Girard, eventually the richest man in America; and Cophy Douglass, a free African tailor.
During Philadelphia’s rise as the industrial powerhouse of the nation in the 19th century, these same homes were crowded with Italian, Irish and Jewish immigrants in search of the American dream.
In the neighborhood
235 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
- The Morris House Hotel
- Penn’s View Hotel
- Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
- Hyatt Regency Philadelphia
at Penn’s Landing
- Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel
- Holiday Inn Express
- Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
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Museums & Attractions
600 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Independence National Historical Park
- The Betsy Ross House
- Once Upon a Nation
- Mikveh Israel Congregation and Cemetery
- The Bourse
- The Philadelphia Contributionship
- The Physick House
- Lights of Liberty
- The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining