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The Top Multicultural Festivals Coming to Philadelphia in 2018

Celebrating Philadelphia's diverse people, traditions and cultures

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Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia
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Philadelphia has always been a true melting pot: a city with many diverse people, traditions and cultures from around the world.

And all year long, the sounds and flavors of the world are on full display at a stellar selection of multicultural festivals and events.

South Philly’s El Carnaval de Puebla, the PECO Multicultural Series at Penn’s Landing, the Puerto Rican Festival Parade along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and many more offer residents and visitors a chance to express cultural pride and discover new traditions and flavors.

Read on for our complete guide to multicultural fests in Philly in 2018.

April

01

El Carnaval de Puebla

El Carnaval de Puebla El Carnaval de Puebla
— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Sunday, April 29, 2018

South Philadelphia’s vibrant pre-Cinco de Mayo procession showcases folk traditions from the Mexican state, the home of many Philadelphians, through a colorful parade and street fair featuring dancers in ornate costumes and oversized masks representing historic figures and folk dramas.

Where: Washington Avenue, Philadelphia

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May

02

Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Pan Asian Association of Philadelphia celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with the 12th annual Asian Heritage Festival. The all-ages fest takes place at Mifflin Square this year and includes arts and crafts, a health fair and live music — all completely free of charge.

Where: Mifflin Square, 6th & Ritner Streets

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June

03

Philadelphia Tango Festival

Philadelphia Argentine Tango School Philadelphia Argentine Tango School
— Photo courtesy Philadelphia Argentine Tango School

Dust off those dancing shoes! The annual Philadelphia Tango Festival returns Memorial Day weekend with four days of fun for dancers of all experience levels. Take part in over 25 dance workshops led by the pros (including a 12-hour, couples-only workshop!), nightly performances by The Pedro Giraudo Tango Orchestra and more. Don’t have the proper gear to dance the night away? No problem. La Mina Tango Boutique & Axis Tango Shoes will be on hand with everything you need to step out in style.

Where: Lithuanian Music Hall Association, 2715 E. Allegheny Avenue

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04

Philadelphia Latino Film Festival

The first weekend in June features films by established and emerging Latino and Latin American filmmakers at the Latino Film Festival. The lineup includes feature films, shorts, youth films, animations and documentaries, in English or Spanish with subtitles, along with workshops and discussions.

Where: Various locations including the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street

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05

Odunde Festival

Odunde Festival Odunde Festival
— Photo by A. Ricketts for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The 43rd annual Odunde Festival holds the designation of the largest African-American street festival on the East Coast. After a week of events leading up to the festival, the day begins with a spiritual procession to the Schuylkill River to ring in the Yoruba New Year, followed by music, dance and vendors along South Street.

Where: 23rd and South Streets, Philadelphia

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06

Islamic Heritage Festival

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Islamic Heritage Festival kicks off with the Unity in Diversity parade starting at 4th and Chestnut streets and ending at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. After the parade, a festival along the riverfront includes a global market bazaar, giveaways, a fashion show and more.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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07

Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival

Juneteenth Festival in Germantown Juneteenth Festival in Germantown
— Photo courtesy Johnson House Historic Site

Historic Germantown honors the ratification of the 13th Amendment with a parade along Germantown Avenue, and a day of historical reenactments, tours, children’s activities and food and drink at the Johnson House Historic Site.

Where: Various locations including Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue

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08

Philadelphia Juneteenth Musicfest and Parade

Mark African-Americans’ emancipation from slavery with the two-day Philadelphia Juneteenth Musicfest and Parade in Center City and at Penn’s Landing. Festivities on Friday, June 22 include a wreath-hanging ceremony and cultural caravan tours at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. On Saturday, June 23, a parade through Center City kicks off at noon from 15th Street and JFK Boulevard and proceeds towards Penn’s Landing. On Saturday after the parade, the celebration continues at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with performances, an African children’s village, a cultural marketplace and more.

Where: Various locations including The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

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09

Philadelphia Irish Festival

Irish American Festival at Penn's Landing Irish American Festival at Penn's Landing
— Photo by Matt Stanley for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

The Philadelphia Irish Festival, part of the annual PECO Multicultural Series of summer festivals, brings a day full of traditional Irish dance performances, Irish fare like bangers & mash and shepherd’s pie, vendor shopping and more to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Note that this event has been rescheduled from Sunday, June 3 to Sunday, June 24 due to inclement weather.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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July

10

Celebration of Black Arts

Art Sanctuary Art Sanctuary
Art Sanctuary — Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

One of the oldest African-American literary events in the nation happens in Philadelphia each year and includes conferences and performing and literary arts with acclaimed journalists, writers, singers and performing artists from across the United States.

Where: Various locations including Art Sanctuary, 628 S. 16th Street

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11

Hispanic Fiesta

Hispanic Fiesta at Penn's Landing Hispanic Fiesta at Penn's Landing
— Photo courtesy El Concilio

El Concilio’s two-day Hispanic Fiesta draws over 15,000 people to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing each year. Now in its 38th year, the festival celebrates the vibrant cultures of several Latin American countries through music, food, dance, crafts and more.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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12

Bristol Puerto Rican Day Festival

July 28, 2018

This daylong celebration in Bristol begins with a procession followed by live music and dance performances, an array of authentic eats and more. Stay tuned for more details about this year’s festival.

Where: Bristol Wharf, 100-148 Basin Park, Bristol

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August

13

BlackStar Film Festival

BlackStar Film Festival BlackStar Film Festival
— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

Hailed by Ebony magazine as “the black Sundance,” this event showcases artistically excellent independent films about the global black experience and films by people of color.

Where: Various locations including International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street

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14

ACANA African Festival

ACANA Festival at Penn's Landing ACANA Festival at Penn's Landing
— Photo courtesy DRWC

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc. (ACANA) is proud to host the African Festival, an outdoor concert experience that brings artists, groups and dance troupes from around the African continent to perform. The festival provides a wide range of African entertainment, from traditional dance performances to modern Afropop and reggae musical performances. This free event also brings delicious African food vendors as well as vendors selling traditional clothing, modern clothing and arts and crafts.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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15

Jamaica’s 56th Independence Celebrations & Bob Marley Tribute

Festivities surrounding the anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence take place on Sunday, August 12 at the Big Yard Entertainment Complex in Southwest Philly. Dancing contests, food and music are a smattering of the activities.

Where: Big Yard Entertainment Complex, 6039 Passyunk Avenue

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16

Festival of India

PECO Festival of India PECO Festival of India
— Photo by D. Bovitt for Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Celebrate India’s Independence Day at the Festival of India at Penn’s Landing, presented by the Council of Indian Organizations in Greater Philadelphia and the PECO Multicultural Series. Enjoy a daylong showcase of Indian culture, including dance, art, music and more.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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17

Caribbean Festival

Caribbean Festival at Penn's Landing Caribbean Festival at Penn's Landing
— Photo by D. Bovitt for Visit Philadelphia

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The sounds and flavors of the islands entice thousands of people each year to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for the annual Caribbean Festival. Part of the PECO Multicultural Series, the festival includes a marketplace of Caribbean souvenirs and crafts, plenty of food options (think roti, curried goat and more) and performances showcasing genres like reggae, hip-hop and more.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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18

Ukrainian Folk Festival

Celebrate the 27th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence with the daylong Ukrainian Folk Festival in North Wales. Enjoy live music, reenactments, a traditional public social dance and homemade Ukrainian foods.

Where: Ukrainian American Sports Center, 1 Lower State Road, North Wales

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September

19

Blue Corn Lifestyle: Organic and Green Fest

The Blue Corn Lifestyle: Organic and Green Fest promotes living a sustainable lifestyle. Centered around corn, the fest combines old Mexican indigenous traditions and modern-day Mexican Farmer culture.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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20

Brazilian Day

Brazilian Day at Penn's Landing Brazilian Day at Penn's Landing
— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Brazilian Day Philadelphia’s annual festival celebrates Brazilian independence by promoting Brazilian arts and culture. Music and dance performances — including showcases of the samba, forro, capoeira and the samba-reggae — are a major highlight.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

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21

Mexican Independence Day

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Philly’s Mexican Independence Day celebration, presented by the Mexican Cultural Center of Philadelphia, takes place at Penn’s Landing, complete with plenty of food, face painting, music from Mexican rock bands and more. The celebration is the final PECO Multicultural Series festival of the summer.

Where: Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard

More about the Mexican Cultural Center of Philadelphia
22

Puerto Rican Festival Parade

The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade
— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Sunday, September 30, 2018

This year marks the 56th anniversary of this music- and pomp-filled Puerto Rican procession of 1,500 marchers. The parade draws thousands to show island pride on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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October

23

Ciao Philadelphia

Returning for its fifth year, Ciao Philadelphia brings a month-long series of events that highlight the contributions of the Italian-American community to the city and beyond. Last year’s series included concerts, film screenings and celebrations of Italian food. Stay tuned for more about this year’s events.

Where: Locations to be announced for 2018

November

24

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
The LightBox Theatre at International House Philadelphia — Photo courtesy Philadelphia Asian Film Festival

The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival aims to educate and expose the Philadelphia region to films by and about Asian-Americans via screenings and events. The festival delves into Asian-American film through screenings of documentaries and feature films, panels, discussions, parties and much more at multiple locations within the city.

Where: Various locations including International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street

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25

The Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

National Museum of American Jewish History National Museum of American Jewish History
National Museum of American Jewish History — Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

November 3-18, 2018

The Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival features films from around the world that celebrate Jewish identity, culture, history and community. Stay tuned for more on this year’s festival schedule.

Where: Various locations including the National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall E

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April

El Carnaval de Puebla

May

Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival

June

Philadelphia Tango Festival
Philadelphia Latino Film Festival
Odunde Festival
Islamic Heritage Festival
Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival
Philadelphia Juneteenth Musicfest and Parade
Philadelphia Irish Festival

July

Celebration of Black Arts
Hispanic Fiesta
Bristol Puerto Rican Day Festival

August

BlackStar Film Festival
ACANA African Festival
Jamaica’s 56th Independence Celebrations & Bob Marley Tribute
Festival of India
Caribbean Festival
Ukrainian Folk Festival

September

Blue Corn Lifestyle: Organic and Green Fest
Brazilian Day
Mexican Independence Day
Puerto Rican Festival Parade

October

Ciao Philadelphia

November

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
The Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
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