South 9th Street Italian Market Festival

May 19-20, 2018

Enjoy a weekend of authentic Italian American culture in South Philadelphia

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Photo by L. Berckey for Visit Philadelphia
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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?

This year, the already-bustling heart of South Philly will welcome over 70,000 visitors to the area for its annual South 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 South 9th Street, which a portion of will be closed off to traffic.

Find the area between Fitzwater and Wharton streets free of cars and instead filled with tons of entertainment and food!

The Experience

Filled with the flavors of local Italian-American culture and South Philly spirit.

Food & Drink
The South 9th Street 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 South 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 hungry visitors can dine al fresco and enjoy the festival atmosphere.

Entertainment and Games
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 guests are unlikely to find anywhere else.

A family-oriented area between Federal and Wharton streets invites those of all ages to come out and enjoy everything from face painting and magician performances to balloon artistry and a bouncy and interactive dance exhibition.

Procession of Saints
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.

For details and the procession route, click here.

Getting There & Tickets

The South 9th Street Italian Market Festival is a free event with pay-as-you-go food and drinks.

Public transportation is likely the best way to get to the festival. Guests could take a number of buses or the Broad Street line and get off at either Lombard or Ellsworth and then walk.

Parking lots are located at Christian and 8th streets, Kimball and 8th streets, and many others.

For more information about the South 9th Street Italian Market Festival, including a list of participating vendors and scheduled events, click the button below.

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