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Philly Summer Festival Guide

School is out, the sun is shining, and the temperatures are true to the season… it must be summer time! Kick back, relax, and enjoy the long days and warm nights at one of the many festivals celebrating Philly pride, music, culture, and food. - Melony Roy

(Credit: Chelsea Karnash,

Manayunk Arts Festival
Main Street
June 23 (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.)
June 24 (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Admission: Free

Celebrating 23 years of artists, musicians, and entertainers, this two day event is the region's largest outdoor juried festival. Local establishments round out the experience, offering guests food and drinks. Historic Main Street will be closed from the intersection of Main & Green to the intersection of Main & Shurs Lane.

Manayunk is situated on a hillside next to the Schuylkill River. Follow the river, either on Kelly Drive or I-76.

Regional Rail Line: Manayunk/Norristown Line
Bus: Route 61 and Route 35.

(Photos by Hadas Kuznits)

Wawa Welcome America
Various locations & times
June 25-July 4
Admission: Free

Celebrate the nation's birthday in Philadelphia with 10 days of (mostly) free family fun. Catch a film under the summer sky at Philly @ the Movies, a series of free films at venues across the city, or take the kids to Go 4th and Learn's free educational and interactive programs. Get a Taste of Philadelphia food at the three-day sampling event, and watch two fireworks displays.

Philly's own The Roots are back as the 4th of July Jam house band, with Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson serving as Musical Director. Joining The Roots will be hip-hop star and actress Queen Latifah, Philadelphia native Daryl Hall, hip-hop artist Common, pop star Joe Jonas and more.

*First Fireworks Display: Saturday, June 30 at Penn's Landing, 301 S. Columbus Blvd (11 a.m. – 10 p.m.)

*4th of July Jam & Fireworks: Wednesday, July 4 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to Eakins Oval (7 p.m. – 11 p.m.)


Wilmington Pirate Festival
Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park
June 30, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: Free

Ahoy! The 2nd annual Wilmington Pirate Festival is a daylong celebration for the entire family. It includes face painting, boat building, sword decorating and a treasure hunt. Musical acts will be performing throughout the day, along with a parade of pirates and the best pirate costume contest. You can also tour the Kalmar Nyckel. The bow of the ship, a replica of the 1625 vessel that carried the Swedish settlers that established modern-day Wilmington, Delaware in 1628, was built in 1997.

The Philadelphia Q Fest
Screenings at Ritz East & Ritz at the Bourse
July 12-22
Admission & Times: Varies

The 18th Annual Philadelphia Qfest is the largest LGBT film festival on the East Coast and was started in 1994 to encourage and cultivate filmmaking by and about gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders. The best American Independent and International films are screened throughout the 12 day festival, and over 100 filmmakers and actors will be in Philadelphia for the event. The festival opens with the Philly premiere of "Elliot Loves" and closes with "BearCity2: The Proposal". Additionally, there will be panel discussions, receptions, parties, and awards around Center City and the Gayborhood.

(Credit: William Thomas Cain, Getty Images)

Bastille Day Festival
Eastern State Penitentiary
2124 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19103
July 14

Dress as a French revolutionary, eat cake and party like its 1789 during the annual weekend-long celebration of all things French. Philly's Bastille Day Festival has become one of the city's most popular summertime events, attracting thousands of visitors each year. New things to look forward to this year are the confetti cannons, stilt walking, a cardboard horse, and a catwalk so long it divides Fairmount Ave.

The main event is the Storming of the Bastille, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. (rain or shine). The Bearded Ladies, an experimental cabaret troupe, are teaming up with Eastern State Pen to bring Philadelphia the entire French Revolution in a two-hour spectacle of song, dance, and of course, beheading. This historic reenactment will feature American and French Revolutionary music from the 1700s to today.


MAC Global Fusion Festival
Great Plaza @ Penn's Landing
July 16-22
Admission: Free

The 6th annual Global Fusion Festival is a weeklong celebration of Philadelphia's Caribbean, Hispanic, African American, and Asian cultures. This year's theme is "Rhapsody," and the celebration ends with the largest one-day festival in Philadelphia on July 21st. It will feature award-winning talent, cultural dance performances, ethnic foods, crafts, and giveaways. There will also be a variety of family-friendly activities in the "Rhap-City Children's Pavilion," like balloons, face painting, crayons, coloring books, folklorists sharing cultural heritage fables, and instructional hip hop and salsa dancing lessons. This event is free and attracts nearly 30,000 attendees.


Illadelph Legends Hip Hop Dance Festival
University of the Arts
320 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19102
July 26- August 1, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: varies

B-boys, B-girls, poppers, lockers, house, afrofunk, and salsa dancers will unite in the Illadelph for longest continually running hip hop festival dedicated to the evolution of hip hop music and dance. Celebrating 16 years, the Illadelph Legends Dance Festival will have a full schedule of master classes, lectures, jam sessions, and panel discussions with innovators and pioneers of the hip hop movement.


2nd Street Festival
2nd Street (b/w Germantown Avenue on the north & Fairmount Avenue on the south)
August 5th, Noon - 10 p.m.
Admission: Free

The Fourth Annual 2nd Street Festival will fill the entire street with workshops, art, food, beer gardens and vendors. This super-sized block party will have four music and event stages programmed by the Philadelphia Folksong Society.


Pennsylvania Dutch Festival
Reading Terminal Market
12th & Arch Streets
August 11-13, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This three day festival at historic Reading Terminal Market celebrates 22 years of traditions, food and crafts. On Saturday, the festival moves outdoors to Arch Street to create a country fair in the city. Amish buggy rides and horse-drawn wagon rides around the Market, a farm animal petting zoo, and live bluegrass music round out the entertainment.

*$4 parking is available at the Parkway Garage at 12th & Filbert Streets.


Peach Festival
Shady Brook Farms
931 Stony Hill Road
Yardley, PA 19067
August 11-12 & 18-19, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Enjoy samples of peachy goodies and inflatable attractions, or take a wagon ride to the orchard to pick-your-own peaches. Shady Brook Farm is one of the last working farms in historic Bucks County. Admission is free and peaches are sold by the pound.

Fruit fact: The botanical name Prunus persica for peach refers to Persia, because the Persians introduced the fruit into the Western world. Peaches actually originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture circa 2000 BC.


Philadelphia Folk Festival
Old Pool Farm
Upper Salford Township, PA
August 17th-19th
Admission: starts at $46, children under 12 admitted for free

The Philadelphia Folk Festival is the longest continually running festival of its kind in North America. Four days of dozens of performers on six stages equals 80 hours of music. This year's festival will feature Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Wanda Jackson, City and Colour and multiple emerging local and international acts. Cuisine of all sorts is available in the concert area during all events and 24 hours a day in the campgrounds. Along with an open air juried craft gallery and a festival merchandise tent, there will also be a children's concert, jugglers, crafts, storytellers and sing-alongs. Come for the day or camp out at the festival campground. And don't be surprised if there is a tribute or two to Doc Watson, a Folk Festival regular for decades, who passed away recently.

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