Warm sunshine and reveling in it. That’s what summer is all about. After an action-packed first half of the season, here is a list of the Philadelphia area’s top summer festivals for enjoying food, drink, music and the company of friends and family.
2nd Street Festival
N. 2nd St. between Germantown St. and Green St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Date: Aug. 3, 2014
Germantown Avenue is shut down to traffic, becoming an open area for feasting and fun during the 2nd Street Festival. This annual event takes up over seven city blocks and offers live music, arts and crafts, activities and even beer gardens for the adults. Over 100 businesses contribute to making this event fun for the whole neighborhood and work to encourage a safer, greener environment.
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Fairmount Avenue, in front of Eastern State Penitentiary
2124 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Date: July 12, 2014
Let them eat (Tasty)kake! A Philly favorite, Bastille Day, returns to historic Eastern State Penitentiary this summer. Dress as a French Revolutionary, participate in song and dance and watch a comedic re-enactment of the famed beheading of Marie Antoinette – complete with flying Tastykakes for all!
The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Date: Aug. 17, 2014
This summer as part of the PECO Multicultural Series, the waterfront celebrates 14 different Caribbean islands, including their culture food, and vibrancy. The event will be full of lively entertainment like reggae and Calypso, as well as authentic cuisine and educational activities for the whole family. Vendors will be in attendance to sell island fashions and art as well.
Related: Top Waterside Restaurants In Philly
Kutztown Folk Festival
450 Wentz St.
Kutztown, PA 19530
Dates: June 28, 2014 – July 6, 2014
Good old-fashioned family fun is the name of the game for this festival just over an hour outside the city. Kutztown is famous for its Crystal Cave as well as Folk Festival, dubbed “One of America’s Top Celebrations” by USA Today. The nine-day celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch culture is packed with entertainment and fun. With animals to pet, handmade quilts to purchase, food to eat, numerous other hand-crafted items from artists from all over the country, music, storytime and much more, it’s not hard to see why many flock to the Kutztown Folk Fest. Parking is free and pets are welcome on a leash.
Manayunk Arts Festival
Dates: June 20-21, 2014
The 25th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival is the largest outdoor, juried art festival in the tri-state region. In addition to fine craft vendors and food trucks, nearly 300 artists will showcase their work at the June festival.
Philadelphia Folk Festival
Old Pool Farm
1323 Salford Station Road
Schwenksville, PA 19473
Dates: Aug. 15-17, 2014
Now in its 53rd consecutive year, the Philadelphia Folk Festival is offering a huge line-up of musicians who will entertain on the multiple stages as well as cultural tents around the Old Farm Pool. One of the unique aspects of this festival is that guests can camp out nearby during the three day event. Camping opens up on 10 a.m. on Thursday and closes up at noon on Monday, post-festival. You’ll need a camping pass to enter. Food is available all day and night. If you do decide to camp out, the cost is about $40 more than the ticket price for the weekend, but children under 12 are free.
Philly Beer Week
Dates: May 30-June 8, 2014
Alright, so it’s not technically summer yet when this festival rolls around, but as the nation’s largest beer fest, Philly Beer Week is just too big to go without mention. This year, the celebration kicks off with the Opening Tap (featuring the Hammer of Glory) at the 23rd Street Armory. Ten days of beer-soaked fun follows, with Fishtown FestivALE, London Grill’s Dunk Tank and a beer-centric burlesque performances all on the roster. Prices vary for Beer Week’s many events, most of which are 21+.
Wawa Welcome America
Dates: June 28-July 4, 2014
Philly’s beloved Wawa Welcome America Festival returns for yet another year of fun for the whole family! From Wawa Hoagie Day to outdoor movies, interactive educational programming for children and more, July 4th in the City of Brotherly Love will be full of events to celebrate Independence Day, including the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, the Independence Day Parade and Party on the Parkway with food vendors, crafts and live music. Finish up with the country’s “Largest Free Concert” and fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com. <