By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Tens of thousands of people are once again expected in South Philadelphia on May 7th for the 4th annual South Street Spring Festival.

Executive Director of the South Street Headhouse District Michael Harris calls it their “premiere local showcase:”

“This is a great celebration, family friendly, fun block party that stretches all the way from Front Street out to 8th Street on South. We close the street down for the day and have a day filled with music, food and fun.”

The sights and sounds, he says, are one of the best parts of the event. Smells as well:

“The first thing is we put banners up and down the street. You see tents, and you really start smelling the grills. A lot of food out, hamburgers, and then the music, we’re super proud that this is a big music festival.”

(Credit: South Street Headhouse District)

(Credit: South Street Headhouse District)

Forty bands throughout the course of the day on three different stages, says Harris, featuring local talents in a crowd-friendly atmosphere:

“We have a 2nd Street stage, we have a 5th Street stage, and we also have music in between, along the streets, so at street level, as people walk around, they can go to a block and there will be performances. We have everything from acoustic jazz, country bluegrass, accordion music, we have alt rock, blues rock, so really crowd favorites.”

(Credit: South Street Headhouse District)

(Credit: South Street Headhouse District)

As for food, Brauhaus Schmitz hosts Maifest on their block, featuring German food, sausages and German beer.

Then throughout the festival, “we have sweets out, we have a few food trucks here, pizza, sandwiches,” Harris says. “We really think it’s a nice cross section of the whole district, from Mexican to Indian to Italian, all the way down the line.”

If you’ve been to the festival before, you know what to expect, but as always, there will be new attractions as well.

“We are expanding our Comic Con,” Harris says, “working with Atomic City Comics, so that block is going to have a real comic theme, it is free comic book day. We are also doing a South Street side show. It’s going to be magic and different things going on.”

pizza cheesesteak

Yes, that is a cheesesteak wrapped in a slice of pizza! (Credit: Andrew Kramer)

But the biggest addition, according to Harris, is the Philly taco eating contest:

“We’re home to Lorenzo’s Pizza and Jim’s Steaks, so put those two together into a Philly taco — roll the cheesesteak up into a slice of Lorenzo’s pizza — a little eating contest on a big plate.”

This is the beginning of Philadelphia’s festival season, and Harris says they kick it off right:

“Between the Maifest and the music and the different aspects of it, we just think it’s a great mix that reflects what South Street is, which is a unique collection of businesses that are the spirit of Philadelphia.”

The South Street Spring Festival begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 8 p.m.

For more information, find South Street Headhouse on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or go to their website

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