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Releases: Expanded View

Nov 15 2016

2017 Annual Events In Philadelphia

Philly Festivals & Events Celebrate All Sorts Of Interests

There’s a reason Philadelphia is on so many people’s list of must-see cities for 2017. A jam-packed schedule of fireworks, festivals, parades, shows and more keep folks coming back to Philadelphia year after year.

Here’s a look at what’s going on in the Philadelphia region in 2017:

January:

  • During the 120th edition of the Mummers Parade, 10,000 men, women and children dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut down one of the city’s main streets. The troupes in the String Band division entertain crowds with musical numbers and choreographed dances, and the Fancy Brigades stage two elaborate Broadway-style performances for ticket holders at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1. phillymummers.com

February:

  • Every winter, the region gets revved up for the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with 700 pre-production, hot-production, classic and exotic vehicles from a range of manufacturers. January 28-February 5. phillyautoshow.com

March:

  • Called “one of the top 10 beer festivals in America” by Forbes Traveler, the Philly Craft Beer Festival returns under tents at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. On tap: 75 national and international breweries, food trucks and a VIP session that presents some very rare brews. March 4. (631) 940-7290, phillycraftbeerfest.com
  • The 2017 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, Holland: Flowering the World, will be a real Dutch treat. The nation’s largest indoor flower show salutes the Netherlands’ flower fields, rich culture, innovative eco-design, and sustainability efforts. Top-of-the-line horticultural designers and more than 180 vendors transform the Pennsylvania Convention Center with windmills, canals, bicycles, wooden shoes, tulips and more during this annual pre-spring visual extravaganza. March 11-19. (215) 988-8800, theflowershow.com
  • The nationally acclaimed Philadelphia Furniture Show exhibits home furnishings, ranging from innovative contemporary designs to adaptations of classical styles, at the 23rd Street Armory. March 31-April 2. (215) 387-8590, philadelphiafurnitureshow.com

April:

  • Dogwood, wisteria, azaleas, foamflower and 240,000 tulips announce spring’s arrival at Longwood Gardens. The horticultural haven’s Spring Blooms invites people to take in the sights and smells of the season. April 1-May 26. (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
  • Held at The Navy Yard, the Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show is one of the most prestigious antique shows in the country. Furniture, fine and decorative arts, jewelry and folk art from nearly 60 exhibitors span Colonial through mid-century time periods. Dealers also display contemporary works of art, expanding the focus of the show. April 21-23. philadelphiaantiquesandartshow.com
  • With hands-on events for kids, sophisticated activities for adults and a carnival, the Philadelphia Science Festival demonstrates the role science plays in everyday life. April 21-29. (215) 448-1200, philasciencefestival.org
  • High school, college and professional track stars compete at Franklin Field during the Penn Relays Carnival, the oldest and largest collegiate meet in the nation. With an average of one race every five minutes, it’s the most action-packed too. April 27-29. (215) 898-6151, thepennrelays.com
  • Timed to coincide with the Penn Relays, Philadelphia Black Pride is a pioneering multi-day gathering of people of different races, ethnicities and sexual orientations. April 27-May 1. phillyblackpride.org
  • Throughout Philly Tech Week, more than 25,000 business leaders and other self-proclaimed tech geeks as well as the technically challenged can participate in more than 100 events, including a variety of programs, interactive activities and workshops that celebrate and highlight emerging trends, advances and innovating uses of technology. April 28-May 6. phillytechweek.com
  • Dozens of bars, restaurants and shops in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood turn into galleries for the Fairmount Avenue Arts Crawl. Live music, dancing, kids’ activities and live demonstrations round out the festive day. April 30. (215) 232-4766, fairmountcdc.org

May:

  • Nationally acclaimed journalists, writers, singers and performance artists from across the U.S. head to Philadelphia each year for the Celebration of Black Arts. The event, which includes a gallery exhibition, conference, multi-genre performing and literary arts showcases and awards, is one of the oldest African-American literary events in the nation. May 1-31. (215) 232-4485, artsanctuary.org
  • Thousands of revelers take part in alfresco family fun at the South Street Spring Festival. From Headhouse Square and along South Street, the annual event includes a giant Maypole, a few dozen concerts, eating contests, a Kids’ Zone and nearly 200 vendors. It also includes Maifest, Brauhaus Schmitz’s German beer and dancing extravaganza. May 6. South Street Spring Festival, southstreet.com; Maifest, (267) 909-8814, brauhausschmitz.com
  • Spanning 10 miles from the Logan neighborhood to South Philadelphia, the 38th annual Broad Street Run raises money for the American Cancer Society. May 7. (215) 683-3594, broadstreetrun.com
  • Taking place on the Schuylkill River, the Dad Vail Regatta presented by the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University is the largest collegiate regatta in the world, attracting more than 3,000 competitors from 125 colleges across the country and Canada. May 12-13. (610) 246-5902, dadvail.org
  • The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, America’s first fine arts school and museum, previews the works by graduating students of the BFA, Certificate and MFA programs during the 116th Annual Student Exhibition. It’s a perfect opportunity to acquire works from artists before they make it big. May 12-June 4. (215) 972-7600, pafa.org
  • New Hope Celebrates’ Annual Pride Fest begins with the Equality Flag ceremony on May 14 and continues with a weeklong celebration. Saturday’s Pride Parade and Fair crosses the bridge from Lambertville, New Jersey to New Hope, site of live outdoor performances and events. Sunday’s finale consists of T-dance parties. May 14-21. newhopecelebrates.com
  • •From May through September, Parks on Tap, Philly’s roving beer garden, sets up in iconic outdoor spaces for five-day stretches. Each time, two popular trucks (one serves food; the other, craft beer and other adult beverages) link up with live music and outdoor games. Parks on Tap is a partnership among Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy and restaurateur Avram Hornik May 17-September 30. (215) 422-3011, parksontap.com
  • Musicians, dancers, actors, puppeteers and storytellers delight young audiences at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts during the Philadelphia International Children’s Festival. May 18-20. (215) 898-3900, annenbergcenter.org
  • During the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival, people stroll the streets of Kensington and Fishtown to find an eclectic mix of local artists, musicians and food. The derby portion of the day celebrates human-powered transit as fanciful mobile sculptures parade along a three-mile urban obstacle course. May 20. kensingtonkineticarts.org
  • The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival transforms the Rittenhouse neighborhood into a come-one, come-all street fest. Residents and visitors flock to the neighborhood for a day of music, outdoor shopping, fashion events, international entertainment and food from some of the city’s most renowned restaurants. May 20. (215) 972-0101, rittenhouserow.org
  • Everyone is Italian at the South 9th Street Italian Market Festival, featuring live entertainment and activities, a bounty of international foods that includes homemade sausages, cannoli, imported meats and cheeses, fresh pastas and specialty cookware. Two must-see events: the Procession of Saints and the greased pole-climbing contest. May 20-21. (215) 278-2903, italianmarketfestival.com
  • Strawberry treats galore, live entertainment and pie-eating contests make for a fruity and fun time during the Strawberry Festival at Peddler’s Village. May 20-21. (215) 794-4000, peddlersvillage.com
  • The 121-year-old Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, the country’s oldest and largest event of its kind, features more than 10 equestrian disciplines, plus exhibitions and the old-fashioned Country Fair at the Devon Show Grounds. May 25-June 4. (610) 964-0550, devonhorseshow.org
  • Outstanding furniture, glass, metalware, ceramics, folk art, quilts and other fine antiques from across the nation take the spotlight at the 46th annual Brandywine River Museum of Art Antiques Show. May 27-29. (610) 388-2700, brandywinemuseum.org
  • Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway display features a quarter-mile track with seven loops and tunnels, 12 different rail lines, two cable cars and nine bridges, including a trestle bridge that visitors can walk under. May 27-September 4, daily; weekends through October 9; November 24-December 31 (closed December 24 and 25). (215) 247-5777, morrisarboretum.org

June:

  • For one whole weekend, film fans can view works by established and emerging Latino and Latin American filmmakers at the Latino Film Festival. The line-up includes feature films, shorts, youth films, animations and documentaries, in English or Spanish with subtitles, along with workshops and discussions. June 2-4. phlaff.org
  • Philly Beer Week, the 10th annual celebration of Philadelphia’s vibrant beer culture, takes over the city and region for 10 days. Events range from tastings to lectures to beer-pairing dinners. June 2-11. phillybeerweek.org
  • Philly’s own Grammy®-winning hip-hop band The Roots bring together artists from various genres for the 10th annual Roots Picnic at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. This year’s lineup includes Pharrell, Solange, Lil Wayne, 21 Savage, Kimbra and, of course, The Roots. June 3. rootspicnic.com/philly
  • The PECO Multicultural Series on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing celebrates the diverse cultures that make Philadelphia a distinct city. The free festival series include the Hispanic Fiesta, Islamic Heritage Festival, Irish Festival and Brazilian Day Philadelphia, among others. June 4-September 17. (215) 922-2FUN, delawareriverwaterfront.com
  • The 42nd annual ODUNDE Festival holds the designation of the largest African 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, and then features traditional music, dance and crafters along South Street. June 11. (215) 732-8510, odundefestival.org
  • The 28th annual PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival takes place during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and features live music, DJs, food, drinks and a festive parade that runs from the Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing. June 18. (215) 875-9288, phillygaypride.org
  • Literature lovers and James Joyce fans mark Bloomsday, the day on which novel hero Leopold Bloom made his “odyssey” through Dublin in Ulysses. The featured event is a daylong reading from the novel on Delancey Place, but look out for a week of related programming at the Rosenbach for first-time and longtime readers alike. June 16. (215) 732-1600, rosenbach.org
  • More than 300 artists from around the nation set up shop for the two-day Manayunk Arts Festival, the region’s largest outdoor, juried arts festival. June 24-25. (215) 482-9565, manayunk.com

July:

  • Celebrating the nation’s birthday for the 25th year in a row, Wawa Welcome America! is a multi-day party with free events for all ages throughout the city, including outdoor concerts, museum days, a patriotic parade, block parties and fantastic fireworks. June 29-July 4. welcomeamerica.com
  • Chester County’s Phoenixville, where parts of the campy 1950s horror/sci-fi flick The Blob were filmed, hosts the wacky Blobfest. Attendees at the three-day extravaganza enjoy screenings, themed competitions, a street fair and the recreation of a pivotal scene, during which hundreds of scared townspeople flee the Colonial Theatre. July 14-16. (610) 917-1228, thecolonialtheatre.com
  • The masses storm the castle on Eastern State Penitentiary’s Bastille Day, as re-enactors and audience members playfully recreate the storming of the Bastille. Emceed by “Edith Piaf,” Philly’s version of this historic event includes experimental cabaret performances, dancing baguettes and Marie Antoinette tossing more than 3,000 Tastykakes out to the crowd. July 15. (215) 236-3300, easternstate.org
  • At the Philadelphia Zoo’s Summer Ale Festival, beer lovers sip craft beers from the Philly area and beyond, enjoy delicacies from food trucks and revel in the birds, great apes, big cats and other wildlife surrounding them. June 24. (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
  • WXPN, the public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania, brings together musical legends and new performers—this year, Wilco, Spoon, Amos Lee and more—at Wiggins Park and the BB&T Pavilion on the Camden Waterfront for the XPoNential Music Festival. July 28-30. (215) 898-6677, xpnfest.org

August:

  • Hailed by Ebony magazine as “the black Sundance,” the BlackStar Film Festival screens artistically excellent independent films about the global black experience and films by people of color. August 3-6. blackstarfest.org
  • Where better to celebrate craft beer than in the neighborhood that helped launch the craze? All afternoon and evening, Northern Liberties vendors close down North 2nd Street for the family-friendly 2nd Street Festival, complete with beer gardens, food, workshops, art, street performances and 16 bands playing on two stages. August 6. 2ndstfestival.org
  • The 56th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, Philadelphia’s answer to Woodstock, attracts musicians, storytellers and craftspeople for a weekend of song and merriment at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville. August 17-20. (800) 556-FOLK (3655), folkfest.org

September:

  • For two weeks of artistic pleasure, avant-garde performance meets street theater throughout the city during the Fringe Festival.  September 7-23. (215) 413-1318, fringearts.com
  • Kennett Square’s 32nd annual Mushroom Festival puts the fun in fungi during a weekend of music, food, contests, exhibits and activities in the “Mushroom Capital of the World.” September 9-10. (610) 925-3373, mushroomfestival.org
  • The six-week Scarecrow Competition and Display features 150 larger-than-life scarecrow creations on view throughout Peddler’s Village. Scarecrow Festival weekend includes scarecrow-making workshops, pumpkin painting, live entertainment and pumpkin pie-eating contests. September 11-October 29. (215) 794-4000, peddlersvillage.com
  • Thrill-seekers celebrate the Halloween season by testing their nerves at Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, a spooky haunted house inside an abandoned prison. Select nights September 15-November 4. (215) 236-3300, easternstate.org
  • The proud-to-be-Chester County Victory Brewing Company presents the Downingtown FallFest. Neighbors and visitors enjoy live music, a variety of food and craft vendors and the Victory Beer Garden—all along blocked-off Green Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
    September 24. (610) 269-1523, downingtownfallfest.com

October:

  • The entire city celebrates DesignPhiladelphia, the oldest festival of its kind in the nation with more than 85 events highlighting locally and nationally recognized designers. Each fall, the Center for Architecture and Design hosts exhibits, lectures, workshops and demonstrations that about architecture, interior design, industrial design, multimedia and urban design at venues all around town. October 5-13. designphiladelphia.org
  • The National Constitution Center awards its Liberty Medal to individuals who strive to secure liberty for people all over the world. Past recipients include John Lewis, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Malala Yousafzai; 2017’s winner will be United States Senator John McCain. October 6. (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
  • With music, food, sidewalk sales and other festivities, the Midtown Village Fall Festival takes the neighborhood block party to an ultra-fun level. October 7. (215) 670-4323, midtownvillagephilly.org
  • More than 160 teams race fiberglass dragon boats, complete with heads and tails, on a 500-meter course on the Schuylkill River during the Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival. The fall event draws thousands of participants and spectators. October 7. (610) 642-2333, philadragonboatfestival.com
  • For the Chrysanthemum Festival, the horticultural experts at Longwood Gardens shape 16,000 chrysanthemums into clouds, spheres, spirals, columns, pagodas and more. One highlight: the unbelievable Thousand Bloom Mum, with more than 1,500 perfect flowers on one plant. October 7-November 19. (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
  • During the 18th annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, art connoisseurs and neophytes visit local artists of all mediums in their studios in various neighborhoods throughout the city. October 7-8 and 14-15. (215) 546-7775, philaopenstudios.org
  • OutFest, part of the National Coming Out Day Festival, is the largest event of its kind in the world. The 10-block Gayborhood party packs in the fun with drag shows, games, bar crawls, music, shopping and a main stage featuring live entertainment—including a high-heel race. October 8. (215) 875-9288, phillygaypride.org
  • Artists, makers, designers, entertainers and restaurateurs all come out to celebrate the neighborhood’s creative spirit during the Old City Festival. Throughout several blocks along North 3rd Street and Arch Street, activities, exhibits and programs appeal to families, as well as the over-21 crowd. October 8. (215) 592-7929, oldcitydistrict.org
  • Several neighborhood organizations partner with local businesses to produce Bloktoberfest, an all-ages celebration of beer, food and music that stretches across the afternoon and along four blocks of South Street. October 14. bloktoberfestphilly.com
  • HarvestFest, the annual Southwest community event at Bartram Garden, features hayrides, cider press, face-painting, cooking and canning workshops and more fun fall-related activities. October 15. (215) 729-5281, bartramsgarden.org
  • The 26th Philadelphia Film Festival showcases the best in independent and foreign cinema in theaters and venues around Philadelphia. Attendees take in short films, feature-length films, animated movies and special guest appearances. October 19-29. (267) 239-2941, filmadelphia.org
  • The wizards of Hogwarts take over during the Harry Potter Festival. Chestnut Hill transforms into a mini-Hogsmeade with a costume parade, Horcrux Hunt, Dumbledore’s Powers Maze, Potter Pub Crawl and more. It all culminates with dozens of Quidditch teams competing for the Golden Snitch. October 20-21. chestnuthillpa.com
  • Rowers and landlubbers look forward to the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, one of the nation’s largest and most festive rowing events featuring athletes of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to Olympic-level racers. October 28-29. (215) 280-0483, hosr.org

November:

  • The Apple Festival at Peddler’s Village honors the classic fruit. Visitors indulge in old-fashioned country apple butter, apple cider, apple dumplings, apple fritters, caramel-dipped apples and pie-eating contests. November 4-5. (215) 794-4000, peddlersvillage.com
  • Taking place at venues throughout the city, the First Person Arts Festival is the only event in the world dedicated exclusively to art based on personal experiences. The multidisciplinary festival features storytelling shows, memoir readings, film screenings, performances, experiential tours and workshops. November 5-18. (267) 402-2055, firstpersonarts.org
  • Museum quality handmade jewelry, textiles, and mixed media are on display and for sale during the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. November 9-12. (215) 684-7930, pmacraftshow.org
  • Everything is merry and bright at the Franklin Square Holiday Festival featuring the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO. With a nightly show of 50,000 lights choreographed to holiday music, carousel, winter beer garden, fire pits and Philly-themed Mini Golf, the park transforms into a magical wonderland. November 9-December 31. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • With a fast course that winds through the city’s historic downtown, past the stunning Philadelphia Museum of Art and along scenic Boathouse Row, the Philadelphia Marathon is one of the country’s premier—and most scenic—running events. The weekend also includes the Rothman Institute 8K race, a half-marathon, a Kids Fun Run and the two-day Health & Fitness Expo. November 17-19. (215) 683-2122, philadelphiamarathon.com
  • The nation’s first Thanksgiving Day Parade keeps the tradition going every year. The parade, sponsored by local station 6ABC and Dunkin’ Donuts, wows the crowds with fancy floats, talented marching bands and other festive entertainment along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. November 23. 6abc.com
  • During A Longwood Gardens Christmas, thousands of poinsettias, towering Christmas trees and fragrant flowers transform the indoor gardens, where concerts take place daily. Outside, 500,000 lights glitter in the trees, and fountains dance to seasonal music. November 23-January 7. (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org

December:

  • Pennsylvania Ballet presents its annual production of the classic George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® at the Academy of Music. For more than 40 years, this show has been a holiday favorite for locals and visitors. December 8-31. (215) 893-1999, paballet.org
  • General George Washington leads a surprise attack on the British during the 65th annual reenactment of Washington Crossing the Delaware River. More than 200 re-enactors don Colonial army uniforms to recreate the daring trek at Washington Crossing Historic Park. History buffs of all ages join in Colonial-era games, demonstrations and activities during the two reenactments. December 10 and 25. (215) 493-4076, washingtoncrossingpark.org
  • The SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront says farewell to the old year and rings in the new with two pyrotechnic extravaganzas over the Delaware River at 6 p.m. and midnight. December 31. (215) 922-2FUN, delawareriverwaterfront.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
 

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

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