Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Nov 30 2017

Winter: A Season Of Cheer & Queer In Philadelphia

JUNK Sizzles With Holiday Sex Appeal & Martha Rings In Winter Solstice

The temperatures may be dropping, but LGBT entertainment in Philly this winter is anything but chilly. Highlights of the season’s rock-star arts lineup includes standup from Queer As Folk alum Hal Sparks and The Killers’ sure-to-be-electric concert. If an edgier take on the season is the craving, Philly drag darling Martha Graham Cracker ushers in the winter solstice with a Choral Spectacular at FringeArts, choreographer Brian Sanders’ Adult Swim spins holiday traditions by marrying sex appeal and dumpster diving, and, now in its 20th year, the venerable, 20-year-old tradition of GayBINGO! puts on its beloved Christmas edition.

To maximize the season’s offerings, visitors can book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, featuring free hotel parking, two tickets to Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor at The Franklin Institute, two tickets and skate rentals for the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and a $25 gift card valid at nine Jose Garces restaurants at

Here’s a look at what to expect from Philadelphia’s LGBT scene this winter:

Live Arts, Holiday Style:
1. Brian Sanders’ Adult Swim – A holiday feast for the senses, choreographer Brian Sanders marries the evocative dance of his troupe, named Junk, with seasonal scores from The Nutcracker to introduce Crushed Nuts. The self-described “high art for the lowbrow” is part of an ongoing Urban Scuba series—a body of work that combines the found objects (junk) that comprise the sets and acrobatic modern performance Sanders refers to as “dumpster diving.” December 13-23. 2040 Christian Street, (267) 406-6080,
2. Tinsel Garland Returns to Philly! – A local drag legend comes home, bringing with her signature comedy and stage antics as a callback to drag days gone by. Garland performs her greatest hits, with support from drag daughter and Philly fave Brittany Lynn and a gaggle of queens whose lashes may be recognizable from the days of Gayborhood locale 12th Air Command. December 15. 200 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675,
3. Martha Graham Cracker’s Choral Spectacular – Martha, also kown as Pig Iron Theatre co-founder and visionary Dito Van Reigersberg, may not be the most conventional of Philly drag queens, with hairy armpits complementing the curly locks of her wig, but she proves she can nail the wails and warbles of the holiday classics as seamlessly as Mariah Carey on her best days. Transcending just holiday feel-goods, Martha joins a choir for a set about the winter solstice—making this FringeArts performance the city’s the most raucous one of the season. December 22. 140 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-1318,

Holiday Parties:
4. SLEIGH – Gayborhood cocktail lounge and restaurant Valanni hosts a two-hour meet-and-greet with “Real Housewives” star Teresa Giudice, with the block closed for a holiday party that flows into the streets. Brittany Lynn emcees an entertainment lineup that includes performances by burlesque goddesses Honeytree Evileye and Flirt Vonnegut, appearances by Gayborhood socialite Miss Ty and drag queens Aloe Vera and Lady Geisha serving laughs. A portion of proceeds supports Toys for Tots. December 7. 1229 Spruce Street, (215) 790-9494,
5. TOY – The Delaware Valley Legacy Fund hosts this swanky, sky-high, see-and-be-seen soiree—a three-hour toy drive that’s brought in more than 400 guests in past years—to benefit patients of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and clients of Action Wellness. Tickets grant hors d’oeuvres, open bar and music by DJ Carl Michaels, plus the stunning views of Sky Philadelphia. Guests are asked to bring an unopened toy. December 9. 1717 Arch Street, 50th floor, (215) 563-6417,
6. GayBingo White Christmas – GayBINGO! Philly, a 20-year-old (and year-round) event from the AIDS Fund, continues its tradition of hosting a Christmas-themed bingo event, filled with queens—also known as “Bingo Verifying Divas”—who don campy Santa outfits and other cheeky get-ups. Players are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for children infected with—or impacted by—HIV to the Gershman Y. December 16. 401 S. Broad Street, (215) 731-9255,

More Live Arts:
7. Hal Sparks – Though Sparks may forever be remembered as “Michael” in Showtime’s Queer As Folk, he’s since become a staple on the standup comedy circuit—notorious for his affable chattiness. Combining wit with eccentric physical comedy, Sparks tackles everyday life with a sprinkle of political commentary at Helium Comedy Club. December 7-9. 2031 Sansom Street, (215) 496-9001,
8. The Killers – Lead singer Brandon Flowers has made a name for himself as a modern-day Bowie among his LGBT fans, who swoon as his notes soar over synth-y disco-rock. Flowers and his band take the stage at the Wells Fargo Center to promote new album Wonderful Wonderful—along with familiar hits. January 13. 3601 S. Broad Street, (800) 298-4200,
9. Rufus Wainwright – The vocalist, composer and songwriter pairs with the 65-piece Philly POPS to celebrate his storied and successful career as a “popera” artist. Wainwright, who’s been recognized for his music in the past by GLAAD and identifies as gay, is joined by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus on the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts stage for a guns-blazing finale. January 19. 240 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999,
10. Andrea Gibson – Gibson, who identifies as genderqueer, uses poetry to explore the immensity of love and the feeling of living without the perfect identifying pronoun in a society that she sees as operating in boxes. She comes to The Fillmore in support of her latest spoken word album, HEY GALAXY, out January 12. January 23. 29 E. Allen Street, (215) 309-0150,
11. Dorian Corey Awards – Part performance showcase, part celebration of vogue ballroom dancing’s at-large culture, the 23rd annual Dorian Corey Awards—so named after the same Dorian Corey recognizable from the 1990 film Paris is Burning—honors House of Elite and seven new inductees into the voguing hall of fame. Dancers battle it out at The Victorian as Jack Mizrahi, a ballroom legend who’s collaborated with Jennifer Lopez, entertains as master of ceremonies. February 3. 4809 Germantown Avenue, (973) 980-7600,
12. Something Rotten! – Nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Casey Nicholaw’s just-off-Broadway production unfurls the story of two playwrights desperate—in the most hilariously campy of ways—to score a big hit in the 1590s against the enviable Shakespeare. The result is the fictional journey to produce the world’s first musical, taking shape as a high-energy show with lots and lots of sequins at Academy of Music. February 27-March 4. 240 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999,

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, and, 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.

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Related Releases

Sep 28 2015

Festivals, Events & Exhibitions For LGBT Travelers To Philadelphia This Fall & Winter

OutFest And A New Cabaret Series Make Autumn Awesome For Gay And Lesbian Travelers To Philadelphia

A welcoming and diverse destination that celebrates its LGBT pride every day, Philadelphia offers a range of cultural and social events perfect for gay and lesbian travelers this fall. Highlights: OutFest, the world’s largest National Coming Out Day festival; The RRazz Room at the Prince Theater, a series featuring renowned cabaret talent; and Opera on the Mall’s presentation of La Traviata. As the temperatures cool down, the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and the storied Mummers Parade usher in the holiday season and the New Year.

LGBT Festivals & Celebrations:

  • Philadelphia’s official LGBT community center, the William Way LGBT
Mar 6 2015

Philly Region Festivals Celebrate Art, Music, Mushrooms & More

In The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside, There’s Always Something To Celebrate In 2015

With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local

Mar 19 2014

Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long

Books, Beer, Arts, America, Music, Movies & More Inspire Festivities

Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:


Benjamin Franklin Parkway:

  • For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures,
Jan 16 2014

Quirky Events In Philadelphia

Gay Bingo, Bad Movies, Racing Grandpas & Other Zany Events Make Philly Fun All Year Long

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia gained an international reputation for being a pretty quirky place, thanks to an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked Bell. It seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:


  • The perpetually sold-out SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 pits amateur speed eaters against one another in a race to see who can gobble the most chicken wings
Nov 2 2011

Philly's More Fun When You...Race A Goat? Indeed.

Gay Bingo, Granny Races, Graveside Runs & More Make Philly Quirky All Year Long

As if making an international name for itself in the 19th and 20th centuries with an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked bell didn’t make Philadelphia quirky enough, it seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:


  • Setting the standard for quirky events, the Mummers Parade kicks off every New Year with more than 15,000 men, women and children spending thousands of dollars on
Nov 6 2017

’Tis The Season: So Many Holiday Happenings In Philadelphia

The Region Celebrates With Lights, Trees, Parades, Fireworks, More

As temperatures drop in the history-rich, tradition-steeped city of Philadelphia, holiday spirit spills from shops, theaters, restaurants, parks and stadiums. Every must-do holiday list includes visits to Macy’s Christmas Light Show, a spin around the skating rink and more festive fun at Philadelphia City Hall, a seat at The Nutcracker, a nosh at Latkepalooza and a spot on the sidewalk for the Mummers Parade. These, and dozens more activations and traditions are supported by the Philly Holiday Festival, a creation of Welcome America, and Philadelphia’s Historic District HoliDays & Nights.

As always, the most wonderful way to enjoy

Sep 5 2017

Fall: A Great Time To Be Out In Philadelphia

OutFest, Plus A Trans-Inclusive Opera & Halloween Events Round Out The Season

Leaves may fall, but LGBT culture blooms this time of year in Philadelphia. Opera Philadelphia brings groundbreaking drama We Shall Not Be Moved, with a transgender main character and Bill T. Jones as choreographer, to the Wilma Theater in September. The annual OutFest unites the Gayborhood in October. Margaret Cho comes to The Fillmore Philadelphia in November. And, of course, “Gay Christmas”—also known as Halloween—is done right with Tabu Lounge & Bar’s Little Shop of Poppers zany take on Little Shop of Horrors, LGBT Night at Terror Behind the Walls and a special screening of Hocus Pocus at

Feb 1 2018

Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events

Festivals, Exhibitions And Events In The Greater Philadelphia Region February 2018 Through February 2019

The Calendar of Events is organized as follows:

February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
January 2019
February 2019


Through February 2, 2018
The exhibition and walking tour in the always-free Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) explores the life and afterlife of things and why (and how) we preserve them. (215) 925-2222,

Through February 4, 2018
The automotive industry’s latest creations are on a 700,000-square-foot display at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the showplace

May 24 2017

It's A Gay Old Summertime In Philadelphia

Philly’s Summer LGBT Life Means Pride, Beer, Baseball, Bathing Suits, Ballet & A Bunch More

LGBT life heats up with rising temps in Philadelphia, and the summer of 2017 is no exception. Just after Memorial Day, the region puts Pride on display, with city parades and parties (Philadelphia Dyke March and PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival) and a countryside celebration at the Chester County Pride Festival. Martha Graham Cracker hits play on the soundtrack to summer with her Made in Philadelphia Festival, a two-night showcase highlighting local musical talents. Concerts by gay-loved international acts Blondie, Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross keep the tunes going throughout the season.

To maximize the season’s offerings,