We roundup 11 of the weekend’s must-do events in Philly — including annual favorites the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and the Italian Market Festival.
All the monthly bouts of secret-sharing and storytelling culminate this Friday, as First Person Arts crowns Philadelphia's Best Storyteller. Winners from the monthly storytelling gatherings compete tonight for the grand prize, the title of "The Best Storyteller in Philadelphia" — high praise, indeed. Speakers tell stories under the theme "Out There," so expect performances that are just that. The event will be hosted by Corey Cohen and feature Steve Clark, Kat Duggan, and Dave Hillis. Friday, May 16th, $20, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street.
Some of Philly's most exciting street artists are showing work in James Oliver Gallery's newest exhibition, "I Am Here." On display will be work by graffiti artist Cornbread, world-famous glass muralist Isaiah Zagar, and Streets Dept. photographer Conrad Benner — all folks Content Specialist & Educator of “I Am Here" Ginger Rudolph calls true artistic trailblazers. "They bond our communities with shared visceral moments — constantly shaping a culture that defies the trappings of being boxed into idioms that try to define creativity in terms of subversive elements of expression. These artists follow a history of groundbreakers whose actions resulted from a need to be heard." Opening reception, Friday, May 16th, 6:30-10 p.m., free, showing through August 2nd, James Oliver Gallery, 723 Chestnut Street.
The rain is supposed to dissipate just in time for this weekend's annual 9th Street Italian Market Festival. Join the crowds packed into the nation's oldest outdoor market to enjoy live entertainment, tons of grub, crafting hubs, and South Philly people-watching out the wazoo. Saturday and Sunday, May 17th and 18th, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Italian Market, 919 South 9th Street.
Leave it to Kensington to come up with the whackiest, most interesting and downright weird iteration of a parade even among Philly's plethora of unique day fests. The Kensington Sculpture Derby returns this Saturday, with human-powered floats — all works of art on their own — turning the neighborhood into a true spectacle. It's an honest testament to human ingenuity, and all the things a soldering iron and a little gumption can achieve. Saturday, May 17th, noon-5 p.m., Trenton and Norris streets.
If you're in 'festival withdrawal' after last week's shindigs, look no further than Clark Park's Party in the Park. Eat well, with onsite food trucks aplenty. Check out the beer garden, listen to some great live music, and enter raffles with $1000 prizes. It's a perfect opportunity to unwind with a beer and some outdoor games, or just take in the forecasted beautiful West Philly weekend. Saturday, May 17th, 4-8 p.m., Clark Park.
From Foobooz: The DO|AC Fire on the Water Festival is a free two day festival (May 17th-May 18th at 800 New Hampshire Ave.) that will be host to theWorld Famous Firefighter Combat Challenge Tour in Atlantic City and the 7th annual "Guns vs. Hoses" Battle at the Basin, which looks to be a cops vs. firefighters boxing match. What does this have to do with Foobooz? Well, there's going to be a beer garden, with food vendors, music, and according to their facebook, Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. More info here.
From Be Well Philly: This Sunday, the Philly Yoga Factory is partnering with Lululemon Walnut Street to host a free Synergy Partner Yoga class—a therapeutic yoga that incorporates elements of Thai massage, yoga and Capoeira, all done with a partner. Sounds like a nice way to start your Sunday off, huh? The free class will be from 10 to 11 a.m. at Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia (where all Philly Yoga Factory classes are held) on Sansom Street. More info here.
Score free entrance to plenty of Philly museums in honor of International Museum Day and Art Museum Day this Sunday. That means a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art ( 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway) costs nothing. Admission to Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (118 North Broad Street)? Zip. The historic Penn Museum (3260 South Street) opens its collections for the appealing price of nada. Or check out some modern masterpieces at the Institute of Contemporary Art (118 South 36th Street) without spending a penny. No reservations are necessary. Just show up Sunday to take advantage of the town's culture on the cheap. Sunday, May 18th.
From Be Well Philly: Come ready to work out at Eakins Oval this Sunday, May 18th, for the first-ever Day in the Park event. Hosted by Naked Juice and Philly’s Core Fitness, this event is packed with fitness and fun. There will free fitness activities, like a Core Fitness boot camp class (2 to 3 p.m.) and a massive tug of war competition, plus prizes and giveaways, free juice and live music from 95.7 Ben-FM. More here.
Get your fill of absurdism Friday night with IRC Theater Co.'s slick lineup of exciting new short plays. Featuring works from Tony-winner Christopher Durang (helmer of Philadelphia Theatre Company's recent Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), there will be tons to see and experience in this rare performance of his shorter works. proceeds will create IRC's spring production of Rhinocerous, and a preview of the upcoming show will debut during the event. Sunday, May 18th, 6 p.m. & 8 p.m., $20, L'Etage Cabaret, 624 South 6th Street.
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Our best picks for what to do in Philadelphia (and a little beyond) this weekend.
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen brings back its annual show of wares to Rittenhouse this entire weekend. The square will be taken over by kiosks and tents for vendors who are all jury-selected artisans. Pick mom up something handmade and lovely, with a selection of furniture, jewelry, houseware, ceramics, pottery, glassware, and just about anything else two hands and some serious talent can make. Friday, May 9th to Sunday, May 11th, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut streets.
From Foobooz: All week the Trestle Inn is presenting Kitten Week, a series of events and cocktails to support PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society). One dollar of allKitten with a Whip (Old Forester Bourbon, Licor 43, Prosecco and Angostura bitters) cocktails will be donated to PAWS. Tonight, Old Forester Bourbon is featured during the Trestle’s complimentary tasting and of course the cocktail will be available for order as well. See the list of Kitten week events here.
Queer As Folk star and former Talk Soup host Hal Sparks is rolling into Philly for a two-night, four-show standup gig at Helium Comedy Club. Friday, May 9th, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., and Saturday, May 10th, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom Street.
From Be Well Philly: Namas Day is back for its third run. The one-day yoga festival is hitting the WHYY Building with yoga workshops, master classes and a vendor marketplace. If you do yoga around town, you'll see a lot of familiar faces: Shawn DeClue of Maha Yoga, Sue Elkind of DIG Yoga, Beth Filla of Yogawood, and Biz Margarity of Nava Yoga Center, among others. The event runs from 8:30 to 6 p.m. More info and registration are here.
So many festivals, so little time! This one's a goodie: Philadelphia hosts its 11th annual Art Star Craft Bazaar this Saturday and Sunday, with plenty of glitter and decoupage to dip into. It's a juried art festival with over 100 carefully selected national and local artists showcasing wares to show and sell. Philebrity.com is presenting live music, and there'll be craft demonstrations and kiddie activities. Saturday, May 10th and Sunday, May 11th, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., The Great Plaza @ Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard between Chestnut and Walnut streets.
For the eighth year, the Pan Asian Association of Greater Philadelphia puts on a day of cultural celebration and festivities. It's Asian-American Heritage Month all May, and there are plenty of events going on in and around Philadelphia, but this Saturday's festival is a surefire hit. Enjoy Asian-American grub from Poi Dog and Foo Truck, while learning about Cambodian, Thai, Filipino, Japanese, and so many other cultures. Expect animal visitors from the Philadelphia Zoo, plenty of activities for the kids, and live performances of traditional dance from all over Asia. Saturday, May 10th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.
It's another weekend full of festivals (blame it on the heat; blame it on a town in bloom) and one not to miss is the Pie in the Sky Food Truck Festival at Penn Treaty Park. It's a gathering of Philly's favorite mobile food vendors and a kite-making, kite-flying field day. Pie in the sky, indeed! Saturday, May 10th, noon-5 p.m., Penn Treaty Park, 1341 North Delaware Avenue.
Brewerytown, the up-and-coming hood just beyond Fairmount, takes over the 2600 to 2800 blocks of West Girard Avenue for its own spring celebration. What exactly Brewerytown is celebrating is its unique art, food, and music. Activities for kids will round out this neighborhood fest sure to draw people well beyond Girard. Saturday, May 10th, noon-5 p.m., 2600-2800 West Girard Avenue.
The Queen Village Art Center hosts an afternoon of crafting for parents and kids that doubles as a preview for the Center's summer camps. There will be stations set up for young ones of all ages: 9 to 13 year olds get to tinker with sewing machines and easels, while younger tots, those aged 4 to 8, explore "a range of two- and three-dimensional projects. There will also be a scavenger hunt for kids and parents alike that takes groups to various business around Queen Village to compile an art bag that can be brought back to create something crafty. Saturday, May 10th, 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., free, Queen Village Art Center, 514 Bainbridge Street.
It’s that time of year again: birds chirping, flowers blooming, and an aged Barolo airing as you sample Philly’s finest bites. Yes, it’s Philadelphia magazine’s Wine + Food Festival, coming to the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. This year’s festivities include dining from some of Philly’s finest eating establishments, wares from local vendors, an on-site Fine Wine & Good Spirits store, and over 600 (!) samplings of wine from around the world. Also slated is a silent auction to benefit The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Saturday, May 10th, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. (VIP), 6:30 to 9 p.m. (general), $130-$225, Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, 6825 Norwitch Drive.
From Be Well Philly: Heads up if you’ll be on the Main Line this weekend: Paoli’s new Purenergy Studio is hosting a massive open house on Saturday with 35 free half-hour sampler classes from 10:30 am to 2 p.m. Options include Buff Barre, Spin Power, boxing, rowing, yoga and more. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Editor Emily Leaman has a recommended game plan here.
Foobooz has put together a great list of new local spots worth considering for your Mother's Day brunch/dinner plans — from a brand new brunch menu at Petruce et al to a decadent-sounding duck scrapple egg skillet at Society Hilly Society. See the full list here. Still looking for a gift? Shoppist has five good ideas here.
More events now through June on our Philadelphia Event Listings page.
We round up six of the week’s most sure-bet to-dos.
It's a fiesta with Japanese flare at Yakitori Boy. Now until May 8, the karaoke bar and eatery is hosting a Cinco de Mayo celebration with fusion flavors (Mexican and Japanese, that is) and exciting drink specials. It'll be enough margaritas to make Yakitori Boy's unmatched karaoke rooms a real possibility. Through May 8th, nightly, pay as you go, Yakitori Boy, 211 North 11th Street.
Puerto Rican art collective Poncili Creacion presents its latest multimedia show at Random Tea House. The exhibit is a kiddie-show-on-acid take on puppetry and interactive sculpture. Expect laughs and some pleasant confusion for the group's color-drenched, meta-heavy puppet show. The dance and show features work from Poncili's newest project, "Flourishing Solitude." Tuesday, May 6th, 7 p.m., The Random Tea Room, 713 North 4th Street.
The Luna Theater Company performs the magical realism of Jose Rivera ("The Motorcycle Diaries", "Eerie, Indiana", "References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot", "Marisol"). The dark drama revolves around a strange feast in a not-so-distant war-torn future. Featuring Barrymore Award winner, Amanda Schoonover. May 3-24, $20-25,The Luna Theater, 620 S 8th Street.
People's Light & Theatre Company debuts Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie this week, with a repertoire of Americana classics and theatrical twists. Four actors play 15 instruments and 25 songs, all chronicling the fascinating discography of one of Americana's most important songwriters. Starts Wednesday, May 7th, 7:30 p.m., $26-65, People's Light & Theatre Company, 39 Conestanga Road, Malvern.
Zac Posen at Saks Fifth Avenue in Bala Cynwyd
Fashion designer and no-nonsense Project Runway judge Zac Posen is the guest of honor at Saks Fifth Avenue's 58th annual Daisy Day Luncheon. The soiree benefits Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and will feature a runway of Posen's House of Z fall collection. While he's in town, he'll stop by the Saks in Bala Cynwyd (2 Bala Plaza) for an in-store appearance, and to kick off a two-day trunk show taking place in the store till Friday. Stop by to meet the young designer, and maybe swoon a little on Thursday, May 8th from 3 to 5 p.m.
William Way kicks off its new exhibition, commemorating 15 years of the Philly Dyke March, with an opening party this Thursday. The exhibit will feature banners, posters, memorabilia, and photos from the Dyke March's past, as well as a bit of a recruitment sesh and T-shirt party for the upcoming June 7th walk. Refreshments will be served. Thursday, May 8th, 6 p.m., William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street.
Drink up the history at Penn Museum's informative look at the origins of beer. Dr. Clark Erickson looks at the brewing of the ancient Andean chicha beer, and teams up with brewers at Dogfish Head to come up with his modern take on indigenous suds. The lecture features artifacts and research highlighting the history of beer and the people behind it in South America. Following the talk is a reception with South American hors d'ouevres and a tasting of traditional brews. Thursday, May 8th, 6:30 p.m., $30, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street.
Your guide to this First Friday’s most browsable galleries and must-do events:
Frankford Avenue vintage shop Jinxed opens its doors to art gallery Phantom Hand for its killer new exhibition "REANIMATION." Artists like Carol Paist, Anthony Pedro, and Andrew Johnson-Lally present their ghoulish takes on life and death. Friday, 5/2, 6-10 p.m., Jinxed Philadelphia, 13331 Frankford Avenue.
Rugged-chic distillery and clothing shop Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction launches its collabo with Philly art collective Search and Rescue Squad this Friday. On display will be the Squad's sartorial, decorative, photographic, cinematophraphic, genre-spanning creations and findings. The launch party features Art in the Age and Spodee Wine cocktails and Narragansett Beer. Friday, 5/2, 6-8 p.m., Art in the Age, 16 North 3rd Street.
It's the digital age and here's the art to prove it. Art collective little berlin turns the focus on visualizing the normally unseen but overpowering currents of digital media. It's an eye-opening look at technology and how it affects relationships, information collection, and communication. Live performances from DJ Nole, DJ Lovehandle, Alexander Trust, and JAJA. Friday, 5/2, 6 - 11:30 p.m., little berlin gallery, 2430 Coral Street.
Wexler Gallery presents the latest exhibition from furniture maker Vivian Beer: "Streamlining Desire." Beer's industrial designs heavily play with the cultural implications of different kinds of metal, with her new Streamliner collection focusing on steel. Also on display are pieces from Beer's "Anchored Candy" collection. Friday, 5/2, 5-8 p.m., Wexler Gallery, 201 North 3rd Street.
Part art show, part bike shop, part open-house, Tune Up & Talent is a hydra of First Friday to-dos. Bring your bike for a checkup, then check out the art sponsored by green architecture firm Postgreen. All this inside the makeshift gallery of two new Postgreen homes, designed by Jefta van Bellen of OrangeConcept. Take in the art, take home a bike, maybe take home a home. Friday, 5/2, 5-8 p.m., 2032-2034 Frankford Avenue.
Head to New Boon(e) for SEMICOLON, a publication release and small-works exhibition. SEMICOLON is the large-scale publication for Tyler School of Art MFA 2014 candidates and Art History grad students. Mingle, pick up a copy of the mag, or check out the small work exhibition on display featuring pieces from Tyler students in a variety of media. Friday, 5/2, 6-10 p.m., New Boon(e), 253 North 3rd Street.
The First Lady of Liberty teams up with First Friday for a summer of first-of-the-month screenings at the Betsy Ross House. Through October, the Betsy Ross House presents outdoor screenings of classic/camp horror films, all BYOB. This week's screening is notorious D-movie Plan 9 from Outer Space. Friday, 5/2, dusk., $5, Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street.
We may be hundreds of miles from the rolling, bluegrass hills of Kentucky, but that won’t keep us from kicking it up at a Derby party. Here, we round up five of the best places to drink mint juleps and don your most outlandish Southern garb this Saturday in Philly.
Kentucky Derby at the Twisted Tail: If your ideal Derby Day demands more of a watering-hole than gala environment, the Twisted Tail is a perfect place to watch the race. There’ll be discount drinks (mint juleps and another Southern favorites), a 50/50 raffle to benefit PAWs, prizes, and a hat competition. Proceeds from the Twisted Tail- and Woodford Reserve-hosted event benefit PAWs. Saturday, May 3rd, 2 .p.m., free (pay as you go), The Twisted Tail, 509 South 2nd Street.
More Derby events after the jump
Five things you should do in Philly this week:
The Philadelphia Science Festival kicked off Friday with a bang, and its more than 100 events spill into this week. A few highlights: Monday, show off your knowledge at Science on Tap Quizzo (Monday, 4/28, 6 p.m., free, National Mechanics, 22 South 3rd Street). Tuesday, bug out to an absurdist musical entomological lesson (Tuesday, 4/29, 6:30 p.m., free, Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue). Or head to Science Night at the Ballpark, where you can learn about the physics of baseball while rooting for the Phils (Tueday, 4/29, 7 p.m., $20, Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way). Thursday, get a hands-on lesson in brewing with a fermentation class at DiBruno's (Thursday, 5/1, 6 p.m., $15, DiBruno Brothers, 1720 Chestnut Street). For a complete schedule of Science Festival events click here.
Cinedelphia, which began April 10th, ends this Tuesday, April 29th. And the last screening's a goodie. It's George Lucas' 1971 film debut, THX 1138, a dystopian sci-fi and cinematic prelude to Star Wars. Florida-via-Brooklyn music project Conveyor will provide a live soundtrack, with alien synth-scapes as an apt backdrop to the minimalists sci-fi classic. Tuesday, 4/29, 8 p.m., $10, PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street.
This month's installment of Sound Space Audio Lab has Milwaukee import Nathaniell Bartlett testing the limits of aural output and input. The piece combines three-dimensional computer-generated sound — the latest in technological and music theoretical advances — and the live contributions of composer Bartlett. Man and machine compete and cooperate for the creation of music. It's cerebral music for the very-open-minded. Wednesday, 4/30, 6:30 p.m., $12, Crane Old School White Space, 1400 North American Street.
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts puts kids first in its International Childrens' Festival, running Wednesday, April 30th until May 3rd. Six performances geared toward young minds and their chaperones make up this week of creativity-boosters. There's a marionette performance, a silent comedy, fabulous (as in fables) plays, and kid-friendly opera. Tickets and more information are available here. Wednesday, 4/30 - 5/4, various times, prices vary, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street.
It's been a wonderful few weeks for jazz lovers. With over 300 acts and a successful Center City Jazz Festival, April's Jazz Appreciation Month is wrapping up as strongly as it started. Make sure to catch its final acts, like Captain Black Big Band at World Café Live on the last day in April. The band plays under the direction of two-time Grammy winner and Pew Fellow, Orin Evans, with guests Kurt Rosenwinkle and Joanna Pascale. Wednesday, 4/30, 7 p.m., $20, World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street
Find more Philly events now through June in our Philadelphia Event Listings.
Here are 6 things we think you should do this weekend:
Celebrate Arbor Day with the best the Earth has to offer: trees, sure, but more importantly, plenty of hops. Yard's Brewing Company teams with TreePhilly for the first annual Philadelphia Arbrew Day, taking place at four bars around town: Bourbon Blue (2 Rector Street), City Tap House (3925 Walnut Street), Grey Lodge (6235 Frankford Avenue), Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Avenue), or Kite & Key (1836 Callowhill Street.) Besides savoring a handful of Yards specials, representatives from TreePhilly and Fairmount Park Conservatory will be on site giving out free trees, and offering helpful tips on how to raise them. Photos taken at the event hashtagged #ArbrewDay will be entered to win a $100 gift card from Yards, a membership to the Fairmount Park Conservatory, and other prizes. Friday, April 25th, 4:40 p.m.-8 p.m., various locations.
Marriage equality trailblazer — and Temple alum — Edie Winsdor will speak at her alma mater this weekend, and present a screening of Edie & Thea. The documentary chronicles Ms. Windsor and Dr. Thea Spyer's 42-year engagement and eventual nuptials in 2007 in Toronto. After the death of her wife, Windsor owed $600,000 in estate taxes that would not have existed if she had married a man. Windsor fought to right this wrong, going all the way to the Supreme Court, where, last spring, she won, putting an end to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) At this engagement, she will share her take on her game-changing triumph in an interview with local attorney Angela Giampolo. Saturday, April 26th, 2 p.m., $12, Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 North Broad Street.
Moore College plays host to a "unique musical, art, and intercultural show" that takes on femininity in Japan from the Johmon Era to modern times. Combining history and art, and utilizing song, photography, dance, performance, and fashion, the piece looks at what it means to be a woman in Japanese culture. Guitarist/Producer Clay Sears, who has worked with everyone from Jay-Z to Rihanna to Janet Jackson, will provide the original soundtrack, creating an evening of intercultural, multigenerational interplay. Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th, 3 p.m., $18, Moore College of Art and Design, 1916 Race Street.
Celebrate "Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love," the much-awaited fashion exhibit at the Art Museum showcasing the stunning designs of late African American designer Patrick Kelly. Saturday's grand-opening gallery reception promises to be quite the stylish affair. "Pret-á-Porter" tickets include "southern-fried Parisian cuisine," an exhibition preview, dancing, and cocktails. The very haute "Haute Couture" tickets get you all of the above, plus access to the VIP lounge and a private tour with exhibit curator Dilys E. Blum. Oh la la! Saturday. April 26th, 7 p.m., $150-300, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philly-born artistic renaissance man Brian Marsella launches his debut album, Chapter One: The Clocks Have Gone Mad, with the help of a grandiose multimedia celebration led by iMAGINMARIUM. The group will perform its singular brand of musique storytelling, which "blends jazz-otica, classical, orchestrated jamtronica, ambient, wock, and world elements" into sonic theater, according to the Painted Bride. Local culinary artisans will provide refreshments and DJ Frosty will keep the party going over intermission. Sunday, April 27th, 6:30 p.m., $20, Painted Bride, 230 Vine Street.
Want to look further ahead? We’re keeping track of must-dos through June in our Philadelphia Event Listings.