A 200-Foot-Long Dragon Walks into Franklin Square

Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

If you’ve walked by Franklin Square in the past few days, you likely noticed the carousel horses have been getting some flashy company. This Friday is the start of the park’s Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, which will feature 25 lanterns lit up nightly through June 12. These aren’t twinkling tea lights: We’re talking an 18,000-pound, 200-foot-long dragon, a four-story pagoda, and a sleuth of cute/vaguely creepy pandas (am I the only one getting the feeling they want us to come play with them forever and ever?)

Panda Paradise lantern display. Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

The Panda Paradise lantern display. Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

Most of the lanterns were made in Zigong in the Sichuan province of China, and 20 Chinese artists are here installing them and putting on the finishing touches. During the daytime, entry to Franklin Square will be free as usual, but come 6 p.m. you’ll need a ticket to get in to the festival. It’s a little steep, at $17 for adults, $12 for kids (17 and under) and $15 for seniors, but along with the opportunity to see the lit lanterns up close and personal, there will be performances, including a traditional Chinese “face-changing” show, plus vendors selling themed crafts and food.

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PHOTOS: Old City Fest Draws More Than 20,000

Organizers say more than 20,000 showed up for this weekend’s Old City Fest — blasting past the 15,000 they were expecting. It’s no wonder; it couldn’t have fallen on a more beautiful day. Under the sunny, cloudless skies, revelers browsed booths by neighborhood boutiques and art galleries, and grubbed on snacks from a variety of restaurants in the area.

There was also a fashion show, artists creating works in the open and a festival stage, where Philly musicians cranked out tunes all afternoon. HughE Dillon and reps from the festival sent over some photos that captured the day. Check them out below:


21 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Beyoncé to Headline Made in America Festival



Beyoncé will headline one night of the fourth-annual Made in America Festival. R&B artist The Weeknd will headline the other. It is Beyoncé’s second time headlining a night at the festival; she previously closed out the first night in 2013.

Other artists on the bill include De La Soul, Axwell & Ingrosso, J. Cole, Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Banks, Meek Mill, Big Sean, Future, Santigold, Nick Jonas, Matric, A-Trak and DJ Mustard. Philly’s own Creepoid is also playing the show. Read more »

10 Festivals to Visit Outside the City This Summer

Photo by littlemoresunshine/Flickr

You  may see something like this at the Balloon Festival in Readington, New Jersey. | Photo by littlemoresunshine/Flickr

Summer is finally, officially upon us. Because the city can get a bit stifling over these warmest of months, we’ve put together a list of adventures worth doing outside of town, where you’ll find more trees and shores than sun-attracting concrete. Some are kind of unusual, many are kid-friendly and all are wildly entertaining.

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5 Rules for Behaving During Philadelphia Street Festival Season

South Street Festival. Photo | South Street Headhouse District

South Street Festival. Photo | South Street Headhouse District

Somehow, I went almost three decades in this city without having to experience a neighborhood street festival.

Actually, it was easy. I grew up in the Northeast and then spent a good chunk of my 20s in West Philly, two of the most insular communities this side of North Korea. (Go on, ask your friend from Fox Chase to meet you in Center City. I’ll wait.)

But now I find myself renting in Queen Village, an apparently popular part of the city with things to offer and visitors to entertain. If last weekend’s record-breaking South Street Festival was any indication, it’s going to be a long, long summer of improvised trashcans and suspicious puddles.

Want to be a good temporary neighbor? Here’s what to remember before you go back to the ’burbs. (Want to be an even better neighbor? Make some room in that fancy crossover vehicle and bring me with you to the promised land.) Read more »

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