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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