City

PHOTOS: Scenes From the Third Annual Philly Free Streets

Including a history scavenger hunt, jazz festival, and pop-up beach.


philly free streets north broad street

Participants walking down North Broad Street during the 2018 Philly Free Streets | Photograph by Gina Tomaine

The city gave pedestrians free reign of North Broad Street on Saturday and, by all measures, they made the most of it.

Cars were barred from an eight-mile stretch of Broad Street, from City Hall to Erie Avenue, for the city’s third Philly Free Streets event. Residents ran, biked, and walked the wide-open stretch of North Broad — while others set up barbecues, danced, and played music.

And then there was this young family, utilizing three forms of transportation:

Or this guy — who we strongly relate to — figured why not just throw down a chair and let it all pass you by:

It was a behemoth block party with an open invitation. Or, for some, it became a chance to slow down and take in the murals and architecture of a street they usually zip down.

Mural Arts Philadelphia got in on the fun, too.

The city had a full itinerary of activities to keep families occupied. At the Cecil B. Moore intersection, there was a jazz festival. Near J.F.K, there was an African-American history scavenger hunt. And at the Master Street intersection near Temple, a pop-up beach with 50 tons of sand — complete with hammocks, beach chairs, and games — was available. (If you missed the beach, no worries: It will be back this coming weekend.)

philly free streets pop up beach

The pop-up beach at the intersection of North Broad and Master streets | Photograph by Gina Tomaine

Mayor Kenney joined the festivities, too, making the walk from J.F.K. to Erie, and then replacing his burned calories with a cheesesteak from Max’s (American wit with a little hot sauce, if you were curious.)

If you’re feeling a little FOMO this dreary Monday morning, you have next year’s Philly Free Streets to look forward to. We can only imagine they’ll want to keep this young tradition alive.