Spring is in the air and the South Street Spring Festival is the perfect way to celebrate. Philly’s largest block party will feature over 35 restaurants, 30 bands, 125 vendors and much more this year, spanning over eight blocks. With so much to see and do, we’ve narrowed down our top picks so you make the most of your experience. From a taco eating contest to scoring free comics to rocking out to live music from local bands, your day will be filled with free, family friendly fun.
1. Maifest and Philadelphia’s largest maypole
The team at German beerhall Brauhaus Schmitz will take over the 700 block of South Street for their fifth annual Maifest festival, where the largest maypole in the city will be erected. In case you’re wondering, a maypole is a tall wooden pole used in European folk festivals and people dance around it. So grab a pint of beer and get your dancing shoes ready for the Maitanz, the official maypole dance, at 2:45 p.m. Stick around until 3:45 p.m to show off your brute strength for the Holzhacker, a German wood-chopping contest!
2. Philly Taco Eating Contest
The Philly Taco is a little different from traditional tacos as it combines an oversized Lorenzo’s Pizza slice wrapped around a Jim’s cheesesteak. The thought of eating one is enough to induce stomach cramps, but imagine trying to eat it the fastest. Yikes. The entry fee is $20 and the contest is capped at 20 people. If you’re dying to win a year’s worth of pizza and cheesesteaks, then this is an event you should definitely “dig” into. Email [email protected] to sign up.
3. Food trucks
If you’re like me and wouldn’t eat a Philly Taco even if someone paid you, there are plenty of other food trucks serving up pay-as-you-go delicacies. Drop by Revolution Taco’s brand new food truck for their standard (and fingerlicking good) taco fare or cool off from the springtime sun with Bassett’s Ice Cream or fresh fruit pops from Lil’ Pop Shop. Also, if you like to get “cheesy” with it, mosy on over to Say Cheese for their grilled cheese goodness and Cow & the Curd for their battered Wisconsin cheese curds.
4. Live music
You’ve fed your belly and now it’s time to feed your ears! There are scores of local bands performing at South Street Spring Fest 2017 and if you take the time to listen, you might just stumble upon a new favorite. There are three stages to choose from this year: Fifth Street, Second Street and Eighth Street. A few to keep on your radar: Wayside Shakeup, Post War Dream, Adam Travis and The Jawn.
The first Saturday in May is also known as Free Comic Book Day around the world. For the third year in a row, Atomic City Comics (638 South St.) will team up with South Street Spring Festival for Atomic-Con, an event featuring a ton of free comics, local artists selling their pieces, a cosplay costume contest and even an autograph signing session with legendary comic artist J.G. Jones, known for his cover art on “Batman and Robin,” “Doc Savage,” “Frankenstein,” “Mister Terrific” and more. There will even be DJs on-hand supplying a steady stream of beats to keep the party pumping.
If you go:
South Street Spring Festival
Saturday, May 6
11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Free to attend
South Street (between Front and Eighth)