This weekend, stroll down to 2nd Street to partake in one of the most colorful events this summer season, the 2nd Street Festival. The festival takes over six blocks of 2nd Street between Germantown and Green streets in Northern Liberties, and all of the incredible, free family fun simply cannot be missed.
Now in its 11th year, the 2nd Street Festival has become a beloved tradition in the City of Brotherly Love and specifically the Northern Liberties neighborhood. “The Festival was started to bring business into the neighborhood,” says 2nd Street Festival Director Meredith Williams. “Essentially, it’s a party thrown to celebrate the culture, arts, and music of the neighborhood. It’s a very artist-driven area. Fast-forward to today, the festival is now six blocks long and it goes from 2nd and Germantown all the way down to 2nd and Spring Garden. There’s 150 different art vendors, 50 food vendors and just a ton of local businesses.”
The festival was initially founded by William Reed (owner of Standard Tap), Oron Daskal (North Bowl) and Owen Kamihira (El Camino Real). As the years have gone by, the exciting extravaganza has grown immensely and every year simply tops the last.
This year’s festivities will bring back some familiar favorites such as an on-site DJ keeping the party going; delicious food trucks serving up incredible bites (think Nomad Pizza, Poi Dog, Lil Pop Shop, Mom Mom’s Polish Cart and more); plenty of artistic vendors selling one-of-a-kind trinkets (think houseware, prints, stained glass and wood); a live 3-D chalk demonstration (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and of course incredible live entertainers on the Busker Stage.
“We always have a performance area for street performers and local musicians to come and set up,” says Williams. “But new this year, during the day from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., we will also have ‘Skate the Foundry,’ which is a skateboard pop-up demo for kids and adults. They have pads and skateboards and they’ll show you how to ride. It’s going to be really fun. Some professional skateboarders will be doing a demo as well.”
Also new this year is the addition of Pod Park, owned by festival sponsors the Post Brothers. “Pod Park just opened a couple of months ago and we are including it as part of our festival footprint. So we’re having programming there all day, entertainment and vendors as well,” Williams added.
Local favorite Urban Village will also be offering a special brew exclusively being sold at the festival. “We’re very lucky that Urban Village is located right on 2nd Street, and they are one of the 10 beer gardens that we are going to have. They actually brew a beer for the festival, a nice and light easy-drinking lager. It will be available in their tent and a bunch of other tents along the street as well,” says Williams. “For the first time ever, we have all local beer as the sponsors, so we’re lucky that we have such talented breweries within an hour of the city. We have, obviously, Urban Village, Evil Genius from Fishtown, Neshaminy Creek from Croydon and Sly Fox from Pottstown.”
Not a fan of beer? No problem. Festival spirit sponsor Jim Beam is also unveiling a new spirit, Jim Beam Peach. The tasty new libation will be sold at the festival along with other refreshing cocktails.
“All of the beer gardens are going to have cocktails with Jim Beam Peach and other wonderful brands as well,” says Williams. “There will be rum drinks, gin drinks and tequila — just some really great summertime cocktails.”
The 2nd Street Festival will take place this Sunday, Aug. 4, from noon to 10 p.m. Taking public transportation is encouraged, with available stops on the Market Frankford Line. In addition, festival sponsor Indigo Bike Share will have a booth on Green Street. If you pick a bike up from around the city, you can drop it off there or at their Spring Garden location.
For more information, visit 2ndstfestival.org.