Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, Italian Market Street Festival and more to do in Philly


Italian Market Street Festival
May 21-22, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Italian Market
9th Street between Washington and Christian streets

For two days, the Italian Market will be packed to the gills with revelers enjoying a time-honored tradition in South Philly. The festival is a must-do for food lovers. There will be tasty offerings from all your favorite Italian Market vendors—from sweets to savories and everything in between. Live music and some of the best people watching this side of the Trastevere is just icing on the Italian wedding cake.

Trenton Avenue Arts Festival and Kinetic Sculpture Derby
May 21, noon-6 p.m.
Trenton and E. Susquehanna avenues

Philadelphia has its share of quirky traditions, but perhaps none more so than the Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Nerds of all ages craft zany parade vehicles and then cruise them down the street for eager spectators to admire. The derby happens simultaneously with the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, where East Kensington artists, merchants and restaurateurs bring out their goods onto the street for guests to peruse and buy. It’s a blast of a day celebrating the creative spirit of this eclectic hood.

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
May 21, noon-5 p.m.
Rittenhouse Square
Walnut Street between Broad and 19th streets

Rittenhouse Row will be closed to traffic Saturday afternoon for the shopping enclave’s annual spring festival. Organizers expect a crowd of 50,000 or more to show up to shop local boutiques, grab some bites from neighborhood restaurants and dance in the street to live bands and DJs. Beer and cocktail stations will be slinging drinks, so grab one and escape to the park if the crowd becomes too much to bear.

Wheat Beer Fest
May 21, noon-8 p.m.
Point Breeze Pop-Up
1622 Point Breeze Ave.

Block party vibes will be flowing at Point Breeze Pop-Up Saturday, which opens for the season with South Philly Tap Room’s 11th annual Wheat Beer Fest. There you’ll find 40-plus craft beers and ciders poured all day long. Grub comes courtesy of food trucks Bombay Local and BrazBQ, and American Sardine Bar chef Doreen Demarco will be flipping dogs on the grill. New Sound Brass Band and rock group Marah will keep things lively with concerts at 3 and 5 p.m., respectively.

Pig Iron 20th Anniversary
May 21, 4-11 p.m.
Pig Iron Headquarters
1417 N. Second St.

One of Philly’s most innovative theater troupes caps off its 20-year-anniversary celebrations with a full day of festivities at its headquarters in Fishtown. The day includes a whole agenda of to-dos—from play readings to parties. Highlights include a food truck roundup starting at 5:30 p.m., and a dance party at 9 p.m. featuring local funk group Red 40 and the Last Groovement. To say thanks for 20 years of support, Pig Iron is opening all events free of charge. How nice!

Sausage Fest Philly
May 22, noon-6 p.m.
23rd Street Armory
22 S. 23rd St.

The folks who brought you the Bacon and Beer Festival return with another foodie soiree, but this time the spotlight is on sausage. Area food vendors like Maglio Sausage Company, The Flying Deutschman and Samosa Deb will be on hand serving up flavorful sausage-inspired creations. Wash it down with craft brews supplied by Victory Beer and Left Hand breweries. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus—who really know a good sausage when they see one.


An Evening in Franklin Square
May 19, 5:30 p.m.
Franklin Square
200 6th St., 215-629-4026

Well-dressed locals gather at Franklin Square Thursday night for this fundraising soiree to benefit the popular park in the heart of historic Philadelphia. Whether you drop $150 or $10,000 on the event, you’ll be granted all the perks: cocktails, a seated dinner, dancing, a twirl on the carousel in your evening gown, and an exclusive look at the Chinese Lantern Festival going on there through June 12.


Philadelphia Burlesque Festival
May 19-22
Various times, locations and prices

Tassels will be spinning all over town this weekend during the second annual Philadelphia Burlesque Festival. The event brings performers from Philly and around the country to venues around the city for titillating performances, and even a handful of workshops teaching wannabee burlesquers how to let their inner shimmy shine. There’s an after party happening every night of the festival at Franky Bradley’s starting at 11 p.m. Show your festival ticket for free entry.

Philly POPS: Cirque Goes to the Movies
May 20-22
The Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad St.

Symphonic music and the circus arts converge for this evening of rousing tunes and acrobatics courtesy of Philly POPS and Cirque. The orchestra will play music from films like Star Wars, Harry Potter, James Bond and more while Cirque performers fly overhead, juggle strange objects and tackle other tricks sure to have your mouth agape the entire time.

May 21-22, various times
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St., 267-480-7090

Papaya presents this tale of Titus, a 10-year-old boy so bored with life that he constantly comes up with outlandish lies to make it interesting. The thing with lies, though, is that they come back to bite you in the butt. Will Titus shape up and start living by society’s rules, or keep up with his mischievous deeds? That’s the question at the heart of this delightful little tale that should be worthwhile for kids and parents, alike.

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