South Street boasts three unique festivals this weekend

South Street
The South Street Festival is this weekend.
Courtesy of South Street

Note, some festivals have been moved since the time of publication. Check out their websites for official new dates/times.

One street, three festivals, and multiple hours of celebration are all included this weekend on South Street. 

First up, the South Street Festival is back for another year on Saturday, Oct. 1. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m, Philadelphians who attend the celebration will be able to check out international food and drink options, vendors, handmade crafts, plus new experiences—all of which will be lined from 2nd to 8th streets. 

As a family-friendly festival, this specific activation is meant to showcase local businesses and what they offer. The 3rd Street Gallery, for one, will be displaying artwork of all types, with hands-on art projects running throughout the day. Or, you can give your taste buds the experience with treats ranging from Vietnamese hoagies at Banh Bi & Bottles, to shredded beef and sweet plantain arepas at Puyero Venezuelan Flavor

South Street
Courtesy of South Street

Other vendors lining up at the South Street Festival include Bassetts Ice Cream, Bridget Foy’s, Dr. Wutzit’s Wonder Balls, MilkBoy South Street, Ramona Susan’s Bake Shop, The Good King Tavern, Astro Vinyl Art, Queen and Rook Game Cafe, Repo Records, The Bacon Jams, Urban Princess Boutique and more (a full list can be found online at Southstreet.com) For information on this event and updates on all things South Street, you can also follow South Street Headhouse District on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  

At the west end of the festival on the 700 Block of South Street, Brauhaus Schmitz will also be hosting its Annual South Street Oktoberfest. Now in its 14th year, the celebration is back on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The celebrated event is known as one of the most popular ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in Philadelphia, and will be held on the 700 block of South Street. While there, visitors can sip on 10 different German beers available on draft, a wealth of German food, live Oompah music by Die Heimatklänge, German dancing by the United German Hungarians, flower crowns, a Liter Lift, games and more.

South Street
Brauhaus Schmitz

According to a release, the event is family-friendly and free to attend (pay as you go). There is something for everyone at this event—but if you want more of an exclusive pass, the VIP experience is available. VIP passes are $120 and include entrance to the Brauer Bund Bierhall, a special buffet from noon to 6 p.m., a liter mug, 7 Bier/Merchandise Tokens, a 2022 Oktoberfest T-shirt, Haus Swag and private bathrooms. VIP passes are limited and must be purchased in advance.

More information can be found on this festival at brauhausschmitz.com. And if you can’t make it out this weekend, Brauhaus Schmitz will be hosting its 5th annual 23rd St. Armory Oktoberfest with 3 sessions to choose from next weekend as well. While there, traditional Oktoberfest food will be provided by Chef Valentin Bay, and beer will be provided by the world famous Hofbräuhaus München – Das Original. This 2 day festival will give guests the opportunity to celebrate at one of three separate 4-hour sessions, each accommodating up to 1,400 people. 

And last but certainly not least, Philly AIDS Thrift is presenting the grand return of their annual block party and fall festival on Saturday, Oct. 1, after a three year break.

South Street
Courtesy of Philly AIDS Thrift

“We have dearly missed our annual outdoor block party and we are so excited to bring it back again, for 2022,” said Philly AIDS Thrift’s manager and co-founder Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou in a statement. “It’s been three years since our last outdoor block party held pre-pandemic back in 2019. Whether it’s to listen to the best local band of 2022, watch people shove pie into their faces as fast as humanly possible, or simply dance in the middle of the street, everyone who stops by will be helping us raise even more money for to the grant program for the local HIV/AIDS service organizations.”

Taking place from noon to 6 p.m., the 17th Anniversary Block Party will take place at the 700 blocks of S. 5th Street and E. Passyunk Avenue (between Bainbridge and Monroe streets), and the celebration will include live music, food trucks, a celebrity dunk tank, carnival games, craft/vintage vendors, a pie eating contest, face painting, caricature, and of course, dancing in the street.

Additionally, the popular pie eating contest will return starting at 2:30 p.m., and in partnership with MANNA, the berry pies will be provided by the organization, in correlation to their annual fundraiser, Pie In The Sky (which also begins on Oct. 1.)

The Block Party will additionally house a celebrity dunk tank with WXPN’s Raina Douris, the host of the podcast “Conservations From The World Café”, WXPN’s John Stanley, the host of the podcast “John’s Dollar Bin” and drink-slinger at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, and Stefanie Jolles from Philly’s Premier Punk Rock N Roll Shop, Crash Bang Boom. And finally, there will also be 35 craft and vintage vendors. 

South Street
Courtesy of Philly AIDS Thrift

“I truly cannot express how excited we are to be back, live, in-person for our 8th consecutive block party,” said Board President Michael Byrne in a statement. “It has been a long time – since 2019 – and a lot has changed in those years – one thing that has not changed is Philly AIDS Thrift working hard to support organizations and programs that make a difference in the lives of individuals impacted by HIV/ AIDS. We hope you can support our work and join us for a great day of fun, games, food and entertainment. Don’t forget to keep a lookout for our next grant cycle which opens on Oct. 1. Thanks for supporting us for 17 years — and here’s to the next 17!”

Despite the COVID-19 crisis during its most recent grant cycle, Philly AIDS Thrift was able to award $300,035 to 27 local organizations in 2022. For information on the Philly AIDS Thrift Block Party, visit phillyaidsthrift.com

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