Take a deep dive into Philly’s parks system and you’ll likely never see the city as a concrete jungle again.
At well over 2,000 acres from east to west, Fairmount Park is incontestably the crown jewel of our urban outdoors. But it’s still just of fraction of the 10,200 acres of total community green spaces and city-owned parkland that spreads across the city.
And throughout that expanse comes a little gem that we somehow forget during the winter months but savor once warmer temperatures come out: Parks on Tap.
However, seldom is known as of yet as co-partners Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy have yet to release its highly anticipated schedule of events. Heading into its third year, the event generally runs from mid-April into late September. Last year, Parks on Tap held events at 23 different parks throughout the city.
If you’ve never been then you can’t quite understand the joy (no BS, joy) of being cordoned off and served up overpriced beer and wine to enjoy on outdoor Walmart folding chairs and unwashed hammocks.
It’s probably because there’s literally something to do at these events. If you’re a young buck, you go there to get your buzz on. For my YPs, you care about the selection of locally sourced craft beers – and to get your buzz on. And for the double stroller-pushing parents, it’s a place to do both, along with a good taco from one of the food trucks all tucked in a confined area so you can keep an eye on the kids and the dog.
But here’s the thing. It’s March 14 and neither organization has released the schedule yet. Let’s that we really are all geared up to know but the release of that information is really in many ways the unofficial start of warm Philly and sayonara to cold AF Philly. So if you could kindly let us know via any of our social channels when you’ll be releasing that shit so the rest of us can have something to look forward to, that’d be great.
It’s about to be nice soon, Philly. Find the perfect festival to give you something to do.
Surround yourself with the smooth sounds of jazz. This three-day music festival features over 30 jazz and blues performers. Saxophone legends Bootsie Barnes and Larry McKenna, who released the album “The More I See You” together last year, are headlining. Ticket proceeds will be donated to Jazz Bridge, a local non-profit which helps jazz and blues musicians in times of need. | April 2- April 4. Times vary. $24.95. Venice Island Performing Arts Center, 7 Lock St. manayunkjazzfest.com
2019 Philadelphia Fleadh
Philadelphia’s largest annual Irish-American festival is returning this year at the Philadelphia National Guard Armory. Named by Good Morning America as one of the “5 Top Authentic Irish-American Events in the U.S.,” the event features musicians, vendors, food, drinks and plenty of activities for kids. Show off your moves in The Feis at the Fleadh, a dance competition. Children 12 and under enter for free. | May 11, 11 am- 8 pm. Prices vary. Philadelphia National Guard Armory, 2700 Southampton Rd. phillyfleadh.com
Black Food and Dessert Expo
Come out and show your support for Black chefs and bakers at the seventh annual event in Old City. Ticket prices include sample tickets, giving guests the chance to experience the magic offerings from the featured chefs and bakers. Over 20 vendors will be there, eager for guests to taste the love behind their culinary creations. | April 20, 6-9 pm. Prices vary. Old Pine Community Center, 401 Pine St. eventbrite.com
Flavors on the Avenue
Stuff yourself with all the delicious dishes at this annual tasting of East Passyunk Avenue’s greatest food offerings. This pay-as-you-go event features over two dozen vendors lined up on the street, as well as musical acts, a fashion show and a craft market to keep everybody entertained. | April 28. Times vary. Prices vary. East Passyunk Ave. from Dickinson St. to Morris St. visiteastpassyunk.com
South Street Headhouse District Spring Festival & Maifest
Take over South Street this spring at this annual street fair. Food trucks and South Street culinary staples will be serving up their best food and drinks. The Maifest maintains German tradition with the traditional Maypole dance and enough beer and brats to get your belly bloated. | May 4. Times vary. Free admission. South St. from 2nd St. to 8th St. southstreet.com/spring-fest/
Kick back and celebrate the art of LGBTQ+ cinema at this annual film festival. Films of varying genres by LGBTQ+ community members will be screened at venues throughout the city. | March 25-31. Times vary. Prices vary. Locations vary. qflixphilly.com
Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
Spring hasn’t officially sprung until the cherry blossom trees sprout out of the ground. Enjoy the beauty of the blossoms and of Japanese culture at this annual, week-long festival. Immerse yourself in sushi-making classes, film screenings, kimono dressing and martial arts at this celebration of a prominent culture. | April 6-14. Times vary. Prices vary. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Horticultural and Landsdowne Drives, Fairmount Park. subarucherryblossom.org
Philadelphia Black Pride
Philadelphia’s diversity is one of its greatest assets that should be celebrated. Join this year’s multi-day celebration of Black pride, which acknowledges Black LGBTQ+ community members. The event is always held on the same weekend as the Penn Relays. Social events, forums and round-table discussions are all part of the celebration. | April 25-28. Times vary. Prices vary. Locations vary. phillyblackpride.org
Philadelphia Science Festival
Geek out at all this year’s science festival has to offer. Hosted by The Franklin Institute, along with over 200 establishments, the nine-day-long festival boasts hundreds of lectures and hands-on activities to educate kids and adults alike of the power of science. | April 26-May 4. Times vary. Prices vary. Locations vary. philasciencefestival.org
South 9th St Italian Market Festival
Cannolis, pizza, sausages - need I say more? Join the annual event in the Italian Market that takes attendees on a culinary tour of Italy’s most delightful decadences. Entertainment and games are also provided, including a greased pole-climbing competition. | May 18-19. Times vary. Prices vary. 9th St. and Washington Ave. italianmarketfestival.com
Philly Beer Week
Beer bellies galore will be in attendance at this year’s Beer Week, Philly’s twelfth annual celebration of the event. Hailed “the best beer-drinking city in America,” Philadelphia boasts some impressive brews that are available for tasting at this celebration, which is the largest beer celebration in the U.S. Give yourself an excuse to get day drunk. | May 31-June 9. Times vary. Prices vary. Locations vary. phillybeerweek.org
Blue Cross Broad Street Run
Burn off those pounds from winter hibernation. The Broad Street Run features is a 10-mile running course from the Logan neighborhood in North Philadelphia down to the Navy Yard. The course has been rated by Runner’s World Magazine as one of the fastest in the country. | May 5, 2019. 8 am. Free. Locations vary. broadstreetrun.com
– ALEX NAGY | @ALEXBNAGY