The weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and everyone is getting eager to get outside. What better excuse to spend time outside than at a food festival? Festivals are not just a source of entertainment; but they bring awareness and support to charities and foundations, allow people to experiment with and learn more about food, sports, crafts, and other hobbies, and bring people together through common interests.
Philadelphia is becoming more lively as spring and summer approach and has planned many upcoming events around the city’s diverse food scene. Everyone, especially passionate foodies, should plan ahead and attend at least one of the following spring food festivals; I promise, no one will leave hungry.
April 10, 2016
If farm-fresh, local ingredients, sustainable lifestyle, and homemade goods interests you, then this festival is for you. Since it’s start in 2011, the Philly Farm and Food Fest has been steadily growing each year with more vendors, educators, and passionate foodie supporters. The event takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and general admission starts $20 a ticket.
This is an excellent farm-to-city learning experience that offers the public fresh local samples from chefs around Philadelphia and education about sustainable and healthy eating. It is a truly inspiring event that would make anyone appreciate local farming and start experimenting in the kitchen.
April 14, 2016
This annual spring occasion is less of a festival and more of public fundraiser, but still has the entertaining value of a traditional fair with the added benefit of supporting a great cause. Almost 200 restaurants in the Philadelphia region will participate in the 26th year of Dining Out for Life, benefiting people suffering from HIV and AIDS.
The participating restaurants, including Little Nonna’s, Fette Sau, and Vedge, have committed to donate a third of the cost of a customers meal to help those suffering from those debilitating diseases. Some of the donations will contribute to medical care, life-saving medicine, housing, and more. Anyone can be involved and donate if they are willing to dine out at one of the 200 participating restaurants.
April 10, 2016
This is a day long food celebration featuring the rich culinary diversity Manayunk has to offer. Main Street will be shut down for the entire day to make way for all the shopping and foods tents as well as the live entertainment. This festival also kicks off the start of Manayunk’s spring restaurant week the day after. The strEAT celebration prepares everyone for a week of delicious and eclectic food.
The festival is expected to draw more than 50 of the best local food trucks and vendors in the neighborhood. Admission for the festival is free; just bring your appetite and an open mind to try all the different food trucks.
April 23, 2016
This Manayunk blues-inspired barbecue is for all the passionate beer and blues enthusiasts. People can start drinking and eating at 1 o’clock in the afternoon into the early evening. There will be up to 70 different craft beer samples available, bourbon samples, and a whole roasted pig to serve to all the festival-goers. General admission starts at $45 for unlimited beer samples and multiple bourbon samples. Everyone 21 and older can hang out for the day and enjoy live music, fresh barbecue, and local craft brews and liquor.
April 24, 2016
This event is truly a culinary journey dedicated to highlighting East Passyunk’s top neighborhood restaurants. Each festival-goer has the opportunity to sample all 26 of the participating restaurants dishes under one giant food tent. Outside of the food tent there will be live music and local vendors taking over Moore and Morris streets.
General admission is $50 to try all of the sample dishes and some brews offered by the restaurants. All the foodie fun will take place under the comfort of one large tent, supporting the festival rain or shine, on a lot in between Tasker and Morris streets.
May 21-22, 2016
The South 9th Street Italian Market Festival is an all day Italian inspired fair that is perfect for families and friends to explore and learn more about Italian culture. The event is in the heart of South Philadelphia, and the festivities and food are spread throughout the neighborhood on multiple blocks. Each year there are about 70,000 visitors that spend hours tasting, buying, and sharing authentic Italian and Italian-American food.
Aside from the Italian cuisine, there are also other dishes and curb vendors featured from other cultures like Asian and South American flavors. There is no admission fee, so people have the freedom to try and purchase what they want.
May 2016, Stay Tuned
The Night Market is a seasonal food festival that honors food, music, and the sense of community in different Philadelphia neighborhoods. The official dates have not yet been released but traditionally the market begins some time in May and continues throughout the summer. The market also appears in several different neighborhoods, attracting thousands of visitors from in and outside the city.
There is no admission charge, but there will be strong temptation to buy samples and fresh products from the top food trucks, neighborhood restaurants, and local vendors. Foodies can spend the night exploring the multiple streets in different neighborhoods sharing the best food around.