Of course, the biggest event for XPN is our annual XPoNential Music Festival! It’s the highlight of a year filled with musical discovery and a chance to celebrate down by the river. We hope you can join us and if not, please tune in and enjoy the music on our airwaves or on our live stream. Continue reading →
At historic Fort Mifflin’s Freedom Blast! the American flag is raised at 10:15 Saturday to kick off a day of readings of the Declaration of Independence, cannon and gun demonstrations and tours of the forts casemates (storage areas built into hills) guided by Revolutionary War era living history soldiers and civilians in authentic dress. The fort is one of Philadelphia’s gems, and you get an added boost of anachronism with the planes flying overhead to land at the Philadelphia Airport.
The Wawa Welcome America festival, which began earlier this week, gets underway at 10 am Friday with the Celebration of Freedom ceremony on the steps of Independence Hall, made extra special this year since it’s the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision paving the way for integration and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This is followed by a parade through Historic Philadelphia, ringing of the Liberty Bell, and the annual celebration on the Ben Franklin Parkway from noon on ending with the big free concert, this year featuring The Roots, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Aloe Blacc and Vicci Martinez, and culminating as always with fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art!
Betsy will be in two places at once because she’ll also be at the iconic Betsy Ross House for Betsy’s Independence Day Bash, complete with a children’s naturalization ceremony and ceremonial bell ringing.
Also Friday Colonial reenactors are encamped at 6th and Market Streets and will perform cannon drills, and John Adams is available for a chat at the Historic Philadelphia Center.
Saturday such luminaries as Martha Washington, Baron Von Steuben, Thomas Jefferson and Octavious Cotto, who was a major in the Union Army in the Civil War and later registered black voters in Philadelphia, will be at Historic Philadelphia sites…and there are many activities for the kids.
Aside from 4th of July celebrations, other events are happening this weekend…
The Awesome Fest presents a free outdoor 20th anniversary screening of The Crow Saturday at Liberty Lands on North American Street in Philadelphia. This 1994 American supernatural action film was based on James O’Barr’s 1989 comic book and tells the story of a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his murder and that of his fiancée. Rochelle Davis, who appears as Sarah in the movie, will be there!
Arch Street’s Fabric Workshop and Museum has been exhibiting photography by Ray Metzger, Will Brown, and David Graham. Brown captures still street photos, Metzger is well known for his black-and-white city-scapes, and Graham’s landscape work has been described as “bizarre” and “vibrant.” The exhibits stay up through the end of the summer.
Spiritual Strivings:A Celebration of African American Works on Paper is at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts It presents two collections. There are 70 works from the expansive Harmon & Harriet Kelley collection that spans the 20th century and is considered the preeminent collection of its kind (through October 12th)…and Eldzier Cortor:Theme and Variations from a living artist in his 90s who has just made a generous gift of his work to PAFA (through August 31st).
Sunday the Odunde Festival celebrates its 39th anniversary as one of the largest African American street festivals in the country, filling 12 blocks of South Street with music, dance, authentic African, Brazilian and Caribbean wares and food. There’s a unique procession to the Schulykill River to offer fruit and flowers to the Yoruba river goddess Oshun on what promises to be a stellar day, sunny with a high of 80. All are welcome!
The second annual Philadelphia International Children’s Film Festival is all weekend at the PFS Theater at the Roxy in Center City. The Philadelphia Film Society has partnered with the New York International Film Festival, one of the longest running and most acclaimed children’s film festivals, to present animated, live action and experimental features and shorts from around the world, and some Q&A’s with filmmakers, to open children’s minds to the breadth and variety of films created for them.
The one and only Village People headline the music at the 26th annual Philadelphia Pride Festival Pride Day Sunday, capping off a weekend of LGBT activities. There’s a parade, of course, starting at noon from 13th and Locust to Penns Landing, and for the first time ever, under Pennsylvania’s new law, same sex couples will marry at Independence Mall during the parade. Philadelphia’s emcee extraordinaire Henri David hosts the entertainment at Penns Landing which also features the terrific trio BETTY and a boy band of classically trained musicians called Well Strung (!) who play and sing music from Mozart to Lady Gaga.
Philadelphia’s remarkable repository of public art grows bigger on Friday when the Association for Public Art celebrates the installation of a massive new work called Symbiosis on the Ben Franklin Parkway. The sculpture by New York based artist Roxy Paine is on loan for a year. It depicts one of the most powerful images from nature, a tree, composed of industrial materials — stainless steel pipe, plate and rods — which have been fashioned into an organic looking form. The artist has been working all week to put the sculpture in place for its first public display ever and will speak at a free public reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the installation site.
Philadelphia’s love of beer reaches a peak during Philly Beer Week, which is actually 10 days through June 8th. The festivities start Friday with the traditional Opening Tap by Mayor Nutter followed by a party at the 23rd Street Armory. There are over a thousand events including Craft Beer Day in South Philadelphia with 16 hours of events on Sunday on East Passyunk Avenue.
Also Sunday on East Passyunk Avenue is the Italian National Day Festival featuring live music and dance, food, crafts, and a spaghetti eating contest! It’s free, rain or shine.
It’s your last chance to see the art produced by the graduating class of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, one of the most prestigious art education institutions in the nation. This is the 113th annual student exhibition, and some of the work is for sale.
Arden Theatre Company presents Incorruptible, a dark comedy set in the Dark Ages, bringing together an itinerant con man with destitute monks in France. By Philadelphia playwright Michael Hollinger through June 22.
Walnut2Walnut is a unique event on Saturday that combines a 15-mile regatta on both of Philadelphia’s rivers with a scavenger hunt and a walk from one end of Walnut Street to the other! There’s also a VIP Finish Line Party on Olympia, the 19th century ship at the Independence Seaport Museum, which uses proceeds from the day to fund its on-the-water education programs.
And the Manayunk Wall once again asserts its power over cyclists in the famous Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic on Sunday. In addition to the professional race there are activities like amateur racing and the East Falls block party during the weekend.
Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day after the Civil War when the graves of soldiers were strewn with flowers. Memorial Day now honors those who have given their lives for this country in all military theaters. Laurel Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for many Civil War and other veterans and is the new home for The Silent Sentry. This historic bronze statue of a Civil War soldier at parade rest was first dedicated in 1863 at Mount Moriah in SW Philadelphia and will be rededicated in its new home on Sunday with a public ceremony and parade…
…The National Constitution Center has special events all weekend to mark Memorial Day including flag ceremonies and workshops on national memorials…
…Historic Philadelphia’s Franklin Square has special family activities for Memorial Day weekend.
The Philadelphia Weekly said “Nobody in Philadelphia does Tom Stoppard better than The Wilma Theater!”and they’re at it again with a new production of Stoppard’s Tony award winner all about love The Real Thing through June 22nd.
The Devon Horse Show is underway, the nation’s oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competition. In addition to horse events there’s a Country Fair with proceeds benefitting Bryn Mawr Hospital. Through June 1st.
New City Stage Company celebrates the Presidency with its West Wing Festival, currently presenting the Philadelphia premiere of An Evening With Richard Nixon by Gore Vidal which hasn’t had a full production since its run on Broadway in the 1970s until now at the Adrienne Theater…and in the Adrienne Theater Skybox, a free presentation from their Presidential Satire Reading Series!
Philly PHAIR is running two open air festivals, one at Eakins Oval, the other at Headhouse Square, featuring artisans, food trucks, live music and more.
Almanac Dance Circus Theater presents Communitas, an epic dance-driven production about the establishment of a civilization told through acrobatics and music improvisation, at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City Saturday and Sunday.
Public art in the broadest sense of the word is at the fourth annual Art in the Open all weekend along Schuylkill Banks. This year 25 artists have created site specific works in various media stationed along the river from the Fairmount Water Works south to Locust Street Green.
The annual Pride Parade in the streets of New Hope and Lambertville noon – 1:00 p.m. Saturday is part of New Hope Celebrates Pride Week. Also Saturday the Rock The Block Party at the Bucks County Playhouse has live music and vendors. this is the 11th year the area has celebrated its LGBT residents and visitors.
Main Line Art Center presents Jewels and Treasures, an exhibition featuring professional yet affordable works of visual art. Proceeds benefit the Art Center’s education and community outreach programs, which reach over 16,000 people annually. Through June 6, with a preview party Friday.
Dance-illusionist company Momix returns to Philadelphia with its newest work, Alchemia. Choreographer Moses Pendleton’s latest creation is a multimedia spectacle of invention, thrills, humor and sensuality. Through Sunday at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Galleries around the city are opening new exhibitions on First Friday…
The Fabric Workshop and Museum presents the photographs of renowned Philadelphians Will Brown, David Graham and Ray K. Metzker through July 20th. Also opening Friday at FWM Abelardo Morell: Pictures in Three Museums. The Cuban born artist-in-residence photographed and juxtaposed artworks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy and Barnes Foundation to create something new and will give a talk at Friday’s reception.
The Asian Arts Initiative is hosting a First Friday reception for Participate, its 20th anniversary interactive exhibition about what it means to be Asian American. Attendees are invited to share their own history. Through May 23.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting an opening celebration for its newest exhibition, Patrick Kelly: Runaway of Love, Saturday. The retrospective features eighty outfits from the late African American designer, who’s designs resounded throughout the world during the 1980s. The outfits are complemented by selections of Kelly’s African American memorabilia, videos of his fashion shows, and photographs by multiple renowned artists. Runaway of Love is accompanied by Gerlan Jeans Loves Patrick Kelly, an exhibition exploring Kelly’s influence on the Gerlan Jean Company. Both exhibitions are open to the public Sunday through November 30.
Opera Philadelphia presents Don Giovanni, Friday through May 2 at the Academy of Music. Don Giovanni is Mozart’s classic opera chronicling the part-comic, part-tragic exploits of Don Juan. Opera Philadelphia’s rendition stars noteworthy alumni from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts.
Koray Broussard & the Zydeco Unit present a Zydeco Dance Party at the TK Club Friday. Brussard hails from a long line of renowned Zydeco artists, but brings his own funky, soulful style into the mix. The show features a live dance lesson for all skill levels.
Penn’s Landing Playhouse presents Dear Mom, a new play. Inspired by actual letters written by daughters to their mothers, the play tells the story of a middle-aged woman confronted with having to say goodbye to her mother. Through June 4.