Local Highlights

6 Events in Philadelphia You Can’t Miss

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From cultural institutions like the Rodin Museum to the bustling farmer’s market at the Reading Terminal, there’s always places to learn, explore, shop, and eat year-round in the Philadelphia region. 

Even better, though, are the annual can’t-miss festivals and events that define The City of Brotherly Love. The area is jam-packed with parades, food festivals, and holiday celebrations that range from historic to ultra-modern, and each reflect the city’s unique cultural influences.

Whether you’re new to Philadelphia or a tried-and-true Philadelphian, there’s plenty of places to visit in Philadelphia and events to explore to get a taste of the city’s rich experiences.

#1 Mummers Parade

Of all the exciting events in Philadelphia, the Mummers Parade is one of the oldest folk parade traditions, kicking off the new year in front of City Hall with a theatrical and musical costumed spectacle. It’s a 120-year-old tradition and over 10,000 of Philadelphia’s population flock to the streets to celebrate.1

Gussied-up groups of Comics, Wenches, Fancies, and more attendees bring drama and delight as they make their way through the city streets and compete for prizes for the best performance. When the show ends, head over to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for Broadway-esque productions.

Neighborhood: Center City

#2 Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Philadelphia’s robust Irish heritage makes for one of the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country—second only to the New York City event. 

Celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2022, the parade sends a sea of green through Philly that spans Market Street and culminates at Penn’s Landing. The parade isn’t the only way the city celebrates the holiday, either. They keep the festivities going with:

  • Pub crawls
  • Live Irish music
  • Authentic Irish food

Neighborhood: Center City & Old City

#3 Philadelphia Flower Show

If you jumped into the recent plant-parent craze with a room full of houseplants and HBO’s Full Bloom on repeat, then add the Philadelphia Flower Show to your early June agenda. 

An annual Philly event since 1829, the show features stunning botanical displays by the best floral artists in the country, alongside workshops, gardening talks, markets, and more. Eat, drink, and shop as you stare in awe at the stunning installations (and take home a new plant friend or two). 

In addition to vendors selling unique plants, garden furniture and tools, hand-crafted jewelry, and cut flowers, the show will also include juried competitions in:2

  • Horticulture and artistic floral arrangements
  • Gardening presentations and demonstrations
  • Landscape designs

Neighborhood: South Philadelphia

#4 Penn Relays

Sure, Philadelphia has a strong sports culture with die-hard Eagles and Phillies fans, but the Penn Relays offer athletic fans a chance to view and support the best track and field athletes in the world. 

As one of Philadelphia’s “oldest and largest” events, the meet brings in over 100,000 spectators to University of Pennsylvania’s historic Franklin Field, where they have the chance to see world-class Olympians like Usain Bolt as well as up-and-coming high school and college athletes as they compete in more than 400 events, including:

  • 4×400 meter relay
  • Javelin
  • Pole vault
  • 100-meter dash
  • Sprints

Neighborhood: University City

#5 South 9th Street Italian Market Festival 

Foodies can eat their way through the best Italian delicacies at this beloved Philly festival. 

Stroll South 9th Street with an ice cold Peroni while sampling cured meats, pastas, and cannolis. In addition to the fantastic food, the festival also includes:3 

  • Procession of the Saints from Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi Church to St. Paul Catholic Church
  • Live music entertainment, including DJs and live bands
  • Fine arts show that features oil paintings, jewelry, and accessories
  • Halfball tournament, in which five-person teams compete in an old-school Philly street game

If you’re feeling extra brave, enter the grease pole climbing competition and show off your slippery ascension skills and win prizes, meats, cheeses, gifts, and money.

Neighborhood: Bella Vista & Passyunk Square

#6 Wawa Welcome America Festival

Is there a better location to celebrate the Fourth of July than America’s birthplace? It’s no surprise that Philly does Independence Day better than any other city, with two weeks of free fun spread along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and beyond.  

Honoring the spirit of freedom and independence, the festival spans Juneteenth to the Fourth and includes: 

  • Fee-free museum entrances
  • Hoagie-themed celebrations
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Ben Franklin Parkway block party
  • The biggest waterfront fireworks display this side of the Delaware River

Neighborhood: Fairmount

Festivals Just Steps From Your Front Door With Common

The Philadelphia region is nothing short of events and festivals. From Italian delicacies to bountiful bouquets and fine arts, Philly is bustling with can’t-miss entertainment and events that’ll make any stay in Philadelphia a memorable one. 

Keep the festivities close with Common

Whether you’re a short-term visitor or a long-term resident, we offer private and coliving spaces in some of Philadelphia’s most active areas: Fishtown, Fairmont, and Francisville. Enjoy the convenience and community of our all-inclusive living areas for a home base you can return to after relishing in one of many upcoming events in Philadelphia.

Explore our homes today.

 

Sources: 

  1. Visit Philly. The Mummers Parade. https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/events/the-mummers-parade/#the-experience 
  2. Visit Philly. The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/events/philadelphia-international-flower-show/
  3. Italian Market Festival. Our annual Italian Market Festival returns May 20-21, 2023: Philadelphia’s Largest Block Party. https://www.italianmarketfestival.com/ 
  4. Independence Visitor Center Corporation. The Mummers. https://www.phlvisitorcenter.com/Mummers
  5. Museum of World Athletics. The Penn Relays’ unsurpassed history highlighted by Heritage Plaque. https://worldathletics.org/heritage/news/heritage-plaque-penn-relays
  6. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Philadelphia Flower Show. https://phsonline.org/the-flower-show
  7. Visit Philly. Wawa Welcome America’s July 4th Fest Offers 16 Days of Free Fun for 2022. https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/events/wawa-welcome-america/

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