Cracked bells and Founding Fathers might be Philly’s main tourism draw, but, come summertime, the city heats up with a full roster of festivals celebrating everything from local culture to the city’s booming beer scene. Here are the ones to add to your list.
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts welcomes an international array of performers from all over the world for an 11-day fest from May 31 – complete with aerial acrobatics, improvised dance pop-ups, and even choreographed sheep herding. With both free and ticketed events taking place all over the city, checking into Embassy Suites gives performance goers a central home base, close to both the Kimmel Center and happenings in Fairmount Park.
Get Your Beers Here
Anyone who has attended the city’s celebration of all things sudsy knows that Philly Beer Week is serious business. With 100-plus events spanning June 1–10, pacing and planning are key when it comes to choosing which tap takeovers, barrel-aged bonanzas, and brewer meet-and-greets to book. Many of the city’s best beer bars are situated within walking (or stumbling) distance of Midtown Village, making the Hampton Inn a smart place to sip and stay.
Every summer, Questlove, Black Thought, and the rest of Philly-born ensemble The Roots hosts the Roots Picnic at Festival Pier. This summer, Dave Chappelle is the master of ceremonies and the line-up features Lil Uzi Vert, The Diplomats, and 2Chainz along with a podcast stage, and panels on everything from arts and fashion to straight-up hustle. Tickets for this year’s event, held on June 2, are $75. Overlooking the Delaware River, Festival Pier is a quick trek from the Hilton Philadelphia.
From early June until mid September, Penn’s Landing is home to PECO Multicultural Series, a free celebration of the rich cultural heritage that makes up this diverse city. This free series of festivals visits the islands of the Caribbean, observes Indian Independence Day, and embraces the flavors of Africa, among many others.
As the birthplace of the states, it’s only right that Philly celebrates Independence Day with a big bash. From June 28 to July 4, Wawa Welcome America! sets up shop in front of the iconic Rocky Stairs for a free evening of live music and an impressive fireworks display. This year’s entertainment comes by way of The Philly Pops Big Band, Broadway’s Heather Headley and Mr. Worldwide himself, Pitbull.
Out and About
From June 8–10, the Philly Pride Parade and Festival is celebrating 30 years of its LGBT legacy, guaranteeing that 2018 is going to be one serious party (and making that $15 entrance fee a bargain). The colorful parade kicks off at 13th and Locust Streets and that means that booking a suite at Doubletree Philadelphia Center gives guests access to all of the festivities, entertainment, and vendors.
Cross the River
An eclectic line-up keeps things hot at the XPoNential Music Festival just across the river at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden. This year, David Byrne and big-name local talent The War on Drugs are headlining. Tickets to the two-day fest, held from July 27–29, are $150 and the venue is an easy ferry ride via the RiverLink Ferry, which is also a few short blocks from Hilton Philadelphia.
A Star is Born
Often compared to a certain film fest in Park City, Utah, the BlackStar Film Festival brings a world’s worth of cinephiles, actors, and filmmakers to Philadelphia. An all-access pass to this year’s event is $150 and tickets to individual screenings are $12. This year’s resistance-themed festival takes place from August 2–5 in various locations around University City, making The Inn at Penn the perfect place for setting the BlackStar scene.
Made to Order
Each year, Jay Z blesses the City of Brotherly Love with two days featuring a mind-blowing array of talent spread out across five stages on the Parkway for the Budweiser Made in America Festival. This year’s line-up for the event (held from September 1–2) hasn’t been revealed yet and tickets are yet to be released, but securing a room at the Embassy Suites means you’ll be within earshot of this year’s performers.
Don’t miss the action in Philadelphia this summer – book the Long Weekender Package to save up to 50% on Sunday when you stay for three nights.