By Bill Gelman
What to do? Well, for those who love outdoor events and food, the calendar is stacked with things to do, especially around South Philly. Here are some of the bigger ones worthy of consideration.
9th Street Italian Market Festival
The nation’s oldest outdoor market is preparing for the crowds that will fill the streets for the annual two-day event taking place May 20 and 21. There will be plenty of food, drink, music and even a Procession of Saints. This one is taking place rain or shine. 215–278–2903. italianmarketfestival.com.
Philly Beer Week
Cheers! As part of the newly rechristened Philly Loves Beer initiative, the city’s 10-day beer week kicks off its 10th year on June 1. The famed “Hammer of Glory” will smash open the first keg at The Fillmore. The days and nights — through June 11 — are filled with tastings, dinners, beer Quizzo, tailgate Olympics, happy hours, outdoor bashes and more. phillylovesbeer.org.
Philly’s Cheesesteak and Food Fest
Citizens Bank Park will be transformed into foodie central station for a day filled with Philly staples. We are talking cheesesteaks, hoagies, roast pork sandwiches, pretzels, water ice and beer. This one is taking place Sept. 23. The Phillies will be out of town, but the Phillie Phanatic is already penciled in on the guest list. cheesesteakfest.com.
South Philly Sausage Fest
West Passyunk Avenue, between Broad and 15th streets, will close to traffic for this eight-hour festival featuring sausage-themed food and drink with live music, arts and crafts vendors and a play area for children. Sept. 30. 267–571–9280. spsausagefest.weebly.com
Philly’s popular nighttime neighborhood-based food truck series (established in 2010) returns for another year and with four dates to fill the hungry person’s appetite — while helping The Food Trust, an organization that works to give all Philadelphians access to healthy foods. The final stop is taking place in the 9th Street Italian Market on Oct. 5. 215–575–0444. foodtrust.org.
South Street’s version of Octoberfest returns for its ninth year. Part of South Street will be shut down on Oct. 14 for a day filled with plenty of loud music, great food and lots of drinks. bloktoberfest.com.