Plazapalooza is back. The beginning-of-summer event held annually by the South of South Neighborhood Association will officially become a decade old this Saturday, May 11, for its 10th annual festival. This year’s event will feature a kids’ area, live music and tables from SOSNA and other local sponsors. The event is happening from noon to 7 p.m. at the Main Plaza, located at South Street and Grays Ferry Avenue.
“The point of this is really just a celebration,” said the chair of SOSNA’s triangles committee, Jonathan Klein. “What we try to do is celebrate everything that Southwest Center City has to offer. We have bands playing, local businesses involved, kids events, a kids area with games and face painting and trying to get a local hula hooper involved. Because there’s so many great families and residents in the neighborhood, this is our way of celebrating everyone.”
Klein called the triangles “a mainstay” in Graduate Hospital.
“It’s becoming a meeting point and a local hangout for everyone, and it highlights all the hard work for becoming an area where (people) can congregate.”
The event will feature two food trucks: Grabaholics and Rio Brazilian Steak Truck. Adjacent to the plaza are a few restaurants, namely The Igloo, which serves treats and desserts, and Grace Tavern, which is a popular watering hole for those who live in the area. Both businesses are sponsoring the event and will be open during it.
The triangles in the middle of the street were formed out of leftover space due to the layout of many of the city’s diagonal streets (like Moyamensing Avenue, Passyunk Avenue, Ridge Avenue, or in this case, Grays Ferry Avenue). SOSNA, via the city’s pedestrian plaza program, decided to turn those spaces into communal areas for residents to gather and linger.
SOSNA has three total triangles. The Main Plaza is one, but just a block away are two triangles at the intersection of Bainbridge Street, 24th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue. These two triangles are referred to as “the southern triangles.”
“The Bainbridge and 24th Street triangles really focus more on safety from a traffic and pedestrian crosswalk perspective,” Klein said. The Main Plaza, on the other hand, is more of a social gathering area.
Klein said the purpose of the triangles committee is to provide oversight “to make triangles continue to be a safe environment where people want to go and congregate.”