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Philadelphia Events

Fourth of July

Considering Philadelphia's central role in the American War of Independence, it comes as no surprise that the Fourth of July celebrations, one of the biggest US holidays of the year, are even more special here in the city. The birthday festivities include organised pageants, parades, festivals, concerts, and - typically, spectacular fireworks displays. Numerous events of varying scales of grandeur and extravagance take place throughout Philadelphia.

Date: 04 July 2018 - 04 July 2018
Venue: Various venues around Philadelphia.

Most events free.

Philadelphia Folk Festival

Long-running and world-famous festival of contemporary music, camping, crafting and children’s activities that spans three days in August.

Date: 16 August 2018 - 19 August 2018
Venue: Old Pool Farm 1323 Salford Station Road, Schwenksville.
Website: festival/

Prices vary.

Philadelphia Fringe Festival

The popular Philadelphia Fringe Festival started in 1997 presenting 60 acts within five days – in theatres, galleries, alleyways and anywhere else artists can find performance space. It has now grown into a 17 day festival that provides a stage for innovative new shows created by the best local, national and international artists. You can expect a weird and wonderful mix of art installations, theatre, music, dance, music and poetry.

Date: 06 September 2018 - 22 September 2018
Venue: Various venues around Philadelphia.

Some free, others from $25.

Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show

Held every June and September, the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show welcomes top quality artists from all over the country in what is the oldest continuously-run outdoor art show in the entire country.

Date: 14 September 2018 - 16 September 2018
Venue: Rittenhouse Square.


Macy's Christmas Light Show

Formerly known as the Wanamaker's Christmas Light Show, this festival is one of Philadelphia's best-loved holiday traditions that attracts visitors of all ages. Featuring over 100,000 individual lights, crowds are wowed by the incredible festive show that features all the usual Christmas characters including reindeer and Santa himself. The fun show is set to music played on the world-famous Wanamaker Grand Organ.

Date: 23 November 2018 - 31 December 2018
Venue: Macy's 1300 Market Street.


Mummers Parade

A tradition brought here by early immigrants from Europe, the mummers are thought to have their earliest origins in the Roman Festival of Saturnalia. Here in Philadelphia about 15,000 mummers perform in the New Year's Day parade competing for US$395,000 in prizes. This is reckoned to be only a small fraction of the value of the spectacular costumes, which can cost several thousand each. The parades take place throughout the day in most weather conditions, although weather-related postponements are not unknown. The five divisions of mummers are Comics (clowns), Fancies (themed fancy dress), String Bands (combining fancy dress and music), Fancy Brigades (performing troupes) and the newest division Wench Brigade (themed fancy dress and live brass bands).

Date: 01 January 2019 - 01 January 2019
Venue: Streets of central Philadelphia

Free to spectate.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year celebrations in Philly are always colourful occasions marked with parades, flower markets and festivities throughout Chinatown.

Date: 05 February 2019 - 05 February 2019
Venue: Chinatown.


Philadelphia Independent Film Festival

A must for movie-lovers. There are over 250 screenings of 132 domestic and international narrative, documentary and short films.

Date: 01 May 2019 - 31 May 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Various venues.

Dad Vail Regatta

Held each year over the weekend of the second Saturday of May, the Dad Vail Regatta is the largest collegiate regatta in the United States. First held in 1934 on the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park, the regatta has become something of an institution which now consists of over 100 races and attracts thousands of rowers from across North America. The event takes its name from Harry Emerson 'Dad' Vail, who for years was coach at the University of Wisconsin and was a great friend of Rusty Callow, the founder of the event.

Date: 10 May 2019 - 11 May 2019
Venue: Kelly Drive Fairmont Park.

Free to spectate.

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Philadelphia is more than just a beacon of American liberty, it's vibrant art scene, diverse population and world-class museums all add to its appeal