22 May 2011

Summer in the City: Philadelphia

If you are within visiting distance of the City of Brotherly Love, you need to set aside some space on your summer calendar for a visit or two. Each year Philadelphians are keen to top the stellar summer from the year before by packing the calendar full of awesome events. From the best Independence Day celebration in the nation to a superb selection of concerts, Philadelphia is the place to be in summer. Below, check out our picks for each month.

Kicking off the summer season is the Elfreth's Alley 76th annual Fete Day Celebration. This traditional event, dating back to the 1930's, is one of the two times each year that the residents of our nation's oldest street kindly open their homes to the public. The main event of this two-day summer spectacular occurs on Saturday, June 4th, between the hours of noon and 5PM. During this time around a dozen of these historic houses will be open for the public to tour. In addition to this decades-old tradition, the Museum of Elfreth's Alley will debut an exciting new event known as the Famous Philadelphian First Friday Auction. Celebrities with ties to Philadelphia have donated original artwork or signed memorabilia to be auctioned off, benefiting the struggling museum's education and preservation efforts. Tickets for this event cover both days of fun and excitement, and are 20% cheaper when purchased online prior to the event.

Beginning in late June and wrapping in early July is the annual Wawa Welcome America Celebration. This event is the only way to celebrate the United States of America's 235th birthday. The 4th of July is a big deal all over the country, but no city does it quite like the USA's birthplace. From watching Rocky on the Art Museum's stairs to jamming out with America's go to band for all things amazing, the Roots, this celebration has it all. Of course, the highlight of this multi-day event is on the 4th, a day full of concerts, parades, and more. My recommendation is to camp out on Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park for an afternoon barbecue followed by the best view of the fireworks in town. Just be sure to get there early, as the hill starts to fill up around 2PM. Keep checking their website as more events are added to the already packed lineup.

Throughout the summer, Helium Comedy Club will be on a mission to find Philly's Phunniest Person. With eleven preliminary rounds and several contestants spread out over three months of hilarity, this gut-busting event is a can't miss. The best month to check out this local comedy extravaganza will most likely be August, when the contest is whittled down to a few funny finalists. The finals are spread out over three Sundays, the 7th, 14th, and 21st. Be sure to get your tickets ahead of time before this popular comic showcase sells out!

These three events are merely the tip of the iceberg as far as summer events in Philly are concerned. Keep up to date with us here at the What for more cool goings-on, and check out Uwishunu for even more events. We hope to see you enjoying Philadelphia this summer!

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