Old City Fest Returns to Old City District on Sunday, October 9, 2016

Old City District presents Old City Fest on Sunday, October 9, 2016, from 11:00am to 6:00pm, along N. 3rd Street (from Market to Race) and Arch Street (from 2nd to 4th). Activities will include a festival stage with live music, two runway fashion shows, a family fun zone, pop-up street performances and a wide array of food, beverages, art, craft and retail shopping, with 100+ Old City vendors participating. Admission is free, with food and drink pay-as-you-go. For more info, visit oldcitydistrict.org, tweet @OldCityDistrict or call (215) 592-7929. Old City Fest is produced by Old City District with support from major sponsors Ben FM, Bridge, Colonial Penn, Comcast, East River Bank, Mighty Engine, MRP Realty, Where Magazine, Xfinity, Yelp, plus other sponsors and contributors.

“Old City Fest highlights our region’s premier arts and design district, showcasing local designers, creative firms, restaurants, retailers, galleries, theater, culture, history and architecture,” said Old City District’s Executive Director, Job Itzkowitz. “Old City Fest was designed to be different. The city has tons of amazing neighborhood-based festivals with food, drink and music. We wanted to take that one step farther and celebrate all that makes America’s most historic square mile unique. We curated the event to give Old City’s merchants, artists, makers and creative community a platform to shine for the region.”

From its historic past to its artful present to its tech future, Old City is the place to be! Look for vibrant and diverse offerings that make the neighborhood the historic gem of Philadelphia. Old City staples lining the streets will include Buddakan, Continental, Cuba Libre, Franklin Fountain, Old City Coffee, Sassafras, Center for Art in Wood, Clay Studio, Smak Parlour, and Third Street Habit. Start-ups and newer businesses including Conversion, The Little Lion, People Prints and Select Shop 215 are just some of the more than 100 vendors. Mark your calendar, tell your friends and come prepared for a festival unlike any other. For a full list of activities, vendors, schedules and other information, see below or visit oldcitydistrict.org.



The lineup of Old City restaurants showcases the wide variety of styles and flavors while highlighting some of the best food and drinks. With more than two dozen food vendors setting up shop for the festival there is something for everyone. (*New to Old City Fest for 2016.)

2nd Story Brewing Co.

  • Amada*
  • Buddakan
  • Continental
  • Cuba Libre
  • Festival Food Management
  • Franklin Fountain
  • High Street on Market (community partner) 
  • ICI Macarons & Café
  • Inspired Brews
  • Keating’s Rope & Anchor Bar + Kitchen*
  • Khyber Pass Pub
  • The Little Lion*
  • Lucha Cartel
  • Mama's Meatballs LLC
  • The Olde Bar*
  • Old City Coffee (community partner) 
  • Panorama
  • Philly Pop Kettle Korn*
  • Positano Coast
  • Rocket Fizz
  • Roe
  • Sassafras (community partner)
  • Shane Confectionery
  • Stripp’d Juice*
  • Tartes
  • United By Blue
  • Wedge + Fig
  • Wister BYOB*



Philadelphia Independents is sponsoring Independents Row, a special designated area featuring selected artists and makers. Meet the makers and peruse their handmade goods along 3rd Street in front of 35 N. 3rd Street. Independents Row will include:

  • As the Crow Flies
  • Betsy Ann Paper
  • Britta Keenan
  • The Golden Hen
  • Mason Made
  • The Nautical Rose
  • Philadelphia Independents
  • Saffron Creations
  • Sarah Draws Things
  • Stanley, Chester & Albert
  • Stitch Prism
  • Threet Ceramics
  • Tim Eads
  • The Tin Goat


Old City Fest will host two fashion shows beneath the fall foliage of 3 rd and Cherry Streets in front of MADE Institute’s Design Studio to highlight the innovation and sophistication that is Old City Fashion. Wilhelmina models will take the stage to share new fall styles from local boutiques and design collectives that celebrate independent designers and diversity through fashion. These boutiques include Smak Parlour, Fason De Viv and shared space boutique, 323 Arch Street Fashion Collective, who will be represented by the brands LELE and National Picnic. The second show will feature one of a kind, handmade work from MADE Institute’s current students and members of their Designer Development Program, including Tienel and Harx Four. The shows will be set to music mixed by Cosmo Baker of Philadelphia’s Scratch Academy. Hair and makeup will be provided by Old City’s own Lakshmi Hair Studio. Whether your taste is contemporary, edgy, glam, or bohemian, these shows will not disappoint! The shows are scheduled for 2:00pm and 3:30pm.


Old City Fest will feature live performances on the main stage located at 4th and Arch Streets throughout the day, plus look out for Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and other pop-up performances throughout the festival footprint!  Here's a special sneak peek: 

Hannah Taylor and the Rekardo Lee Trio (12:30pm)
Ernest Stuart (2:00pm)
DJ D-ILL (3:30pm)
Worldtown Sound System (5:00pm) 


The family fun zone will feature performances from the Give & Take Jugglers, Philadelphia Dance Academy, Music Monkey Jungle and many more. AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate, the historic division of Mars Chocolate, will present the history and preparation of colonial chocolate at the Betsy Ross House. Stop by to experience chocolate the same way that 18th century chocolate maker, Mary Crathorne, did! Check in as special guests will visiting throughout the day. You might recognize some of America’s most famous neighbors!

  • 12:00pm – Gymnastics presentation by students from Relentless Fitness
  • 1:00pm – Arden Drama School
  • 2:00pm – Pirates of Fortune’s Folly Stunt Show SpectaculARRRR!
  • 3:00pm – Philadelphia Dance Academy
  • 4:00pm – Music Monkey Jungle
  • 5:00pm – Give & Take Jugglers

* The Philadelphia Dance Academy will perform some excerpts from their Philadelphia Youth Ballet repertoire. Philadelphia Youth Ballet is the youth performance ensemble of the Philadelphia Dance Academy and is comprised of their most dedicated young dancers.

* Music Monkey Jungle’s dance party is an awesome celebration of movement, dance and active imagination. Children and adults will bounce, bop, swing, clap, pat, stomp and jump through the presentation of live music and dances.

* The Give and Take Jugglers have been a consistent hit with both children and adults for over 40 years. Their highly interactive, comedic show uses traditions from vaudeville, circus arts, theater, and music to create a lively and wholesome performance that feels fresh and contemporary.

* The Clay Studio will be hosting clay throw battles! This innovative and dynamic event has two artists go head-to-head in a series of “battles” on the potter’s wheel. The battles include tallest vessel, blind-folded throw, mug race, tandem throw and more. 

* In the Betsy Ross House Courtyard, look for colonial chocolate making demonstrations (and tastings!) from 11:00am to 6:00pm, sponsored by AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate (the historic division of Mars Chocolate). Chocolate figured prominently in Early American history. With a rebellion against tea and everything British, our forefathers (and mothers) proudly chose hot chocolate and coffee drinks as symbols of freedom.

* Meetfemale entrepreneurs - chocolate-maker Mary Crathorne, upholsterer and flagmaker, Betsy Ross, and shopkeeper Hannah Lithgow - and learn how women and their beverage choices played a role during the American Revolution. New this year, guests can also meet Phillis, an educated freed slave who went on to make a living as a washerwoman. Phillis can be found in the Betsy Ross House’s new interactive exhibit, Women at Work in Revolutionary America.

* Sample the tasty drink Colonists enjoyed and take home some AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate, available exclusively at historic sites. The Betsy Ross House is also open for family friendly tours for just $5/adult and $4/children, students, seniors and military.

* Historic Philadelphia, Inc. will also provide colonial games and a Once Upon A Nation storytelling bench in the Family Fun Zone. Visitors will learn about our nation’s history through the award winning, energetic, and interactive Once Upon A Nation storytelling program. They’ll hear fascinating tales of our nation’s history that did not make it into the history books.

* The Momo’s Tree House booth will have a temporary tattoo parlor, a craft station and free temporary hair highlights.

*Look for a Stilt Walker from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts at Old City Fest!

*Pirates of Fortune’s Folly are new to Old City Fest this year. Their Stunt Show SpectaculARRRR! will entertain with plenty of action, music and laughs! “Volunteers” are press-ganged onto the crew to help make things fun and exciting for all!

*Pink Hammers and Sweet Mama Lew will sell handmade goods in the Family Fun Zone

*The Phillie Phanatic will also make a special appearance during the 2:00pm hour!


* Visit the Betsy Ross House, the Center for Art in Wood and the Clay Studio booth for free demonstrations.

* Historic Philadelphia, Inc. will have a booth to promote Franklin Square, Once Upon A Nation, and the Betsy Ross House. A History Maker (first person interpreter) will be in the booth to do calligraphy demonstrations.

Veterans Multi-Service Center Clothing Drive - Support one of Old City's non-profits by donating to a winter clothing drive during Old City Fest.  Festival goers can bring gently used coats for men and women, as well as other winter items (scarves, gloves, boots, etc.) to the VMC's booth. All donations will benefit over 3,500 local Veterans and families.

Other participants (complete list as of Sept. 1) –

  • American Philosophical Society
  • Betsy Ross House + Historic Philadelphia, Inc. (sponsor)
  • Christ Church
  • Connect Church
  • CraftNOW Philadelphia
  • National Museum of American Jewish History
  • Philadelphia History Museum


Old City District is the city’s hub for artists, makers, galleries and creative industries.


  • Arch Enemy Arts
  • Bluestone Fine Art Gallery
  • Center for Art in Wood
  • Clay Studio
  • Edge City Art
  • Grossman Furniture
  • Millésimé & Ligne Roset
  • Old City Jewish Art Center

Artists, Makers, Creative Industries –

  • 20nine Design Studios LLC
  • 5one7Designs
  • Adorned by Aisha
  • Beaucycled
  • Conversion
  • Hemlock + Key
  • Passionately Natural Soap Co.
  • People Prints
  • Philly Word Art


Around every corner of Old City find the city’s latest fashions, gifts and home decor. Don’t leave empty handed with top brands, up-and-coming designers and more. (complete list as of Sept. 1)

  • 323 Arch Street Fashion Collective
  • Blokes Barbershop
  • Fason De Viv
  • Lakshmi Hair Studio
  • Lost + Found
  • MADE Institute
  • Momo's Tree House
  • More Than Old
  • Never Too Spoiled
  • Petit Jardin en Ville
  • Select Shop 215
  • Philadelphia Independents
  • Pinot Boutique
  • Shibe Vintage Sports
  • Smak Parlour
  • Third Street Habit
  • Tundella & Co Salon


Look for other businesses and supporters of Old City District, including:

  • Alterra Property Group (community sponsor)
  • Bridge (sponsor)
  • Center City Veterinary Hospital
  • Coldwell Banker Preferred
  • Comcast (sponsor)
  • First Service Residential (community sponsor)
  • Greene Bark Press Inc
  • Green Mountain Energy
  • GY Properties
  • Level 1
  • Long & Foster Real Estate (community sponsor)
  • Old City Photo Booth (sponsor)
  • Penn’s View Hotel (community sponsor)
  • Ride The Ducks
  • The Ruff Life
  • Tataway
  • Xfinity (sponsor)

Media Sponsors:

  • Ben FM
  • Where Magazine
  • Yelp

For more info about Old City District and Old City Fest, visit oldcitydistrict.org, tweet @OldCityDistrict or call (215) 592-7929.