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Philadelphia's Most Iconic Summer Attractions

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PHILADELPHIA (April, 2019)— The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is excited to present Philadelphia’s most iconic summer attractions for another fun-filled season. On Friday, May 10th, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, Spruce Street Harbor Park Sustained by Univest Financial Corporation, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, and Cherry Street Pier re-open to the public to kick off the 2019 summer season of programming on the Delaware River Waterfront. 

Opening weekend features a variety of events and activities, including the Art Star Craft Bazaar at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing; the Dream Philly Children’s Festival at Cherry Street Pier; a roller skating party with Really Philly Collective at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest; competitions, prizes, live music, DJs and more. The fun continues the following weekend (May 17th - May 19th) before all of the parks open seven-days a week on Friday, May 24th. 

Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing will close for the season on Sunday, September 1. Spruce Street Harbor Park will open seven days a week starting on Friday, May 10, and close on Sunday, September 29. Cherry Street Pier is open year-round.


“Programming on the waterfront is central to DRWC’s mission,” says Joseph Forkin, President of DRWC. “When we activate public spaces, we add value to the lives of Philadelphia residents and visitors who enjoy hundreds of events each summer, most of them free. We’re proud to contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of the waterfront, the city, and the region.” 


This year, DRWC is launching an exciting social media campaign called #MyPhillyWaterfront to promote the sights, sounds, and experiences along the Central Delaware. Visitors can follow all DRWC social channels for familiar faces and new friends who are sharing their adventures. The best images and stories using the #MyPhillyWaterfront hashtag will be featured on DRWC’s social media accounts throughout the summer. 


The Midway at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest features the city’s only outdoor roller skating rink, a Ferris wheel, carousel, miniature golf, carnival games, and Philly’s own boardwalk for the whole family to enjoy. Entrance to Summerfest is free and open to the public. Roller-skating, mini-golf, rides and concessions are pay-as-you-go.


"Few things say summer in Philadelphia quite like Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. From mini-golf under the sun to roller skating beneath the lights of the Ben Franklin Bridge, Summerfest truly brings people together for Fearless Fit activities," said Paula Sunshine, Independence Blue Cross Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Executive. "That's why Independence Blue Cross is once again proud to sponsor this annual event and offer free skating admission for all Independence member and employees throughout the season."


Spruce Street Harbor Park  (SSHP) Sustained by Univestmakes for cool, summertime memories, with colorful hammocks, floating gardens, local craft beers, and delicious food from some of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants, including Chickie’s & Pete’s, Franklin Fountain, Garces, and HipCityVeg. Whether you want to chill with friends under the illuminated trees or enjoy a free concert in the park, SSHP has it all. “We are proud to serve as the sustaining sponsor of Spruce Street Harbor Park for our fifth consecutive season,” said Jeff Schweitzer, President and CEO of Univest Financial Corporation. 


“We started our partnership with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation when we expanded Univest’s presence into Philadelphia in 2015. Today, Univest has six financial centers across Philadelphia as well as a loan production office in Center City. As we continue to expand in this great city, we are focused on partnering with organizations that are making a difference. Univest is committed to getting involved in the communities we serve and this sponsorship of Spruce Street Harbor Park allows us to do just that. We are excited to once again join in the fun and enjoy the impressive schedule of events at one of Philadelphia’s favorite summer destinations,” added Schweitzer.


Every Thursday, starting June 6th through August 29th, SSHP’s popular event series, XPN Waterfront Sessions, returns with free musical performances by a variety of acclaimed local talent, including hip hop artists, glam rockers, indie bands, and other surprise guests. Additionally, the Boardwalk at SSHP offers traditional boardwalk games like skeeball, air hockey, claw crane games, Ms. Pacman, Basket Fever, and more. Univestivalreturns for Memorial Day Weekend (May 25th, 26th, 27th) for three free days of performances, make-and-take activities, fireworks, and opportunities to win special prizes each day.


This summer, the Waterfront hosts three interactive events of the Whitman 200 Celebrationhonoring the birth of celebrated American writer, Walt Whitman, who frequently traveled between the Camden and Philadelphia waterfronts via ferry. On May 25th, a multimedia, sensory experience debuts aboard the RiverLink Ferry; the Bearded Ladies host Contradict This!, a festive celebration at Cherry Street Pier on May 31st, June 1st, and June 2nd; and on June 4th and 5th, installation artists present a multifaceted interpretation of Whitman’s famous “Song of the Open Road” on a floating barge on the Delaware River. 


Summer 2019 offers a long and diverse list of free eventsthroughout the season. Some of the highlights include:

  • The PECO Multicultural Series –Throughout the summer on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. This year, the PECO Multicultural Series celebrates its 25th Anniversary of presenting fun events that highlight Philadelphia’s diverse culture. The series kicks off with the Philadelphia Irish Festival on Sunday, June 2nd and wraps up the season with the Mexican Independence Day Festival on Sunday, September 15th.  “For twenty-five years, we have supported the distinct cultural communities in Philadelphia through the Multicultural Series at Penn’s Landing,” says, Mike Innocenzo, PECO President and CEO.

The series consists of the following celebrations: 

o  Philadelphia Irish Festival: Sunday, June 2nd, 12pm-7 pm

o  Juneteenth Festival: Saturday, June 15th, 2pm-9pm 

o  Concilio’s Hispanic Fiesta: Saturday, July 6th - Sunday, July 7th, 2pm-8 pm (both days)

o  Islamic Heritage Festival: Saturday, July 13th, 2pm-8pm

o  ACANA African Festival: Saturday, August 4th, 2pm-8pm 

o  Festival of India: Saturday, August 17th, 12pm-7pm 

o  Caribbean Festival: Sunday, August 18th, 12pm-8pm 

o  Blue Corn Organic and Green Festival: Sunday, September 1st, 12pm-5pm

o  Brazilian Day Philadelphia: Sunday, September 8th, 1pm-7pm 

o  Mexican Independence Day: Sunday, September 15th, 2-8pm

  • Art Star Craft Bazaar – SaturdayMay 11th and Sunday, May 12th, from 11am-6pm on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. This outdoor retail/art craft show is organized by Philadelphia's premier indie craft shop and gallery, Art Star. Over 125 local and national artists will sell their wares right along the Delaware River.
  • Philadelphia Orchestra Free Neighborhood Concert –Friday, June 28, 8pm-9:30pm. The world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra returns for its 10th season to present another Free Neighborhood Concert presented by Wells Fargo, set against one of the city’s most dramatic backdrops at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.
  • The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” Concert and Fireworks– Saturday, June 29th; concert at 8PM, fireworks at 9:30PM. Get into the Independence Day spirit early with a patriotic, all-star concert and spectacular fireworks. Part of the Wawa Welcome America! celebration.


  • Latin Night at the Lodge– Thursday, June 6th and Thursday, August 22nd from 9pm-1am. Dance, drink, and listen to live bands and DJs at the late night, monthly Latin Night at The Lodge Series at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. Dance Republic and Telemundo62 present festive evenings of dance lessons, performances with some of the city’s most skilled performers. All ages. Ticketed event.
  • Silent Philly– Thursdays: June 20th, July 25th, and August 15th from 7pm-11pm at Blue Cross RiverRink. Join one of the most innovative, fun events in town and skate to top hits, EDM, and hip hop at this silent disco. Ticketed event.
  • Screenings Under the Stars – Thursdays in July and August beginning July 11th on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. This popular series features blockbuster hits include Captain Marvel, Creed II, Clueless, and Crazy Rich Asians, among others.
  • Sundays with PopUpPlay—Sundays, May 12th through September 29th at Spruce Street Harbor Park Sustained by Univest. Sunday mornings are the best time to bring children to SSHP for free play-and-learn events. Enjoy interactive activities through art, music, science, and physical movement that revolve around themes like water science, civic engagement, building, and more.

The newest public space along the Delaware River Waterfront, Cherry Street Pier, will host its first summer of programming with exciting events, including:

  • Phila Flea Market

Saturday, May 18th, Sunday, July 14th, and Sunday, October 20th

  • Whitman at 200: Contradict This! A Birthday Funeral for Heroes by the Bearded Ladies

Friday, May 31st, Saturday, June 1st, Sunday, June 2nd

  • Who Got the Jazz: Visit Philly (Wednesdays)

June 5th, June 19th, July 3rd, July 17th, July 31, August 14th, and August 28th 

  • Cherry Street Pier Artist & Artisans Market (Sundays)

May 26th, June 30th, July 26th, and August 25th

  • I Love My Rowhouse Exhibition

Friday, June 7th - Sunday, June 30th

  • All Fest Short Film Program

Thursday, June 13th

  • Peace in the East, East African Celebration

Saturday, June 15th

  • Movie Mondays (weekly)

Starting Monday, June 17th 

  • Kids Sip n Paint (monthly)

Starting Sunday, July 7thTicketed event.



One of Philadelphia’s favorite summer activities is Free Yoga on the Race Street Pier Presented by Independence Blue Cross. With the most exquisite views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Delaware River, there’s no better place to ‘get your Om on’. Seven days a week from Friday, April 19ththrough Tuesday, November 12th, fitness lovers and newbies alike can enjoy one--and sometimes even two--free yoga classes per day, including special sessions like Twilight Yoga.

published gloucestercitynews.net | April 26, 2019