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THE 16TH ANNUAL KENSINGTON DERBY & ARTS FEST


 MOVES TO FRANKFORD AVENUE WITH 150+ RESTAURANTS, FOOD TRUCKS, VENDORS, ARTISTS, MAKERS AND BANDS, PLUS THE FAMOUS PARADE OF HUMAN-POWERED SCULPTURES

Philadelphia, PA - East Kensington’s long-time parade and arts festival is moving over to Frankford Avenue. Fishtown District, with support from Penn Treaty Special Services District, presents Kensington Derby and Arts Fest on Saturday, May 11, 2024, from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, on Frankford Avenue, from York St to Huntingdon St. The event, which won Best of Philly in 2023, is back and ready to let the mud fly! Derby teams prepare human-powered sculptures crafted from recycled bicycles and other materials and ride their contraptions through various obstacles ending with a spectacular mud-pit finish at the arts festival grounds. Winners are then crowned in categories that have ranged over the years like Best Art, Best Costume, Best Engineering, Media Choice and Judge’s Choice. The parade is free to participate, open to all ages and abilities with a bike, helmet, and pun-y team name. The all day, all ages arts festival will feature outdoor food and drink, local bands and DJs, artists and makers, vendors and community groups, and much more. Kensington Derby and Arts Fest is free to attend, with food and drink pay as you go. The event is family and fido friendly, with 21 and up to drink (with identification). For more information, or to register as a derby participant visit https://www.kensingtonkineticarts.org/ and follow @kensingtonkineticarts

“East Kensington is a neighborhood that is growing and thriving, and Frankford Ave in particular has seen tremendous business growth in the last year with the opening of new businesses like Post Haste, Fiore Fine Foods, Cloud Cups and Philadelphia Barber Co,” said Fishtown District Director of Operations Kae Anderson. “We are proud to invite our neighbors near and far to come out and experience the unique creative spirit of East Kensington. This truly is Philadelphia’s most unique festival of the year - there is nothing else like it. See you on Frankford Avenue!”

Kensington Derby and Arts Fest is now in its 16th year. The event started in 2007 on Trenton Ave as a collaboration between East Kensington Neighbors Association and New Kensington Community Development Corp. The festival continues to serve as a fundraiser for the East Kensington Neighbors Association, and proceeds from their beer sales at the event are spent back in the East Kensington community through their community mini-grant program.  Learn more about the mini-grant program, and see examples of past awardees at https://www.ekna.org/

Over 15,000 people are expected to come out and cheer on the parade along the three mile obstacle course that stretches through East Kensington and Fishtown. Mud, bubbles and other obstacles along the route will be presented by some of the District's biggest names.

The event is widely known as one of the largest spring festivals in the tri-state region - and it has a reputation as being one of the city's most memorable and unique events that goes beyond just food, drink and vendors. The event brings vendors, performers, musicians, food trucks, local businesses and neighbors together in a way that is as unique as the two prominent and fast-growing neighborhoods it takes place in. Last year, to add to the grandness and excitement, the event took place in pouring rain - with the mud flying more than ever! As a testament to how beloved this long-time event is, thousands came out and not just watched and participated but thousands stayed all day long as umbrellas darted the race course. This year the event is rain or shine - with shine preferred. However, rain isn’t stopping this parade.

DERBY

Registration is now open for competitors! Thanks to generous support from Penn Treaty Special Services District, there is no fee to participate in the Derby parade this year.

Kensington Derby and Arts Fest runs along Frankford Avenue, between York St and Huntingdon St. The festival is three blocks from the York-Dauphin or Huntingdon stops on the Market-Frankford Line, in the heart of the East Kensington neighborhood.  The festival footprint on Frankford Ave just North of the roundabout is lined with boutiques offering handmade and curated wares, bakeries, cafes, restaurants, and more.  The derby parade begins at 2:00pm at Frankford & York and parades along Frankford Ave and back up Front St to end around 3:00pm at the Amber St mudpit.  

FOOD AND DRINK

Come hungry and thirsty as we showcase the growing East Kensington food and drink scene, as well as a few of the city’s favorite food trucks.  The growing line-up includes so far:

3 Rooosters *
Bacon on a Stick and That's It!
Byzantium Empire Catering & Food Trucks
Cousins Maine Lobster
Evil Genius Beer Company *
Fishtown Iced Teas (Interstate Drafthouse) *
Fiore Fine Foods *
Gigi & Big R
Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream Truck
Korea Taqueria
Loco Pez *
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria
Mama Smoothies
Molto Bene! Ravioli Co *
Mom-Mom's Polish Food Cart *
MOOCHEEZE
Moshava
Mr.softee
Papermill Foods
Philadelphia Brewing Co (sold by East Kensington Neighbors) *
Poste Haste *
SouthHouse
Sugar Crunch
Taqueria Dos Hermanos
The Chilly Banana
The Little Sicilian
The Pasta Truck
The Penn Barbecue Company
Tricycle Food Truck
Two Robbers Hard Seltzer *
(* denotes local business)

Artists and makers are the focus for this festival!  This annual neighborhood celebration will shine the spotlight on over 100 local merchants, artists and makers. The list to date includes:

1505 Design Studio
abstract expressions by earle johnson
Alejandra Jewelry
Alien Brat
Alley Cat Clay
ArtByAlicia
AvecAloes - Relief Prints by Cassandra Shiflet
Awakening Hearts Center
Bambino Glassware / BambinoGlassware.com
Bohemian Sovereign
Bold & Broad
Broadbent Pottery
butchshotstuffhotsauce
Char and Whiskers
City of Philadelphia Office of Transportation & Infrastructure
Color & Flame
cone10
Dainty Studios
Daisy Lane Studio
Do Good Vintage
Evol Soul Co
Eye Rock
Feast Jewelry
Fishtown Signs
Foster Philly Art
Fred Frederick Knives
Free Library of Philadelphia
Friend and Nemesis (F.A.N.)
FunAttic Finds
Functional ceramics
Good Batch Vintage
Gracious Rebel Designs
Green Philly
H&H Books
Hair There Conshy!
Hellmart - The666Cat
Henna Squad
HOORAY HOOPLA LLC
IIWII Creative
Indivisible Philadelphia Voter Registration
Inner City Graphic and Design
Jay McQuirns
Jk Custom apparel
Keene Pottery
Kimlan Cornell Co
Larkhammer handmade jewelry
Laura K. Murdoch
light up inc
Lily Lough Jewelry
Logan's Clothing
Maker Missya
Makinit Designs By Vicki
Mari Lowery
Marissa Marie's Market
McKenna & Padraig
MESC Designs
Object Permanence
Oby Found Vintage
Paul Carpenter
Philadelphia Barber Co
Philadelphia Rock Gym
Philly Yo' Self
Piggyback Treats Company
Piquant
Quadrat Academy
Queer Candle Co.
Redwood Durable
Resources for Human Development
Riot Alliance
RSinn Ink
School of Rock Philadelphia
Shemesh Shop
South Fellini
Spaghetti Kiss
Spring Honeybees
Stevie Laney Art
Stoked Pineapple
Stone Cooper
Stuff Dave Made
SULTANAMARIA
The 50/50 Company
The Beat in Between
The Metz Art Gallery
Thrive Flower
Tidings from the Sea Pottery
Tiger Snake Vintage
TOAST PHL
Train and Nourish
Trippy Bunni
VERA KAMINSKY
Wag Days Philly
wildcraftprintshop
Wrong World Ceramics
Yardsale Press
YES AND GOODS

MUSIC AND STAGE PROGRAM

On top of food, drink and shopping, the festival features a Main Stage near Huntingdon St featuring local bands, and a DJ stage at Hagert St programmed by local internet radio station, Great Circles.  Music will run all day from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, with a line-up that will be announced in mid April.  

GENERAL INFORMATION

The event is hosted by the Fishtown District, with support from Penn Treaty Special Services District, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, Stuart Leon Bicycle Attorney, Green Mountain Energy, & NRG Energy.

More information about the festival, with registration for art vendors and derby teams, can be found at www.kensingtonkineticarts.org.. Stay up-to-date with festival news on Facebook or Instagram. @kensingtonkineticarts

ABOUT FISHTOWN DISTRICT

Founded in 2020, the Fishtown District comprises the newly formed Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District as well as the long-standing neighborhood business association Fishtown Co.  Our mission is to improve conditions & quality of life for businesses and property owners in the district, attract new commerce to the area, and work to amplify Fishtown’s long-term economic development by creating a thriving retail corridor that attracts both residents and visitors to its vast array of services, shops, and dining while preserving Fishtown’s rich history and diverse creative and innovative character, visit www.fishtowndistrict.com

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