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The St. Patrick's Day Parade has been going on in Philadelphia since the 1700s.
Photograph: CC/Flickr/chrisinphilly5448

19 awesome things to do in Philadelphia this weekend

Josh Middleton

With the crazy late-winter snowstorm behind us, it’s time to get out of the house to experience all the fun things this city has to offer this weekend. There’s a ton to get into, but some of the top to-dos include the return of Jérôme Bel’s fascinating 2016 Fringe show Gala on Friday at FringeArts, two Philly cultural institutions, BalletX and the Philly POPS, debut a handful of new works, and the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches through the city—turning the streets a shade of green we haven’t seen since the Eagles victory parade. Find details on all that and more below.

Friday, March 9

Gala at FringeArts; 8pm; $29
French dancer and choreographer Jérôme Bel brings back his crazy popular 2016 Fringe hit to the City of Brotherly Love. The captivating work features about 20 dancers of all ages, shapes, sizes and skill levels recreating famous dances throughout the ages.

Steve Winwood at Tower Theater; 8pm; $49.50-$360
Winwood is calling this his Greatest Hits Tour, and it might blow your mind just how many Winwood songs you know: “Roll With It,” “Valerie,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Paper Sun” and on and on. —Patrick Rapa

Have Shake Shack delivered at various locations and prices
Goodies from popular burger joint Shake Shack can now be delivered to your doorstep via GrubHub, so there’s no need to wait in line for those juicy burgers, chicken sandwiches, cheese fries and concretes. This delivery service is only happening for a limited time, so take advantage of it while you can.

Lydie Breeze, part 2 at Christ Church Neighborhood House; $25–$32
EgoPo Classic Theater stages part two of its Lydie Breeze trilogy, a fascinating historical panorama of an American utopian society by John Guare. Read more about the epic production here, which culminates with a series of binge-watching marathons this spring.

The Revolution at SugarHouse Casino; 9pm; $59
The band that backed Prince on classic albums such as Purple Rain and 1999 come to Philadelphia with members Wendy, Lisa, Bobby Z, Brownmark and Dr. Fink. It’s a must for lovers of Prince. Who else could give life to the Purple One’s legacy than those who played alongside him since his 1980s heyday? —Chris Sikich

Last chance: East Passyunk Restaurant Week at various locations and times; pay as you go
Friday is your last chance to savor Restaurant Week deals along the city’s hottest dining corridor. Here’s the deal: 26 restaurants up and down the avenue offer a three-course prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menu at three price points, $15, $25 or $35. Find our guide to the best spots to try during East Passyunk Restaurant Week here.

Saturday, March 10

Hand Crafted Fermentation Workshop at the Clay Studio; 1pm; $40
Ferment Your Vegetables author and Phickle blog creator Amanda Feifer leads this two-hour snack-filled workshop that covers the basics of vegetable fermenting, its health benefits, and tips and tricks for beginning your own project at home. The best part? All guests are sent away with a handmade, ceramic pickle-shaped paperweight and ready-to-ferment jars of pickled and brined veggies.

BalletX Spring Series at the Wilma Theater; 2 and 8pm; $25–$50
The modern-dance company presents two world premieres and a returning classic in its 2018 Spring Series. One of the world premieres is by Darrell Grand Moultrie, whose credits include choreographing Beyoncé during her Mrs. Carter World Tour. The work celebrates the Latin and Afro-Caribbean sounds of his native Spanish Harlem.

Philly POPS: Best of Broadway at the Kimmel Center; 3pm; $35–$146
Prolific Broadway stars Debbie Gravitte, Christopher Sieber and Susan Egan join the Philly POPS on stage for an evening of tunes from some of our greatest Broadway shows—from Beauty and the Beast and My Fair Lady to Cats and Wicked.

GayBINGO! at the The Gershman Y; 6pm; $25–$35
The theme for this month’s drag queen-led BINGO shenanigans is “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” so come donning your 80s-rock queen-inspired best. Tall ponies, tattered jean jackets, jangly neon bangles, it all works!

Sunday, March 11

St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 16th Street & JFK Boulevard; 11am; free
The street of Philadelphia turn into a sea of green for this annual parade that crosses the city and features lively floats, Irish dancing troupes, marching bands and maybe a lucky leprechaun or three.

A Quiet Place at the Curtis Institute of Music; 2:30pm; $25–$50
Celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s centenary with this rare opportunity to experience a different side of the master’s craft. A Quiet Place is an often serious meditation on a broken American family. Yet there’s also Bernstein’s characteristic brio and humor, especially in the Trouble in Tahiti section. The whole evening, in the American premiere of a chamber version, should be an ideal vehicle for the gifted Curtis ensemble. —David Fox

Beth Ditto at Union Transfer; 7pm; $20
After fronting dance-punk trio the Gossip for 15 years, Ditto dropped a soulful solo record in 2017 that really showcased those house-afire vocals. —Patrick Rapa

Frozen at Walnut Street Theatre, Studio 5; 7pm; $15–$25
Isis Performs often brings excellent plays to Philadelphia that are not being done by larger companies. Such is the case here, with Bryony Lavery’s heart-wrenching drama of an unspeakable crime and the necessity of forgiveness. There won’t be a dry eye in the house—nor will there be an Elsa or Olaf, so leave the kids at home.

Last chance: Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center; 8am; $29.95
This is your last weekend to explore the 189th annual, largest and oldest indoor flower show in the world. The theme this year is “Wonders of Water,” which means guests enter the show through an elaborate rainforest display featuring a canopy of boldly colored, exotic flowers, a contemporary, multi-level bamboo waterfall and a “rain curtain” that guides guests over a suspended rope bridge. Other show features include exhibits inspired by tropical jungles, native woodlands and desert landscapes and a host of water-conservation-themed workshops, speaker series and hands-on activities.

Last chance: “Kiefer Rodin” at the Barnes Foundation 11am; $30
Monday is the closing date for this special exhibit at the Barnes Foundation, which pairs the French sculptor Auguste Rodin with contemporary German artist Anselm Kiefer, who’s made a name for himself with unflinching critiques of Germany’s dark role in history.

Last chance: Ready Steady Yeti Go at Azuka Theatre; 2pm; pay what you wish
David Jacobi’s Ready Steady comes to Azuka as part of its New Play Exchange initiative, and promises an evening of woke themes like racism, bad parenting and white guilt, all handled with humor. —David Fox


Love Letter Train Tours at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 10:30am, 1pm; $23–$41
Grab a seat on this 90-minute guided train tour of West Philadelphia that rolls past the series of 50 rooftop “A Love Letter for You” murals painted by Philly native Steve “ESPO’ Powers. In collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia, the works spell out adorable sayings like “open your eyes/i see the sunrise” and ”see me like i see you: beautiful.’ This is an especially good year to take a tour, since several of the murals were recently restored and Powers added a few more to ogle.

“Winter Fountains for the Parkway” along the Ben Franklin Parkway; 6pm; free
This installation along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway by artist Jennifer Steinkamp comprises five 13-foot high domes that light up after dark with animated videos inspired by the cultural institutions that line the boulevard. Steinkamp’s work is known for its sensuous beauty and transformative power. Prepare to be mesmerized.

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