Summer may not officially begin till June 21, but a quick browse through this list of the best Philadelphia events in June proves that the season is already in full swing. Temperatures are warming up in the city and so is event season, which is filled with exciting festivals in Philadelphia, neighborhood block parties and outdoor concerts, and suds flowing freely at a host of awesome beer gardens in Philadelphia. This month is also a great time to scurry up to some of the rooftop bars in Philadelphia , where you can sip on delicious cocktails while taking in a variety of smashing views around town. Find all that and more in our guide to the best Philadelphia events in June below.
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Best Philadelphia events in June 2018
Curated by Questlove and hosted by Dave Chappelle, this edition of the enduring Philly tradition will be off the hook. The lineup is masterfully eclectic as usual: Lil Uzi Vert, Dirty Projectors, Brandy, Jadakiss, Fabolous, DVSN and tons more. If you’re going, stay hydrated, stay cool, and do not miss DJ J.Period and freestyle genius Black Thought doing one of their thrilling Live Mixtape improv sessions. Oh yeah, The Roots are also playing, obviously.
Local artist Jane Irish usually paints decadent architectural interiors. This spring, she’ll have two floors of a real-life early-19th-century mansion at her artistic disposal, to create a site-specific project at Fairmount Park’s Lemon Hill mansion. The floor-to-ceiling installations of paintings and ceramics depict antipodes, or polar opposites: past and present, war and peace, east and west. The exhibition runs concurrently with “Jane Irish: Architectures of Resistance” at Locks Gallery off Washington Square.
FringeArts teams up with the Circadium School of Contemporary Circus for their first-ever circus arts festival that spotlights some of the area’s best jugglers, aerialists, wirewalkers and acrobats. The week also includes performances by four internationally renowned circus artists from the Montreal-based Barcode Circus Company, and guests can partake in free “test flight” workshops led by the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts to try some big-top-inspired feats of their own.
“First Academies: Benjamin West and the Founding of the Royal Academy of Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts”
Sixty paintings, drawings, sculptures and more tell the story of Benjamin West and his role in the creation of the Royal Academy of Arts in London 250 years ago, and later in Philly’s own Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Both institutions have provided tutelage to an impressive roster of masters, such as Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Mary Cassatt and even David Lynch. Works include the one you see above, Penn’s Treaty With the Indians, which West exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1772. According to a rep at PAFA, “It represents West’s commitment to history painting and his role in modernizing the genre to encompass works from recent history rather than adhering to the tradition of painting scenes from antiquity and the Bible.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts hosts its 117th annual Student Exhibition this year. Throughout the Galleries of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, PAFA students will display and sell their work, giving patrons a chance to score some of the first available pieces from these rising stars of the art world. The exhibition is free to attend, but art fans who want to get first pick can purchase tickets to a special preview party on May 10.
At first glance, the Philly Dyke March may look like a pride parade, but it’s a protest through and through. Hundreds of female-identifying rabble-rousers and their allies take to the streets with banners and a songbook of chants to demand equality for queer women. The day ends with a celebration in Kahn Park, where you can get even more riled alongside a slate of fired-up speakers and saucy burlesque performances.
Even Google Maps recognizes Philadelphia’s Gayborhood, and that’s exactly where the PrideDay Parade begins. Now in its 30th year, the promenade is an over-the-top display with live drag shows and vibrant floats, flanked by shirtless go-go dancers and marching bands tooting through the streets. Get up early to claim a spot at one of five performance zones—on Locust Street at 11th, 12th and 13th Streets or on Market at 2nd Street and between 5th and 6th Streets—to witness the whole spectacle.
The Food Trust’s wildly popular roving street-food festival kicks off in May and continues through October with four stops in communities around the city. The event brings the tradition of Asian night markets to the City of Brotherly Love, closing busy corridors to vehicular traffic to make room for dozens of food trucks, craft beverage vendors, outdoor art demos and live music—all the while highlighting the food and cultures that characterize some of the city’s most interesting, and sometimes overlooked, corners of the city.
Philly hosts the largest African-American street festival on the East Coast, closing down 12 city blocks in Graduated Hospital for a day-long hoopla that features spirited street performances, delicious ethnic food and an eclectic marketplace of vendors. Besides all the fun and games, the festival also marks the a new year of sorts for African Americans and Africanized people across the globe. As such, a traditional procession makes its way down South Street, from 23rd Street to the Schuylkill, where those gathered make an offering to the Yoruba goddess of the river.
Get your fill of strawberry season at Linvilla Orchards' annual Strawberry Festival. This daylong celebration includes activities for the whole family to enjoy. Attendees can pick their own fruit, hop aboard a hayride, ride the Playland Express train, get their faces painted, enjoy pony rides, meet costumed characters and take in live, kid-friendly entertainment. Be sure to check out Delaware County's largest strawberry shortcake, a favorite festival feature each year.