This month ushers in the official first day of summer — June 21 — which means it’s time to head to the Shore and partake in all of the swimming, ice cream-eating, and other beachside activities you can handle. However, right here in Philly, outdoor concerts, massive block parties, colorful parades, and plenty of other great reasons to lather on the sunscreen are set to unfold, so be sure to save some room in your calendar to experience the city at its prime.
>> READ MORE: Ultimate Shore Guide 2018
Check out the top events going down in Philadelphia this June.
Gaze up at a human chandelier during the Cristal Palace Aerial Dance Party; laugh at the jokes of Bassem Youssef, a YouTube sensation dubbed the “Jon Stewart of the Arab World;” take part in an interactive theater piece called The Fever, and more during the 11-day Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Bringing creative events to venues citywide, the festival celebrates music, dance, comedy, and performance art through a wide range of happenings. Don’t miss the grand Street Fair unfolding on the second to last day of the festival (June 9), creating a huge outdoor party full of performances right on Broad Street, from City Hall to South Street.
June 1-10, locations and prices vary per event, kimmelcenter.org
Philly Beer Week
Celebrating the sudsy Philadelphia, a city rich with breweries, drinking holes, and beer culture, Philly Beer Week brings 10 days of events to venues citywide. The annual Opening Tap event kicks things off, drawing 50-plus breweries to The Fillmore for an evening of sampling, music, and more. Throughout the remainder of the festival, events of all sorts unfold, ranging from tap-takeovers to quizzo nights to beer and boats on the Schuylkill.
June 1-10, locations and prices vary per event, phillylovesbeer.org
This year’s Roots Picnic gets a dose of comedy added to the musical mix as Dave Chappelle is set to take stage to host the massive outdoor concert. Including The Roots, 20 artists will perform throughout the day, ranging from the Dirty Projectors to 2 Chainz to Brandy. Meanwhile, a designated podcast stage will welcome the likes of Jemele Hill and Drink Champs, as well as other known podcasters, while a lifestyle-themed stage will include a fashion panel, an art panel, a hustle panel, and more. The outdoor music-fest kicks off at noon, rain or shine.
June 2, Festival Pier, 601 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., $75, rootspicnic.com/philly
The Odunde Festival, the largest African American street festival on the East Coast, draws up to 500,000 people to Southwest Center City each year for a day of shopping, dancing, eating, and more. More than 100 vendors will set up shop along a 14-block radius stretching across both South Street and Grays Ferry Avenue. The fragrant Caribbean eats, colorful African fabrics, handmade jewelry, and other festival goods are all pay-as-you-go. Simply show up, and be prepared to navigate a large but spirited crowd.
June 10, 23rd and South Streets, pay-as-you-go, odundefestival.org
PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival
Dozens of drag queens will strut their way through Midtown Village en route to Old City, as will 20,000-plus visitors who show up to walk alongside the high-heeled divas and other parade participants during the annual PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival. Performances will unfold all along the approximately 1.5-mile route, ending at Penn’s Landing with a large festival. The concluding event costs $15, which includes six hours of entertainment and 150 vendors set up along the waterfront.
June 10, Starts at 13th and Locust Streets and ends at Penn’s Landing, parade is free, festival is $15, phillygaypride.org