Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Everyone’s Italian at the Italian Market Festival

Generations of supporters and patrons will fill the streets in celebration of the nation’s oldest outdoor market and one of Philadelphia’s most notable attractions (thanks Rocky) during The Italian Market Festival this Saturday and Sunday, May 14 – 15. From 10am – 5pm, rain or shine, come out to celebrate and appreciate the history and impact that the Italian Market has made over the past 100 years. There will be food, drinks, music and most importantly, families.

As a kid who grew up in South Philly, there’s something very special about the Italian Market, aka 9th Street. Wandering the crowded market on the weekends with my grandparents – the smells, the sights, and the sounds will be forever branded into my memory. As will trying to choke down a hunk of cheese without a drink at the tender age of nine.

Some things never change; they just become appreciated. And for those who grew up shopping for cleaning supplies and produce with their families, choking down cheeses and pointing at dead fish, this weekend is for you.

This year, there will be three stages set up along 9th street with music for all ages. The festival’s Main Stage will be set up at 9th & Washington where WMGK will be pumping out classic rock. On 9th & Christian, DJs will be spinning 9th Street dance and party favorites – a little Sinatra and Dean Martin are probably a solid bet. And on 9th & Federal, expect a mix of music and entertainment.

A new addition to the festivities this year will be the Half Ball Tournament to benefit The Mummer’s Fancy Brigades. Three-man teams will compete in elimination rounds at the Christopher Columbus Charter School at 9th and Christian.

And this year, the party doesn’t end at 5pm; keep the party going at South Philly Bar & Grill on 9th and Passyunk. SPB&G will be featuring an Italian tasting menu as well as Italian drink specials including $3 anisette shots, $4 Peronis, $4 sambuca shots, $4 Limoni Di Sicilia shots, $5 Sangrias. There will be Italian music, entertainment, prizes and give-aways.

Check out the Italian Market Festival website for more information.

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