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April 17, 2022

Kensington Derby and Arts Festival returns in May with more than 100 vendors and artists

The fourteenth annual event will feature local businesses from East Kensington and Fishtown on May 14

Festivals Outdoor Activities
Kensington Derby Courtesy of/New Kensington Community Development Corporation

The Kensington Derby and Arts Festival is returning to Trenton Avenue on Saturday, May 14 with more than 100 vendors.

Outdoor festival season is back. While Philadelphia residents wander outside to enjoy the warm weather, many of the city's most beloved traditions are making a return after a two-year pandemic-related hiatus. 

Among them is the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival, which will take over Fishtown and East Kensington on Saturday, May 14 from 12 to 6 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, will feature more than 100 vendors, musicians, artists, and food and drink options all afternoon. 

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Registration is now open for derby competitors, and there is no fee to join. The first Kensington Derby, held in 2007 to support the East Kensington Neighbors Association, and joined forces with the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival in 2015, bringing a much larger crowd to the neighborhood. 

"Fishtown District is excited to partner with title sponsor Philadelphia Federal Credit Union to bring back and continue this long-standing neighborhood tradition. For the first time ever, Fishtown District will help support our local civic associations by taking the organizing reins for 2022," said Kate Anderson, director of operations. 

Dozens of human-made vehicles will compete in the Derby to win coveted awards and impress judges by hitting obstacles put forth by local businesses. Prize categories include the "People's Choice Award," "Judge's Choice Award," "Best Small Team," "Best Large Team," and more options to come. 

Kensington Derby and Arts FestivalCourtesy of/New Kensington Community Development Corporation

The Kensington Derby and Arts Festival features more than a dozen food and beverage vendors, and will showcase live music all day.

"We plan to bring a renewed hyperlocal feel to the event with a focus on cultivating local business participation and showcasing the creativity you can only find here in Kensington and Fishtown. We can't wait to get back outside. The mud is ready to fly once again on Trenton Avenue," Anderson said.

More than 100 vendors participating in the festival include nearly two dozen food trucks and half a dozen beverage vendors. Some of the early food participants are listed below. 

• Bake n' Bacon
• Mister Softee
• Mom-Mom's Polish Food Cart
• Pound Cake Heaven
• The Chilly Banana
• Byz Empire Food Truck
• Calle del Sabor
• Chank's Grab-Go
• Cotton's Place
• Counsin's Maine Lobster
• Dr. Wutzit's Wonder Balls
• El Rancho Viejo
• Phil's Finest
• Pink's Cold Treats
• The Little Sicilian

Local bars and brews will be featured at the festival. A full list is available below.

• EKNA serving Philadelphia Brewing Company and Commonwealth Ciders
• Stateside Vodka
• Evil Genius Beer Company
• Interstate Draft House serving Fishtown Iced Teas
• Loco Pez serving margaritas

"With the flourishing of small businesses and the vibrant arts scene across East Kensington and Fishtown, and the creation of the Fishtown Kensington BID last year, we believe this is the best time to hand management of the festival off to Fishtown District and local leaders," said Bill McKinney, executive director at NKCDC. 

Kensington Derby FishtownCourtesy of/New Kensington Community Development Corporation

The Kensington Derby and Arts Festival will feature human-made vehicles competing for prizes along the neighborhood derby route from 12 to 6 p.m. on May 14.

There will be more than 75 artists and merchants from around the city and region participating. A full list is available here

"We will continue to enthusiastically promote the festival and help with the huge team effort on festival day. We look forward to the PFCU Kensington Derby and Arts Festival celebrating creativity, ingenuity, and the local community for many years to come," said McKinney. 

There will be live music all day at the festival's main stage, and additional music from DJs presented by PhillyCAM at the Mud Pit Stage. The derby kicks off at 1 p.m., and the Awards Ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. 

Kensington Derby and Arts Festival

Saturday, May 14, 2022
12 to 6 p.m. | Pay-as-you-go
Begins at Trenton Ave. and Dauphin St.
Philadelphia, PA 19125