May 01, 2023
Philadelphia’s largest block party is back! Featuring over 100 area vendors, the South 9th Street Italian Market Festival returns on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. All are invited to attend this celebration of culture, gastronomy, art and music.
Located on S. 9th Street between Wharton and Fitzwater Streets, this annual celebration of the nation’s oldest outdoor continuous market will fill seven city blocks with vendors showcasing a range of culinary delights, crafts, art, and other services. The festival will also feature live music, competitions, and other fun activities, making it a perfect way to spend a day with family and friends.
The John Marzano Half Ball Tournament will take place in the Christopher Columbus Charter Schoolyard at 916 Christian Street on Saturday, May 20 starting at 10 a.m. Proceeds benefit the John Marzano Wood Bat Scout League. Teams can register at the Italian Market Visitor Center at 919 S. 9th Street, online at italianmarketfestival.com , or on-site the morning of the event.
DeerPark’s CheeseSteak Competition will take place on Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. at the Washington Avenue Stage. The top cheesesteak-makers will be invited to participate in the inaugural “Deer Park Philly Cheesesteak of the Year” contest. Philadelphia area residents can nominate their favorite cheesesteak place. The winner will not only earn all-important bragging rights but will also receive a significant trophy to display in their shop. In addition, Deer Park will donate $5,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice.
Tribute to Jerry Blavat on Saturday, May 20 starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Washington Avenue Stage. Starring Billy Carlucci (Billy and the Essentials), ChiChi (Memory Lane), and Remember Then and a “Geator Gold” Dance Party with DJ Eric Bartello.
Procession of Saints, an annual tradition, will be held on Sunday, May 21 at 11 a.m. The St. Paul Parish Procession of Saints starts at Saint Mary Magdalen Church (712 Montrose Street) and pauses for the Blessing of the Market at 9th and Washington Avenue, ending at Saint Paul Catholic Church (corner of S. Hutchinson and Christian Streets).
The Grease Pole — 30 feet high, greased with lard, located at the 9th & Montrose Piazza. Teams will compete both Festival Days for prizes of meats, cheeses, gift cards and money hanging from the top of the pole. More importantly, the winning team will have bragging rights for the entire year. Teams can register on-site day of the event.