May 06, 2015
This year, the South 9th Street Italian Market shopping district is celebrating its 100th anniversary, or, as they say in Italian, its "Cent'anni." This lends a special significance to this year's Italian Market Festival, which rolls into South Philly Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17.
Local shops and eateries will open up their doors to visitors all weekend with food, food and more food. Visiting artisan vendors will open up alongside the district's famous open-air markets and awnings and will sell everything from art to toys and jewelry.
Both days of the festival will be full of live entertainment across five stages, including the WMGK House Band Work Release and DJ Donny Chiro hosting Saturday's Ultimate Block Party at 9th and Washington streets. South Philly legend Jerry Blavat will appear on this stage on Sunday, alternating sets with the City Rhythm Orchestra. Connie's Ric Rac Local Music Scene Stage, located at 9th and Ellsworth, will host dozens of local acts over the weekend, too.
For South Philly natives, the can't-miss event of the weekend will be the John Marzano Halfball Tournament. This street game is a favorite local summer pastime, and proceeds from team entries go toward the Italian Market Festival and Philadelphia youth baseball.