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August 02, 2023

Belly flops and the BlackStar Film Festival: Your weekend guide to things to do

Also score $1 oysters, or attend a special shore-themed First Friday event at the Science History Institute

August has arrived, and it's already brought with it supermoons and free Dunkin. This weekend has even more in store, from street fairs to film festivals.

The festivities start early on Thursday with a belly flop contest in King of Prussia. The Science History Institute picks up the baton Friday with free, beach-themed programming, and oyster deals roll out across the city on Saturday. A street festival takes over 2nd Street on Sunday, while the BlackStar Film Festival will have movies running all weekend long.

Watch painful pool athleticism at a belly flop championship

WMMR morning hosts Preston Elliott and Steve Morrison will present a display of public agony in the form of a belly flop championship on Thursday night. At the Valley Forge Casino's pool, a dozen contestants will splat for the crown starting at 6 p.m. They have already been selected, but spectators can watch for free — and splash in the pool themselves before and after the competition. Black bean burgers, meatball subs and soft pretzels will be available from a food truck inside the pool club. 

Catch movies from Black and Indigenous filmmakers 

Nearly 100 movies are screening in Philly this weekend thanks to the 12th annual BlackStar Film Festival, which spotlights Black, brown and Indigenous directors. This year's lineup includes documentaries on Palestinian foragers and the first Black astronauts as well as stop-motion animated shorts and LGBTQ narratives. The screenings will be held all weekend at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Suzanne Roberts Theater and Lightbox Film Center.

Learn the science behind swimsuits and sunscreen

Ever wondered how portable coolers work, and what exactly is in the sunscreen that blocks UV rays? The Science History Institute will explain it all at its shore-themed First Friday event. From 5-7 p.m., museum officials will break down the chemistry of sunblock, the synthetic material that makes up swimsuits and the technology behind coolers. The lectures and corresponding crafts are, as always, free.

Shop and snack at the 2nd Street Festival

Six blocks of 2nd Street in Northern Liberties will close on Sunday for another summer street fair. The 2nd Street Festival will sprawl from Girard Avenue to Spring Garden Street, with stages set up for live music at Fairmount and Germantown avenues. Dozens of shops selling clothing, bath bombs, jewelry, pet toys and art will line the blacktop between noon and 10 p.m., along with food trucks and DJs.

Slurp $1 oysters at Gaul & Co. and Twisted Tail

To mark National Oyster Day — which is apparently this Saturday — several Philly restaurants will be offering deals on the slimy yet sophisticated mollusk. Buck-a-shuck oysters will be available at Gaul & Co. Malt House in Port Richmond all day in two varieties: Cape May salts and savage blondes. The Twisted Tail will also serve $1 oysters at its Society Hill bar during its daily 4-6 p.m. social hour on Saturday and every day for the months of August and September.

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