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May 29, 2024

Roots Picnic, Shuckfest and Pride: Your weekend guide to things to do

Circus performers and sketch comedians will also entertain audiences at separate festivals.

Weekend Things To Do
Weekend guide Roots Louis Walker III photo/USA TODAY NETWORK

Questlove and the rest of the Roots will be at the Mann Center this weekend to host their music festival.

Bring a blanket but not a Bluetooth speaker to a picnic at the Mann this weekend, where you can leave the music to the professionals.

The Roots Picnic is bringing another slate of rap and R&B stars to Philadelphia for outdoor concerts in Fairmount Park. The lineup includes André 3000, Nas and Lil Wayne, who will lead a celebration of New Orleans sound with the Roots themselves.

But it's far from the only festival in town. Trapeze artists and contortionists will perform in the Hand to Hand circus showcase, while comedians will crack jokes at the Philly Sketchfest. Oyster lovers can claim a few dozen shells at the Shuckfest on Penn's Landing. And Philadelphians can start their Pride Month celebrations at one of the many marches, balls and shows scheduled for this weekend.

That's a lot of partying, but stargazers should remember to set an alarm on Sunday: You'll need to be up by 4:30 a.m. at the latest to catch the planetary parade.

Catch Jill Scott and Lil Wayne at the Roots Picnic

Questlove, Black Thought and the rest of the Roots are returning to the Mann Center for another weekend of music under the summer sun. This year, the Roots Picnic will feature fellow Philly legend Jill Scott alongside Nas, Lil Wayne, André 3000 and Gunna. The concerts run over Saturday and Sunday, but the picnic will move indoors Friday for a series of panels on music education, real estate, film, television and beauty at the Fillmore.

Yuk it up at a comedy sketch festival

From Friday until next Saturday, June 8, comedians vying for Colin Jost and Kenan Thompson's jobs will perform in Philly Sketchfest. The weeklong showcase highlights troupes and comedy acts specializing in scripted sketches (as opposed to free-form improv). Bring $15 and your biggest belly laugh to either the Adrienne Theater or Sawubona Creativity Project, depending on the performance.

Watch circus performers twist and soar

Whether you like acrobatics or clowns, the Hand to Hand festival has a circus act for you. The three-day showcase will be split across two shows featuring students of the Circadium School of Contemporary Circus and professional artists. All will take place at the FringeArts theater in Old City.

Shuck and slurp oysters at Liberty Point

Seafood lovers will crack open a few cold ones at the returning Shuckfest on Sunday. The oyster festival will bring a dozen New Jersey farms  — including Sweet Amalia, Cape May Salt Oyster Farms, Barnegat Oyster Collective and Brigantine Oyster Company — to Liberty Point between noon and 3:30 p.m. Ticket-holders can sample their shellfish and watch the pros face off in a shucking competition.

Attend a Pride ball, prom or march

Saturday also marks the start of Pride Month, and the first weekend is a busy one. Dust off your formal wear for a summer ball at the Franklin Institute on Friday night, or save it for the Pride Promenade at the art museum on Saturday. You can also check out a queer comedy show, boat party, park party, Dyke March or fitness classes over the course of the weekend. Finally, there's the annual Philly Pride Festival on Sunday, featuring an evening performance from "RuPaul's Drag Race" diva Sapphira Cristál.

Correction: This article previously stated that the Science History Institute was hosting a summer ball. This has been corrected to the Franklin Institute.

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