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September 06, 2023

Philly Fringe Fest and a spooky market: Your weekend guide to things to do

East Passyunk welcomes its first music festival, while Evil Genius indulges in nostalgia

Weekend Things To Do
Fringe Fest weekend guide Provided image/FringeArts

John Jarboe performs in "Late Night Snacks," the queer performance pop-up from the Bearded Ladies Cabaret. It returns to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival this weekend.

Last weekend, beach bums celebrated Labor Day down the shore. Now, as a new season approaches, it's the goths' and theater kids' time to shine.

Philadelphia Fringe Festival begins its nearly three-week run on Thursday with over 300 original pieces of performance art on dreams, pirates and the apocalypse. And just two days later, Laurel East Cemetery invites fans of the macabre to its eerie outdoor market to stock up on seasonal (or year-round) decor.

Festivals feting immigrants, the Delaware River and local music are also happening this weekend, alongside a dance party imported from Europe. Here's the complete rundown:

See original, independent theater at Philly Fringe Fest

The wildest and weirdest theater the city has to offer is now playing for most of the month, thanks to the returning Philadelphia Fringe Festival. For $25 or less, catch an original musical, circus act or queer pop-up cabaret at one of several participating venues across town. The classics are there, too, but "Waiting for Ganol" isn't your grandma's Samuel Beckett.

Sample food from immigrant communities

Philadelphia will honor its immigrants with 10 days of art tours, classes and food-forward street fairs celebrating their cultures. Welcoming Week kicks off on Friday, but the real highlights for this weekend are all slated for Sunday, including the Celebrate Asia Festival, Feria del Barrio, Indonesian Festival and Mexican Independence Day Festival. 

Rock out at East Passyunk's first music fest

East Passyunk is set to launch a brand new music festival on Sunday, when over two dozen bands take over the South Philly corridor. Musicians will play along the avenue between Broad and Dickinson streets from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nearby restaurants like P'unk Burger and Bing Bing Dim Sum will also sell snacks on the street, while Nice Things Vintage hosts a curated marketplace of vinyl, art prints and upcycled home goods.

Ride a pedal boat or ferry along the Delaware River

This weekend, venture from Philly to Camden by sea, for free. The Delaware River Festival will offer complimentary ferry rides between Penn's Landing and Wiggins Park in New Jersey on Saturday as part of its day of water-themed programming. That also includes pedal boat rides, an art contest promoting trash-free waters and a 28-mile bike ride along the waterfront. 

Kick up your heels at the Glitterbox dance party

The touring nightlife pop-up Glitterbox has previously landed at clubs in Ibiza, London, Sydney and Paris — but on Friday, it arrives in Philly. Fabrika will host the disco/techno dance party from 8 p.m. through 1 a.m., welcoming four DJs to the cabaret club. Tickets are still available for $45, but if you want table service, you'll have to pay extra.

Play retro video games at Evil Genius

Evil Genius Beer Co. is celebrating 12 years of business with a Saturday block party that looks back to the past. The Fishtown brewers' so-called Nostalgia Fest will feature vintage sports gear and retro video games, as well as live music, face painting and, naturally, beer. Stop by the 1700 block of Front Street between noon and 6 p.m. to join the kid- and dog-friendly party.

Shop for spooky jewelry and decor at a cemetery

Is Halloween your whole personality? Then you've got Saturday plans, and they're at Laurel Hill Cemetery. The graveyard will host its annual Market of the Macabre from 12-5 p.m., offering all kinds of strange and unusual goods from local vendors. In between browsing coffin candles, stop by the beer garden, meet a bat or join a Victorian literary salon.

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