The South Street Spring Festival is returning for its fifth year this weekend, bringing together more than 35 restaurants, 125 vendors, and 30 bands across three stages for a free outdoor block party.
And yes, there will be beer. And cheesesteaks.
Touted as Philadelphia's largest spring festival celebration with about 50,000 visitors per year, this year's fete will take place Saturday on South Street, shutting down 12 total blocks around South Street (Front St. to 8th St., plus Headhouse Plaza between South and Lombard Streets). Festivities will run officially from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Those festivities include the return of the beloved Philly Taco Eating Contest, which debuted at the fest last year. A "Philly Taco," for the uninitiated, is a Jim's cheesesteak wrapped lovingly in a slice of Lorenzo's pizza. This year's fastest finish will receive a year's worth of pizza and cheesesteaks.
The contest is limited to 20 competitors, and those interested can sign up by emailing Festival@southstreet.com with "Taco Contest" in the subject line. There is a $20 registration fee, which includes a free t-shirt. The contest starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Beer lovers, can check out the Brauhaus Schmitz Maifest, which returns for its fifth year this year at 11 a.m. Saturday. Taking place in conjunction with the South Street festival, Maifest includes a liter lifting competition, a traditional Maypole dance, and German folk dancing. Beer-wise, look out for Warsteiner Pilsner, Konig Ludwig Hefeweizen, and Traunstein Zwickel, among others. Roast pork, bratwurst, and bauernwurst will be available, should you get peckish.
For those who prefer cider, the fete will feature a South Street Vineyard Courtyard by 5th Street that will be stocked with offerings from Commonwealth Ciders throughout the day.
This year's festivities also include a couple more geeky elements. The TLA will lead a Rocky Horror flash mob performing a rendition of "Time Warp" at 9:15 p.m., followed by a Rocky Horror-themed party dubbed "Let There Be Lips." Atomic City Comics, meanwhile, will host its third-annual Atomic-Con in honor of Free Comic Book Day.
Music-wise, tunes will run all day at the festival from three different stages, as well as several pre-determined street performing areas. This year's lineup features performances from acts including The Jawn, Dr. Beardface and the Spaceman, Ivory, and more. The full lineup, as well as set times, is available online via a press release.