Philadelphia, Summer and You

by LP Green, II

Do yourself a favor. Put Philadelphia on your summer must-do list. Warm weather and a walkable downtown make it easy to stroll the streets, immersing yourself in the city’s and the nation’s most historic moments. Or get loose at lively festivals where you can groove to live music and eat, eat, eat.

Soul-Stirring History
You don’t have to go far to find history in Philadelphia. It’s everywhere. So step into one of the many museums and get an inside look at our nation’s past.

Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello uncovers the lives of six slave families who lived and worked at Thomas Jefferson’s plantation. The National Constitution Center exhibit, on view through October 19, tells the stories of the Hemmings and other families with objects that represent each family’s trade.

During the bleak days of Jim Crow, black-owned family farms and gardens helped sustain the African- American community. From April 25-August 17, More Places of Our Own, featuring Syd Carpenter’s sculptures will be on display at The African American Museum in Philadelphia. The exhibit evokes the strength of the African-American farmers who, against the odds, thrived and survived in the segregated South.

While in historic Philadelphia, be sure to make time to see the iconic sites—Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the President’s House—that boast powerful connections to our past.

Fun & Funky Festivals
Philadelphians love festivals. Annual celebrations pay homage to world cultures, music, movies, food and our very own red, white and blue. These summertime throw downs will definitely heat up your trip.

Taking place on June 8, the Odunde Festival marks the coming of another year for African-Americans and African people with a procession, ceremonial offering, live music and dance and a sprawling African marketplace so large it takes over block after block along South Street.

Every Fourth of July, America’s birthplace throws the biggest birthday party of all. Wawa Welcome America! rocks the city with fireworks, parades, movies, live concerts and more from
June 28-July 4—all for free.

Cool breezes, soulful music and festivities await when the PECO Multicultural Series hits Penn’s Landing. Celebrate global cultures every weekend from June through August with entertainment, music and food from the Caribbean, Africa and other exotic locales.

For films by up-and-coming black filmmakers, head to the BlackStar Film Festival, where you’ll catch screenings of hundreds of curated films, meet the filmmakers and join in discussions from July 31-August 3.

Food That’s Worth the Trip—And The Calories
As Bon Appétit said, “Turns out that in Philly, there’s way more to obsess over than cheesesteak.” Translation: You’ll want to make plenty of time to taste the authentic flavors of Philly foods during your stay. That means eating at a sidewalk café, a restaurant run by a big-name chef and plenty of other places that serve up deliciousness.

Take rich Southern cuisine, hot rhythm-and-blues and a contemporary vibe and you have Warmdaddy’s, one of Philly’s premier dining and nightlife spots. Hit them up for dinner or their legendary Sunday Jazz Brunch.

Get ready to unwind at Time, part restaurant, part whiskey bar, part nightspot, all fun. The elegant-meets-casual setting specializes in American cuisine, sports a vast whiskey selection and nightly jam sessions. Don’t forget to go for the chef’s tasting menu.

A trip to the historic Reading Terminal Market can be a dizzying affair with more than 80 merchants selling farm-fresh produce, sweet treats and down-home cooking. Be sure to stop by the Amish food stands to sample their home-made specialties

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