Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, a Unique Philly Experience
Great weather really brings out the best in Philadelphia. For the past few weekends I've watched the city through open its windows, toss aside those spring jackets, and delve headfirst into this summery weather. The best part about this late May warm-up? Street festivals! I love street festivals for many reasons: food trucks, drinks in the streets, people watching, and local shopping. This year I stumbled upon a new one to add to my short list of favorite festivals in Philadelphia: the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival.
This festival wasn't unique in its components: food trucks, beer (from Philadelphia Brewing Company right around the corner), and shopping at stands from local artisans. What was unique about the festival was the all-encompassing community feel to the Kensington event. It felt like we'd stumbled onto one of those closed-street block parties that Philly neighborhoods are famous for. Also I wish I was a street style blogger and felt confident enough to ask to snap pictures of outfits I saw because the artsy communities were out in full force. I bought some fun pom-pom shorts and found some Philly-centric coasters to use on our coffee table. We didn't sample any of the food trucks since we'd just strolled over from Cedar Point brunch but I was tempted to stand in the line for some Little Baby's ice cream. I've been to many street festivals in Philadelphia and this one felt the most "Philly": people from the neighborhood spending a day with friends.
The Trenton Avenue Arts Festival spanned about two blocks and dead-ended into another quintessential Philadelphia event: the Kensington Kinetic Derby. I'd seen this event posted on blogs and Twitter numerous times over the past few years but never really thought to go. Thank goodness for that summer weather in May that had us in this area of the city. The Kensington Kinetic Derby is a human-powered race of "sculptural" contraptions. Think teams and individuals on jazzed up bikes. It travels through the Fishtown and Kensington neighborhoods of Philly. There's even a mud pit obstacle for them to navigate. I feel like it's almost impossible to describe this Philly event without pictures.
See what I mean? Since we got there late, we didn't have a great spot but we still saw all the derby bikes as they came through the finish line. The creativity of the bikes is the best part and each one is totally different from the one before it. My favorite was the shark since it's mouth moved as the biker pedaled. There was even a piano derby bike that played music as it traveled the course. At the end you're able to vote for your favorite, though we couldn't choose just one. I can't imagine this event in anywhere other than in the Kensington/Fishtown area of the city and I'm a bit sad that I never went to this street festival and community event before. I'm looking forward to next May and this time Nick and I are going to station ourselves near the mud pit so we can see what these derby bikes are really made of.