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Chinese Lantern Festival, CultureFest!, and Children’s Festival headline a bustling weekend

4 minute read

If you’re feeling in sync like I am, the city is blossoming just in time with a weekend robust with things to do. Whether it's being captivated by the tradition of the Chinese Lantern festival, seeking a classical/Brazilian music mashup, experiencing mixed interactive media at a legendary dive bar, or letting all the tension go through laughter at a Cinco de Mayo-inspired comedy show, guess what? When you’ve finally got something to love, it’s gonna be May.

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

Franklin Square lights up a celebration of culture as the 2019 Chinese Lantern Festival kicks off this weekend. The festival begins today and runs through June 30, with steel-framed and silk-wrapped giant lighted sculptures, handcrafted with traditional Chinese methods, made up of 2,000 individual lanterns and 20,000 LED lights. The highlights include a 200-foot long phoenix and a walk-through dragon tunnel. There will be stage performances, arts and crafts, cuisines, and a nightly Dragon Beer Garden.

Annenberg Center presents the 2019 Philadelphia Children’s Festival

The 34th annual Philadelphia Children’s Festival features three days of contemporary family-friendly entertainment on stage. Running Thursday, May 2, through Saturday, May 4, performances by Air Play, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Pennsylvania Ballet II, Moona Luna, and more complement a host of hands-on activities in the outdoor PlazaMania. Visit online for a full schedule of events, activities, and performances.

Imani Winds and Alex Shaw at World Café Live

A night of musical matchmaking curated by LiveConnections lights up WCL on Friday, May 3, with Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds and percussionist Alex Shaw. The show pairs Brazilian and Latin American tunes with chamber music and begins at 8pm, with tickets available online.

Air Play will be part of the Philadelphia Children's Festival roster. (Photo by Florence Montmare.)
Air Play will be part of the Philadelphia Children's Festival roster. (Photo by Florence Montmare.)

Level Up at Tattooed Mom

JERKS Productions presents a themed First Fridays show at Tattooed Mom (530 South Street) that challenges artists to take a step out of their comfort zone and try a new theme with their work. This weekend, they present Level Up: A Video-Game-Inspired Art Show, an exhibit celebrating video games and interactive media. The event, which begins at 6pm, is teaming up with Extra Life to raise money to donate to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Gender Queery: A Trans and Nonbinary Drag Show

Retrograde Productions presents Gender Queery, a celebration of queerness and gender expression at Stir Lounge (1705 Chancellor Street). The regular First Friday event features Luna!, Mercury, Beary Tyler Moore, Paula Deen White, Samantha Sayten, and Dalyla Mizani-Cristal. The drag show begins Friday, May 3, at 8pm and is free, with donations accepted.

Bold Women and Beer Festival

Love City Brewing (1023 Hamilton Street) is hosting Philadelphia’s first women-centered beer festival. On Saturday, May 4, from 1pm to 4pm, Bold Women and Beer will feature more than 30 breweries led by women. Food trucks and live entertainment will round out the empowering experience. For a full list of breweries, food, and entertainment, check it out online.

CultureFest! African and Diasporic Cultures

Hosted in partnership with the Colored Girls Museum, this edition of CultureFest! is an opportunity for reunion of both contemporary and traditional cultural practices across Africa and the African diaspora. Inspired by the Colored Girls Museum’s current exhibition, “In Search of the Colored Girl,” and Penn Museum’s African collection, this festival is a celebration of the ordinary/extraordinary Colored Girl throughout the Africa and the African Diaspora. The family-friendly event looks to explore cultural connections through art, mask-making, performances, musical demonstrations, and more. The event runs in two parts on Saturday, May 4, with 1pm to 5pm being free with museum admission and evening festivities, from 5pm to 8pm, ticketed with admission at $10-$15.

Air Play will be part of the Philadelphia Children's Festival roster. (Photo by Florence Montmare.)
Air Play will be part of the Philadelphia Children's Festival roster. (Photo by Florence Montmare.)

Film at the X: The Bombing of Osage Avenue

On Saturday, May 4, at 6pm, Black Lives Matter Philly and CinéSPEAK present Scribe Video Center's Louis Massiah's documentary The Bombing of Osage Avenue at historic Malcolm X Park (400 South 51st Street). Based on the tragic event 34 years ago, Massiah’s award-winning film explores deep into an often hidden piece of Philadelphia’s history.

Black-owned food trucks will be on site prior to the screening at sundown, and a pre-screening conversation with Massiah, Black Lives Matter Philly, and West Philadelphia community members will be held around 7:30pm. The event is free, and donations will be accepted.

Latino AF: A Latino Comedy Show
Get your laughs this Cinco de Mayo as Woke AF hosts a Latinx comedy show at Liberty Bar and Grill (2204 Market Street). Hosted by Dorian Vasquez, the show features sets by Che Guerrero (50 Central, Live at Gotham) and Alejandro Morales (Whiz City, founding member of Laughs on Philly). Laugh out loud on Sunday, May 5, at 8pm.

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