Every spring, the always-busy 9th Street outdoor market becomes the absolute epicenter of activity in South Philly. That’s because mid-May is the time to celebrate the Italian Market marking another year of one-of-kind offerings that range from antiques, books and music to fresh produce alongside authentic Italian cookware. This year, the 9th Street Italian Market Festival will be held on May 18 and 19, 2019 and we wanted to give readers a heads-up on can’t-miss events planned for this very special occasion.
According to previous estimates, some 70,000 visitors attend this annual celebration of “the nation’s oldest continuously operating outdoor market.” Whether you want to sample some of the authentic deserts there or swing by our nearby cheesesteak shop afterward, your visit to the 9th Street Italian Market — which turned 100 in 2015 — is bound to be a memorable one.
some of the main attractions that make the 9th Street Italian Market
Festival a must-attend event for Philadelphians and nearby residents alike:
– Man vs. Gravity: Known as “Albero Della Cuccagna” in the native tongue, this climbing competition pits teams against each other as well as against a lard-coated 30-foot-tall pole. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen and the 2019 contest kicks off at noon on Saturday, May 18. Competitors who work up an appetite during the climb are encouraged to head south to 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue for an authentic meal from our cheesesteak shop.
– Arts and Entertainment: The Italian Market fest has got them both! Live music will be provided by “The Strictly ‘60s Band,” DJ Eric Bartello, Lisa OnTour and The Sweet Jersey Band as well as Bob Pantano from radio station 98.1 WOGL. Some of the handmade goods from artisan vendors that will be available include local sports team mosaics, Philly-themed drink coasters, professional photography prints, fine art and other home goods.
– Play (Half) Ball: The 9th Street take on America’s past time, the John Marzano Half Ball Tournament gives the winning team bragging rights for the next year. It also goes to support a good cause; supporting youth baseball through the John Marzano Wood Bat Scout League. This year’s tournament takes place on May 18 at the Christopher Columbus Charter School.
These exciting events and much more are planned for this year’s Italian Market celebration. After your visit, we encourage you to swing by our cheesesteak shop and grab a “Whiz with” or “without.” It’s up to you – but we’ll have the fried onions, fresh rolls and rib-eye steak ready and waiting.