The best fall festivals and events in Philadelphia


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Fall in Philadelphia is marked by cool weather, vibrant foliage, and a range of uniquely Philly events and celebrations. A few annual favorites like the Fringe Festival and the Puerto Rican Day Parade are joined by newcomers like Arts Montco Week and a revamped Halloween celebration at the Eastern State Penitentiary. Be sure to check the sites for current COVID-19 protocols.

Thousands of daring performances across the city make up this four-week celebration of contemporary art and innovation. The festival showcases the work of local independent artists and includes performances by FringeArts. (Until October 3, ticket prices vary, various locations, 215-413-9006, fringearts.com) 🎟️ To buy tickets

This new festival is a free week-long celebration of arts and culture, showcasing more than 200 art and culture venues in Montgomery County. Explore everything from the LEGOLAND Discovery Center to dance classes and art galleries. (Until September 26, free, various locations, valleyforge.org)

This Halloween favorite is new and improved with a festival-style lineup featuring 15 attractions. If you’re feeling fearless, take on the two haunted houses. For those who want to be more scared than afraid, attend live Halloween-themed shows and bars, and take in the special effects shows. (Sep 24, Nov 13, $ 34 general admission, $ 30 group tickets, Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue, 215-236-3300, Easternstate.org) 🎟️ To buy tickets

The golden block is the backdrop for this celebration of Philadelphia’s vibrant Latin American community and culture. Step outside for a day of live music, dancing, and food. (Sep 19, free, N. 5th Street between Huntingdon and Somerset streets, feriadelbarrio.org)

This annual parade along the promenade brings together thousands of walkers, dancers and spectators for a day of celebration of Puerto Rican and Latin culture. Keep the party going with an outdoor after-party at Centro de Oro in Fifth and Lehigh. (Sep 26, free, 2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, elconcillio.net)

The oldest festival of its kind in the country, Design Philadelphia is back to showcase the work and innovation of local architects, designers and creative professionals. Attendees can see various exhibits and installations that showcase design excellence. (Oct 6-17, Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. boul. Christopher Colombus., deisgnphiladelphia.org)

This Philly tradition brings thousands of runners to race (or run or walk) on Broad Street during this expensive 10-miler. Cheer on your runner from the safety of your home by streaming it online or watching it on NBC10. (Oct 10, broadstreetrun.com)

The party is on with the return of this annual neighborhood celebration. Local DJs and bands will provide the soundtrack for a day of craft beers, games, food and entertainment. (Oct 16, free, Washington Avenue from 15th Street to 17th Street, blocktoberfest.org)

Admire the artwork and workspaces of over 300 artists at Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, the nation’s largest art and creative studio space tour. The event includes virtual and in-person events that span dozens of neighborhoods in Philadelphia. (Oct 16-24, various locations, philaopenstudios.org)

The 11-day festival brings more than 100 of the most critically acclaimed independent films to screen for local moviegoers to enjoy. Participants will watch short films, feature films and hear from directors and actors. (Oct 21-31, $ 75 for students, $ 175-400, various locations, filmadelphia.org) 🎟️ To buy tickets

For two days, rowers of all skill levels come to the Schuylkill for one of the biggest rowing events in the country. For the best place to look, head to the Three Angels Statue at Boathouse Row, about a mile from the finish line. (Oct. 30-31, $ 62-243 for the race, Schuylkill, hosr.org)

This annual film festival highlights short and feature films created by Asian filmmakers that emphasize the Asian experience. Participants can connect with other passionate members of the Asian film community. (November 4-14, various locations, paaff.org)

Runners can take in views of Fairmount Historical Park and the Schuylkill as they traverse the city in one of the top 10 marathons in the country. The big race takes place on Sunday with a half marathon, an 8k race and children’s races throughout the weekend. (November 19-21, $ 10-140 to run, 22nd Street and Benjamin Franklin Drive, philadelphiamarathon.com)

The nation’s first and oldest Thanksgiving Parade is back with the floats, characters, and bands we know and love, presented by 6ABC and Dunkin. (November 25, free, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, facebook.com)

»READ MORE: For more information, check out our Complete Guide to the Fall Arts

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About Monty S. Maynard

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