A Manayunk-Roxborough double-header: Celebrating solstice and the arts

The first official days of summer got off to an event-filled start in Roxborough and Manayunk this weekend with both the inaugural Roxborough Summer Solstice Festival and the 25th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival.

The Arts Fest, which is the region’s largest juried outdoor arts festival kicked off on Friday night with a Summer Solstice Bonfire along the Manayunk Canal. Saturday and Sunday brought over 300 artists from around the country to Main Street.

The road was shut down for visitors to comfortably stroll and enjoy an array of craft jewelry, fiberwork, paintings, sculptures and more. Restaurants extended into the street providing food and refreshments for those needing a break.

With a 25-year history, the Manayunk Arts Festival has grown into a favorite summer event for locals as well as visitors from across great Philadelphia and beyond.

Inaugural solstice celebration in Roxborough

On Saturday, in Roxborough’s Gorgas Park, neighbors and friends celebrated the park’s first annual Summer Solstice Festival in collaboration with Make Music Philly, Philadelphia’s citywide “do-it-yourself” music festival.

The day began with a kids’ festival complete with bounce houses, carnival games, face painting and more. Local vendors and food trucks including Spot Burger and Cheese E. Wagon provided food and refreshments with the addition of a beer garden as the music performances got underway.

Hosted by WXPN’s Dan Reed and headlined by Philadelphia favorite Ben Arnold, 10 other musical acts entertained throughout the day including Kwesi K., Ali Wadsworth, and the Peace Creeps.

As an inaugural event, John Boyce, director of the Friends of Gorgas, who organized the event in conjunction with the Roxborough Development Corporation and the Manayunk Roxborough Food Co-op, was pleased with the success of the Summer Solstice Festival. “What a great crowd. What a fun day,” he said.

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