Everything you can do at Philly Free Streets this weekend

Dancing, handball, yoga and all kinds of activities in the Barrio on Saturday

The hardcore security measures from the papal visit left Philly's streets wide open in 2015, and then the city tried something similar last year.

The hardcore security measures from the papal visit left Philly's streets wide open in 2015, and then the city tried something similar last year.

Open Streets PHL

When Philly Free Streets debuted last year, shutting down South Street and following MLK Drive into Fairmount Park, the biggest concern seemed to be a lack of diversity. Some 30,000 to 40,000 people walked, ran, biked or partook in the streetside activities, but only an estimated 27 percent were people of color. That number is not substantial in a city where people of color comprise about 60 percent of the population.

The city wants Saturday to be different. Philly Free Streets Volume 2 features a route where North Philly is heavily involved and the centerpiece of the event is El Centro de Oro in Fairhill. The event’s website features details in English and Spanish. Like last time, no cars will be allowed on this stretch of road between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Here’s a guide to the route and all the activities along the way:

The route

The roads are closed to vehicular traffic for a total of seven miles along Third, Fourth and Fifth streets, and Germantown Avenue from Chestnut Street all the way north to Indiana Avenue. See the map for particulars:

Philly Free Street map
Philly Free Streets

Free Streets isn’t a walk or a race. You can be anywhere along the route at anytime. You can walk, you can run and you can bike. Or just hang out.

Exercise opportunities

  • Handball demonstrations: Held at Rainbow de Colores Park at Fifth and York streets, with a children’s class at 10 a.m., followed by classes for women at 11 and men at noon.
  • Boot camp & cardio: 10 a.m. at 3rd and Chestnut streets
  • Yoga: Noon at Third and Chestnut streets
  • Activity zone: Children can play in this pedestrian plaza outside Al Aqsa mosque at Fourth and Germantown.

Art opportunities

  • Mural Arts: Mural Arts staff will be positioned at Al Aqsa mosque, Fifth and Norris, Third and Poplar, and Fifth and Huntington talking about murals. You can help paint a mural at Fifth and Somerset. Some artists will also be making skateboards at Al Aqsa.

Education opportunities

  • Vision Zero: Bike safety lessons for children will be taught throughout the day at Fifth and Germantown. Neighborhood Bike Works is also providing basic repairs and tune-ups.
  • Green City: The Water Department, the Office of Sustainability and Inspire will be talking about the city’s plans for a greener future at Third and Germantown.

Barrio Activity Zone

There will be activities all day at Fifth and Indiana, starting with Latin Dance classes at 9 a.m. and continuing with capoeira, zumba, ula ula dancing, stilt walking and music bomba.



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