Sheila Modglin and Jody Sweitzer of Dirty Franks

Updated Feb. 3 with info that the party will continue after 6 p.m., inside the bar

Iconic Philly dive bar Dirty Franks is known for throwing big parties. The summer picnic brings hundreds of regulars to Fairmount park every year, and annual happenings like the chili cook-off have been going strong for nearly a quarter century.

So when co-owner Jody Sweitzer writes “without a doubt, this will be the largest Dirty Franks event ever” — you know it’s going to be monumental.

In this case, the event is big because its beneficiary means so much to everyone involved.

On Sunday, March 4, Dirty Franks will host “Sheila SunShine Day,” a block party fundraiser to benefit longtime bartender Sheila Modglin.

Modglin was nearly killed after a motorist slammed into her as she tried to cross Lincoln Drive the night of the Eagles parade. Because of brain swelling caused by trauma to the head, she was put into a drug-induced coma. She has recently begun to show signs of awareness.

Costs for medical procedures expected to be required for her recovery are daunting, and the Modglin family has set up a fund to help pay for them. All proceeds from the Dirty Franks block party will go to that fund.

And there should be plenty of money raised, because the March 4 party will have everything Sheila loved and enjoyed when she was healthy — food, drink, kids, arts, music and games.

Poster for the block party Credit: Dirty Franks

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pine Street from 12th to 13th will be closed to traffic. Philadelphia Brewing Co. will be pouring beer from its mobile outdoor draft system, which is outfitted with six taps, and six food trucks will be set up, including:

  • Waffles & Wedges
  • Chewy’s Philly
  • Pizza Jawn
  • Babalouie BBQ
  • Sum Pig
  • Pbon’s Fresh Phood

An art show that emanates from the walls on the bar’s interior out into the streets will feature works by local artists, all for sale to benefit the cause. There will also be a raffle with prizes like jewelry, tattoos, restaurant gift cards and spa treatments. Kids activities like face painting, chalk stations and other games will be set up along the sidewalk.

A soundtrack of live music will come from a stage at 13th and Pine, with performances by:

  • Franco & The Detonators
  • Gas Money
  • The Takeaways
  • Rustic Music Service
  • TC Cole Riot
  • Frank Velardo (acoustic guitar)
  • Elliot Levin (flute/sax)
  • Bob Phillips (acoustic jazz)
  • Latin Jazz Band

After 6 p.m., the party will move inside the bar, with the art show continuing. From 8 p.m. onward, it’s Oscars time — you can continue the night by watching the Academy Awards with the gathered crowd.

“History will be made this day,” says the Facebook event page. “Please be respectful and share the immense love that Sheila has shown to all of us!”

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...