Newsletter for Saturday, May 30
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
The Eakins Oval food trucks are ready to get servin’. Photo via @theovalphl on Instagram.
Welcome to Billy Penn Weekend, the Saturday-Sunday edition of our newsletter where we’ll highlight events that are fun, inspiring, delicious, educational and — this is an important one — affordable. See below for some good weekend reads, then scroll through today’s event picks for an assortment of things to do around Philly. (Know a future happening we should include? Hit reply and let us know.)
ROOTS PICNIC 101: WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ANNUAL SHINDIG
For the eighth year in a row, The Roots are hosting their annual festival at Penn’s Landing this weekend featuring an eclectic mix of more than a dozen acts ranging from A$AP Rocky to The Weeknd to Phantogram — all artists the group from Philly hand-picked themselves. Now, the Roots, who formed here in 1987, are also the house band on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, bringing their soul-y version of hip-hop to the nightly spotlight. But The Roots, and famous drummer Questlove, are pretty much known in hip hop and R&B as the band that’s played with everyone — and as the guys who have released as many critically acclaimed albums as Jay-Z. Here’s what to expect at their signature annual event.
HOW TO SURVIVE PHILLY BEER WEEK
Philly Beer Week is back for an eighth year, and if you love beer, the 10-day brewstorm can be both a blessing and a curse. Blessing: Access to a true cornucopia of rare and specialty beers from around the region, country and the world. Curse: Too much of a good thing — thousands of beers, hundreds of events, dozens of bars and pop-ups. There are ways to enjoy yourself without letting Beer Week take over or suffering a serious case of FOMO. Here are Billy Penn’s hard-learned tips on how to best navigate the PBW tempest.
DAY-TRIPPING RICKETTS GLEN STATE PARK
This 13,000-acre park northwest of Wilkes-Barre features 26 miles of hiking and more than 20 waterfalls, including one that’s more than 90-feet tall. A 3-hour drive from Philly, Ricketts Glen makes a great day trip, and we’ve got tips where to go, what to bring and where to eat in the area. So grab a friend, pack a lunch and make a plan to get away from the concrete jungle.
ON THE CALENDAR
LOOK: FUTURE SENSATIONS AT THE OVAL
The Kimmel Center has become such a regular part of the Broad Street backdrop that most of us don’t pause to marvel at its barrel-vaulted transparent roof, but the now-iconic arch is only possible because of materials company Saint-Gobain. The global enterprise is celebrating its 350th anniversary with an art show featuring five very cool translucent pavilions that visitors can walk through — after first opening in Shanghai, they were displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and are now making their only U.S. stop in front of the Art Museum, before they finish their tour in Paris this fall.
When: Noon-10 PM, Saturday, May 30 (exhibition runs through June 6)
Where: Eakins Oval, 2451 Ben Franklin Pkwy.
How Much: Free
LISTEN: COUNTER CULTURE COFFEE SUSTAINABLE SPRING OPEN HOUSE
Meantwhile, the North Carolina-based indie coffee roaster is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of talks about sustainability (the word may be over-used, but the concept behind it — actions and habits that take into account the long-term health of our planet and society — is still valid). At the second-floor training center in Grad-Ho, folks from the Philly Fixers Guild will chat about how much fun it is to rebuild things instead of just toss them into a landfill. If nothing else, you’re sure to cop some good caffeine while you listen.
When: 10 AM-noon, Saturday, May 30
Where: Counter Culture Philadelphia Training Center, 2149 Catharine St., Unit B
How Much: Free
LOOK: PENN MUTUAL COLLEGIATE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
In the highly-competitive world of college rugby, it doesn’t get more important than this: the top teams in the nation converge on the Philadelphia Union’s home field for a display of grit, muscle and dexterity as they play a game that’s like non-stop football without padding (only less concussions). The tournament features games in the 7s format, meaning they’re even shorter and more intense than many played during the regular season — makes it tough on the players but extra-interesting to watch.
When: 10 AM, Saturday, May 30 & Sunday, May 31
Where: PPL Park, 1 Stadium Dr., Chester
How Much: $46 (tickets)
DRINK: CRAFT BEER DAY ON EAST PASSYUNK AVENUE
East Passyunk Avenue is home to a near-ridiculous number of bars and restaurants, and a dozen of them are getting together to celebrate Philly Beer Week with 13 hours of tastings, pairings and indoor-outdoor beer events. Stop in at the P.O.P.E. to meet the brewers from Southern Tier, swing down to Bing Bing Dim Sum (now open weekends for lunch at noon!) for some beer-flavored soft-serve and follow your nose to Le Virtu, where Sixpoint, Troegs, Victory and Weyerbacher will be sampling sips to go along with Italian bites off the outdoor grill.
When: 11 AM-midnight, Sunday, May 31
Where: East Passyunk Avenue
How Much: Pay as you go
EAT: 5TH ANNUAL PHILABUNDANCE CUPCAKE SMASH
Eat cupcakes, feed people in need. The logic may not be obvious, but that’s exactly what happens at this yearly fundraiser for the Philly nonprofit that fights hunger and food insecurity throughout the region. Both professional and amateur bakers will put their best cupcakes forward for judging by a panel of experts (including Federal Donuts chef Matt Fein) and by the audience, who gets to sample as much as possible while also drinking wine and beer.
When: 2-5 PM, Sunday, May 31
Where: The Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St.
How Much: $30 (tickets)