Home News Kensington Derby and Arts Festival to return in May

Kensington Derby and Arts Festival to return in May

Dozens of local businesses, artists, and performers will be taking part

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The Kensington Derby and Arts Festival is taking place for the first time in two years. | Photo courtesy of Kory Aversa

Fishtown District recently announced that the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival, sponsored by the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, will be returning on Saturday, May 14, from noon to 6 p.m. 

One of the largest festivals in the city prior to its pandemic-induced break, the 14th iteration of the festival will feature over 100 local vendors as well as a wide variety of artists, musicians, food and drink, and performers.

“Fishtown District is excited to partner with title sponsor Philadelphia Federal Credit Union to bring back and continue this long-standing neighborhood tradition,” said Kae Anderson, Fishtown District’s director of operations, in a press release. 

Over 15,000 people are expected to come out to support the dozens of derby competitors, who will be riding their human-powered vehicles and floats across a 3-mile obstacle course stretching through East Kensington and Fishtown on Trenton Avenue from Norris Street to Frankford Avenue. Judges will be handing out awards at the conclusion of it.

Originally organized in 2007 by the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby was held in conjunction with the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, which was started the previous year by the East Kensington Neighbors Association. The two groups combined the festival in 2015 with PFCU joining as the title sponsor. The festival was put on hiatus for two years due to the pandemic but is making its return this year.

“As we transition to normalcy, we’re excited to engage with the Fishtown and Kensington community once again as the title sponsor of the 14th Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Kensington Derby and Arts Festival,” said PFCU communications specialist Karen Eavis. “PFCU is a staple in this community, and we look forward to enhancing elements of one of the city’s most beloved events.”

Food and drink vendors are expected to include:

  • Bake n’ Bacon
  • Byz Empire Food Truck
  • Calle del Sabor
  • Chank’s Grab-Go
  • Cotton’s Place
  • Cousins Maine Lobster
  • Dr. Wutzit’s Wonder Balls
  • El Rancho Viejo
  • Mom-Mom’s Polish Food Cart
  • Mr. Softee Ice Cream Truck
  • Phil’s Finest
  • Pink’s Cold Treats
  • Pound Cake Heaven
  • The Chilly Banana
  • The Little Sicilian
  • Evil Genius Beer Company
  • Interstate Drafthouse 
  • Stateside Vodka
  • Loco Pez 

“We plan to bring a renewed hyperlocal feel to the event with a focus on cultivating local business participation and showcasing the creativity you can only find here in Kensington and Fishtown,” Anderson said. “We can’t wait to get back outside. The mud is ready to fly once again on Trenton Avenue.”

The derby is set to start at 1 p.m. and the awards ceremony will immediately follow it at 3 p.m. There will also be music all day at both of the festival’s stages.

Registration is open for both contestants and vendors. For more information and to sign up, visit www.kensingtonkineticarts.org.

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