Home News Kensington Derby and Arts Festival finds home on Frankford Avenue

Kensington Derby and Arts Festival finds home on Frankford Avenue

The 16th Annual Kensington Derby and Arts Festival has a new home on Frankford Avenue.

East Kensington’s signature event will kick off on May 11 on Frankford Avenue between York Street and Huntingdon Street. The parade features Derby teams riding human-powered sculptures built from repurposed bicycles and other improvised creations through an obstacle course that concludes at a mud-pit on the arts festival grounds. The event is presented by the Fishtown District with support from the Penn Treaty Special Services District.

In addition to the parade, more than 150 area restaurants, food trucks, artists, bands and other vendors will contribute to the celebratory atmosphere.

“East Kensington is a neighborhood that is growing and thriving, and Frankford Ave. in particular has seen tremendous business growth in the last year with the opening of new businesses like Post Haste, Fiore Fine Foods, Cloud Cups and Philadelphia Barber Co,” Fishtown District Director of Operations Kae Anderson said. “We are proud to invite our neighbors near and far to come out and experience the unique creative spirit of East Kensington. This truly is Philadelphia’s most unique festival of the year – there is nothing else like it.”

The parade is free to enter for all ages, requiring only a bike, a helmet and a well-developed sense of fun. The Derby and Arts Fest is also free to attend, perfect for families and pets. For more information, or to register as a derby participant, visit kensingtonkineticarts.org.

The Kensington Derby and Arts Fest began in 2007 on Trenton Avenue to benefit the East Kensington Neighbors Association and the New Kensington Community Development Corp. Now in its 16th year, the festival continues to benefit the East Kensington Neighbors Association.

Tens of thousands are expected to line the 3-mile route through East Kensington and Fishtown with particular emphasis on the obstacles along the route that add to the fun.

The event, which was voted Best in Philly in 2023, is one of the largest spring festivals in the region. Last year’s edition took place during a rainstorm – with the mud and obstacles flying more than ever. Still, thousands participated through the challenging weather. As always, the 16th annual event will be held rain or shine.

The derby parade begins at 2, staring at Frankford and York running along Frankford Avenue and back up Front Street, ending about an hour later at the Amber Street mud pit. 

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