Photo: Spruce Street Harbor Park

It's Not Summer in Philadelphia Unless These 18 Things Happen

by Monica Williams Jul 8, 2016

1. Wawa‘s Hoagiefest returns. You can’t say it’s summer in Philadelphia until Wawa starts selling $4.99 Italian sandwiches.

2. You stand in an insane line at the neighborhood Rita’s waiting for a raspberry and vanilla custard gelati.

3. Singles and couples occupy all of the hammocks at Spruce Street Harbor Park reading, snoozing or just cuddling.

4. You hear “Summertime” from Philly natives DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (Will Smith) on WDAS radio at least once a day.

5. Radio 104.5 Summer Block Parties converge on the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing.

6. You start noticing beer gardens and beer festivals everywhere, and Beer Week happens.

7. Bright-red, double-decker buses filled with camera-toting tourists start traversing the cobblestone streets of Old City.

8. Everyone in town’s talking about going “down the shore” or what they did “down the shore” last weekend.
And every Friday at 3 p.m., Center City office buildings start clearing out as highways to New Jersey beaches begin to clog up with cars.

9. The Phillies continue their losing streak down at Citizens Bank Park. It doesn’t matter. You still sport your red and white.

10. Several dozen food and drink trucks — and 10,000 people — take over a diverse neighborhood for Night Market Philadelphia.
And you eat a macaron ice-cream sandwich under the stars.

11. You and your Center City colleagues ditch the formal shoes for the season and wear flip flops to the office.

12. Backyards are aglow as fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, light up the dark night.

13. Wawa Welcome America holds multiple flag-waving, red-white-and-blue parties to mark the nation’s birthday.
There are Declaration of Independence readings, concerts by homegrown talent at the art museum, Philly Pops concerts in front of Independence Hall, and of course, fireworks.

14. Outdoor movie screenings start happening under the Stars and Stripes at the Betsy Ross House.

15. There’s parking and less traffic on the streets in University City since most Penn students have cleared out for the summer.

16. Bands, beer, balloons and several thousand extra rainbow flags crowd the Gayborhood for the LGBT Pride Parade.

17. Vendors with brown paper bags approach your car at the stop light, offering soft pretzels —four for $1.
The mustard and the exhaust are free.

18. And of course, you take at least one photo with friends or family in a red #visitphilly oversized chair and upload it to social media.

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