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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista :  Passyunk Square 

Italian Market festival kicks off this weekend

On May 17 and 18, the already bustling Italian Market will be even more busy with the “Best of Philly” 9th Street Italian Market Festival.

Italian Market festival courtesy of Uwishunu.

Italian Market festival collage via of Uwishunu.

Ninth Street from Fitzwater to Federal streets will be closed to vehicle traffic due to festivities from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, rain or shine. As the city’s best-attended block party, festival-goers get to enjoy a weekend full of flavors and sights from the Italian Market shops, the Annual Procession of Saints on Sunday, Mexican-American treats and four stages of entertainment.

Festival-goers should also expect the lineup to include the John Marzano Half Ball Tournament on Saturday, contests, a beer and wine garden and DiBruno Bros’ 75th Anniversary Celebration.

Arrive hungry, because the streets will be lined with food vendors for more than six blocks. Expect a variety of everything from cannolis, roast pork, sausage and peppers to pizza, Mexican, South American and Asian fare.

Beyond that, artisans will spill out to the sidewalks with handmade wares, local organizations will offer family-friendly activities and stages will explode with live entertainment.

This year, historic Saint Mary Magdalen dePazzi Church at 712 Montrose St. will be open for tours, and a photo essay book offering a look at the market will be on sale.

Click here for more festival coverage including the full list of spring festivals this month and next from Uwishunu.

- Ruthann Alexander, @RuthannAlexande

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