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Manayunk Arts Festival: A Unique Art Experience in Historic Manayunk

Placed on the list of National Historic District’s in 1983, Manayunk is a Philadelphia neighborhood that’s ideal for your next Pennsylvania excursion. It features a series of can't-miss community events such as the Manayunk Arts Festival, Stroll the Street, and StrEAT Foods Festival. No trip here would be complete without sampling the cuisine, and restaurants such as Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar as well as Manayunk Brewery offer something for every palate.  


The Manayunk Arts Festival is the largest juried art festival in Pennsylvania with more than 200,000 annual attendees, and it will take place June 24-25 on Main Street. It’s been the go-to event for artists across the country for nearly 30 years, and around 300 juried artists will showcase their work this year. The artists use a variety of mediums in their work, and attendees can purchase everything from glass statues to oil paintings. Returning this year is the Emerging Artists Tent, which gives new artists the chance to showcase their talents, meet buyers, and interact with established artists. Once attendees get their fill of world-class art, they can spend the rest of the day visiting the unique shops, bars, and restaurants that line Main Street. We got the opportunity to interview Megan Douress, Communications & Marketing Manager for the Manayunk Development Corporation, to learn more about this unique art experience.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

MD: This is the 28th year of the Manayunk Arts Festival.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

MD: We anticipate that around 200,000 people will attend during the weekend.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

MD: We draw art collectors from all over the region including areas like Bucks County, The Main Line, and even as far as New Jersey. Our audience skews older with the largest demographic being females between the ages 35-65. However, we also get a lot of residents and young families that come down from the neighborhood.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

MD: We feature some of the best artists from all over the country. We're especially proud to allow new and young artists to show each year under our Emerging Artists Tent, which is something you don’t see at most arts festivals.


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.

MD: We have over 300 artists exhibiting on Main Street!


RAL: What will attendees find for dining options?

MD: Manayunk features a variety of restaurants, many of which offer an al fresco atmosphere. Many of the restaurants take advantage of the crowds and will serve their signature dishes outside.


RAL: Tell me about the atmosphere of the event.

MD: Fun! This is a typical outdoor summer event with big crowds, great dining options, and lots of unique items to look at and purchase.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

MD: We have two B&B’s in our neighborhood. One is Manayunk Chambers Guesthouse, which is a gorgeous row homes on the hill. We also have Manayunk Extended Stay, which offers studio and two bedroom options.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

MD: Yes! The Manayunk Arts Festival is by far our biggest event each year. We bring the people to the street, and our merchants and the artists do the rest!


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

MD: All of the money raised during the Festival goes back into marketing and event production for the district.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

MD: There will be 200,000 people on the street, but you'll still get a sense of community during the event. The arts festival brings out the best of our community, which has a bit of a funky, relaxed vibe. Throw in our top notch retail and restaurant businesses, and it's an event you won't want to miss!


For more information about the Manayunk Arts Festival, please visit the event website.

Photography by JPG Photography