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Your 2024 Good (Philadelphia) Citizen Calendar

The dates you need and things to do in Philadelphia to make this year your civic best

Your 2024 Good (Philadelphia) Citizen Calendar

The dates you need and things to do in Philadelphia to make this year your civic best

Welcome to the 2024 Good Philadelphia Citizen Calendar, full of good things to do in Philly, all year long. Let calendar guide you to dozens of ways to take part in city life — and to make Philly better for all of us: Voting. Volunteering. Cheering on our cherished traditions and teams. Cleaning up after ourselves.

Truth be told, you can be a good citizen any day of the year: Sweep your block. Donate a book to a little free library. Donate your time to any kind of shelter. Buy a box of overpriced candy from a kid on the subway. Lend a hand to someone who could use it. Patronize a local business. Get out there. Participate in our city. Mark down these civic holidays and Philly-centric events, to make this year in Philadelphia your — and our — best year, ever.

February / MarchAprilMay / JuneJuly / August / September / October / November / December

FEBRUARY 2024

February 2: Glean What You Will from Groundhog Day

It’s odd, disproven, old-fashioned (what with the fellas in top hats), and borderline cruel to a hibernating groundhog who has, to date, received zero dollars for his annual appearances — not to mention for being the face of the Pennsylvania Lottery. But if it gives us a little hope, even perversely, that spring is coming, then, good on ya?

February 3: Bring Kid(s) to the African American Children’s Book Fair

African American Children’s Book Fair

The fair’s back in person for year 32, bringing the next Jason Reynolds or Jacqueline Woodson (or maybe the real ones) to Philly for three hours of unbridled shopping for and signing and reading aloud of children’s books by Black authors and illustrators. This is biggest such event on the East Coast. And, it’s a glorious sight to behold. PA Convention Center, from 1 to 4pm.

February 4: Honor Rosa Parks and Caroline LeCount on Transit Equity Day

Caroline LeCount

Rosa Parks was not the first Black American woman to inspire a bus boycott. That was 19th-century Philadelphian Caroline LeCount, who is extremely overdue for a statue — and whom a group of neighbors on Taney Street would like their street named after. But Parks’ simple and defiant act inspired a 20th-century movement, and that movement inspired work to change for the better. So, ride a SEPTA bus, subway or train. Have a seat. Make room for another rider. Thank your driver.

February 10: Celebrate the Lunar New Year

Spectators watch the annual lion dance parade to celebrate Lunar New Year in Chinatown.
Photo courtesy Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation‎

There is literally no holiday more delicious than this one, which, if you celebrate by dining on dim sum or duck in Chinatown, you’ll likely catch a lion parade and street fireworks. Go. The neighborhood still needs the support, and maybe you can judge for yourself whether a 76ers arena there would disrupt life. (P.S. It’s the Year of the Dragon.)

February 22: Register to Vote on Octavius Catto’s Birthday

Octavius V. Catto Memorial, Philadelphia City Hall. Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

On this day in 1839, Octavius V. Catto, aka Caroline LeCount’s partner, was born. Catto would go on to serve in the National Guard, recruit other African Americans to serve in the military, help establish Philadelphia’s Negro League Baseball (go Pythians), worked to integrate streetcars, and was assassinated after exercising his sacred right to vote. You know what you need to do: Register. To. Vote.

MARCH 2024

March 2-10: Breathe Deep at the Philadelphia Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show. Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is bringing back the world’s largest indoor flower show. Your $39.99 adult admission, pricey though it may be, does help fund PHS’ greening of our fair city, which could use a few more trees, to be sure. PA Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street

Save $5 when you attend on a weekday, or by going late, when a twilight ticket costs $29.99.

March through May: Give Away Your Gown (or Tux):

Photo by Todd Cravens for Unsplash.

Truth: No way you — or your kid — wears that frock / penguin suit ever again. Give it to the Career Wardrobe in Philly and Upper Darby. (Special request for XL-5XL dresses and size 10-14 women’s formal shoes).

March 10: Buy a Book at a Black-Owned Bookshop on Harriett Tubman Day

This photo of Harriett's Bookshop illustrates a guide to black-owned shops, cafés, pizza and water ice joints, beauty boutiques, bookstores, and even an auto mechanic whose Black owners are committed to making our city better
Harriett’s Bookshop owner Jeannine Cook | Photo by R. Rabena

When this day becomes a federal holiday, you can thank bookstore owner Jeannine Cook, who named her Fishtown shop after Tubman, named her Collingswood, NJ location after Ida B. Wells, and started a movement (and a petition) to make March 10 the first American holiday recognizing a Black woman. And shop at Harriett’s and Ida’s.

March 10 through April 8: Be Extra Kind to Muslim Friends: Ramadan is here

Photo by Levi Meir Clancy for Unsplash.

Fasting from sunup to sundown for a full month inspires reflection and even community building. It does not, however, come easily. Go easy on your Muslim colleagues, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.

End March through early April (dates TBA): Get Dramatic during Philly Theatre Week

People’s Light.

Like so many celebratory weeks, this one is longer than seven days, and spans theater groups and spaces in and beyond Philly. This is the time to sample the new stuff.

March 24: Eat One on National Cheesesteak Day

Cheesesteak at the Reading Terminal Market. Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

If you have to ask. (We love you Pat’s and Geno’s, but give a little love to your corner steak shop this go-round, wouldya?)

March 28: Catch the Phillies Home Opener

Phillies celebrate winning the NL title.

Opening day is usually too cold to be outside. We’ll brave the chill, because we believe. Go Phils!

APRIL 2024

April 8: Last Day to Register to Vote Before the Primary Election

Do it.

April 11: Help an Animal on National Pet Day

Domino the Dog, from ACCT Philly

Every human companion to a pet knows: Fur babies are the best babies. Philadelphia has long struggled to shelter all of our city’s un-homed animals. Here are 10 ways you can help, ranging from low-commitment — Take a dog for a walk! Donate used towels! Take a cat’s photo! — to the lifechangers, like adopting a new barking or meowing family member.

April 16: Last Day to Request a Mail-In or Absentee Ballot Before the Primary Election

Here’s how.

Mid-April (dates TBA): Clean Up Our City!

Philadelphians clean up illegally dumped tires.

Philadelphia’s citywide cleanup, typically takes place 9am to 2pm on a Saturday. Take part in the 17th annual such event by signing up here — or DIYing.

April 22-26: Take Part in National Youth Violence Prevention Week

No need to tell any Philadelphian about what’s happening with our kids. Too many children — because that’s what they are — are becoming victims and culprits of violence, most notably, gun violence. We can’t keep blaming parents. We need to fix this ourselves. Here’s how:

Mid-April (dates TBA): Savor Spring at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Japanese dummers use their hands to play taiko drums on a stage. Behind them: Cherry blossom trees.
Taiko drumming. Photo by K. Kelly for Visit Philadelphia.

Shofuso — the 17th-century-style Japanese house and garden gifted to Philadelphia in 1953 — remains one of the hidden gems of Fairmount Park. Except, that is, over one weekend, when everyone gathers beneath pink cherry blossoms to celebrate Japanese culture.

April 22: Fight Climate Change on Earth Day

Two young women protesting for action against climate change
Photo by Chris Yakimov for Flickr.

Here are more more than 50 ways to save Planet Earth, mostly easy:

April 24: Vote in the Primary Election

Polls are open from 7am to 8pm.

April 25: Show Your True Colors on the Phanatic’s Birthday

The Philly Phanatic

Before there was Gritty, there was this green, Galápogan big-bellied, silly-snouted creature, still the best mascot in all of baseball. For all the joy you’ve given us (since 1978!), Phillie Phanatic, we thank you. Feel free to sit on us during a home game.

Late April / early May (dates TBA): Support Runners Doing Good at the Broad Street Run

The Broad Street Run| Photo by M. Edlow / Visit Philadelphia

You could stand between Central and the Navy Yard, cheering on the 40,000 runners, maybe even seeing a friend among them. Or, you could join them. Run with Back on My Feet, which helps people going through crisis through … running. Or sponsor a youth runner from Girls on the Run or Students Run Philly Style.

MAY 2024

May 3: Buy a Newspaper on World Press Freedom Day

Pick up a newspaper: Maybe the Philadelphia Daily News or Philadelphia Tribune, or an Inquirer. Make a donation to a nonprofit newsroom that’s actively working to solve seemingly intractable Philadelphia problems … like, oh, I don’t know, The Philadelphia Citizen?

Photo courtesy of Center for Black Educator Development

May 6-10: Do an Educator a Solid during Teacher Appreciation Week

Sharif-El-Mekki, founder and CEO of The Center for Black Educator Development.

Some believe a solid education, fueled by teachers and support staff who double as mentors, is the most essential solution of all. Shoutout to all the educators who look after our kids from pre-K to post-grad. Here are some ways to help teachers (and therefore students) here in Philly.

Mid-May (date TBA): Sign up for Love Your Park Day

LOVE Your Park Week
Photo: Flickr/Kevin Burkett

Like spring cleaning, except for your neighborhood park. Heck, like spring cleaning but for a park that you’ve never been to before, where you discover something new, like friends!

May 18: Ride (or Run, or Walk) like an Eagle at the Eagles Autism Challenge

Eagles Autism Challenge. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Eagles

We’ve got a whole lot to be proud of in our one-and-only NFL team. One of the many off-the-field reasons to love our Birds: The good they do in our community and around the world. The Eagles’ biggest effort: Find a cure for and improve the lives of people with autism. So far, they’ve raised millions toward this goal.

Folks who fundraise enough (starting at $250) can take part in the team’s annual Autism Challenge, with options to bike, run, or take part in a sensory walk.

Late May (dates TBA): Climb the Greased Pole (or just watch) at the S. 9th Street Italian Market Festival

South 9th Street Italian Market Festival, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

It’s loud. It’s crowded. There’s a greased pole that’s pretty much daring every post-championship pole climber to tackle it, en masse. There’s live and DJ’ed music. And, cannoli. And giant pineapple drinks and lines out the doors of Di Bruno Bros, Claudio’s, Fante’s … It’s slightly obnoxious and kinda blissful.

May 27: Honor Fallen Military on Memorial Day

Philadelphia National Cemetery. Photo from Local Cemeteries

Memorial Day began after the Civil War to honor members of the military who lost their lives in battle. Should you be feeling patriotic and / or grateful for the sacrifices made by service members and the people who loved them, pay your respects at Philadelphia National Cemetery in West Oak Lane at 6909 Limekiln Pike.

JUNE 2024

June is Pride Month. Philly celebrates with a parade, museum events, and parties galore.

A black person carries a Pride flag on a Philadelphia street as part of Pride.
Photo by S. Ramones for Visit Philadelphia.

June 9: Do Up Odunde

Don’t miss the awesome Philly Odunde Festival in mid-June. | Photo by A. Ricketts

This proud, woman-founded, extra lively West South Street tradition merges African and African American traditions into unbridled Black joy on the Second Sunday in June.

Juneteenth at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, photo by Joseph Kaczmarek.

June 19: Celebrate Juneteenth — and Feel Great About It.

It’s been three years since President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, giving all Americans the opportunity to celebrate the end of slavery. Take this opportunity to visit the African American Museum in Philadelphia, support Black-owned businesses that do good, catch a parade — or to just listen.

June 20: Help Someone New to the U.S. on World Refugee Day

Photo by Ra Dragon on Unsplash

For the moment, the United States remains a promised land for people fleeing war, poverty, crime, and abuse. Here’s how you can help refugees who’ve come to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection looking for a better life.

JULY 2024

July 4: Catch the Fireworks on Independence Day

Fireworks over the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

The city’s tourism bureaus like to say, “The city that did it first, does it best.” Well, Philly’s certainly done it longest. Welcome America is a multi-day, event-filled run-up to Independence Day, replete with concerts and fireworks, including the biggest of the year over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

AUGUST 2024

August 1-4: Do Not Miss BlackStar.

The BlackStar Film Festival | Photo by Daniel Jackson

Now in its 13th year, this 100-film, three-theater festival is about more than the screen. It’s about the gathering BIPOC members of the film industry, and film lovers in general. It’s also about accessibility. And wellness. Don’t miss BlackStar. Last year’s price for an all-access festival pass was $350, and virtual screening pass: $175; individual event and screening ticket prices vary.

August 4: It’s Hot Out. Have a Beer.

2nd Story Brewing owner Cory McDonald with local vets

Go to a Philadelphia brewery that does more than brews and serves delicious pilsners, ales, and whatnot. Go to a Philadelphia brewery that does good for its community.

Mid-July 15 (date TBA): Celebrate Jazz in West Philly

Duane Eubanks.

Saunders Park Greene at 39th & Powelton shines Philly’s light on local jazz. The Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival, sponsored by HopePHL, comes complete with live music, of course, but also local vendors, fair-time kids’ fun and loads of … food trucks.

July 14: Block Party with the Barnes

Barnes on the Block. Courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.

An exclusive, inaccessible collection no longer, the Barnes Foundation embraces Philly’s most neighborly tradition, the block party, with an all-day celebration featuring music, dance, wellness workshops, a beer garden, art- and craft-making, food trucks, and, oh yes, access to one of the world’s most esteemed collections.

SEPTEMBER 2024

September 2: Give Unions a Fair Shake On Labor Day

Unions get a bad rap. Some of us blame … gangsters. But, to review some American history, workers created unions as protection against on-the-job exploitation and discrimination. Here, a union president argues why we still need them. Also, go to a parade on and festival, hosted by the Sheet Metal Workers Union, from 8:30am to 2pm, starting at 1301 and ending at 101 S. Columbus Boulevard.

September 13 – 22: Join in Welcoming Week

The City of Philadelphia contributes to this national holiday through the Office of Immigrant Affairs. Free events to be announced.

Early September (date TBA): Celebrate the Barrio

On N. 5th Street in Philadelphia, four dancers in black and green attire dance as part of Feria del Barrio, a celebration of Puerto Rican culture.
Feria del Barrio. By G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia.

A Puerto Rican block party takes over El Centro del Oro along N. 5th Street between Huntingdon and Somerset — for the 40th annual celebration of the neighborhood’s island roots and culture, Taller Puertorriqueño’s Feria del Barrio.

Early September (date TBA): It’s Mexican Independence Day

Men in beaded loincloths and feather headdresses dance onstage at the Mexican Independence Day Festival in Philadelphia.
Mexican Independence Day Festival. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

Penn’s Landing hosts an all-afternoon festival of Mexican culture, including cuisine, dancing, crafts, and music. Free. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard

September 15: Do Something for Democracy Day

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

“Democracy,” the saying goes, “is not a spectator sport.” As the The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin told us at an Ideas We Should Steal Festival, “Unless you participate, it’s going to fail. Run for office. Join a campaign. Don’t just give money. Don’t just write a check. Subscribe to a newspaper. Do something. Become a political participant.”

September 24: Let Loose on Gritty’s Birthday

Gritty. Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

Wear orange. Be weird. Have fun.

OCTOBER 2024

Mid-October (dates TBA): Roam the Gayborhood during OURFest

Photo by Cody Aldrich Photography via Aversa PR

Pride is fun, but OURFest — formerly OutFest, the claimant to the nation’s largest Coming Out Day celebration — feels distinctly Philly. It’s always a top choice among the best things to do in Philly. Galaei, the city’s largest QTBIPOC organization, runs the event.

October 11: Celebrate Coming Out

Photo by J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia

Coming out in 2024 might be easier than it was in 1983, but it’s still not close to easy, not for most Americans. Congratulate yourself, or friends you know, who’ve done it. And, consider supporting a local LGBTQ+ cause or two.

October 14: Honor Indigenous People

All of Philadelphia was once the domain of the Lenni Lenape. On this, the day that used to be Columbus Day, we have a chance to celebrate them. Here’s how:

October 19–20 and 26–27: Go on an Open Studio Tour

Photo by R. Kennedy / Visit Philadelphia

For two weekends — and the 25th year — the Center for Emerging Visual Artists invites Philadelphia artists to open their work spaces to the public. Drawing back the curtain on the artistic process, makers of fine arts share their secrets and inspirations. The first weekend, tours take place in art studios West of Broad Street. The second, they’re East of Broad. Always noon to 6pm.

October 21: Hurry! It’s Your Last Day To Register to Vote before Election Day!

Pennsylvania gives eligible residents — ages 18 and over — the chance to register to vote for up to 15 days before an election. This makes October 21 the last day to register before Election Day on November 5. As a Philadelphian, as a citizen, this is one of the most crucial things to do. So, do it.

October 29: Last Day to Request a Mail-In or Absentee Ballot Before the General Election on November 5

Here’s how.

NOVEMBER 2024

November 1: Eat Your Veggies on World Vegan Day

This photo is included in a roundup of some of the best women-run restaurants in Philadelphia right now
Photo courtesy of Bar Bońbom

Didya know that Philadelphia has one of the highest ranked vegan restaurants … in the world? Vedge sure is a treat. But you can also get your vegan on at Monster Vegan, Bar Bombón, HipCityVedge, The Tasty, LUHV, The Nile Cafe, Miss Rachel’s Pantry, Fitz on 4th, Charlie was a sinner …

November 5: It’s Election Day. Vote for the next President of the United States.

If you haven’t already, do it. Now. Polls are open from 7am to 8pm.

November 5: Show Your Philly Pride on Jason Kelce’s Birthday

Kelce (left) and running back Miles Sanders wear Underdog Apparel at the NovaCare Complex.

Philadelphians don’t often adopt out-of-towners as one of our own. Kelce is an exception. Dude chugged a beer with the Phanatic during the 2022 World Series. Coined the phrase, “Nobody likes us, and we don’t care!” at the 2018 Super Bowl parade — while wearing Mummers regalia. Made his teammates sing on TWO Christmas albums and created a line of merch to benefit Philly kids. More on that: Time and again, Kelc has proven he really, truly, deeply cares about our city and the people in it. HBD.

November 11: Thank a Vet on Veterans Day

Veterans Day Parade, photo by Robert J. Castaldi Sr.

More than 7,000 military veterans call Philadelphia home. Thank them by supporting those in need and supporting their businesses.

Early November (date TBA): Sign up for Love Your Park Day

Love Your Park Service Day at FDR Park in 2022. Photo by Albert Yee.

So. Many. Leaves to pick up. Trash, too, this being Philadelphia. Get out, and do it.

November 13: World Kindness Day

Kensington Soccer Club coach Brianna Banks with player Malena Morrison
Kensington Soccer Club coach Brianna Banks with player Malena Morrison, photo by Pat Hardy

Kindness is goodness in action. Did you know it is also the key to happiness? If you do nothing else all year long, do this: Be kind.

November 28: Give Thanks by … Giving

Thank those Philadelphians who are making this city a greater city for all. Then, take some time to honor those in need. Here are some ways to do that:

November 30: Shop Small Saturday in Philadelphia

Photo by Daryl Moran for Chestnut Hill Business District

We’ve got some of the best urban main streets — although few go by that name — in the country. Choose one. Or more. Buy stuff there.

DECEMBER 2024

December 3: Celebrate Rocky Day

Rocky Statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia

On December 3, 1976, a little film called Rocky made its big-screen debut. Last year, December 3 officially became “Rocky Day,” Sylvester Stallone and all. Celebrate by running up and down the art museum steps, boxing some frozen beef, or shouting “Yo Adrian!” during your commute. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (at the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps)

December 7: Write a Letter

On National Letter Writing Day, think about someone you’ve been meaning to reach out to — a far-away friend, grandparent, sibling, anyone you’ve lost touch with — and take a few minutes to send them a card or drop them a line.

December 21: It’s Quinta Brunson’s Birthday. Respect your Teachers.

This photo illustrates an article about what educators can learn about public schools from Philly-based sitcom Abbott Elementary
Quinta Brunson (center, looking stressed) in a scene from Abbott Elementary | Photo by Liliane Lathan / ABC

The creator and star of Abbott Elementary made us fall in love again with Philadelphia’s public schools, warts and all — but especially with Philly educators. You know what they like: Gift cards for school supplies … and coffee shops.

December 26 – January 1: Join One of the Oldest Kwanzaa Celebrations in the Country. (And Bake Cookies.)

Photo by Tonya Hopkins.

That’s here, in Philadelphia, in case you didn’t know. Listen to Tonya “Food Griot” Hopkins’ podcast about the history of the holiday in Philly. Then start the festivities in the best way: Bake Kwanzaa cookies.

MORE THINGS TO DO AND WAYS TO GET INVOLVED IN PHILADELPHIA

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