Your May 2023 Good (Philadelphia) Citizen Calendar

The dates you need to make this year your civic best

Your May 2023 Good (Philadelphia) Citizen Calendar

The dates you need to make this year your civic best

It’s spring. It’s only natural you spend more time outdoors — and notice your city needs your help. If the new season has inspired you to become more civically engaged, then you’ve come to the right place. Here is your official Good Philadelphia Citizen Calendar for 2023. (We’ll keep updating it as new events crop up!)

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. Volunteer at any kind of shelter. Buy a a box of overpriced candy from a kid on the subway. Lend a hand to someone who could use it. Patronize a local business.

But for specific ideas, pull out your new 2023 calendar, sharpen your favorite pencil, and start marking these civic holidays and Philly-centric events to make 2023 your best citizen year yet.

MayJuneJuly /
AugustSeptember / October / November / December

MAY 2023

May 1: Last Day to Register to Vote Before the Primary Election

Do it.

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?

Sharif El-Mekki, a former Mastery principal and founder of Center for Black Educator Development, speaks at a conference.
Photo courtesy of Center for Black Educator Development

May 8-12: Do an Educator a Solid during Teacher Appreciation Week

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.

LOVE Your Park Week
Photo by Kevin Burkett for Flickr

May 13: Sign up for Love Your Park Day

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!

Headshots of candidates for Mayor of Philadelphia as of April 15, 2023
Candidates for Mayor of Philadelphia

May 16: Vote in the 2023 Primary Election

Philadelphia being very majority Democratic, it’s more than likely that the primary election will determine who’ll be Philadelphia’s next mayor. You know what to do. Vote.

Jalen Hurts and a fan at the 2022 Eagles Autism Challenge.

May 20: Ride (or Run, or Walk) like an Eagle at the Eagles Autism Challenge

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 (tickets for kids ages 3-12: $25 each).

South 9th Street Italian Market Festival. Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

May 20-21: Climb the Greased Pole (or just watch) at the S. 9th Street Italian Market Festival

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 (hi, Jerry Blavat) music. And, cannoli. And giant pineapple drinks, lines out the doors of Di Bruno Bros, Claudio’s, Fante’s … It’s kinda blissful.

Philadelphia National Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Local Cemeteries

May 29: Honor Fallen Military on Memorial Day

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 2023

Odunde. Photo by Aaron Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia.

June 11: Do Up Odunde

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.

Photo by Ra Dragon on Unsplash

June 20: Help Someone New to the United States on World Refugee Day

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 2023

The Wawa Welcome America Fireworks Spectacular over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia
Fireworks over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

July 4: Catch Philadelphia Fireworks on Independence Day

The city’s tourism bureaus like to say, “The city that did it first, does it best.” Well, Phily certainly does it longest. Welcome America is a 15-day, event-filled runup to Independence Day, replete with concerts and fireworks, including the biggest of the year over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.


2nd Story Brewing owner Cory McDonald with local vets

August 4: It’s Hot Out. Have a Beer.

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.


Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

September 3-4: Do More than Listen at Made in America

Jay-Z’s massive Labor Day weekend concert is known for bringing the biggest names in hip-hop to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. They also bring good causes, to … Cause Village. Visit.

September 4: 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.

Photo by Aaron Burden for Unsplash

September 15: Do Something for Democracy Day

“Democracy,” it is often said by the smartest people at The Philadelphia Citizen events, “is not a spectator sport.” During last year’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin elaborated, “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.”

Gritty. Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

September 24: Let Loose on Gritty’s Birthday

Wear orange. Be weird. Have fun.


Two ladies dressed in head-to-toe rainbow gear smile for the camera at OutFest in Philadelphia
OutFest. Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

October 6-8: Roam the Gayborhood during OutFest

Pride is fun, but OutFest — which lays claim to being the nation’s largest Coming Out Day celebration — feels distinctly Philly.

October 9: 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:

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

October 11: Praise Your LGBTQ+ Friend for Coming Out

Coming out in 2023 might be easier than it was in 1983, but it’s still not close to easy, not for most Americans. Congratulate friends you know who’ve done it. And, consider supporting a local LGBTQ+ cause or two.


Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

October 14, 15, 21, 22: Go on an Open Studio Tour

For two weekends, 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.

October 23: 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, by our calculations, October 23 the last day to register. Do it.


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

November 1: Eat Your Veggies on World Vegan Day

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 …

jason Kelce (left) and Miles Sanders in Underdog Apparel

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

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 a Christmas album 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.


Questlove on Election Day 2022, photo by Albert Lee for the City of Philadelphia.

November 7: It’s Election Day. Vote.

If you didn’t do it earlier, do it. Now.

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

November 10: Thank a Vet on Veteran’s Day

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

Neighborhood residents rake leaves at a park in Cobbs Creek on Love Your Park Fall Service Day.
Photo by Steve Belkowitz for Fairmount Park Conservancy

November 11: Sign up for Love Your Park Day

So. Many. Leaves to pick up. Trash, too, this being Philadelphia.

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

November 13: World Kindness Day

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.

This photo accompanies an article about how to give back for Thanksgiving
Operation Turkey

November 23: 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:

Chestnut Hill

November 25: Shop Small Saturday in Philadelphia

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 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.

This photo illustrates an article about what educators can learn about public schools from Philly-based sitcom Abbott Elementary
Abbott Elementary

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

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.



Photo by Tonya Hopkins.

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

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.

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