Philadelphia has a special place in its heart for David Bowie, the otherworldly rock star who passed away from liver cancer on January 10 in 2016.
Over the past four years, local event organizers have honored the Starman—who had serious ties to Philly—with Philly Loves Bowie Week (PLBW). The 10-day citywide festival—which, this year, comes complete with a proclamation by Mayor Kenney—offers tons of Bowie-inspired ways to have fun and, in many cases, support a great cause.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of this year’s sure-bet offerings that also serve as a benefit for Philly Loves Bowie Week’s main beneficiary, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). To get involved, you could do something as easy as munch on a special glittery treat at Federal Donuts or attend Bowie soundtrack-accompanied bowling nights and dance parties at North Bowl or The Trestle Inn. You can find details on all that and more below.
Philly Loves Bowie Week events for a good cause
Kick off the week with a one-day-only special menu item at Federal Donuts: the Velvet Goldmine. The white chocolate-glazed treat is decked out with glittery blue sanding sugar, red sprinkles and an edible gold flake stripe—basically Bowie in doughnut form. The best part? Proceeds from sales go to the Cancer Center at the CHOP. Monday, January 6, 7am–6pm, $3.25–$3.75, various Federal Donuts locations, including 12 S. 2nd Street.
This charity game night at North Bowl on Tuesday gives you the chance to bowl along with a booming Bowie soundtrack and amongst 1950s-inspired retro digs. Partial proceeds from lane rentals help fill up the Philly Loves Bowie fund for the Cancer Center at CHOP, so bring lots of pals, enjoy some beers and blast some bowling pins into outer space. Tuesday, January 7, 5–9pm, various prices, North Bowl, 909 N. 2nd Street.
Drinking Liberally Philadelphia, a local group that seeks to “create communities around progressive politics” through booze-filled social engagement, hosts a chill gathering at Franky Bradley’s Tuesday night, where they’ll be accepting donations for CHOP. Event organizers are asking folks to join them to talk politics—both national and local—and share ideas for what Drinking Liberally should focus on in 2020. In the past, they’ve organized and attended political rallies, led get-out-the-vote efforts and held petitioning events to encourage locals to run for office. Tuesday, January 7, 6–9pm, Frankly Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor Street.
Few things are more fun than a Friday night go-go dance party at The Trestle Inn—unless, of course, you toss some Bowie earworms into the mix. This Friday night, the Spring Arts District watering hole is throwing a vinyl dance party featuring not only Bowie music but Bowie videos and glittery go-go dancers all night long. When you’re thirsty, ask the bartender for the special $7 Young Americans Sour. A dollar from every drink purchase will be donated to CHOP. Friday, January 10, 6–9pm, free to enter, The Trestle Inn, 339 N. 11th Street.
Philly Loves Bowie week concludes with a musical extravagana at Union Transfer featuring singers and musicians from the Philly area—including former Bowie band member Ava Cherry (pictured)—belting out 25-plus tunes from the Starman’s catalogue, from Space Oddity on. Proceeds from the night benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Saturday, January 11, 7–11pm, $25, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street.