The media circus comes to town for July's Democratic National Convention, which also brings the six-day PoliticalFest - a wonk-friendly series of open-to-the-public history exhibits and special events.

Pre- and post-DNC, epic street festivals, Penn's Landing ethnic fests, a first-ever BBQ fest, the return of Longwood Gardens' trippy Nightscape, and other festive goings-on give Philadelphians plenty to do with their long, sweet days of summer.

Pride Day Parade and Festival (June 12, Gayborhood and Penn's Landing)
Henri David emcees the act-packed festival lineup. Deborah Cox headlines. Tribute artists channel Donna Summer and Rod Stewart. (215-875-9288,

Odunde (June 12, 23rd and South Streets)
Celebration of African American culture starts with a lovely offering of food and flowers, continues with a parade and street fair, and wraps with a concert - this year with headliners Brand Nubian and Biz Markie. (215-732-8510,

Manayunk Arts Fest (June 25-26, Main Street)
Summer's hottest happening in Manayunk - often literally, so remember to hydrate - brings in 300 well-chosen arts and crafts vendors, and an anticipated crowd of 200,000. (215-482-9565,

Peco Multicultural Series (June 26-Sept. 25, Penn's Landing)
Go around the world in eight fests with this summer's lineup: the Irish American Festival (June 26), Hispanic Fiesta (July 9-10), Islamic Heritage Festival (July 23), ACANA African Festival (Aug. 7), Festival of India (Aug. 20), Caribbean Festival (Aug. 21), Mexican Independence Day Festival (Sept. 18), and Brazilian Day (Sept. 25). (215-922-2386,

Wawa Welcome America (June 27-July 4)
Philadelphia again rolls out the red carpet and the free hoagies to celebrate our homie, the Declaration of Independence. Some red-letter dates for this year's red-white-and-blueout: Hoagie Day (July 2), Penn's Landing fireworks (July 1 and 2), Kidz Bop Kids Live daytime family concert at Eakins Oval (July 4), and the capstone Parkway concert and fireworks (July 4). Leslie Odom Jr. of Broadway hit Hamilton and Bryshere Y. Gray (Yazz the Greatest) of Empire headline the concert. (

Bastille Day (Eastern State Penitentiary, July 16)
Fairmount's burlesque-infused version of the storming of the Bastille is one of summer's weird delights, with a guillotine, Marie Antoinette impersonator, and the flinging from the ramparts of 3,000 Tastykakes. (215-236-3300,

PoliticalFest (July 22-27, seven venues)
As the Democratic delegates convene at the Wells Fargo Center, this public celebration of truth, justice, and wonkishness goes on at the Convention Center, the Constitution Center, and a handful of history museums. Exhibits, speakers, and special events focus on presidential campaigns and politics. (

Philly's BBQ Fest (July 30, Citizens Bank Park)
The food fest that asks whether Philadelphians are once burned and twice shy - it's from the same outfit that ran last year's problem-packed cheesesteak fest - or willing to give a guy another chance. More than 40 BBQ vendors have signed on to offer samples (admission buys you 10). Eating competitions, a beer garden, and live entertainment give attendees other stuff to do as they stuff themselves. (

East Passyunk Car Show and Street Festival (July 31, East Passyunk Avenue)
Showy vehicles brazenly park without feeding the meters. Spectators block-party amid the hot rods and muscle cars, filling up on the neighborhood's primo grub as they go. (215-336-1455,

Nightscape (Aug. 3-Oct. 29, Longwood Gardens)
Klip Collective's trippy "light and sound experience" keeps the gardens grooving after dark again this summer - again with a nighttime beer garden. (610-388-1000,

2nd Street Festival (Aug. 7, Northern Liberties)
One week later in the gentrified neighborhood to the north, the scenesters and restaurateurs of NoLibs have their big summer street fest. Vendors, beer gardens, and bands on multiple stages keep the party pumping for 10 hours. (215-627-6562,

A.C. Air Show (Aug. 17, Atlantic City beaches and Boardwalk)
Dive-bombing, food-swiping seagulls are joined in the airspace over the beach by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, and a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey, to name just a few fancy fliers. (888-228-4748,

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