After Covid forced a year of closure and a sharply curtailed event in another, Chestnut Hill’s annual Home & Garden Festival is back in full swing this year, bringing scores of vendors and a new focus on sustainability to the neighborhood’s central business district.
"It's so exciting to return to the full expression of our favorite spring event this year,” said Hillary O’Carroll, director of marketing and events for the Chestnut Hill Business District. “The visiting vendors and musicians, as well as our shop owners and restaurants are all ready to put on an extra wonderful day of shopping and enjoyment. We have a delightful host of wonderful new vendors who are joining us for the first time this year.”
Another new feature this year is a specialty area focused on sustainability, which will feature individuals, makers and organizations who are working to support the goals of a more sustainable city, O’Carroll said.
Two of Philadelphia’s most interesting and innovative activists will be on hand for that, offering educational lectures about what the future looks like for this city’s “green” initiatives. Philadelphia’s Instagram hero Terrill Haigler, a formerly anonymous sanitation worker who launched the “Ya Fav Trashman” account, which became a national phenomenon, will shine a spotlight on the city’s trash issues. And Mt. Airy’s Christa Barfield of FarmerJawn Philly will be on hand to discuss urban farming initiatives, a growing movement in which she has a central part.
"This year, we're hosting a Sustainability Hub to feature organizations, businesses and individuals who are helping to create a more sustainable and circular economy in Philadelphia,” O’Carroll said. “Neighbors can visit our social media in the coming days to find out when our ‘green’ speakers will be sharing their inspiration and what activities will be happening."
In addition to the food and entertainment, this year’s festival will include 150 home and garden vendors along Germantown Avenue. They’ll feature home design, décor, handmade furniture and handcrafted home accessories, garden décor, statuary, garden art, heirloom vegetable plants, beekeeping, flowering baskets, terrariums, landscaping, lawn and tree care, exterior hardscaping and masonry for the garden.
Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library will be hosting gently used book sales at three locations.
For the kids, the Jenks Academy is taking on a larger role, and hosting the Fun Fest on its school grounds this year. That will feature fun activities in a safe and relatively enclosed space, and all proceeds will benefit the school.
For pure entertainment, The Stagecrafters Theater is hosting a number of events at its location on Germantown Avenue, just above Abington Avenue. There will be a performance of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” as well as stilt walkers and jugglers from the Philadelphia School of the Circus Arts, a balloon artist and tarot card readings.
And there’s plenty of live music. There will be two stages positioned along the Avenue, with live performances from four different groups: The Rock a Fillys, Variable Elements, Hank’s Cadillac and 56 Men.
For more information, and for details about performance schedules, visit chestnuthillpa.com.