(PHILADELPHIA, PA) -- Philly AIDS Thrift brings back their beloved block party and fall festival with a full day of free, family and fido friendly fun! Philly AIDS Thrift 17th Anniversary Block Party will take place at the 700 blocks of S. 5th Street and E. Passyunk Avenue (between Bainbridge St. and Monroe St.) on Saturday, October 1, 2022, from 12:00pm to 6:00pm.
In addition to commemorating seventeen successful years, the block party kicks off the Halloween season, which is the busiest time for the non-profit organization that has become known as one of the largest retail stores for costumes, accessories, and decorations during the spooky season each and every year. The celebration will include live music and bands, food trucks, celebrity dunk tank, carnival games, craft/vintage vendors, pie eating contest, face painting, caricature, and dancing in the street! Look for Peabody Award-winning radio host and producer at WXPN, DJ Robert Drake – who will be spinning tunes all day for everyone dancing in the streets.
"We have dearly missed our annual outdoor block party and we are so excited to bring it back again, for 2022," said Philly AIDS Thrift’s Manager and Co-Founder Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou. "It’s been three years since our last outdoor block party held pre-pandemic back in 2019. Whether it’s to listen to the best local band of 2022, watch people shove pie into their faces as fast as humanly possible, or simply dance in the middle of the street, everyone who stops by will be helping us raise even more money for to the grant program for the local HIV/AIDS service organizations."
She added, "Since 2005, we have been in business and raising millions of dollars for seventeen years. On the account of our amazing shoppers, the wonderful donors, our irreplaceable volunteers, and the crucial service-providing organizations, I am so proud of the bonds and relationships that we have built. I am filled with gratitude towards our staff and all the volunteers that continue supporting us! We look forward to the years to come of being committed to both supporting local HIV/AIDS organizations and serving the community by selling interesting and affordable items through our fabulous thrift stores!”
Philly AIDS Thrift 17th Anniversary Block Party features live performances by: Snacktime – Philly's own Brass hip-hop/funk band which was listed as Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Local Band” 2022. Performing at 1:00pm. – The Squidling Bros. Circus Sideshow, feat. MacKenzie Molotov – an international collective of circus sideshow performers from Philadelphia, Berlin, and New York. The group features Mackenzie Moltov, the sword-swallowing and fire-breathing clown babe. Performing at 3:30pm.
Philly AIDS Thrift will also be hosting its 3rd Annual Pie Eating Contest, emceed by CBS 3’s Jim Donovan. The contest is open to everyone; however, spots are limited. In partnership with MANNA, the berry pies will be graciously provided by the wonderful organization, in correlation to their annual fundraiser, Pie In The Sky, which begins on October 1st. Starting at 2:30pm.
Joining us in our Celebrity Dunk Tank include WXPN’s Raina Douris, the host of the podcast “Conservations From The World Café”, WXPN’s John Stanley, the host of the podcast “John’s Dollar Bin” and drink-slinger at “Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar”, and Stefanie Jolles from Philly’s Premier Punk Rock N Roll Shop, Crash Bang Boom. You will also be able to have the chance to dunk the fabulous staff and volunteers of Philly AIDS Thrift.
There will also be over 35 craft and vintage vendors, some include: South Street Art Mart, artist-run retail shop home to the works of over 180 Philly-area artists and makers; Crash Bang Boom, Philadelphia’s premier “Punk Rock N Roll” shop featuring apparel for punks, goths, metalheads, and rockers; De’von Downes, Local artist creating watercolor fine art and wire-wrapped jewelry; Panic Eyes Jewelry, Carefully crafted small batch jewelry made by Philadelphia local artist; Techno Tarot, Tarot card readings by Justin the Card Reader; Stevie Laney, Local artist and founder of Very magazine, a modern-day, erotic art magazine; Debbie Schafer, Custom caricature art for suggested donations of ten dollars per face; Kaitlyn Reed, Makeup artist, who will be face painting for all ages!
Food trucks attending include: Vannah Banana, All vegan, all delicious ice cream based in Philadelphia; Wok Works, Farm-to-fork stir fry dishes; Gita Mobile Café, Latin American Cuisine that’s always made with a twist.
This is Philly AIDS Thrift’s eighth year hosting the block party. In previous years, over 1000 people passed through. They are expecting even more of a turnout this year from South Street Headhouse District's "South Street Fest", which is also happening on the same day! South Street will be closed from 2nd St. to 8th St. Additionally, Brauhaus Schmitz will be hosting its annual Oktoberfest on South Street.
HELPING HIV/AIDS SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS: Despite the COVID-19 crisis during its most recent grant cycle, Philly AIDS Thrift was able to award $300,035.00 to 27 local organizations in 2022, including AIDS Delaware, AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, AIM Angels In Motion, Attic Youth Center, Bebashi-Transition to Hope, Black and Latinx Community Control of Health, Camp Dreamcatcher, Inc., Colours Organization, Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas - CATA, Drexel University, Drexel University - Dorothy Mann Center, Family Services of Chester County, Family Services, LGBT Elder Initiative, Mazzoni Center, Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance - MANNA, RHD Morris Home, Neighborhoods United Against Drugs, One Day At A Time, Planned Parenthood Keystone, Prevention Meets Fashion Inc, Prevention Point Philadelphia, Safehouse, Siloam Wellness, SOL Collective, William Way LGBT Community Center.
"I truly cannot express how excited we are to be back, live, in-person for our 8th consecutive block party," said Board President, Michael Byrne. "It has been a long time – since 2019 – and a lot has changed in those years - one thing that has not changed is Philly AIDS Thrift working hard to support organizations & programs that make a difference in the lives of individuals impacted by HIV/ AIDS. We hope you can support our work and join us for a great day of fun, games, food, & entertainment. Don't forget to keep a lookout for our next grant cycle which opens on October 1st. Thanks for supporting us for 17 years - and here's to the next 17!”
Philly AIDS Thrift, located at 710 S. 5th Street in Philadelphia, PA, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit thrift store benefiting HIV/AIDS service organizations. Originally located on Bainbridge Street in the fall of 2005, Philly AIDS Thrift expanded to additional warehouse space in 2007. In 2011, PAT’s operations moved under one bigger and better roof at 710 S. 5th Street. In the fall of 2014, PAT added a second location when it took over the historic LGBT bookstore Giovanni's Room at 12th and Pine, which it now operates as Philly AIDS Thrift @Giovanni's Room.
The store is run with support from amazing volunteers and is successful with donations from the public for thrift items to sell and the shoppers that buy those items. Philly AIDS Thrift distributes funds through their annual grant-giving program and to date has awarded over 30 local HIV/AIDS service organizations 3.7 million dollars.
In addition to cash contributions, Philly AIDS Thrift provides free store vouchers to Philly area HIV/AIDS service providers for distribution to clients in need of clothing assistance and household necessities.
The organization has also created a new donation center 40 feet to the left of the main entrance. Donation days are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Noon to 7:00pm).
Shopping hours for the store are Monday to Saturday, from 11:00am to 8:00pm, and Sunday 11:00am to 7:00pm.