Free lunchtime concerts kick off this Wednesday at St. Mary’s Church

Posted on 01 October 2014


Photo courtesy St. Mary’s Church.

This new event will help you relax during lunchtime by listening to music at a historic and remarkable sacred space. Starting today, St. Mary’s Church, Hamilton Village, located at 40th and Locust Walk on the Penn campus, invites residents to free lunchtime concerts every first Wednesday, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

The first in a series of First Wednesday Free Concerts at St. Mary’s will feature organist Wesley Parrott playing pieces by Foote, Vierne, and Bartholdy on the parish’s historic Aeolian-Skinner Organ. There are continued efforts to restore the church organ, so free will offering will be appreciated.

The present, expanded version of St. Mary’s, Hamilton Village was completed in 1876, but the church dates back to 1824, when the cornerstone for the original church was laid.

For more information about the church and more events please visit

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Walnut Hill gearing up for Community Day, seeking volunteers for clean up on Saturday

Posted on 30 September 2014

WalnutHilllogoThe Walnut Hill Community Association (WHCA) is holding a Community Day next weekend on the grounds of the old West Philadelphia High School and is organizing a cleanup this Saturday to prepare the area for the celebration. The cleanup will take place on Saturday, Oct 4, between 9 a.m. and 12 Noon and volunteer help will be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers are needed to pull weeds, do light gardening work, and sweep up leaves. All residents and friends are invited to join in and all ages are welcome. Light refreshments will be served and the following items and supplies will be provided: t-shirts, brooms, rakes, shovels, gloves, and more.

Here’s more information on volunteer sign up:

• All volunteers meet at 47th & Locust on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 9 a.m.
 Coffee & Bagels
 Walnut Hill Community Association membership table
 Community Day 2014 volunteer sign up and flyers onsite

The Walnut Hill Community Day will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and will include lots of fun activities, raffles, live entertainment, food and drinks, a farm stand, and much more. More information is coming soon. Interested vendors (food truck vendors: $50 per space; craft tables: $25 per space) are asked to contact Tyson at 267-499-6492 or Amin at 267-975-1962.

Just a reminder that Walnut Hill boundaries are between 45th and 52nd Streets and between Market and Spruce Streets. Here’s contact information for WHCA:

Walnut Hill Community Association
4637 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139

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Exciting weekend for pets and pet owners

Posted on 26 September 2014

A dog in the pew at St. Francis De Sales for the "Blessing of the Animals."

Blessing of the Animals at St. Francis De Sales Church (Archive photo/West Philly Local).

September and October are usually months when a lot of cool events for pets and pet owners take place in the neighborhood. This weekend is filled with such events. Three events will be held on Saturday and one on Sunday (see more info below). Please note that the annual “Bark in the Park” event, with various contests and prizes for dogs, will be held on October 11 at Clark Park (43rd and Chester), starting at 2 p.m. No registration is necessary, just show up!

Saturday, Sept 27

Low-Cost Cat & Dog Vaccine Clinic/ Free Physical Exam at UPenn Alpha Psi (4002 Pine St), 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Bring your cat or dog to a low-cost vaccine clinic organized by Penn Vet students at their Alpha Psi fraternity house at 4002 Pine St. The following services will be available at the clinic:

Rabies and Distemper Vaccines: $10 for both
Deworming, flea and tick treatments, microchipping ($20)
• Free physical exam by vet students

Questions? Email:

‘End of Summer’ Sidewalk Sale at Baltimore Pet Shoppe (4532 Baltimore Ave), 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Baltimore Pet Shoppe is holding its annual “End of Summer” Sidewalk Sale on Saturday. There will be huge discounts (30-75% off!) on pet toys, accessories and treats.

DoggieStrutDoggie Strut and Photo Booth at Coffee Market (45th and Pine), Noon – 1 p.m. 

Sign up your dog for the annual “Doggie Strut” event taking place at Coffee Market (formerly Earth Cup Coffee) this Saturday. This free event includes nail clipping, ear cleaning and an info booth by Penn Vet students. There will be contests, awesome prizes and giveaways from Baltimore Pet Shoppe, and a photo booth (the expert judges will decide on 12 centerfolds for Coffee Market calendar). “Instead of specifying categories for the competition, this year the owners get to invent their category,” says Coffee Market owner Natasa Brkanin. Owners also get awarded with a coffee market gift certificate. Stop by Coffee Market or Baltimore Pet Shoppe (45th and Baltimore) to sign up. For more information, visit Coffee Market’s Facebook page.


Sunday, Sept 28

Blessing of the Animals at St. Francis De Sales Church (4625 Springfield Ave), 12 p.m.

Bring your little best friend(s) to be blessed in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the friend of all of God’s creatures. The event starts at Noon. Enter through the school yard on Farragut St. Please keep dogs on a leash. For more information, call 215-222-2255.

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Free Legal Help: Will & estate planning workshop in Cedar Park; community legal clinic at Drexel

Posted on 25 September 2014

Legal services can be costly, so here are some opportunities for West Philly residents to get free legal help.

Cedar Park Neighbors and the Drexel University School of Law are inviting residents to a free will and estate planning workshop next Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m. The workshop is for those who are seeking help with the following questions:

If you own your home, do you know what will happen to it after you die?  
• If you get sick and can’t speak for yourself, do your doctors know what your wishes are?
• Do you need a power of attorney to have someone pay your bills and make financial decisions for you?  Continue Reading

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‘Stop The Violence’ community march to be held Saturday on 52nd Street

Posted on 25 September 2014

HandsAcrossPhiladelphiaGun violence in Philadelphia continues, with almost daily reports of shootings in different parts of the city. There were more than 70 shooting victims in Philadelphia this month alone, including women, according to In the past two weeks, two pregnant women were shot to death (their babies did not survive) and a 15-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet outside of Einstein Medical Center. To say “No” to gun violence, community organization Hands Across Philadelphia (Facebook page) is holding a second annual “Stop The Violence” community march and rally on Saturday, Sept. 27 on 52nd Street.

The march will begin at 11 a.m. at 52nd and Woodland (gathering starts at 10 a.m.) and will proceed to 52nd and Jefferson. This year, organizers are hoping that more people will join them. “SPREAD THE WORD!! WE ARE GOING TO SHUT 52ND STREET DOWN ON SEPTEMBER 27TH 2014 TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS TO STOP THE VIOLENCE!!! OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING US!!! LET US BE THE CHANGE THEY NEED TO SEE!!!” reads a post on their Facebook page.

The NAACP, Mothers in Charge, The Philadelphia Black Clergy, and a host of other groups, community leaders and locally elected officials will participate in the march, according to the organizers. The Taney Dragons youth baseball team will lead the Hands Across Philadelphia Peace March and Rally on Saturday.


Stop The Violence march on 52nd Street in 2013. (Photo from Hands Across Philadelphia Facebook page)


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Celebrate Ethiopian community at Ethiopian Day Festival

Posted on 24 September 2014

EthiopianDayFestivalWest Philly is home to many residents of Ethiopian heritage, with many Ethiopian businesses in the area and the Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia located at 44th and Chestnut Streets. This Saturday, Sept. 27, the Ethiopian Community Association celebrates its 30th anniversary. Established in 1984 as a non-profit organization, it is the oldest African community organization in Pennsylvania, according to its board member Addisu Habte. The city of Philadelphia has also recognized September 27th as Ethiopian Day.

To mark the anniversary the Ethiopian Community Association is organizing an Ethiopian Day Festival (Facebook page) on Chestnut Street near 44th on Saturday. The festival will take place from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and 44th Street from Chestnut to Sansom will be closed during these hours for the event.

The Ethiopian Day celebration will include a cultural show, with live music by Ethiopian musicians (see flier), food and children’s games. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and the great Ethiopian filmmaker, Professor Haile Gerima, will speak at the event. Close to 700 people are expected to attend the festival.

Here’s the festival program:

11:00 a.m. – Opening speech
1:00 p.m. – Keynote speaker councilwoman Blackwell
1:30 p.m. – Keynote speaker Professor Haile Gerima
2:00 p.m. – Cultural show

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