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Clark Park will host the annual Spruce Hill May Fair for the first time since 2019.

Credit: Avi Singh

The annual Spruce Hill May Fair will return in person for the first time in two years at Clark Park this Saturday.

The event, hosted by the Spruce Hill Community Association, will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on May 7 at 43rd Street and Chester Avenue and will include craft vendors, food trucks, and live music. This year marks the 64th anniversary of the event.

May Fair was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 and held virtually in 2021

SHCA wrote that it prioritizes local vendors in order to reflect its commitment to "connect the neighborhood with local groups and artisans."

This year, the fair will feature about 60 vendors, about half of which are returning vendors and about half of which will be new to the May Fair. Attendees can expect to see vendors selling jewelry, candles, pottery, and knitted goods, according to event planners.

The event also will have about 20 nonprofit community tables participating, such as University City Historical Society and Hosts for Hospitals. The May Fair will include a raffle with goods from the community, a blow-up slide, and a number of lawn games. It will also feature a performance by local jazz fusion group Emmanuel Ohemeng III and Perpetual Motion.

Monica Calkins, a West Philadelphia resident and member of SHCA, helped plan the event. She estimated that around 100 hours total go into planning the event. 

Calkins spent time reaching out to familiar and new groups, learning about new groups through The Philadelphia Inquirer. She stressed that the SHCA is all volunteer- and community-based. 

“One of the things we really love about May Fair is bringing … a lot of community groups together, to be able to just have a presence within the community," Calkins said. "Especially after the pandemic, [we] really want to just bring the community together and have an opportunity and a venue for people from around the neighborhood to be able to come and learn about different things that are happening in the neighborhoods."

College first-year Olivia Maltz, a lifelong resident of West Philadelphia, said in previous years the fair was attended by both Philadelphia residents and local college students, including students at Penn. 

“I suggest that Penn students go because I think it'll be really cool,” Calkins said. “I think it might be a new place for a lot of people. But it will be a lot of fun. And I think that they would really buy some cool things. Eat some cool things. Hear some good music.” 

For Penn students looking to support the May Fair and the local community, Calkins suggests stopping by the SHCA table in the section of Clark Park to learn how to get involved and enter the raffle to support local businesses and fundraising.

Maltz said she has fond memories of attending the May Fair as a child, recalling the bounce house and plant vendor as highlights. She said she hopes to attend May Fair this year and is looking forward to the food.