South St West Business Association
“As the chair of South Street West I have had the pleasure of working with The Bloktoberfest Committee over the years as the festival outgrew its original location on Christian Street and maintained an annual residency on South Street between Broad Street and 18th Streets. Now sadly, from my perspective, the festival is again relocating to a different location, but to the benefit of the local charities that it generates money for, given Washington Avenue’s increased capacity to accommodate a continually growing festival.
Over the years that Bloktoberfest has been held on South Street, it served to increase the profile of the South Street West Commercial Corridor, by allowing us to show off our various commercial offerings to the 20,000+ annual attendees who might not otherwise have occasion to visit our stores, shops and restaurants who, by and large, report banner sales during the festival. In essence, the festival serves as a regional and even national draw to a corridor that was otherwise primarily neighborhood serving. This is type of exposure is essential to any corridor or business who wants to expand its reputation and scope.
While we can credit our own shopkeepers, restaurants and personal service providers for doing the day to day work that has expanded the success of the corridor, Bloktoberfest provided the once a year injection of additional exposure and revenue that has greatly accelerated the corridor’s regeneration from “down and out” status to “up and coming,” with many observers comparing South Street west of Broad, favorably to the more famous eastern portion. I see no reason why a similar positive effect would not be experienced on Washington Avenue, west of Broad Street, except on grander scale.
It must further be noted that the Bloktoberfest Committee has been responsive to requests over the years raised by our membership regarding mundane concerns that arise during festival planning, such as hours of operation, maintaining access, not placing food trucks next to similar concept brick and mortar restaurants, the placement of stages, and even porta-potties. This has made it easy to welcome Bloktoberfest back each year and now makes it difficult for our corridor to say goodbye.
Lastly, please note that of all the major recurring festivals in Philadelphia, Bloktoberfest is the only one with a local charitable focus. Each year the festival generates thousands of dollars that are fed back into the community. Now, as Point Breeze is developing, the festival in its new location, can assist non-profits on both sides of Washington Avenue, as a means to bridge the gap between our communities and in that regard the new location is very important symbolically and in its actual positive impact.”