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Get Ready for Go West Craft Fest!

We are getting so excited for this Saturday's Go West Craft Fest at the Woodlands! Over 120 local vendors will be there to show their creative work, plus great food, music and acrobatic performances, in one of Philadelphia's most naturally beautiful and historic sites. Here are some tips to make the most of your visit...

Grab a GRID.

The current issue of GRID magazine, Philadelphia's sustainability guide, contains a comprehensive guide to the event, including a map of vendors, activity schedule and features on the Woodlands and selected vendors and entertainers. The 16-page guide is found in the center of every May 2014 issue. Pick up a FREE copy at any of 400 locations around the region, or view the show guide online. You can also stop by GRID's table at the Fest, near the main entrance. Thanks so much to the wonderful folks at GRID for covering the event so thoroughly, and to all of the local advertisers who supported the publication!

Plan your trip.

We recommend taking the trolley to Go West, as the 40th Street trolley portal is directly across from the event. Take any "green line" trolley (EXCEPT THE 10) from Center City or University City and get out at 40th Street, the first stop above ground. The trolley is a free interchange from the Market-Frankford or Broad Street lines at City Hall, and is easily accessible from 30th Street Station.

If you will be driving in, please note that unlike in previous years, there will be NO visitor parking in the grounds of the Woodlands. However, the lovely folks at University of the Sciences have agreed to open up one of their parking lots to our guests. The lot is located at 42nd & Woodland, as shown in the upper left corner of this map:

There is no fee to park in this lot, though it is first come first serve. Nearby unmetered street parking is also available.

Bring the essentials.

  • Cash. While many vendors do accept credit cards, not all do, and in any case, they can be expensive to process. That perfect piece you find might be available for cash only, so be prepared!
  • Your Shopping List. With Mother's Day, Father's Day and wedding season on the horizon, chances are good that a special, handmade gift will soon come in handy, so keep your loved ones in mind as you peruse the goods.
  • Sunscreen & a Jacket. Weather forecasts are looking promising but a little uncertain, so be ready for anything the springtime might bring. If the morning is clear, the show will go on!
  • A Picnic Blanket (and an appetite!) There will be food to satisfy any palate, but there is no outdoor seating at the Woodlands. A picnic blanket or spread is the perfect way to enjoy a leisurely lunch at Go West. (And please, properly dispose of trash.)
  • A Tote Bag, to carry all of your new-found treasures. If you forget, several vendors offer unique eco-friendly shopping bags, like these.
  • Friends and Children. There is something to delight visitors of all ages, including the very young. Jay Sand and the Green Tambourine will play kid-oriented music, local schools and arts organizations will offer free kids' crafts, and jugglers and acrobats will perform eye-popping feats of skill. All performances are free, family-friendly and open to the public.
  • Your Appreciation for Nature. The Woodlands is a true urban oasis, a 54-acre green space in the middle of the city. It is home to wildlife like deer and foxes, as well as countless trees, many of which will be in their peak flowering season. Some of the Woodlands' trees are even historically significant, having been collected by the 18th century estate's owner, botanist William Hamilton.

Schedule your day.

Besides the more than 120 craft vendors, food, musical and acrobatic performances, the Woodlands will offer tours of the grounds at noon and 2pm. This season's tour will highlight painter Thomas Eakins and many of his portrait subjects, all of whom are buried at the Woodlands. Check the schedule in GRID and decide what your day's must-see attractions are.

With a little luck regarding the weather, Saturday promises to be a great day to GO WEST. We hope to see you there!

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