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The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll returns Thursday, bringing an evening of deals and fun to the West Philly corridor filled with one of the city’s most diverse collections of local businesses, many of which are family-run.
The owners are delighted with the festival’s return after a two-year absence, although post-pandemic issues mean some of the offerings cost slightly more than the namesake price.
“It’s good for the neighborhood and it’s a return for businesses,” said Yunfeng Xu, owner of Chili Garden. The Chinese restaurant near 47th Street has been part of the promotion since 2018 and will be offering $1 dan dan noodles to expected crowds.
This is your first time attending Alif Brew & Mini Mart near 45th in person, where strollers will find $5 injera wraps and a thirst for community connection.
“We are so happy to see people coming out,” said Mebruka Kane, one of many siblings who run the Ethiopian cafe-bodega. “It’s great for the community, it’s great for business, and we love being able to share our tradition.”
Launched by the University City District in 2010, the neighborhood-wide event was designed to “get a wider audience to learn what locals already know – that Baltimore Avenue is a great place to eat, drink and shopping,” UCD spokesman Chris said. A rich man. The festival also offers live music and activities for children.
Thousands of people usually attend the festival, which has gone virtual in 2020 and 2021. It will take place twice this year – from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, and again on September 15.
The reach of the Dollar Stroll is not limited to Baltimore Avenue, noted Stefani Threet, owner of Ceramic Concept. Her shop features ceramic wares by local artists, especially women and people of color, but will sell small plants and merchandise on Thursday to encourage people to come back during regular hours.
“It’s a great opportunity that’s drawing tons of people from the greater West Philly area and beyond,” Threet said.
The event has always presented itself as the place for dollar transactions. But as costs rose and supply chain issues arose, the University Town District scrapped its requirement that every business offer at least one $1 item. $3 and $5 deals are also on the menu.
“We listened to our business partners who were saying it was harder every year to deliver value for $1,” Richman said. “The last thing we want is for participating companies to feel financial pressure after the hardships they have endured since the start of the pandemic.”
Are you planning to attend? Check full list hereand discover below some tips to get your money’s worth.
If you only want to spend a dollar
Try the dan dan noodles from Chili Garden, a slice of pizza from Fiesta or a taco from Loco Pez.
If you want something to drink
Dahlak Paradise will have $1 Miller High Lifes and $3 Honey Infused Shots, among other food items like $3 Ye’misir Injera rolls and $5 Ethio-cheesesteaks. Renata offers $3 citywide and $5.50 margaritas.
If you crave a sweet treat
Lil Pop Shop/Weckerly’s will sell $1 mini pops and ice cream sandwiches, and Amira’s Delites will offer $1 cookies and $3 cupcakes.
If you are a budding plant parent
Ceramic Concept will have 2-inch plants available for $3 each (and a collection of regular-priced pots to house them). Greensgrow West offers a variety of plant types and sizes for $1, $3, and $5, as well as children’s books and reusable tote bags.
If you bring the children with you
44th and Baltimore will be home to the HMS Activity Zone, where kids can stop by Stacy’s Face Painting before creating their own badge or pin with the University City Arts League.
If you’re just here for the free music
Start at the 50th Street Triangle and catch the Dollar Bill Brass Band performing until 7:30 p.m., then head to the 48th Street Block Party where The Big Push will play to close out the night.