Arts and Fitness Festival Comes to Penn Treaty Park on Memorial Day Weekend

Almanac’s Fit Fest offers participatory workshops and unique performances overlooking the Delaware River


Almanac Dance Circus Theatre is excited to kick off summer with Fit Fest. Fit Fest comes to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown on Sunday May 26th for a day-long event of participatory fitness workshops including circus arts, dance, movement, yoga, and more. Fit Fest celebrates the freedom to move creatively; to experience fitness through the arts; and the use our public spaces in the city.  Generously funded by the Penn Treaty Special Services District, the festival will culminate in world-class contemporary circus and dance performances overlooking the Delaware River, including a special 5-year Anniversary performance of Almanac’s breathtaking acrobatic dance, Communitas: 5 Years Later.


The day begins with an afternoon of participatory workshops that will allow attendees of all ages and abilities to try acrobatics, tight-wire walking, and juggling; hip-hop, contemporary, and vintage dance styles, yoga and more, all free of charge, and presented by some of Philadelphia’s finest artists. Meanwhile, food trucks and vendors will be on hand with information about healthy living, and a community stage will feature short-form performances presented by Fishtown- and Kensington-based community arts groups.


In the evening, the lights will turn on, and participants will be invited to bring blankets and picnics for an evening of world-class performances of contemporary circus and dance. The evening will culminate with a special performance of festival presenter Almanac Dance Circus Theatre’s Communitas: 5 Years Later, a breathtaking piece of acrobatic storytelling, accompanied by live music from Ill-Doots drummer Jordan McCree.


Communitas was originally created and had its first public showing in Penn Treaty Park in 2014, when emerging artists Ben Grinberg, Adam Kerbel, and Nick Gillette couldn’t afford indoor rehearsal space. Now, the re-envisioned version of Almanac’s first ever piece returns to Penn Treaty Park, in a celebration of human freedom to move and to celebrate cherished public spaces.


“Our work has allowed us to travel to places where we’ve see how other cultures engage with creative movement in their public spaces. We wanted to bring that here and allow our local community to experience it,” says Almanac co-founder and artistic director Ben Grinberg. “This festival is a homecoming for us. This festival is an opportunity to challenge the notion that creative arts aren’t athletic, that public spaces must inhibit our desires to move, create, and connect, and that ‘fitness culture’ is the property of an economic elite. We’re so excited to offer the opportunity for community members to try something new in a positive, low stakes environment, and to share what we’ve been able to make since performing in this park informally, for about 5 people right on the grass over 6 years ago.”


About Almanac Dance and Circus Theatre

ALMANAC is a movement-based performing arts ensemble, fusing acrobatics, storytelling, dance, and physicality. We believe in the artful sharing of stories and the creation of original work through unique methods of ensemble practice. Together we create thrill and heartbreak from where we are and where we want to go. We are light and generous, sincere and direct, dynamic and poetic. We are more concerned with meaning and transmission than we are with the pretty, the perfect, or the precious.

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