Daylong family-friendly Labor Day weekend tradition features R&B stars Macy Gray and Chrisette Michele, along with Philadelphia gospel talent Tamika Patton, honors community and combat heroes

PHILADELPHIA, September 1, 2010 – Baltimore Avenue will crackle with energy between 49th and 52nd streets as thousands gather for the 21st Annual Neighborhood-to-Neighborhood Street Festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Hosted by state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, this Labor Day weekend tradition has long served as a last hurrah for summer before the start of the school year, offering free top-tier music, dance and other entertainment for people of all ages and backgrounds. This year’s main stage concert headliners include Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Macy Gray and R&B sensation Chrisette Michele.

“Living and serving in the most diverse senatorial district in the Commonwealth, this event provides an opportunity to bring people from all walks of life together, and is especially valuable for families who may not have had the funds to take that summer vacation, or trip to Dorney Park,” Williams said. “It is an honor and a delight to help present this event every year. And I can’t wait until the concert! These ladies can sing! Or sang, as my grandmom would say.”

With information, food and merchandise vendors, rides and games for kids, karaoke, line dancing and more, there is plenty to see and do throughout the day. The nonprofit West Philadelphia Coalition of Neighborhoods and Businesses is the presenting sponsor.

But beyond pure fun, the day also offers an opportunity for the community to honor and thank those whose self-sacrifice works to improve the lives of others daily.

Williams will open up the festival with a tribute to four police officers from the 8th District who double as soldiers and have served or are still serving in the sands of wars abroad. Throughout the day, he will present the inaugural Hardy Williams Lifeguard on Duty Awards to five community advocates and activists serving residents of the 8th District. The late Hardy Williams, a lawyer and lawmaker in the state House and Senate, was a decorated U.S. Army veteran. He passed away last January.

“Public service, be it on a community level, through the military, or elective office, has been a part of the Williams family tradition,” he said. “From my grandmother hosting rent parties to help neighbors in need to my father serving in Korea and then later the state legislature, these were examples that inspired me growing up. By honoring our everyday heroes, we hope to do the same for our next generation, and to show them our appreciation for those who offer selfless commitment and valor.”

Veterans to be honored

Sgt. Kamil Jasinski

  • A native of Poland who serves in the 12th Police District and the U.S. Army National Guard
  • Served in Iraq as part of the 131st Transportation Company in Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later this year

Sr. Airman Thomas Brown

  • Serves in the 12th Police District and the U.S. Air Force Reserves
  • Served in Iraq for two years during Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Earned the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Air Force Expeditionary Medal

Staff Sgt. Christopher Thompson

  • Serves in the 12th Police District and the U.S. Army National Guard
  • Served in Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the 3rd Mountain Infantry
  • Decorated serviceman whose honors include the Army Commendation Medal, scheduled to deploy in the spring to Afghanistan

Sgt. Sean Dwight Cave

  • Serves in the 14th Police District and in the U.S. Marines Reserves
  • Served in Operation Iraqi Freedom with India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Division
  • Decorated serviceman whose honors include Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Service medal

Hardy Williams Lifeguard on Duty Award recipients

  • Leslie McGirth – founder of Fresh Start, a nonprofit academic support outlet for Delaware County students
  • Chief Robert Smythe – Darby Borough police chief
  • Julia Chinn – longtime West Philadelphia block captain and civic activist
  • Patty Jackson – Philadelphia radio personality and community advocate
  • Eric Holmes – president and co-founder of Tasker Elite, a South Philadelphia nonprofit focused on student success and violence prevention efforts

Scheduling highlights

  • State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams will officially open the festival at 12:30 p.m.
  • He will be available for media interviews at the venue from 4 until 7 p.m.
  • Tamika Patton is scheduled to perform at 12:10 p.m.
  • Macy Gray will take the stage at 4:30 p.m.
  • Chrisette Michele closes the festival at 7 p.m.
  • Additional entertainment lineup details available at


  • On-site media credentials will be granted to verified media representatives.
  • All reporters covering the event are to check-in at N2N Command Central, 5008 Baltimore Ave.
  • Media ID or proof of freelance assignment is required for credentialing.
  • Credentials do not allow for backstage access.
  • To schedule interviews with state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams on-site, contact Ali Robinson at 215.954.6539.


  • Main stage acts may be photographed in entirety except for Macy Gray and Chrisette Michele.
  • Gray and Michele will allow up to the first two songs to be photographed/videotaped.