UNIVERSITY CITY REVIEW • More Community Vendors To Take Part In This Week’s Baltimore Ave. Dollar Stroll

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Originally published by University City Review


More Community Vendors To Take Part In This Week’s Baltimore Ave. Dollar Stroll

Thousands of people from all over the city get a chance to explore West Philadelphia during the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll. PHOTO: University City District.
By Jack Firneno•Wed, Jun 06, 2018

This week, a dollar will get you more than ever on Baltimore Avenue.

On Thursday, June 7, the Dollar Stroll returns to West Philly from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The unique community event draws thousands of people to Baltimore Ave. between 43rd and 52nd streets with a simple premise: Stores, eateries and local attractions will offer products for just one dollar.

The event draws attention to the diverse businesses on the strip as well as the many events that take place in this part of the city every summer. With two Dollar Strolls each year, this one comes at a time where there’s potentially less foot traffic and activity in the area. 

According to Alissa Weiss, director of strategic initiatives and communications for the University City District (UCD), in the early summer, there are fewer students from the nearby universities around after their semesters end. That makes it an ideal time to draw attention to the bustling business corridor and everything it has to offer.

By drawing people from all over the city, however, the Dollar Stroll has become more than just a way for local businesses to earn a buck.

‘It’s an introduction to what West Philly’s all about,” said Weiss. “People come here and see Clark Park and the beautiful homes. They start along Baltimore Avenue and going to these stores, and from there they get to explore West Philadelphia.”

The Dollar Stroll began 2010 as an effort by local businesses to attract attention to the growing businesses corridor. As more merchants, and groups like the University City District, got involved, it grew. Now, the event includes live entertainment courtesy of local bands Red Hot Ticket and West Philadelphia Orchestra and face painters and jugglers along with more than 30 local businesses.

“It’s very community-oriented,” said Franchon Pryor, president of the Baltimore Business Association and owner of Hair Vyce Studio. “It’s very high-energy, and people really get excited for it. I’ve seen people’s faces light up these past few weeks whenever I talk about it. It something they look forward to.”

And, the business association and UCD have taken new steps to make it even more of a community event. For the first time, the groups are sanctioning community food vendors along with the brick-and-mortar locations on Baltimore Ave. Now, the pop-up food vendors that have been unofficially setting up shop during the stroll are formally part of the event.

The city’s health department has inspected each vendor, and UCD has licensed them for the stroll, according to UCD Communications Manager Chris Richman. This way, the group can vouch for them while allowing more community members to participate.

“The Dollar Stroll has become this wonderful community event, and we want to make sure it stays that way,” said Richman. “It’s a way for us to make sure it remains inclusive.”

March 2018