What to expect at the first annual Edgar Allan Poe Raid Relay and Party

Edgar Allan Poe Raid Relay and Party
PHOTO: Provided

Calling all Edgar Allan Poe fans, poets, and those who just love a good competition—this weekend holds one of the most unique and eclectic events the city has ever seen. The Northern Liberties Business Improvement District recently announced a brand new annual event that will be kicking off this Saturday— the Edgar Allan Poe Raid Relay and Party extravaganza.

What to expect at the first annual Edgar Allan Poe Raid Relay and Party

Philadelphians are welcome to sign up as teams of four all decked out in your best Edgar Allan Poe costume, and, as a group, each team will take on the challenge of passing on a raven through Northern Liberties (from 700 Fairmount to Liberty Lands Park) while partaking in various fun and challenging obstacles testing your wit and perseverance. Every team will be competing for the coveted prize of the Tell-Tale Heart trophy. According to the release, teams registered so far include a who’s who of local and fun small businesses, including the staff of El Camino, Artstar, Creep Records, North Bowl and others.

If challenging your way through an energetic literary puzzle isn’t quite your thing, you’re not alone. All interested spectators are still welcome to come out and cheer on their favorite team during the relay (12 pm) and also partake in a Poe-themed party at Liberty Lands Park after the competition (1 pm) as well.

“The Poe Raid Relay Race and Party is the first new event by the Northern Liberties Business Improvement District formed in 2018,” said NLBID Executive Director Kristine Kennedy in a release. “I wanted to create an event that was truly unique, very memorable, and very Northern Liberties. We wanted to celebrate the character of the neighborhood, and involve something that the neighborhood can claim as its own. We have a long, long history of being a scrappy DIY arts district – and I wanted to play on that history. The Poe Raid will also expose spectators to a new part of the neighborhood they may not have explored before.”

Edgar Allan Poe Raid Relay and Party

After the race commences and prizes are awarded to the winning team and best-dressed Poe competitor, the fun really begins at Liberty Lands Park.

Starting at 1 pm guests can enjoy doll making, readings, face painting, tasty treats from El Camino, arts and craft vendors and plenty of more surprises while at the Poe-themed bash. There will also be a Poe-themed quizzo with WHYY’s Peter Crimmins (1:30 pm) with a $100 North Bowl gift certificate prize, a kids literary character costume contest (2 pm, no superhero costumes), live readings of Poe’s works (3 pm), Poe Puns by Mike Simons (3 pm) and much more.

The event will also feature prizes from the Edgar Allan Poe House gift shop, and information on the Edgar Allan Poe House, located at 532 N 7th St in Philadelphia.

“Edgar Allan Poe’s house is on the edge of Northern Liberties, and is in a way the welcome to the neighborhood for tourists and visitors coming from Center City,” Kennedy added in a release. “It is a real gem and treasure that helped inspired this first event. It is a win-win to honor that historic treasure, while creating a new annual tradition that we hope to grow – and that we hope will get weirder and weirder with each passing year. Nothing is more unique and visual than Poe dressed competitors passing a Raven through the neighborhood.”

Everyone is invited out to don their best raven-black attire and truly get into the poetic spirit this Saturday, the event is dog-friendly as well. 

For more information and to sign up for the race visit explorenorthernliberties.org

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