Food and Fun Fair

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Food and Fun Fair

Saturday, 11/17/18
10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Event Type

Special Event
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
19107 Philadelphia , PA

Join us for a celebration of Philadelphia’s vibrant food culture, with vendors, activities, and lectures happening throughout the day! We’ll get a taste of the history of chocolate, explore wild plants and native harvests, and translate historical recipes for the modern cook.

The day's activities will be followed by a 21+ evening program where guests can learn about the roots of our city’s BYOB culture from historian Stephen Nepa while enjoying a drink of their own! BYOB; for guests 21 and over. Light fare included.


10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Vendors and activities ongoing. Come and go as you please!

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. “Major Milestones in the History of Chocolate” by Steven Gimber
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Lunch break. Explore dining options in the neighborhood!
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. “Serving History: Tales from Old Cookbooks” by Tara O’Brien
3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m “A Celebration of Land and Sea: Modern Indigenous Cuisine in New England” by Rachel Sayet (Mohegan)
6:00 p.m. Doors open for 21-and-older event
6:30 p.m. “Blue Laws and Brown Bags: A History of Philadelphia's BYOBs” by Stephen Nepa


Tickets are available for the full day or for only the after-hours portion.

  • $25 includes fair and evening event
  • $15 for evening event only
  • Children 12 and under are free
  • Friends of HSP (Researcher level and above) get discounted admission: $10 off each ticket.



Dr. Steven Gimber is the director of the American Studies program at West Chester University. He teaches classes in the history of American Food and Foodways, and currently working on creating a class in the history of World Food and Foodways. He is also writing an essay on the role of wheat in the Civil War.

Tara O’Brien is the Director of Preservation and Conservation Services at HSP. Shortly after her arrival at HSP, she was introduced to Martha Washington’s cookbook, which set her on the path of studying food in history. In 2010, after conserving Ellen Emlen’s manuscript cookbook, she spearheaded HSP’s publication of the facsimile and has appeared on WHYY’s Friday Arts to talk about the recipes in the book.

Rachel Sayet (Mohegan) has been working for the Mohegan Tribal Library since 2013, while also researching and promoting indigenous cuisine in New England. She has partnered with the Mohegan tribal health department on gardening, cooking, and storytelling workshops for Mohegan youth. More recently she has recorded a radio show about tribal foodways, and formed the Native Food Discussion Group for Mohegan tribal members to promote traditional knowledge about seasonal eating, harvesting, growing, and fishing practices. She received her BS from Cornell University in Restaurant Management and her MA in anthropology from Harvard University.

Stephen Nepa teaches history and American studies at Temple University, Pennsylvania State University-Abington, Rowan University, and Moore College of Art and Design. He specializes in U.S., environmental, and urban histories and is a contributor to numerous books, journals, and documentary films. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and his Ph.D. from Temple University. He lives in Philadelphia.