Blog Community PFCU Kensington Derby and Arts Festival seeks Nominations for King & Queen

Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (PFCU), the title sponsor of the 13th annual Kensington Derby and Arts Festival, is taking nominations for a King and Queen to reign over the wacky parade of human-powered floats on Saturday, May 11.
Each year the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Derby and Arts Festival brings Philadelphia locals and visitors together with artists, musicians, performers, food and drink—and a parade of homemade vehicles that travel three miles through Kensington and Fishtown, navigating through obstacles along the way.

This year, the beloved community event welcomes back the PFCU Orange Zone, a cheering section and obstacle where fans blow noisemakers and challenge derby contestants to trek through the course element by tossing dodge balls and clouds of color run powder. The PFCU Derby King & Queen will get special VIP seating in the Orange Zone and later be featured in the awards ceremony on the main stage. 

“We’re committed to engaging with the Fishtown and Kensington community on a personal level, and every year we look forward to participating in the Derby to do just that,” said James McAneney, President/CEO of Philadelphia Federal Credit Union. “PFCU is a valuable neighborhood resource, and we’re excited to continue to enhance elements of the Derby to create a fun experience for our community.”

While this element of the derby route embraces PFCU’s signature orange, the Derby is also green – for the second year, the festival has committed to being a Clean PHL Zero Waste event. Food vendors will use compostable and reusable materials, and Philacycle volunteers will educate participants about what items to compost and recycle. In a Kids Zone hosted by Pop Up Play, children will be able to create their own mini parade floats by upcycling and styling cardboard boxes. A pedal-powered parade is a celebration of green transportation, and the Derby encourages you to walk, ride or take SEPTA to this year’s event.

The PFCU Derby also promotes STEAM education: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. This year’s festival will feature a Kids’ Science Corner with exhibits from the Franklin Institute, Philly Tech Week, the Mutter Museum, JA Cunningham, and others. A STEAM Bingo card will encourage children to mark off all the STEAM experiences they can find at the festival. And, thanks to grants from the Franklin Institute and Philly Tech Week, a few lucky teams will win $2,500 to design and ride a Derby float under their own STEAM.

New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) and East Kensington Neighbors Association (EKNA) collaborate to host this whimsical neighborhood event every year. The festival attracts more than 200 local arts and food truck vendors, live art demonstrations and performances. 

“We’re grateful for long-time partners like PFCU who help make the event a fun and memorable Philadelphia experience,” said Felix Torres-Colon, Executive Director of NKCDC. “Since it’s Mother’s Day weekend, you should attend the festival and get your mom a handmade gift. Or better yet—nominate her to be the Derby Queen and receive special treatment in PFCU’s Orange Zone!”

Nominations to be King & Queen can be made at PFCU’s Fishtown branch or by filling out the online form at In addition, the first 50 seats in the PFCU Orange Zone will be reserved for the credit union’s members, who are encouraged to reserve their spot by signing up at PFCU’s Fishtown branch. Members of the public are invited to participate on a first-come, first-served basis on May 11.

More information about the festival, with registration for art vendors and derby contestants, can be found at (Thanks to generous support from Penn Treaty Special Services District, there is no fee to participate in the Derby parade this year.) Stay up-to-date with festival news on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

“Since it’s Mother’s Day weekend, you should attend the festival and get your mom a handmade gift. Or better yet—nominate her to be the Derby Queen!” 

Felix Torres-Colon, NKCDC Executive Director