Snapshots from Philadelphia: Bead Fest and Beyond

Over the weekend, I had the honor of attending Bead Fest Philadelphia for the first time. And, wow, what a show it was! The initial purpose of my trip was twofold: setting up the display of the thirty winning entries in our 2013 Bead Star contest and visiting the various vendors at the expo. Being a Colorado native who's never been to the east coast, however, I decided to bring my husband and four-year-old daughter along and spend a couple of extra days taking in the sights.

Bead Fest Philly is a remarkable show, with literally hundreds of booths full of everything from the latest in chain and leather to lampwork, charms, gems, tools, and more! If you go, plan to spend a couple of extra days to venture into the city itself and explore the historical landmarks you learned about in school!

Below are a few snapshots of my whirlwind trip! Enjoy!


The winning Bead Star entries greeted visitors as they entered the expo.


A close up of some of the winning pieces.


Row after row of beads entice the shoppers.


I was lucky enough to meet Katie Wall (left, of Fusion Beads) and Katie Hacker (right, host of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels) while I was at the expo. Katie H. suggested this pose, dubbing it the "Katie Sandwich."


Just minutes from the expo center is Valley Forge National Historical Park, where George Washington and his troops spent their days during a particularly harsh winter during the Revolutionary War. I was awe struck while walking the same steps that Washington did in his home shown here.



The architecture in downtown Philly is a fascinating melding of old and new.


I learned so much during our tour of Independence Hall, where our founding fathers drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence.


To be honest, before my trip, the only thing I knew about Philadelphia is the fact that it is the home of the Liberty Bell! Turns out it's much smaller than I had envisioned in my head all these years.


According to Philadelphians, one must-see attraction is the heart that you can literally walk through at the Franklin Institute of Science.



My husband and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to chow down on a couple of authentic Philly cheesesteaks at Tony Luke's!



With a background in pastry arts, I tend to seek out the best sweets to be found in each city I visit. Shane Confectionery serves up vanilla buttercream chocolates that date back to the Civil War!

I hope you're able to attend one of the many Bead Fest events held throughout the year in various states. I would highly recommend Bead Fest Philadelphia, for the fabulous expo itself and the countless tourist spots the area offers as well.

Debbie Blair

Managing Editor

Jewelry Stringing | 101 Bracelets, Necklaces, & Earrings | Quick + Easy Beadwork

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