Bloomsday is back!

By Rosa D. RSS Wed, June 15, 2022

The Rosenbach's annual Bloomsday festival is BACK on Delancey Place after a two-year hiatus. Join the celebration on Thursday, June 16 anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

What is Bloomsday?

Bloomsday is the day the world celebrates Leopold Bloom’s fictional journey through the streets of Dublin, as imagined in James Joyce’s epic Ulysses. Lauded as the greatest novel of all time, Ulysses has been called everything from masterfully moving to hilariously obscene.

As the home of the complete manuscript of Ulysses, The Rosenbach has celebrated Bloomsday for almost 30 years! Our rollicking day-long reading will feature literati, artists, public figures, and familiar personalities along with musical performances that will bring the book to life. You can find the full schedule of readers and performers online.

Bloomsday 2022 features a beer garden, local food trucks, and the chance to enjoy free admission to The Rosenbach. Drop by any time between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. For full details visit the event page.

What are your COVID-19 protocols?

The Bloomsday festival is held entirely outdoors but please be aware that proof of vaccination and masks are required to enter the museum.

Do I need to get a ticket?

Bloomsday is a free event but we encourage you to register. By registering you’ll be among the first to know about important updates and announcements.

What if I haven’t read Ulysses?

You certainly won’t be alone! Joyce enthusiasts and novices alike are welcome. Bloomsday is a great way to encounter Ulysses for the first time: many readers agree that hearing the novel read aloud brings it to life in a new way. If you want to get ahead you can read our Ulysses summary.

Why does The Rosenbach host Bloomsday?

June 16 has been known as Bloomsday since as early as 1924. This same year, The Rosenbach’s founder Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach purchased Joyce’s original manuscript of Ulysses from John Quinn, a lawyer and patron of Joyce who unsuccessfully defended the work against obscenity charges in 1920. Selections from the manuscript, one of the premier treasures of The Rosenbach, are on view in our current exhibition 18 Reasons to Read Ulysses: A Centennial Celebration.

Where is Bloomsday?

Once a year, the whole length of Delancey Place between 20th and 21st streets closes down for our Bloomsday celebration. The readings are performed on the front steps!

In the event of bad weather, a relocation announcement will be made the morning of Bloomsday. The announcement will be posted to our website and social media and registered guests will be emailed. Bloomsday will be moved to Trinity Memorial Church at 22nd and Spruce Streets.

Will there be food and drinks available?

Yes! There will be vendors throughout the day from Attic Brewing CompanyJohn’s Water IceWeckerly’s Ice Cream and Lil’ Pop ShopFederal DonutsBloomsday CafeBake’n Bacon, and 2 Street Sammies.

Is Bloomsday family friendly?

Families with children are always welcome at The Rosenbach! However, please note that this is a celebration of Ulysses, a novel which includes mature content. Consider Bloomsday to be PG-13 rated: parental discretion is advised.

Can I bring my dog?

You sure can! Leashed dogs are welcome. Our furry friends have become a fixture at Bloomsday. You can find a collection of our favorite #DogsOfBloomsday photos online. Dogs may not come inside The Rosenbach.

Where do I park?

Street parking is limited, but there are several parking lots nearby.

You can also avoid parking altogether by taking public transit. The Rosenbach is a short walk or cab ride away from Center City transit hubs such as 30th Street Station, and several SEPTA bus routes (17, 2, 7, 40) travel nearby.

What should I wear?

As Bloomsday is held entirely outdoors, we encourage you to dress comfortably for the weather. Dressing up is always strongly encouraged!

Bloomsday is generously sponsored by the Consulate General of Ireland, Lenore H. Steiner and Perry A. Lerner, Alix Gerz and George Matysik, the New Jersey Celtic Society, and the Irish American Business Chamber & Network.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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