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19 Sep 2015

Guide to Pope’s visit to Philadelphia

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September 19, 2015 Category: Local Posted by:

Pope Francis is coming to Philadelphia as part of the epic World Meeting of Families celebration in 2015.

The World Meeting of Families Conference, the world’s largest gathering of Catholic families, will host 100 speakers, panel discussions, workshops and more at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from September 22-25.

Then the citywide Francis Festival takes place over the weekend of September 26-27.

Pope Francis will arrive on Saturday, September 26 and speak at Independence Hall before celebrating at the Festival of Families, a massive free party held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

And on the afternoon of Sunday, September 27, the pope will say a mass for hundreds of thousands of people, also on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

September 22-25

Held every three years, the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) is the world’s largest gathering of Catholic families. Open to all, the inspirational event offers a week of celebration, discussion and learning.

This year’s WMOF marks the first time in the event’s history that it will be held in the United States. Past destinations include Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City and Milan.

Approximately 100 speakers will lead panel discussions and workshops at the Pennsylvania Convention Center focused on the theme “Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive” chosen by Pope Francis.

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center

For more information on the World Meeting of Families Conference go to http://www.worldmeeting2015.org for scheduling times of events.

PAPAL STOP 1 (SATURDAY): POPE FRANCIS TO GIVE SPEECH ON INDEPENDENCE MALL

Saturday, September 26

4:45 p.m.

In front of Independence Hall

Pope Francis will speak at Independence Hall about religious freedom and immigration on Saturday, September 26 at 4:45 p.m.

The event is expected to attract about 30,000 people.

TICKETS

Tickets are no longer available for Pope Francis’ Independence Hall speech.

SATURDAY PAPAL PARADE

Saturday, September 26

Before the pope’s arrival at Festival of Families

Benjamin Franklin Parkway and City Hall

Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on Saturday, Sept. 26 prior to the Festival of Families celebration.

The Pope will begin at Eakins Oval, go down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, head around City Hall then go back up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway before ending at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Note: The Pope’s vehicle will use the outer lanes of the parkway.

PAPAL STOP 2 (SATURDAY): POPE FRANCIS VISITS THE FESTIVAL OF FAMILIES

CELEBRATION AND GIANT FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT

Saturday, September 26

5 p.m.; Pope Francis’ Arrival: 7:30 p.m.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

After his speech at Independence Hall, Pope Francis will head to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Festival of Families, a free celebration of community, faith and family.

The celebration will feature music and visual performances set to educate and entertain attendees from around the world.

HEADLINERS INCLUDE:

Italian classical tenor Andrea Bocelli

Latin American pop-star Juanes,

The Philadelphia Orchestra.

TICKETS

The Festival of Families is free and open to the public, though tickets will be required to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval.

No tickets are required to access the parkway from 20th Street to City Hall, though attendees will need to go through a security checkpoint.

Approximately 10,000 free tickets will be available for the Festival of Families ticketed area on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a maximum of four tickets per person.

PAPAL MASS – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

The main event will be a mass said by Pope Francis on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in front of hundreds of thousands of people on Sunday, September 27.

SUNDAY PAPAL PARADE

Sunday, September 27

Before the mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Pope Francis will ride in a papal parade on Sunday, Sept. 27 prior to the Festival of Families celebration.

The exact route that the pope will take is still to be decided, but it will likely be shorter to ensure that the mass starts on time.

PAPAL STOP 3 (SUNDAY): PAPAL MASS ON THE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PARKWAY

Sunday, September 27

4 p.m.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Pope Francis, along with hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe, will celebrate a papal mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sunday, September 27 at 4 p.m.

The mass will conclude Pope Francis’ visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

TICKETS

The mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is free and open to the public, though tickets will be required to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval.

No tickets are required to access the parkway from 20th Street to City Hall, though attendees will need to go through a security checkpoint.

Tickets to access the area from 20th Street to Eakins Oval are no longer available for the mass on the Parkway.

GETTING AROUND CENTER CITY PHILADELPHIA

FAST FACTS

• Monday to Thursday, Sept. 21-24, Philadelphia operations will be “business as usual.”

• Beginning Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m., preparations for the Francis Festival, including travel restrictions and road closures, will begin to go into effect before the one million-plus visitors arrive on Saturday and Sunday.

• The Francis Festival grounds will surround Center City, and inbound vehicular traffic will be restricted beginning Friday, Sept. 25.

• Walking will be the best way to get around the city.

• Highway closures will include I-676, the Ben Franklin Bridge and parts of I-76.

• Pedestrian and biking access will be allowed in most areas of the Francis Festival grounds; the Ben Franklin Bridge will be open to pedestrians.

WALKING MAP WITH ESTIMATED TIMES

Check out the map below to get a general idea of how long it will take to walk around Center City Philadelphia, courtesy of data from gophillygo.org. Note: These times do not include the time it may take to go through security around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway or Independence Hall. Please plan accordingly.

Center City Philadelphia will be operating business as usual during the World Meeting of Families Congress from Monday, Sept. 21 to Thursday, Sept. 24.

Some travel restrictions will begin to be implemented starting the evening of Thursday, Sept. 24 in preparation for the Francis Festival and the arrival of Pope Francis on Saturday, Sept. 26.

ACCESS PERIMETERS

Starting Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m., the city will begin to establish three perimeters within Center City. (See map for corresponding colors.)

Secure perimeters (red line): The city will establish secure perimeters on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and around Independence Hall. These areas will be fenced off, and people will need to pass through magnetometers to enter.

Secure vehicle perimeters (black line): Surrounding the secure perimeters will be a secure vehicle perimeter. No traffic or street parking will be allowed within this area.

The Francis Festival grounds (green line): Beginning Friday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m., “The Francis Festival grounds,” which surrounds the aforementioned perimeters, will restrict inbound vehicular traffic to Center City. Private vehicles will be able to travel within the Francis Festival grounds if they are already inside it but cars cannot enter the Francis Festival grounds until approximately Monday morning. Cars not in the secure vehicle perimeter (black line on map) will be able to remain parked within the Francis Festival grounds.

Emergency access lanes (yellow line): The city has designated a number of emergency access lanes. These roads will be reserved for emergency access vehicles.

The Francis Festival grounds

The boundaries of the Francis Festival grounds are:

Spring Garden to Ridge, Ridge to Girard, Girard to Schuylkill River

South Street river to river

Delaware Avenue from South Street to Spring Garden Street

The edge of the Schuylkill River, up Kelly Drive to just below the Girard Street Bridge.

Starting at 10 p.m. on Friday, September 25, additional inbound restrictions will extend west of the Schuylkill River. The West Philadelphia Francis Festival grounds are:

Powelton Avenue from 32nd to 38th streets

University Avenue to Grays Ferry

The edge of the Schuylkill River and train tracks

38th Street from Powelton Avenue to University Avenue.

Official Walking Map From the U.S. Secret Service

The U.S. Secret Service is in charge of security for the Papal Visit. Here is their official map detailing access to the Mass on the Parkway:

MAJOR HIGHWAY CLOSURES:

In addition, several of the following major roadways will be closed beginning on Friday, September 25th:

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge (closed to vehicular traffic)

I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95 and I-76 westbound from I-95 to U.S. Route 1 (Roosevelt Extension)

I-676 in both directions from I-76 to I-95, and

U.S. Route 1 in both directions from U.S. 30 to Belmont Avenue.

Contrary to previous reports, I-95 will remain open to traffic with only selected ramps closed due to street closures within the city and security needs.

GETTING AROUND ON SEPTA REGIONAL RAIL

SEPTA’s Regional Rail train line conveniently connects Center City Philadelphia with destinations in the four surrounding counties and beyond, and is a great transportation option for visitors coming into the city from afar.

In fact, if you’re taking SEPTA to Center City Philadelphia, you will not need to walk more than one mile to get to papal main events.

In order to ride Regional Rail during the Pope’s visit on September 26 and 27, visitors will need to have purchased a special one-day Papal Visit Pass and board at one of 18 Regional Rail stations that will be open. Passes cost $10 per person, and $5 for seniors and disabled persons.

DETAILS ABOUT SEPTA REGIONAL RAIL PAPAL PASS

Papal passes will be sold at a number of SEPTA stations starting on Friday, August 21.

GETTING AROUND ON SEPTA SUBWAY, BUS & TROLLEY

FAST FACTS

Subway, bus and trolley schedules will be altered for the papal visit, and SEPTA buses will not be able to enter the Francis Festival grounds.

Three-day transit passes ($10) are on sale now.

Tokens, transfers and weekly and monthly passes will be accepted as well.

SEPTA will alter the schedules for its subway, bus and trolley lines during the papal visit.

Three-day transit passes for travel on all SEPTA subways, buses and trolleys from Saturday, Sept. 26 through Monday, Sept. 28 cost $10 and are available now at SEPTA sales locations.

Customers will also be able to use tokens, transfers and weekly and monthly passes on subways, buses and trolleys during this time. Cash will be accepted on buses and trolleys.

IMPORTANT!  FOR MORE INFORMATION AND MAPS ON HOW TO NAVIGATE PAPAL EVENTS GO TO http://www.visitphilly.com/popes-visit-world-meeting-of-families-2015/ and click on ‘Transportation’ at the menu up top.

GETTING AROUND THE CITY ON THE $2 PHLASH VISITOR BUS

PHLASH

The PHLASH, the signature bright purple bus offering quick and convenient transportation to Philadelphia’s top attractions, will be operating on a special weekday schedule during the World Meeting of Families.

DETAILS ABOUT PHLASH SCHEDULE

WMOF Service: September 21-25: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

No Service Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27

PHLASH costs just $2 per person per ride ($5 for an all-day pass). Children 4 and under and seniors are always FREE.

WALKING

Walking will be the best way to get around the city.

With hundreds of thousands of people coming to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families and the Papal visit, the best way to get around Center City Philadelphia will be by walking.

Good news: Philadelphia is consistently rated as one of the best walking cities in the country, so walking around a lot during the World Meeting of Families should be a breeze.

Note that visitors and residents may be required to walk a few miles and may have to pass through security zones in order to access certain parts of the city.

Check out the map below to get a general idea of how long it will take to walk around Center City Philadelphia, courtesy of data from gophillygo.org. Note: These times do not include the time it may take to go through security around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway or Independence Hall. Please plan accordingly.

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