In case you’ve been living under a rock, today kicks off the 2016 Democratic National Convention right here in Philadelphia. This four-day-long event features many important political speakers including President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Bernie Sanders, and assumed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Philadelphia seems to have learned their lesson following Pope Francis’s visit last September. The city went into full lockdown mode for The World Meeting of Families and the Papal Visit, and restaurants stocked up and staffed up for the crowd that never came. DNC is being prepared for a little differently. This time around, the city will be much more accessible, with the majority of vehicle restrictions taking place in South Philly, close to Wells Fargo Center, where the convention is being hosted.
The restaurant industry is more prepared as well. Restaurants hosting buy-out parties have had months to prepare, while others are offering special #DNCDeals to draw in the out-of-town media, delegates, and hungry Philadelphians alike. Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation last week that Philly bars and restaurants could extend last call up to 4 a.m. for the small fee of $5,000. A handful of bars forked over the cash and will keep their doors open until the wee hours of the morning. Restaurants with late night kitchens will benefit as well, seeing as the convention will run nightly until about 11 p.m.
The next four days are going to be packed with parties and events – and it’s not too late to get in on the action! Find the full list of both free and ticketed events here. From food festivals, to political events, to one of Philadelphia’s largest pop-up art exhibits, no matter what side you’re on, this is an exciting time to be a Philadelphian so get out and join the festivities. Who knows who you might bump into!