Pope Francis will be making his long-awaited appearance in Philadelphia between September 26th and 27th for the World Meeting of Families. On Saturday, September 26th, the Festival of Families will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and will be open to the public. On Sunday, September 27th, a Papal Mass will be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, also open to the public. Click here for a complete itinerary for the Pope’s visit in Philadelphia.
The Executive Director of Hosts for Hospitals, Mike Aichenbaum, told Biz Journals that “every hotel in a 100 mile radius of Philadelphia is booked”, and according to USA Today, the population in Philadelphia is expected to double for that weekend.
In light of the festivities, we have put together a guideline to help the local Philadelphian navigate the city for the weekend of the Pope visit — whether you are planning to spend the weekend attending every event, or if you are planning to hide from the crowds!
- Plan on walking or taking public transportation. SEPTA is selling $10 transit passes for the weekend of Pope visit, and the subway, regional rail, and bus schedules will be altered to accommodate the influx of crowds in the city. Avoid driving. There is expected to be slim to no parking around and near Center City. According to phillymag.com, your tokens and transit passes will still work, but expect to take the bus rather than the rapid transit.
- Thinking about renting your home short-term on craigslist or airbnb? Don’t hold hold your breath. It’s being called the “papal housing bubble burst” by NewsWorks, who is comparing the circumstances of overrated demand for housing to the 2008 inauguration housing bubble burst. After hotels anywhere remotely near Philadelphia sold out months ago, an influx of ads for short-term home, apartment, and room rentals have been posted with prices as high as $5000 per month… and hopeful listers are receiving no calls. With numerous extreme and inflated prices flooding the internet, the supply may be higher than the demand.
- Expect massive crowds. The city population could double the weekend the pope is here. If you plan on leaving your home, give yourself extra time to get anywhere in and around the city. Here is one picture of the crowds that surrounded the Pope during his visit to Ecuador in early June 2015.
- Be proud. We’re sharing the city we all know and love with upwards of 2 million visitors. Lets be proud of the exciting festivities and changes happening in our city of brotherly love!