Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Many New Details Announced On Philly Papal Visit

As the City of Philadelphia prepares to host the 2015 World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis in September, the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 (WMOF), with the City, today announced its “I’ll Be There” campaign, which aims to energize and excite businesses and residents in the five county Philadelphia region, as well as South Jersey and Delaware, in advance of Pope Francis’ arrival on Saturday, September 26.  “I’ll Be There” is a grassroots campaign rooted in the public declaration of participation in this historic event for Philadelphia. Reimagining the Center City area from South Street to Girard Avenue and the Delaware River to 38th Street as “The Francis Festival Grounds,” the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 and the City are creating a celebratory, fun and welcoming experience for the anticipated crowds from around the world already planning to attend but also for local residents – all of whom are invited to join in this historic, global event. 

Critical to launching the Francis Festival, which will open Saturday, September 26 (6 a.m. – 11 p.m.) and Sunday, September 27 (6 a.m. – 11 p.m.), there are few important clarifications related to the Festival grounds to note:
  • There are no security checkpoints for those entering the Festival grounds via South Street, Girard Avenue, Columbus Boulevard or 38th Street.  U.S. Secret Service security checkpoints will be in very close proximity to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Independence Mall.  Accommodations for those not wishing to pass through these checkpoints are detailed below (See Jumbotrons). 

  • There will be food and beverage vendors – as well as official retail vendors – in the Festival grounds, in addition to restaurants and convenience stores.  Those attending the Festival will not need to go through a U.S. Secret Service checkpoint to access these official vendors.  Independent food truck vendors will also be available within the Festival grounds, through the coordination of Aramark, the official food, beverage and retail provider for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015.  

  • SEPTA and PATCO will deliver riders directly into the Francis Festival grounds on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27.  SEPTA has availability across all of its operations, including the Regional Rail Service from all of its 18 operating stations.  If taking SEPTA to Center City for the Francis Festival, riders will not have to walk more than one mile to access the Benjamin Franklin Parkway or Independence Hall, the two main event locations. 

With these notes, below is an outline of core initiatives set to launch during the week of August 31, 2015 in support of the Francis Festival and “I’ll Be There” campaign. 

“I’ll Be There” Awareness Campaign
“I’ll Be There” is a comprehensive, grassroots awareness campaign that aims to connect with both businesses and residents to encourage participation in the Francis Festival and by extension the Papal Events of September 26-27.  For the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 and the City of Philadelphia, this is a celebration for all! Details of the campaign are below but all efforts will be supplemented by broadcast, radio and print public service announcements, focused on communicating both the important facts and the excitement of these events as well as the many ways in which the Festival grounds can be accessed. 

#OpenInPHL Kits
On Monday, August 31, street teams – led by Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 – will personally deliver hundreds of #OpenInPHL Kits to businesses across the City of Philadelphia.  Included in the #OpenInPHL Kits will be signage, a window cling, branded buttons, business resources and additional information about how businesses can get involved and engage local and international visitors alike.

Additionally, #OpenInPHL Kits will be available for pick-up at the following locations through Friday, September 4:

30th and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104

1617 John F Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 889
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
200 S. Broad Street, Suite 700
Philadelphia, PA 19102

1 N. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106

8000 Essington Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

1101 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107 

51 N. 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

There will be 40 Jumbotrons strategically placed across the Francis Festival grounds.  People coming to  the Francis Festival don’t need to pass through any security checkpoints to experience the Festival and/or to view many of the Jumbotrons.  From the Festival of Families Stage/Papal Altar in Eakins Oval to City Hall’s porticos to South and North Broad Streets, Jumbotrons will begin programming at 6:00 a.m.  A comprehensive map of Jumbotron positions will be forthcoming but it is important to share that the following Papal Events will be shown live via all 40 Jumbotrons across the Francis Festival grounds:

Saturday, September 26:
9:30 a.m.             Arrival of Pope Francis at Atlantic Aviation
10:30 a.m.          The Cathedral Mass with Pope Francis
4:45 p.m.             Pope Francis’ Address at Independence Hall
7:30 p.m.             The Festival of Families

Sunday, September 27:
4:00 p.m.             The Papal Mass

Pre-Papal Programming
Beyond the Papal Events, which will be broadcast live via the 40 Jumbotrons, there will also be significant hours of pre-programming – at both Independence Hall (September 26) and on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (September 26-27). 
As part of Saturday’s pre-Festival of Families entertainment, the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 is excited to announce the addition of a second performance stage, on Logan Circle, which will kick-off following the Holy Father’s Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.  Performance acts for Independence Hall, Eakins Oval Stage and Logan Circle Stage will be announced in the next two weeks.

A Piece of History
For all of those attending the Francis Festival – and entering the Festival grounds along South Street, Girard Avenue, Columbus Boulevard or 38th Street – the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 will provide holy medals and/or prayer cards that will serve as a remembrance of one’s participation in this historic event.  Volunteers will greet and distribute these keepsakes as a token of gratitude for participation and this gift can be blessed by the Holy Father when he offers a formal blessing during the Festival of Families and Papal Mass – regardless of location within the Festival grounds. 

A Passport to Fun
One of the best ways to show you were there is to “snap it!” Leveraging Instagram and Twitter, the World Meeting of Families is encouraging participants of the Francis Festival to create a virtual passport of their participation by sharing photographs of their patronage at local businesses displaying the collateral from the #OpenInPHL Kits. Qualifying posts that tag or mention a participating business and include #PopeInPhilly and #RomeContest will enter a Festival participant into a sweepstakes to win a family vacation to Rome, Italy, courtesy of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015. 
And for the local businesses making the effort to be #OpenInPHL and displaying their Philadelphia pride, these local merchants become eligible to win a trip to Rome, Italy when they post a picture of their poster or window cling on display by Friday, September 18, 2015 and include #OpenInPHL and #RomeContest in the post. It’s a virtual passport that just may result in people using their real one!  Official sweepstakes rules and details will be announced on Monday, August 31.

Launch of New Transportation Web Page on
During the week of August 31, the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 will launch a new transportation web page, which will help those traveling to the Francis Festival.  From SEPTA to PATCO to commercial bus operations, this web page will help both residents and businesses to better understand the transportation options available to them and to encourage planning that best meets the varied scenarios that those wishing to access the Francis Festival may face. 

“Our message is simple: Come and be part of history,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015.  “The Francis Festival is exactly what we have always envisioned for these two days – a joyful celebration across the entire city!  So much has been made of colored lines, boxes and perimeters that we risk losing the grace, beauty and excitement of having Pope Francis come to Philadelphia.  
Being ‘on the Parkway’ or ‘at Independence Hall’ are not the only ways in which our community can be part of this spectacular event.  It is about shared moment of community, family and great fun.  
The Francis Festival is meant to remind us all of this and it is our great hope that our efforts will energize and excite our region.  There simply is no magic in sharing the memory of ‘I watched it on television.’”

Beginning Monday August 31, all of the details and exciting information regarding the Francis Festival, will be available at

Co-sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families is a triennial global event that seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society. This international gathering will welcome Pope Francis to the United States for the first time in his Papacy. Being held in the United States for the first time ever, the official theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit  
For more information regarding The Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, which co-sponsors the World Meeting of Families, visit
You can also engage the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias – Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).

About World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015).  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

No comments: