Releases: Expanded View
Regional Attractions Open Up The Skies To Amateur Space Explorers In Town For The Only-In-Philly Galileo Exhibit
Philly’s More Fun During The International Year of Astronomy
Visitors in Philadelphia for Galileo, The Medici and The Age of Astronomy, appearing only at The Franklin Institute Science Museum only in 2009 (April 4 through September 7), will find the region loaded with places that provide a greater knowledge of the stars. Not only can visitors enjoy Galileo-inspired lectures and family-friendly workshops at The Franklin, they can also check out the region’s many space marvels, including planetariums, star-gazing parties and other after-dark activities during the International Year of Astronomy. Here’s a look:
About Space At The Franklin:
- The extensively renovated Joel N. Bloom Observatory on the rooftop of The Franklin is open to visitors daily (weather permitting) during museum hours. But on the second Thursday of each month, Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts guides visitors through Night Skies in the Observatory. Participants experience one of the world’s only examples of a cutting-edge Zeiss refractor, which allows them to view objects in the sky with uncanny digital accuracy, as well as objects normally too faint to observe.
- Several space shows are in permanent rotation for display on the 60-foot, four-story dome ceiling at The Franklin’s Fels Planetarium, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2008. And every second Wednesday, the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society hosts free public lessons about space at 7:30 p.m. rittenhouseastronomicalsociety.org
- On permanent view at The Franklin, Space Command includes 30 hands-on activities that explore the history, uniforms, technology and equipment of space exploration. Budding astronauts can locate their homes using a satellite home-tracking device or embark on a mission to find a lost space probe.
- On April 23 during The Franklin Institute Awards, The Franklin Institute will present the 2009 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science and its $250,000 prize to a leading astronomy researcher. The grand black-tie gala will conclude a week-long celebration of science, featuring lectures, symposia and other educational opportunities for audiences ranging from school children to scholars.
Outside In: Planetarium Power:
- Every second Friday night during the school year, the West Chester University Department of Geology & Astronomy hosts a free show open to the public inside its planetarium at Schmucker Science Center. Each hour-long show includes an overview of what is visible in the current night sky and a special focus on an aspect of astronomy. Reservations required. Church Street between University & Rosedale Avenues, West Chester, (610) 436-2788, wcupa.edu
- On most weekends, the Julia Fowler Planetarium at Eastern University plays space-centric planetarium shows for the public on its new digital full-dome projector, one of only 30 such installations in the world. Past shows have included Astronaut, Star of Bethlehem and Emmy-nominated children’s-program-turned-science-show The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather. 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, (610) 341-1390, eastern.edu
Observing the Night Sky:
- The Advanced Technology Center Observatory and Observational Deck at Montgomery County Community College hosts free community nights once a month from March through November. On certain nights, professors bring out some special treats—a Coronado 40 mm Solar Telescope and other Coronado Personal Solar Telescopes to allow as many hands-on experiences as possible. 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, (215) 641-6300, mc3.edu
- If the sky is clear on the second Tuesday of each month, Swarthmore College opens Sproul Observatory to the general public for an hour beginning at 8:00 p.m. (9:00 DST). 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, (610) 957-6335, swarthmore.edu
- Members of the public can take advantage of Villanova University’s observatory from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (8:00-10:00 p.m. DST) every Monday through Thursday when classes are in session. The observatory boasts a weather station and image-processing facilities, and visitors can use the 12-inch Meade telescope. Mendel Hall, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, (610) 519-4820, villanova.edu/artsci/astronomy
Partying With the Stars:
- On one Saturday night per month from March through November, the public can join the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomical Society for a “star party.” Gazers use the society’s telescopes and binoculars to catch a glimpse of distant constellations, galaxies and planets. The free star parties are held at Valley Forge National Historical Park’s model airplane field, and they run from sunset until 11:00 p.m. dvaa.org
- The Chester County Astronomical Society hosts free monthly observing sessions in the Myrick Conservation Center. The sessions, which are planned around the new moon, are open to the public, with telescopes and binoculars available for loan. 1760 Unionville-Wawaset Road, West Chester, ccas.us
- Every August during the weekend closest to the new moon, the Chesmont Astronomical Society hosts StarFest, a free public star party in Warwick Park. Guests can get their hands on more than 70 telescopes, listen to guest speakers, win door prizes and see a meteorite display. During the society’s monthly parties at French Creek State Park, observers watch a sunset transform into a star-laced sky and view planets and star clusters through telescopes and live-view star cameras. 675 Park Road, Downingtown, chesmontastro.org
- The Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association hosts free StarWatches for members of the public between March and November. Web site lists dates and locations. bma2.org
- Located in the north central part of the state, Cherry Springs State Park is home to Pennsylvania’s first official Dark Sky Park and the flagship park for the National Public Observatory’s Stars-N-Parks Program. Their star-gazing weekends feature guest lectures, public star gazing and astronomy equipment vendors. Dates for 2009 will be determined based upon the astrological calendar for the year. PA 44, Potter County, (814) 435-5010, dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/cherrysprings.aspx
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.
For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit gophila.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.
How Is Visit Philly Supporting the DNC?
Philadelphia is ready to welcome the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) to town from July 25-28, 2016—and with it, the eyes of the world. As the five-county region’s official destination-marketing organization, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® has been working for more than a year to ensure that the region is a star, not a backdrop, through media relations, web and social media promotion, advertisements and collateral.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA worked on the bid, presented to the site-selection committee, served on committees, delivered speeches, sat on panels and conducted interviews about Philadelphia’s major role in the DNC—and that’s just the beginning. Here’s a look...
11 Things To Know: Latino Philadephia
Strength In Numbers:
- The 2010 U.S. Census reported 187,611—that’s 12.3%—of Philadelphians are Latino.
- 121,643 are Puerto Rican or of Puerto Rican descent.
- 15,531 are Mexican or of Mexican descent.
- 3,930 are Cuban or of Cuban descent.
- 46,507 are of other Hispanic descent.
- The hub of Latino culture and life in Philadelphia, El Centro de Oro, centered at 5th Street and Lehigh Avenues in the city’s Fairhill section of North Philadelphia, is home to residents descending from almost every Latin American country, a strong concentration of Puerto Rican families, along with non-profit organizations and many Latino-owned businesses.
- Each year,
16 Things To Know: African-American Philadelphia
Strength In Numbers:
- The 2010 U.S. Census reported 661,839—that’s 43.37%—of Philadelphians are African-American, the city’s second largest ethnic demographic. More recent estimates show this population has increased by approximately 1% in the past six years.
- The largest concentration—82%—of African-American Philadelphians live in North Philadelphia west of Germantown Avenue, Point Breeze in South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and in parts of Southwest Philadelphia.
- Important African-American business corridors include 52nd Street between Walnut and
Arch Streets and Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 52nd Streets, both in West Philadelphia; and Stenton Avenue between Broad Street and Walnut Lane and Ogontz
Beer Trail Highlights The Craft Brewing Tradition In Philadelphia, America's Best Beer-Drinking City
One hundred years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation,” according to food critic Craig LaBan of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In fact, Philadelphia taverns were, arguably, the true birthplace of the American Revolution.
In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, more than 90 breweries operated in Philadelphia proper, and another 100 operated in the city’s environs. One area northwest of Philly, located on the banks of the Schuylkill River near the Girard Avenue Bridge, became known as Brewerytown. As Brewerytown grew, area producers of German-style...
15 Things To Know: LGBT Philadelphia
Marks Of Pride:
- On July 4, 1965, Independence Hall was the site of the United States’ first major LGBT rights demonstration. A state historical marker at 6th and Chestnut Streets commemorates this peaceful protest and the four that followed each July 4 through 1969, known collectively as the Annual Reminders. nps.gov/inde, phmc.state.pa.us
- Nearly 70 rainbow street signs proudly adorn the Gayborhood, a Center City neighborhood of LGBT restaurants, bars, businesses and homes spanning 11th to Broad Streets and Pine to Chestnut Streets. Another neighborhood notable: rainbow crosswalks, at 13th and Locust Streets.
- Giovanni’s Room is
New LGBT Historic Markers, Equality Forum & The Democratic National Convention Make For A Historic July In Philadelphia
July 2016 is shaping up to be a monumental month for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents and visitors in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Philly kicks off the month by loving freedom during the weeklong Independence Day celebration Wawa Welcome America. Next comes qFLIX, a festival of groundbreaking homegrown and international films. And later in the month, the Democratic National Convention (DNC), welcomes the largest-ever group of LGBT convention delegates to Philadelphia, which coincides with dedication ceremonies for two historical markers honoring LGBT pioneers and Equality Forum, the nation’s oldest LGBT rights summit.
Five Fireworks Shows Add Up To A Blockbuster Fourth Of July Weekend In Philadelphia
There’s a mega dose of Fourth of July flash and fun this year in Philadelphia thanks to five major fireworks shows taking place over the long holiday weekend, July 1-4. The three Wawa Welcome America! shows will be bigger—and earlier—than last year and all will take place after free concerts. Add in two pyrotechnic displays following Phillies baseball games for glittering and glowing Philadelphia skies all weekend long.
To join in the patriotic festivities, visitors can go to visitphilly.com/hotels to book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which includes free parking.
Here’s a look at five fantastic shows:
Memorial Day Weekend Breaks Records For Center City Hotels
Center City hotels were full this Memorial Day weekend with both Saturday and Sunday seeing the highest occupancies for those nights in at least a decade.
Overall Weekend Hotel Occupancy:
- Friday: 82.8% (+5% from 2015 when occupancy was at 78.5%, source: Smith Travel Research)
- Saturday: 98.0% (+1.4% from 2015 when occupancy was at 96%, source: Smith Travel)
- Sunday 93.4% (+21.1% from 2015 when occupancy was at 77%, source: Travel Click 2016)
“Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer tourism season, and what a great one it was for Philadelphia thanks to so many factors in Historic Philadelphia and...
Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly
There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beer is king. In past years, the city earned countless awards and glowing reviews for its outdoor drinking spaces. This year, these warm-weather venues are back—better, bigger and more numerous than ever. Among the most attention-grabbing: Spruce Street Harbor Park, a bustling oasis celebrating its third year on the Delaware River, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Gardens, located in two different spots this year, and the highly anticipated SkyGarten, an alfresco German beer hall 51 stories up.
New Reasons To Visit Historic Philadelphia This Summer
Philadelphia’s historic district—now called Historic Philadelphia—simmers with summer excitement as the city’s oldest neighborhood debuts new activities and exhibitions. Visitors launch their very own presidential campaigns in Headed to the White House at the National Constitution Center, and the Independence Seaport Museum mischievously observes sailors’ lives from the 20th century through today. Along popular Penn’s Landing, outdoor hangouts Summerfest and Spruce Street Harbor Park promise more fun than ever, and Fourth of July bash Wawa Welcome America injects fresh components to a good old-fashioned block party.
A two-day Historic Philadelphia Pass makes the must-dos even easier—and more affordable. The pass,...