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.
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,...
Celebrate A Red, White And Blue July 4th In Philadelphia
Birthdays deserve big celebrations—and nobody will celebrate America’s 240th better than Philadelphia, the city where it all began. June 27 through July 4, 2016, Wawa Welcome America! will rock the town with red, white and blue festivities that culminate in a four-day weekend of free concerts featuring Tony-nominated Leslie Odom, Jr. of Broadway’s monster hit Hamilton, Bryshere Gray, also known as Yazz, of TV’s blockbuster Empire and myriad more stars of all stripes. The eight-day celebration also includes three dazzling fireworks shows, the Historic Philadelphia Block Party, parades, patriotic ceremonies, not to mention chance encounters with our Founding Fathers...
Resources For Your DNC Philadelphia Stories
VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, the region’s official destination marketing organization, has created destination resources for media to use up to and through the Democratic National Convention, taking place in Philadelphia July 25-28, 2016. All available on the new visitphilly.com/dncpress, the tools can help press develop compelling destination stories; discover the best locations for man-on-the-street coverage, stand-up video shots and photos; and identify interesting interview subjects.
- Interview Database: VISIT PHILADELPHIA built a database of potential interview subjects—people who can speak about the city’s history, art, food scene, LGBT culture, music legacy, tourism and more.
- Press Releases & Story
Media Guide: DNC Destination Resource
For a PDF version of this DNC Destination Media Guide, click here.
WELCOME TO PHILADELPHIA!
Dear Media Friend,
Welcome to the birthplace of America!
We know you have many stories to file, and we hope this guide will help you cover and enjoy the destination itself. In this small but information-packed piece, we give you the scoop on:
- Our city’s layout and how to get around
- Must-dos for first-timers—and everyone
- Sensational backdrops for your live shots
- Ideas for where to take that morning run
Perhaps most importantly, we provide you with a list of people to contact if you...
A Tale Of Two Host Cities: Philadelphia And Cleveland Put On 2016 Political Conventions
While presidential candidates are going head-to-head in heated discourse, the great American cities of Philadelphia and Cleveland are pushing political banter aside to ready themselves for the national spotlight as they host the Democratic National Convention (July 25-28) and Republican National Convention (July 18-21), respectively. Cleveland’s last political convention was the 1936 RNC; that same year, Philadelphia welcomed the DNC. The cities will be part of history again in 2016.
Both destinations have a loyal fan base; residents love their respective city’s arts and culture, history, music and food, and visitors clamor over much of the same. Here’s a look...
Philadelphia's Vast Collection Of Historical Government Artifacts Wins Over Political Junkies
Between the festive nominating sessions, motivating speeches and nighttime celebrations, delegates, party operatives, campaign staffers and volunteers for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, July 25-28, can discover items that document the history of politics and government in this country. As the birthplace of the nation and the country’s first and only World Heritage City, Philadelphia is home to institutions that work political artifacts into their missions and others that are planning special exhibitions especially for this occasion.
- PoliticalFest brings political entertainment to the people—right in the birthplace of American democracy. Special performances, games and displays
Philadelphia Prepares For The DNC With Special Exhibits, Events & Even A Burger
Philadelphia, the country’s first World Heritage City, is all in for the Democratic National Convention, and museums and attractions around the city are getting in the red, white and blue spirit with political-themed events, exhibitions and specials. As convention delegates head to the Wells Fargo Center to cast their votes for a nominee, here are eight ways locals and visitors can cast their votes for fun:
1. The National Constitution Center’s timely Headed to the White House gives people the scoop on the electoral process, from the moment a candidate announces his/her campaign to the presidential