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Published on : Saturday, December 19, 2015
Recently named the first World Heritage City in the United States, Philadelphia looks forward to an action-packed 2016 filled with attraction openings and expansions, only-in-Philly events and don’t-miss exhibitions—all happenings that will complement the immensely walkable city’s buzzed-about dining scene, vibrant art offerings, plentiful parks and public spaces and history galore.
2016 is a year that will see Broad Street turned into a sprawling street festival for the return of the PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts) and roaring animatronic dinosaurs lumber into The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. On the anniversary front, the Philadelphia Flower Show will salute the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the AME Church will celebrate its 200th yearin the city where it was founded.Of course, all eyes will be on Philadelphia in July when Democrats nominate their candidate for president during the Democratic National Convention.
Here are 18 reasons to visit Philadelphia in ’16:
Openings & Expansions:
1. Even birds are envious of the views from atop the new One Liberty Observation Deck. An entertaining video plays as the elevator zips visitors up to the 57th floor of One Liberty Place, where wrap-around, floor-to-ceiling windows reveal panoramic views that spill beyond the city and well into the suburbs. Interactive kiosks zoom in on Philadelphia landmarks and exhibits offer interesting history, sports and art tidbits that help form the fabric of Philadelphia.
2. The Logan reveals a stunning new look for this famed hotel property. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway location is familiar to those who frequented the recently closed Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, which will reopen in a new location in 2018. The Logan’s roof-to-lobby renovation has transformed the space into a centerpiece of modern luxury with 391 rooms and suites and the stylish Commons Lounge that spills out onto a lush terrace. The farm-to-table Urban Farmer steakhouse features a made-from-scratch menu, while the new rooftop Assembly Lounge invites guests to linger over cocktails under the stars. Opened December 2015.
3. As luck would have it, SugarHouse Casino has undergone a massive expansion. The waterfront gaming house will unveil a new flexible entertainment space, 44 additional table games, 289 new slot machines and a 28-table poker room. On the culinary front, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House, the first of several new dining establishments, will treat guests to elegant white-tablecloth service or a quick bite at the handsome bar.
4. When the doors to Taller Puertorriqueño’s El Coraz?n Cultural Center swing open, visitors will discover the largest Puerto Rican/Latino-based arts and cultural facility in the state of Pennsylvania. Ten years in the making, the 25,000-square-foot centerpiece of El Centro de Oro neighborhood will house a multipurpose 200-seat theater, exhibition and gallery spaces, education facilities, an enclosed playground, gift shop and cafe.
Events & Festivals:
5. The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show salutes America’s natural treasures and those charged with preserving and protecting our majestic landscapes with the theme Explore America: 100 Years of the National Park Service. Eagerly anticipated as a harbinger of spring, the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show transforms the Pennsylvania Convention Center into a visual fantasyland with over-the-top floral and panoramic designs and 180 vendors. March 5-13, 2016.
6. The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2016, and the festivities will take place in Philadelphia, where the church was founded. Bicentennial events include a major gospel concert; a social justice forum; a tribute to Sarah Allen, the church’s founding mother; and an ecumenical worship service. In July, congregants head to Philly for the AME general conference—complete with an unveiling of the Bishop Richard Allen Memorial Courtyard and a new mural dedication. Bicentennial events, April 7-10, July 3-5, 2016; conference, July 6-13, 2016.
7. A large-scale fire-and-sand performance, a circus built on a foundation of yarn, a traveling symphony performed in water fountains and a sprawling street fair on Broad Street can only mean one thing: the return of PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts). With 60 performances embodying the curatorial vision We Are What We Make, PIFA weaves together a variety of art forms and genres by local and international artists in an arts extravaganza.
8. Happy 10th birthday, Franklin Square. Historic Philadelphia, Inc. is celebrating the milestone of its revamped park with the Chinese Lantern Festival. For two months in spring, the park glow with giant flowers, a three-story pagoda and a 200-foot Chinese dragon, all brilliantly lit and constructed by lantern artisans from China. The festivities include performances, hands-on activities and cultural exhibits. Other anniversary events are scheduled throughout the year. A
9. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) will enliven a much-discussed abandoned elevated rail line during the PHS Pop Up Garden at the Rail Park, thanks to a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. While Philadelphians patiently wait for the three-mile Reading Viaduct Rail Park to transform into an aboveground public space (think High Line, but less manicured), installations and activations will highlight the site’s history. It will culminate with the PHS’ popular Pop Up Garden, complete with landscaping, food, beer and programs inspired by the location. Spring-fall 2016. Exact location TBD.
10. Score one for Philadelphia. For the first time in its 100-year history, the Copa America soccer tournament will be played outside of South America, and the City of Brotherly Love is one of the country’s 10 host cities. Top teams from North, Central and South America will compete in the Copa America Centenario at Lincoln Financial Field.
11. Next summer, Philadelphia will take the international spotlight (again) as delegates, elected officials and citizens from around the nation gather for the Democratic National Convention, when the Democratic Party selects its nominee for president of the United States. Whether it’s Hillary, Bernie or a surprise, the birthplace of American democracy will be abuzz with special events and activities throughout the city leading up to and during the four-day event. July 25-28, 2016.
Source:- Tourism Philadelphia