In The News

Convention Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Community Fest


Published: Jun 18, 2018

Free family fun, film, art tours and games are planned for Saturday, June 30 Open House

PHILADELPHIA (June 18) - The Pennsylvania Convention Center is celebrating its 25th Anniversary by opening its doors to the public for a free community festival and self-guided art tours on Saturday, June 30th as part of Wawa Welcome America.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center Community Festival will offer free musical performances, music, fitness, family games, the Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels and a petting zoo, art tours, and food concessions. The festival is scheduled from 12 noon to 5 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. public screening of the family film "Sing."

"The Center's Community Festival offers an opportunity for us to open our doors and to showcase our facility to the public who helped finance the construction of the Center," said Gregory J. Fox, Esq., chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority's Board of Directors. "We want people to have the opportunity to come in and see our wonderful art collection and to enjoy themselves with their family and friends, free of charge."

Fox said many people do not realize the importance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center to the region's economy, bringing visitors from around the country and the world to the city to attend trade shows, meetings, and conventions. The spending by those visitors helps employ more than 73,300 people in the regional hospitality industry, including staff at hotels, restaurants, cultural attractions, and more. Since the Center opened 25 years ago - in partnership with the first Welcome America festival - the facility has hosted more than 7,100 events that attracted 27 million people and generated over $13.3 billion in economic impact.

Elements of the Center's Community Festival will include:

  • Self-guided public tours of the Center's $1.5 million West Wing Art Collection
  • Educational programs by the Philadelphia Zoo's "Zoo on Wheels" featuring live animals
  • The special screening of "Sing," at 5 p.m. as part of Philly @ The Movies
  • Musical entertainment including DJ Cincere, High Street Harmonix, and the Avalon String Band
  • Double Dutch Competition
  • Acro Dunk Team
  • Fitness for kids and Zumba with Sonia Maldonado 
  • Stilt walkers, magicians, face painting, balloon art and much more! 

 

Guests attending the West Wing Art Collection tours should enter the Convention Center on Broad Street north of Arch Street with doors opening at 11:45 a.m. and doors closing at 4:30 p.m. The Community Festival entrance is the northeast corner of 12th and Arch Streets with doors opening at 11:45 a.m. with the event concluding by 4:45 p.m. to welcome one and all to [email protected] the Movies in the Center's Michael A. Nutter Theatre.  

In addition to performers, the Center's annual customers such as Pink Invitational: Unite for Her; the Philadelphia Marathon; and the African American History & Culture Showcase will offer displays and information.

"Each year, we have received an extraordinary level of customer service from the team at the Convention Center during our annual history showcase," said Everett Staten, founder of the Showcase.  "We look forward to participating in this special day and wish the PCC team continued success in the future."

Guests in Center City on June 30 also are invited to "Make it a Day" with family and friends by visiting several Welcome America activities within the Convention Center District. Reading Terminal Market will host The Philly Ice Cream Scoop, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., near 12th and Filbert Streets. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts will open for its first-ever Free Museum Day with Welcome America, scheduled 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at 128 N. Broad St.

Aramark Culinary Services and Elliott-Lewis Corp. are partnering with the Convention Center as sponsors of the Community Festival. Information about the PCC Community Festival can be found at www.paconvention.com/festival.

This year's Welcome America theme is "Celebrating the World with Love." A festival schedule and details of 50 FREE events can be found at WelcomeAmerica.com.  Festival brochures are at Wawa stores in six states - PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA and FL. Downloadable festival guides are available at WelcomeAmerica.com and NBCPhiladelphia.com. Festival guides in Spanish can be found at both WelcomeAmerica.com and Telemundo62.com. Wawa Welcome America offers exclusive hotel packages and official perks at WelcomeAmerica.com through partners Sonesta Philadelphia and the Loews Philadelphia Hotel that include up front tickets for the July 4th Concert and Fireworks starring musician Pitbull. A comprehensive travel resource for planning a trip is VisitPhilly.com.