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Contact: Tiffany Weber, 215-837-2239
Contact: Jane Cowley, 215-597-0060
PHILADELPHIA, May 20, 2015 – The Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) is gearing up for another eventful Memorial Day Weekend and the beginning of Philadelphia's vibrant summer tourist season by supporting a wealth of programming in and around Independence National Historical Park.
EXTENDED HOURS & FREE ADMISSION:
The Independence Visitor Center will be open daily until 7:00 p.m. starting Friday, May 22 through Labor Day. The Benjamin Franklin Museum, Independence Hall and Liberty Bell Center will be open daily until 7:00 p.m. starting Saturday, May 23 also through Labor Day. Admission to see the Liberty Bell is free and does not require a ticket. Free timed-tickets to tour Independence Hall are required 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and must be picked up at the Independence Visitor Center. Tickets are not required to tour Independence Hall from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the Benjamin Franklin Museum are available at the door and must be purchased on the day of your visit.
The National Constitution Center will have free admission on Monday, May 25, courtesy of the John Templeton Foundation.Originally known as Decoration Day, an occasion to honor soldiers who gave their lives during the American Civil War, the Memorial Day civic holiday now honors all members of the military who have given their lives in defense of the Constitution and its legacy of freedom. During Memorial Day Weekend, the National Constitution Center will pay tribute to those brave men and women by exploring how Americans today honor our military heroes. Enjoy family-fun activities like make-and-take projects and eighteenth century games, and write your own letters of gratitude to members of the military with Thank-A-Vet postcards.
The Independence Visitor Center, National Park Service, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. and National Constitution Center will celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with the following special programming:
Independence Visitor Center Events
- Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Bench (one of 10!)
May 23–25, daily 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Colonial tales come to life at the Storytelling Bench located inside the Visitor Center. Begin the journey here then visit all 10 benches throughout the historic district. FREE
Historic Philadelphia, Inc. Events
- Memorial Day Celebration at Franklin Square
Franklin Square, May 23 – 25, daily 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Friday & Saturday until 10:00 p.m.
Welcome summer with the Franklin Square attractions, Memorial Day fun and the return of the Lightning Bolt Express Train (ticket purchase required). Trains run 12:00– 3:00 p.m.
- Flag-Raising at the Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross House, May 23 – 25, daily at 10:00 a.m.
Start your day in the charming Betsy Ross House courtyard with Betsy Ross and one of her Colonial friends, raising the thirteen-star flag with pomp and circumstance. FREE
- Military Muster
Signers Garden, May 23 – 25, twice daily at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
The marching drum is a sure sign: the Continental Army is looking for a few good kids for drills in the art of marching and musket etiquette. FREE
- Declaration Reading
Behind Independence Hall, May 23 – 25,daily at 3:45 p.m.
Greet the History Makers and hear moving readings from the Declaration of Independence. FREE
- Meet Ben Franklin
Historic Philadelphia Center, May 23 – 25, daily12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
New this summer, come face-to-face with Philadelphia's favorite "electrifying" Founding Father – only at the Historic Philadelphia Center. Learn about Dr. Franklin's trail blazing experiments with electricity, interact with a collection of his revolutionary inventions, and listen as he shares captivating tales from his life as a statesman, inventor, and diplomat. FREE
- Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches
Various Locations, May 23 – 25, daily, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Specially-trained, uniformed storytellers delight and entertain with free, short 5-minute stories while sharing the secrets of Philadelphia's and America's history.Children can pick up a Story Flag at any storytelling bench, then collect a star from every storyteller on their journey. Flags with all the stars can be redeemed for a History Hero Certificate and a free carousel ride on the Parx Liberty Carousel. FREE
National Constitution Center Special Exhibitions & Events
- Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights
Through 2017, a new exhibition displays one of 12 original, surviving copies of the Bill of Rights. The National Constitution Center is proud to be the first institution in Pennsylvania to exhibit this historic document to the general public, displayed along side a first edition Stone Engraving of the Declaration of Independence and a rare copy of the first public printing of the U.S.Constitution in the brand new George H.W. Bush Gallery. The copy of the Bill of Rights will be shared with the New York Public Library for the next 100 years.
- Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe
Open through September 7, 2015, this stunning traveling exhibition from the Newseum showcases more than 70 intimate photographs and iconic images of President John F.Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John Jr. — photos that helped create the legend of the Kennedy presidency known as "Camelot."
National Park Service Events
- Meet the Patriots
New Hall Military Museum, May 23 and 24, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Visit New Hall Military Museum and hear about what life was like for those supporting the American cause. On Saturday (5/23) a member of the militia will share his experience during the battles of Lexington and Concord; and on Sunday (5/24) "Molly Pitcher" will disclose how she took up arms against the British. Learn about the real woman, Margaret Corbin, the first female veteran to collect her pension, who manned the guns and fought the battles along side the men of Revolution. FREE
- Remembering our Veterans Through Music
Independence Visitor Center, May 24, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Join us for a concert of music from the Revolutionary War and Civil War Eras. FREE
- Honoring the Fallen: Heroism and Sacrifice During the American Revolution
Signers Garden, May 25, 2:00 – 2:45 p.m.
Join a park ranger for a special walking tour to learn about Philadelphia during the War for Independence and reflect on the sacrifices of those who fought at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution. FREE
HOW TO GET THERE?
The Philly PHLASH Downtown Bus Loop is currently running daily through Labor Day from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PHLASH is the quick, easy and inexpensive connection to key Philadelphia attractions and cultural institutions. Hop on at any of its 22 stops every 15 minutes for just $2 per ride or $5 all-day. Purchase tickets on board (exact change only) or at any Visitor Center location. For more information about the PHLASH, visit www.PhillyPHLASH.com. Find PHLASH on-the-go with live updates on your mobile device at RidePhillyPHLASH.com.
WHERE TO EAT?
Independence Mall Café, located on Independence Mall across the lawn from the Visitor Center on 5th Street between Market and Arch Streets, is open from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Independence Mall Cafe is the ideal setting to take in views of Independence Hall and Philadelphia's historic district. Choose from an assortment of café items paired with one of our hand-crafted beers or savory wines. For more information, visit www.IndeMallCafe.com.
TheIndependence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) is a Pennsylvania non-profit,501(c)3 organization which operates in cooperation with the efforts of the National Park Service, Visit Philadelphia™, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Independence Visitor Center is Independence National Historical Park's and the region's welcome center for people from all over the nation and the world offering visitor amenities including trip planning service, easy onsite ticketing for area attractions, multilingual concierge staff, comprehensive daily listing of area events, attraction displays and regional maps, free, informative historical and orientation films, free wireless Internet access and much more. Follow@PHLVisitorCntr, the Visitor Center's virtual concierge service on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. For more information about the Independence Visitor Center, visit www.PHLvisitorcenter.com.
A unit of the National Park Service, Independence National Historical Park was created by an Act of Congress on June 28,1948. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Independence NHP covers almost 54 acres in Philadelphia's Old City, and includes Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall, Franklin Court, and other historic buildings associated with the founding of the United States. The park is open from 9:00 am daily with the exception of Christmas day. A visit to Independence National Historical Park should start at the Independence Visitor Center, located at 6th and Market Streets. Here, visitors can pick up a park brochure, park map, and the free,timed tickets required for Independence Hall. For more information visit the park's website, https://www.nps.gov/indeo rfollow us at twitter.com/independencenhp.
The National Constitution Center is the only institution in America where people of all perspectives across the U.S.and around the globe can learn about, debate, and celebrate the U.S. Constitution. As the Museum of We the People, the National Constitution Center brings the United States Constitution to life for visitors of all ages and inspires active citizenship by celebrating the American constitutional tradition. The museum features interactive exhibitions, engaging theatrical performances, and original documents of freedom. As the only institution established by Congress to "disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis,"the National Constitution Center serves as a Headquarters for Civic Education—offering cutting-edge learning resources including the premier online Interactive Constitution. As America's Town Hall, the National Constitution Center hosts timely constitutional conversations uniting distinguished leaders, scholars, authors, and journalists from across the political spectrum. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.
Historic Philadelphia,Inc.'s programs include the BetsyRossHouse, Once Upon A Nation storytelling and immersive walking tours, Franklin Square, and Liberty360 3D Show in the PECO Theater. For all Historic Philadelphia, Inc. event information, call 215-629-4026,877-462-1776, or visit www.historicphiladelphia.org to buy tickets online. Tickets available in person at the Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets. Follow HPI at twitter.com/HistoricPhilly and twitter.com/FranklinSqr, on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/HistoricPhila or http://on.fb.me/FranklinSquare, or on Instagram instagram.com/historicphilly.
The Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop seasonal transit program is managed by the Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC). PHLASH vehicle service is provided by Krapf's Coaches. For more information about the PHLASH, visit www.phillyPHLASH.com. For information about the IVCC, visit www.PHLvisitorcenter.com.
Independence Mall Café, located in the heart of Independence National Historical Park, is a seasonal outdoor café managed by the Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) and operated by Brûleé Catering. The menu features a full-line of fresh café items including specialty salads, sandwiches and small bites. Independence Mall Café offers a selection of hand-crafted beers and savory wines. Visit www.IndeMallCafe.com for more information.