What You Need to Know for the #DNC

If you haven’t seen it yet, also check out Things To Do During DNC (Even if You aren’t Credentialed).

The information below was provided by the Philadelphia Host Committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC).

The DNC Host Committee wants to ensure that the public has as much information as possible about all the fun things to do around town during the DNC, as well as logistical information on what to expect during Convention Week. Here’s what you need to know:

Photo by Bruce Benjamin

Photo by Bruce Benjamin


When is the convention? When do we expect convention attendees to arrive and leave?
The Democratic National Convention begins Monday, July 25, and ends Thursday evening, July 28. Attendees will arrive as soon as Friday, July 22, and leave by Friday, July 29.

Where does the convention take place?
The convention takes place at the Wells Fargo Center in the evening hours, typically from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be smaller caucus and council meetings during work hours at the Pennsylvania Convention Center as well.

How many people are coming to Philadelphia for the convention?
The city expects approximately 50,000 convention participants, including delegates, media and other attendees.

During the DNC, are there any changes to trash and recycling pickup, court hours, jury duty, city employee work schedules or any municipal services?
At this time, all city services are expected to operate as scheduled. If that changes, the information will be available on the city’s DNC webpage.

Will police and fire services be affected due to re-assignment of first responders?
Philadelphia Police, Philadelphia Fire and EMS services will not be impacted by the DNC.

Will highways or streets be closed during the DNC?
There will be traffic restrictions around the sports complex. At this time, we do not anticipate extended road or highway closures in Center City and other areas outside of the Stadium District. There may be rolling closures due to dignitary movements or protests. Before you leave the house, we encourage you to check the the city’s convention webpage and to check @PhiladelphiaGov for any traffic news.

How can the public be aware if large demonstrations are going to affect them?
Planned permitted demonstrations that impact traffic or require road closures will be included on the city website road closure page, and updates provided via social media. For more information, visit the city’s convention webpage and also follow @PhiladelphiaGov. Demonstrations that deviate from the planned route or do not have a permit will be updated via social media. Follow @PhillyPolice and @PhiladelphiaGov.

Will any SEPTA routes change during the DNC?
Additional service along the Broad Street Line (BSL) will be added during the convention. Travelers should expect crowds on public transit similar to sporting events when convention programming begins and ends. While the convention’s full schedule has not yet been released, historically sessions have begun at 5 p.m. and concluded at 11 p.m.

Transit riders can sign up for SEPTA alerts regarding system delays and service disruptions through the city’s mass notification system, ReadyPhiladelphia. SEPTA also offers information through its website and on Twitter.

Will there be special parking or towing restrictions?
There will be some parking or towing restrictions, though we do not expect them to be nearly as extensive as they were during last year’s papal visit. Before the weekend of July 23, and throughout the week of the DNC, please be sure to check the street signs near where you normally park each day to ensure there are no temporary parking restrictions.

Will the city allow camping?
Because of the resources needed to manage the convention, no permits will be issued for camping.

Will it be difficult to go out during the convention? Will restaurants have available seating?
Because the convention historically takes place from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. each evening, Center City and other area dining destinations should have open tables, especially during dinner hours, should you want to take advantage of them.

Can I get into the Wells Fargo Center if I am not a credentialed media member or delegate? Can anyone attend the convention?
Only those who are credentialed have access inside the Wells Fargo Center, which include media, delegates, politicians and volunteers. However, the smaller councils and caucus meetings which take place during the day at the Pennsylvania Convention Center are open to the public.

How can I participate in the DNC?
There are a number of fun convention-related events happening around town for the public, even if you’re not interested in politics. For more information and a list of events, go to the 2016 Philadelphia Host Committee website.

What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
We encourage you to first go to the city’s DNC webpage . If your questions aren’t answered there, you can always call 311 for non-emergencies. The week of the convention, 311 will have extended hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

You Don’t Want to Miss the Fun Events Open to the Public During the DNC!
In an effort to encourage residents to stay in town and enjoy all that the convention has to offer, the Host Committee has organized a number of fun events open to the public, including:

  • Donkeys Around Town
    July 1 – September 9
    Philadelphia is showcasing 57 fiberglass donkeys throughout the city in publicly accessible locations. Each donkey is uniquely painted by a local artist to represent a Democratic delegation. Participate in the free app-based scavenger hunt from July 21 – 28 to win prizes, including a two-night stay in Philadelphia. Learn more about “Donkeys Around Town” at the Host Committee website. Share your experiences and follow the donkeys at #DonkeysAroundTown.
  • PoliticalFest
    July 22 – 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
    A one-of-a-kind festival for all ages celebrating political history, government and the road to the White House. Check out PoliticalFest for more details and to purchase tickets. (#PoliticalFest)
  • DNC Deals Program
    July 25 – 28
    Local restaurants, bars and stores across the area will offer deals on food, beverages and clothing for all to take advantage of during Convention Week. Search #DNCDeals for updates on all participating deals.
  • Philly Feast: United We Eat
    July 25, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 3rd and Arch Streets
    Visit Old City for a diverse line-up of locally based food trucks, live music and retail vendors. Philly Feast will bring together convention guests, volunteers and Philadelphia residents on the first day of the convention. For more information, go to Philly Feast or search #PhillyFeast.
  • Center City Sips
    July 27, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., various locations
    Philly’s biggest ever citywide happy hour. Begin your Sips experience at Dilworth Plaza, Comcast Plaza, or Commerce Square at 5 p.m., and continue your evening at other locations throughout the city. Learn more about City Sips and also check for updates by searching #CCDSips or #DNCDontMissThis.
  • Watch Parties
    Local bars, restaurants and venues with TVs throughout the city will hold watch parties as the Democratic candidate for president formally accepts the nomination. For where to watch and for any specials, visit the Host Committee website and also search #DNCDontMissThis.

Stay Up-to-Date on What’s Going on in Philadelphia During the Convention
For updates on all of the Host Committee’s activities, be sure to follow us on social media and use our hashtags:

Twitter: @PHLDNC2016
Facebook: Philadelphia 2016
Instagram: @phldnc2016
Blog: Philly DNC blog