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Tips for Papal Pilgrims in Philadelphia

- Hye Sung

The World Meeting of Families will commence tomorrow in Philadelphia, and things in Philadelphia are about to get really wild. Why is that exactly? Well, on the 26th and 27th, Pope Francis will be in town. This much-loved Pope has been an outspoken critic of materialism, even among Church leadership, and has stood up for those oppressed in society, such as the homeless and single mothers. Hundreds of thousands are about to flock to Philadelphia to celebrate mass with the Pope and hear him speak. I thought it could be helpful if I gave some tips to those pilgrims and sojourners.

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    Be aware that traveling by car will be difficult.
     Many highways as well as the Ben Franklin Bridge will be closed even before the papal visit. The Ben Franklin Parkway is already closed in preparation for the upcoming festivities. http://6abc.com/religion/major-highways-to-close-later-this-week-for-papal-visit/904413/
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    The Festival of Families, the event that is closing down the Ben Franklin Parkway, is a huuuuuuge party. And it’s free. 
    There will be plenty of entertainment, such as Mark Wahlberg, Aretha Franklin, The Fray, Marie Miller, Jim Gaffigan,Jackie Evancho, Sister Sledge, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, Matt Maher, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Eclectic, huh?
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    Many tourist attractions will be closed. 
    But that’s not why you’re visiting right? If you do happen to have some free time, check this website first to see if your destination of choice is even open. http://www.visitphilly.com/popes-visit-world-meeting-of-families-2015/#whatsopenedclosed
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    The Il Papa pie from Pizzeria Vetri has been selling all September long, and is a must eat.
    During your voice, make it a point to get some good East Coast pizza from Pizzeria Vetri while honoring the Pope, eating his delicious namesake. Listen to these toppings: Black Mission figs, mozzarella, lardo and Pecorino Toscano, oregano and fresh basil. Is your mouth watering yet?
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    Also, there’s a film festival. As part of the World Meeting of Families, there will be a film festival that is both Philadelphia-oriented and family-friendly. From the Tuesday to Friday, adults can pay $10 and children $5 to watch a film at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. You can already buy tickets online! http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/about-the-event/world-meeting-of-families-film-festival-2/

Now of course, there will be plenty more to do and more tips to be had, but these are what we consider the essential. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy what will surely be a historical moment.

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