Event Permits Philadelphia

Philadelphia is host to many outdoor events on an annual basis. As you start the planning process, it is important to recognize that your event plays a unique part in the relationship with the community. A quality event can make a difference to the City of Philadelphia. EventPermits works with the City of Philadelphia and its partners, in planning safe and successful events that comply with city law.

Philadelphia Event Locations:

  • Citizens Bank Park
  • Wachovia Center
  • Lincoln Financial Field
  • Wachovia Spectrum
  • Chester Stadium
  • Liberty Bell
  • Center City
  • Villanova Stadium
  • The Gallery
  • South Street

Philadelphia contains many national historical sites that relate to the founding of the United States. Independence National Historical Park is the center of these historical landmarks. Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell are the city’s most famous attractions. Other historic sites include homes for Edgar Allan Poe, Betsy Ross, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko, early government buildings like the First and Second Banks of the United States, Fort Mifflin, and the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church National Historic Site.

Philadelphia’s major science museums include the Franklin Institute, which contains the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. History museums include the National Constitution Center, the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the state of Pennsylvania and The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania and Eastern State Penitentiary. Philadelphia is home to the United States’ first zoo and hospital.

Independence Hall
Independence Hall
Washington Square West neighborhood
Washington Square West neighborhood

Philadelphia’s economic sectors include manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, health care and biotechnology, tourism and financial services. According to a study prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Philadelphia and its surrounding region had the fourth highest GDP among American cities, with a total GDP of $312 billion in 2005. Only New York City ($1,133 billion), Los Angeles ($693 billion), and Chicago ($460 billion) had higher total economic output levels among American cities. Philadelphia ranked below Tokyo ($1,191 billion), Paris ($460 billion), London ($452 billion), Osaka-Kobe ($391 billion), Mexico City ($315 billion), and above Washington, D.C. ($299 billion).

The city is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and several Fortune 500 companies, including cable television and internet provider Comcast, insurance companies CIGNA and Lincoln Financial Group, energy company Sunoco, food services company Aramark, Crown Holdings Incorporated, chemical makers Rohm and Haas Company and FMC Corporation, pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing helicopters division, and automotive parts retailer Pep Boys. Early in the 20th Century, it was also home to the pioneering brass era automobile company Biddle.

Shopping options in Center City include The Gallery at Market East, The Shops at Liberty Place, Jewelers’ Row, Philadelphia, South Street, and a variety of standalone independent retailers. “Rittenhouse Row”, a four-block section of Walnut Street has higher-end clothing chain stores, Hipster-inspired clothing stores. The parallel streets of Sansom and Chestnut in this area have some high-end boutiques and clothing retailers. Old City has some emerging boutiques from local, as well as international merchandisers. The Reading Terminal Market includes dozens of take-out restaurants, specialty food vendors, and small grocery store operators, a few of which are operated by Amish farmers from nearby Lancaster County.

Philadelphia also has a few eclectic neighborhood shopping districts, usually consisting of a few blocks along a major neighborhood thoroughfare, such as in Manayunk or Chestnut Hill. The Italian Market in South Philadelphia offers groceries, meats, cheeses and housewares, historically from Italy, but now from many nationalities. Two famed cheesesteak restaurants, Geno’s and Pat’s, are located nearby.

There are several large shopping malls and strip malls in the region, including Franklin Mills in Northeast Philadelphia, and many in the suburbs, most notably King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, 19 miles from the heart of the city. The latter is the largest shopping mall on the US East Coast and the largest in the country in terms of leasable retail space.

Philadelphia’s professional sports teams date at least to the 1860 founding of baseball’s Athletics, which later moved to Oakland, California. The city is one of 13 U.S. cities to have all four major sports: the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League of Major League Baseball, and the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association.

The city’s professional teams went without a championship from 1983, when the 76ers won the NBA Championship, until 2008, when the Phillies won the World Series. In 2004, ESPN ranked Philadelphia second on its list of The Fifteen Most Tortured Sports Cities. The failure was sometimes attributed in jest to the “Curse of Billy Penn”.

Major-sport professional sports teams that originated in Philadelphia but ultimately moved to other cities include the Golden State Warriors basketball team and the Oakland A’s baseball team.

Philadelphia is home to professional, semi-professional and elite amateur teams in cricket and other sports. Major sporting events in the city include the Penn Relays, Stotesbury Cup, Philadelphia Marathon, Broad Street Run, Philadelphia International Championship bicycle race, and the Dad Vail Regatta.

Philadelphia is home to the Philadelphia Big 5, a group of five Division I college basketball programs: Big 5 are Saint Joseph’s University, University of Pennsylvania, La Salle University, Temple University, and Villanova University. The sixth NCAA Division I school in Philadelphia is Drexel University. At least one of the teams is competitive nearly every year and at least one team has made the NCAA tournament for the past four decades.

In February 2008, Philadelphia beat several other cities in competition for the 16th Major League Soccer franchise. They will enter the league in 2010 calling Chester Stadium their home (a soccer specific stadium) in Chester, PA.

Philadelphia is also home to The Arena, the birthplace of Extreme Championship Wrestling and current home to multiple wrestling and boxing promotions.

Philadelphia is also home to the American national rugby league (AMNRL) team the Philadelphia Fight who reached the grand final in the 1998 and 2000 seasons.

There will be a professional rugby league team in Philadelphia when the new National Rugby League USA competition starts in 2010.

Will I need a Permit?

If you are asking this question, the answer most likely is, yes!

If you are in doubt about whether or not your proposed activity is an Outdoor Special Event, and are unsure of what is required, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Even though my event is on private property, will some aspects of it spill onto the public space? (i.e. sidewalks, roads, city property or property owned by someone other than you)
  • Is there a remote chance that the safety of the participants and/or the residents of the City of Philadelphia may be affected if certain aspects of your event are not properly constructed, installed, or handled (i.e. food, electrical wiring, tents, stages, generators)
  • Does your event require any City of Philadelphia services? ( i.e. trash pick up, closing of streets, etc.)
  • Will I be erecting a stage, tent (10 x 10 or larger), bleachers, or booths?
  • Will I be vending? (food, beverages, merchandise)
  • Will I be selling/serving Alcohol? Will my event include advertising and/or product sampling?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you will need an event permit in the City of Philadelphia and EventPermits will facilitate all of your needs on your behalf.

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