How to Join the Political Party in Philadelphia


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One of many donkey sculptures that will be displayed throughout the city.

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Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The Democratic National Convention, where the official candidates for president and vice president are confirmed, will be held in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28 at the Wells Fargo Center. Though the city was host to the Republican National Convention in 2000, there hasn’t been a Democratic convention in Philadelphia since 1948.

Between 30,000 and 50,000 people are expectedn for the event, according to D.N.C. spokeswoman Morgan Finkelstein, and while access to the Wells Fargo Center to see the convention live is limited to the voting delegates and media, the general public can still get a flavor of the political action.

“There are multiple ways for people to get into the convention spirit without going to the convention itself,” said the Reverend Leah D. Daughtry, the chief executive of the Democratic National Convention.

Daily Caucuses

From July 25 to 28, the Democratic Party will hold caucus meetings at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for its 15 different caucuses, including the military caucus and the L.G.B.T. caucus; they will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. These meetings, where party officials, policy experts and celebrities speak on issues relevant to the caucus can accommodate, depending on the caucus, between several hundred and 6,000 people and are open to the public, said Ms. Daughtry. “The caucuses are great people=watching spots and are where the public can learn more on what the Democrats are about,” she said.

The schedule for the caucuses will be posted on the D.N.C. site a week or so before the convention.

Where to Watch

The Host Committee for the convention is working with local bars, restaurants, and venues that have TVs to hold watch parties each night of the convention, especially the final night, Thursday, July 28, when the Democratic candidate for president will formally accept the nomination. “We expect that several dozen of these parties will be happening every night,” said Anna Adams-Sarthou, the communications director for the Host Committee.

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A view of Philadelphia, where the Democratic National Convention will be held on Monday.

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Matt Roth for The New York Times

Visitors can find a lineup of the parties at www.visitphilly.com/dnc, a site that the city’s tourism bureau has created for the convention.

Convention Related Events and Exhibits

PoliticalFest is a non-partisan festival running from July 22 to 27 that celebrates political history. It’s a ticketed event that’s appropriate for all ages and comprised of seven locations around town, each focused on a specific theme related to American politics, government and history and featuring various exhibitions and attractions.

At the Pennsylvania Convention Center location, for example, the theme is Politics and You!, and the exhibit will have interactive experiences such as an Air Force One fuselage, an Oval Office replica and games for children in an area called Future Leaders Zone.

There will be a dedicated bus loop serviced by Philly PHLASH connecting all seven venues, and ticketholders will be able to use the bus to travel between locations. Tickets for the festival include the bus service and are $15 for adults and $5 for children 18 years of age and under, college students and senior citizens who are 65 or older. Admission is free for veterans and credentialed convention attendees. One ticket is valid throughout the convention.

Philly Feast is a food truck festival to kick off the convention week; it will take place on July 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Third and Arch Streets in the Old City. Between 30 and 40 trucks are expected to participate in the festival, which will also feature live music from local bands.

Center City District Sips: Center City District Sips is a happy hour in the city’s central business district held every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. from June 1 through Sept. 28. Michelle Shannon, spokeswoman for the event, says that more than 80 bars participate by offering $5 cocktails, $4 wines, $3 beers and appetizers at a 50 percent discount. On Wednesday, July 27, visitors in town for the convention are encouraged to partake in this more than decade old-Philadelphia tradition. “You see throngs of people going from bar to bar and enjoying drinks alfresco and can feel the pulse of the city,” Ms. Shannon said.

Donkeys Around Town is an installation of 57 fiberglass donkeys, each painted by a local artist and depicting an image of one the 50 states, five U.S. territories, Washington, D.C., or Democrats Abroad. The donkeys will be on display from July 1 to Sept. 5 in public areas throughout center city.

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