The recent opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, art-centric and community-minded programming and an integrated marketing campaign are the highlights of year two of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®’s efforts to promote Philadelphia’s Historic District, a vibrant neighborhood that attracts approximately four million visitors annually.
Philadelphia’s Historic District—the original city in the 17th and 18th century—extends from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. Home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell new and long-established museums, historic houses and interactive storytelling benches, the District is also where America’s founding generation ate, drank, shopped, danced, created art, made merry and made history—traditions that modern locals and visitors continue to partake in today.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA will continue to use its powerful branding, advertising, public relations, websites (visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com) and social media channels to increase visitation in and around the Historic District and to get people to see and do more while they’re here. New this year: Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition, a discounted museum pass and four district-wide celebrations (one per season beginning this summer).
Here’s a look at how VISIT PHILADELPHIA will move people throughout the Historic District in 2017:
Programs, Events & Happenings:
In addition to the brand-new Museum of the American Revolution, visitors are invited to explore new and enhanced events and programming as well:
- Enhanced Programming: Historic Philadelphia, Inc. will continue its schedule of enhanced programming in summer 2017 to help bring history to life throughout Independence National Historical Park. They’ll add new stories to the repertoire at 13 storytelling benches; put on its popular puppet show; and host colonial crafting and gaming, meet-and-greets with History Makers and other activities.
- Revolutionary Art Exhibit: Curated by Conrad Benner, founder and author of photo blog streetsdept.com, Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition features 13 works at 13 sites throughout the Historic District. When conceptualizing their works, local artists, including Kid Hazo, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Shawn Theodore and Yasmine Mustafa and Monica O, are being asked to consider what the Revolution means to them. The free exhibit will be on display indoors and outdoors from May 24 through July 4.
- District-wide Celebrations: VISIT PHILADELPHIA will host four district-wide celebrations throughout the year to engage visitors and show off the area’s plentiful offerings. First up: the Historic District Block Party on July 3. Part of Wawa Welcome America!, the event features live performances, games and food and retail vendors. Additional celebrations will follow in fall, winter and spring. Dates to be determined.
Maps, Guides & Passes:
- Printed Maps & Guides: The Historic District will once again be featured in 225,000 copies of the Where magazine map distributed at 48 hotels, the Independence Visitor Center (IVC) and attractions in 2017. The special 10-panel section features a new illustrative map that visitors can use to plan their days and nights, along with itineraries for first-time visitors, American Revolution buffs and families.
- Historic District Passes: There will be two discounted passes available for the 2017 season. The Historic District Pass gives purchasers one-time admission to the National Constitution Center, Betsy Ross House and Christ Church Burial Ground, along with two days of rides on the PHLASH Downtown Loop. The pass is $18 for adults ($13 savings) and $13 for children ($10 savings). The Museum Edition Pass—new this year—includes admission to the National Museum of American Jewish History, African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia History Museum. The pass is $23 for adults (a $13 savings) and $17 for children (a $10 savings). Both passes are on sale at the Independence Visitor Center or at visitphilly.com/historic through December 30, 2017.
- Advertising: The campaign sports a new look this year, featuring creative that juxtaposes what people know about the Historic District (Liberty Bell, cobblestone streets) with what they may not know (great dining, beer gardens). The media buy has expanded as well, extending beyond the local market to include outdoor advertising in Northern New Jersey and New York. Creative is running on outdoor, online, video and print placements.
- Public Relations: VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s media relations team is using the new Museum of the American Revolution as a hook to pitch the media on many of the Historic District’s revolutionary stories: shopping, dining, drinking and more. In addition, the team will host press events and invite journalists to experience the area on individual and group press trips throughout the year.
- visitphilly.com & uwishunu.com: The mobile-friendly sites, which together welcomed 20 million visits in 2016, will update and enhance its vast Historic District content. New this year: panoramic, 360-degree photos and video of more than a dozen sites in the district. The video is even viewable in virtual reality.
- Social Media: Nine Visit Philly channels (with one million fans and followers) will distribute original and user-generated history-themed content and engage with fans in all Historic District neighborhoods through organic and paid measures.
Philadelphia’s Historic District campaign, from VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, showcases the city’s incomparable place in early American history and the still vibrant neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront. The campaign celebrates America’s most historic square mile in the country’s first World Heritage City, as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, the initiative runs through September 2018.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors can engage with costumed history makers, hear stories of the real people of independence and take part in colonial reenactments. And every day of the year, they can tour, shop, dine and drink in the area just like the founding fathers and mothers once did. For more information about all there is to see and do in Philadelphia’s Historic District, go to visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com.