What to Know
- No large-scale public events will be held in Philadelphia through February 2021.
- Philadelphia leaders made the announcement on an event moratorium on Tuesday. Included in the events that can't happen are festivals, parades, concerts, carnivals, fairs and flea markets.
- The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is turning to a virtual race to allow runners to run 10 miles on their own.
No Mummers marching up Broad Street on New Year's Day, no Thanksgiving Day parade and no marathon runners looping through the city this fall: Philadelphia has canceled all large-scale events into next year as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Philadelphia's Office of Special Events won't accept any permits for special events or public gatherings through Feb. 28, 2021, Mayor Jim Kenney said Tuesday.
Kenney and other city officials said large gatherings which often attract regional and nationwide audiences pose too much risk of COVID-19 transmission as the nation struggles to gain footing against the virus. Philadelphia has seen its transmission rate fall in recent weeks while other parts of the United States experience extreme spikes in infections.
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The city said the moratorium covers events of 50 or more people. Included in the prohibition are festivals, parades, concerts, carnivals, fairs and flea markets.
Large scale events planned in the coming months such as the rescheduled Blue Cross Broad Street Run in October, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, the races of Philadelphia Marathon weekend in November and the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day now can't happen in person.
The annual Made in America festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway over Labor Day weekend had already announced its cancellation due to uncertainty over COVID-19.
City leaders couldn't immediately say how many large-scale events will have to be canceled under the order. The event prohibition could be extended past February 2021 if needed, officials said.
Besides public events, permit applications for residential block parties won't be accepted until further notice and pending applications won't be reviewed, the city said.
Some gatherings were spared. First Amendment-protected meetings, family outdoor picnics or weddings with less than 50 guests, recreational sports for children or adults with 25 or less participants and events taking place on private properties.
The special event ban does not prohibit professional sporting events from taking place, but city officials said they will not be allowed to take place with fans in the stands.
"I do not think they could have spectators," City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said about football at Lincoln Financial Field. Tailgating around the Sports Complex will also not be allowed.
While in-person events are not allowed, you can expect some organizers to convert their annual traditions to virtual gatherings. Organizers of the Blue Cross Broad Street Run said Tuesday that the 10-mile race is going entirely virtual. The run typically attracts more than 40,000 runners.
Anyone already signed up for the 2020 race will get a tech shirt, finisher’s medal, guaranteed entry into the 2021 race with a 20% discount and other race gear like buffs, hand sanitizer and a printable bib.
Donations will also be made to a series of charities connected to the run.
A virtual Blue Cross Broad Street Run special featuring runners who take on 10 miles on their own time in September will air on NBC10 and Telemundo 62 on Oct. 4.