The Democratic National Convention is set to bring the political heat to Philadelphia next week and, between and after all the speeches, rallies, photo ops and various media storms that will engulf the city July 25-28, Democrats are going to be networking, socializing, schmoozing and boozing.
The convention itself is being held at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia and is expected to draw roughly 50,000 attendees. While the main event is going to draw the lion’s share of attention, there is a sea of other events going on around the city coinciding with the convention.
The night before the whole shebang gets started, a few of the Gayborhood bars are getting in on the Democratic action.
Woody’s Bar, 202 S. 13th St., will host an #LGBTDNC Welcome Happy Hour, 3-6 p.m. July 24, with drink specials and food trucks set up on 13th Street outside of the bar. ICandy Nightclub, 254 S. 12th St., follows suit, hosting a Reception for LGBT Media Professionals, 6-8 p.m. July 24.
If you want to mingle with people from Philadelphia’s political environment and PolitiFact experts, check out Billy Penn’s DNC Live Fact Check 7-9 p.m. July 26 at Saxby’s Corporate Offices, 2300 Chestnut St., a free event with food, drinks and a coffee bar.
The party returns to the Gayborhood when Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St., hosts the #LGBTDNC Post Gavel Karaoke Party 10 p.m.-2 a.m. July 26.
Actress Vivica Fox hosts a 2016 Democratic National Convention Watch Party Celebrating the Black Vote, featuring a performance by Howard Hewett and leaders and organizers from across the nation, 7:30 p.m. July 26 at Penn’s Landing Caterers, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd. Tickets are $65.
If you’d like to rock out or sing the blues, The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., hosts a Veteran’s Benefit Concert with the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band performing with a Congressional Jam Session as opening act to support, celebrate and honor veterans 10 p.m. July 26 to 1 a.m. July 27.
Emily’s List, a Super PAC that aims to elect pro-choice Democratic candidates, is hosting a Democratic National Convention Party, free with RSVP, 3-5 p.m. July 27 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad St.
The DNC ends in grand fashion with superstars Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz and DJ Jazzy Jeff performing as part of “Camden Rising” July 28 at BB&T Pavilion, 1 Harbour Blvd. Sadly tickets are only available to convention delegates and invited guests, so we hope you all make friends easily this week. Elsewhere, after Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic nomination, Snoop Dogg headlines “Unity Party,” hosted by Priorities USA Action, Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC at the Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St.
Places to eat & drink
Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St., is a good place to take anyone visiting from out of town. During the DNC, the Taste of Philly Food Tour will go from a bi-weekly to a daily schedule, offering a fascinating history of the market and the stories behind Philadelphia culinary icons like cheesesteaks, hoagies and scrapple. Tours July 23-28 will also be enhanced with information about presidential-eating preferences, including what President Obama ate during his 2010 market visit. Reservations are required and tours, which cost $16.95 for adults and $9.95 for children, leave from the Market Welcome Desk, 12th and Filbert streets. For more information, visit http://www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com or call 215-545-8007.
Philly Feast, United We Eat kicks off Convention Week with a Night Market-style food truck festival featuring a diverse lineup of locally based food trucks, live music, and retail vendors, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 25 in Old City at Third and Arch streets.
If you need a breather to collect your thoughts, check out Arterial Agents, 700 Sansom St., a new LGBT-owned coffee house and shop on the scene in Jeweler’s Row selling high-styled LGBT magazines that you can’t get anywhere else in the city and featuring with beans from Ceremony in Annapolis, Md., and pastries from Kermit’s and Au Fournil.
Yakitori Boy, 211 N. 11th St., will be open throughout the entire convention serving up Izakaya-style cuisine and DNC-themed cocktails. Also step up to the mic for some karaoke in the private karaoke rooms, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. For more information, visit http://www.yakitoriboy.com or call 215-923-8088.
Take a breather and see the sights
One Liberty Observation Deck, 1650 Market St., welcomes DNC press and delegates to Philadelphia with free admission (with credentials AND a coupon in their gift bag) to their Observation Deck where they can see all of Philadelphia from the top, daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Volunteers are welcome to enjoy a $5 discount on general admission or a Sun & Stars ticket that allows two visits in 48 hours with their credentials. For more information, visit http://www.phillyfromthetop.com.
Philadelphia 2016, the convention’s host committee, is presenting the DNC PoliticalFest, a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating political history and government with a non-partisan exhibit combining multimedia and interactive displays, historical objects and special guest appearances, at various historical locations July 22-27. For a full list of locations and information, http://www.phldnc.com/politicalfest/.
Carré d’artistes Art Gallery in Midtown Village, 104 S. 13th St., is hosting “Election Collection,” an exhibition in honor of the DNC featuring new works by painter Carlo Trevisan, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. For more information, visit http://www.carredartistesphilly.com or call 215-735-2800.
Make sure you take your out-of-town LGBT DNC visitors through the Gayborhood to show off the rainbow crosswalks and the community mural outside the 12th Street Gym. Then swing through Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room, 245 S. 12th St., the oldest gay and lesbian bookstore in the country, especially on July 26 when everything in the store is 25-percent off in celebration of the first J-Mission launch of Apollo 15. For more information, visit http://www.phillyaidsthriftatgiovannisroom.com.
Show Passyunk some love this week too. The East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District will host a number of free events during the DNC to attract neighbors, friends and delegates to the Avenue for food, shopping, and fun. Highlights include the Arab American Block Party at the Singing Fountain, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. July 26, featuring live Lebanese music by The Mideast Ensemble, Lebanese line dancing, and North-African and Middle-Eastern fare from Noord’s sister restaurant Neuf, and wine and beer from Fond. The DNC Passyunk Passeggiata Street Festival, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. July 27, will see The Avenue closed from Broad Street to the Singing Fountain and filled with street food, outdoor bars, al-fresco dining, vendors, and live music, as well as a farmers’ market.