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September 02, 2015

Closest views of Pope Francis limited to ticket holders

A sizeable portion of the Parkway will be limited to those with tickets for papal events

Papal Visit Security
Papal Map Contributed Art/Secret Service

The Secret Service released a map showing suggested walking routes and security checkpoints during the papal visit.

A sizeable chunk of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be limited to ticket holders when Pope Francis visits Philadelphia later this month.

The map, released Wednesday by the Secret Service, also includes security checkpoints and suggested walking routes for pilgrims meandering through Center City.

RELATED ARTICLE: Secret Service releases list of prohibited items for papal visit

A section of the Parkway extending from 20th Street to Eakins Oval reserves the best views of Pope Francis to ticketed attendees. Independence Mall, where the pontiff will deliver a speech on immigration, also is restricted to ticket holders.

Tickets to the papal mass, an event expected to draw 1.5 million people on Sunday, Sept. 27, are being distributed to the 219 parishes comprising the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Tickets also are being given to representatives from surrounding dioceses, Project HOME, Catholic Social Services and representatives of other regional faith communities.

Tickets to the Festival of Families, the night before, are being distributed in the same fashion.

Non-ticketed pilgrims will be able to access the Parkway area from 20th Street to City Hall. Forty Jumbotrons broadcasting the papal events will be placed throughout Center City.

A total of 5,000 tickets to attend Pope Francis's Independence Mall speech will be made available to the public Tuesday on a first-come, first-serve basis. The free tickets will be available online. More details are expected Friday.

Tickets also are being distributed by event organizers to ethnic apostolates and immigrant communities through the Archdiocesan Office of Multicultural Ministries.

Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families, released a statement Wednesday saying event organizers have "worked diligently" to ensure "maximum public access to event involving the Holy Father in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere."

"These plans were put in place to ensure that representatives representing the vibrant life and ongoing work of the Archdiocese were part of these joyful events," Farrell said. "It is important to be clear that the announcement of limited ticketing does not limit participation in these events in any way. There is plenty of room for all who wish to attend."

Ticket holders may access the Parkway by passing through security checkpoints at the points:

• Pennsylvania Avenue at the intersection of N. 23rd Street and Spring Garden Street

• N. 22nd Street at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Hamilton Street

• Hamilton Street between N. 21st and N. 22nd streets

• 21st Street between Hamilton Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

N. 20th Street at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Callowhill Street

• N. 20th Street at Race Street

• N. 21st Street at Winter Street

Those without tickets who plan to attend the Festival of Families can access the Parkway by passing through security checkpoints at:

• N. 15th Street at Cherry Street

• N. Broad Street at Cherry Street

• S. Broad Street at Chestnut Street

• S. 15th Street at Chestnut Street

• S. 17th Street at Market Street

• S. 17th Street at John F. Kennedy Boulevard

Those without tickets who plan to attend the papal Mass can access the Parkway by passing through security at:

• N. 19th Street at Wood Street

• N. 18th Street at Cherry Street

• N. 19th Street at Cherry Street

Security checkpoints for Independence Mall will be located at:

• N. 6th Street at Race Street

• N. 5th Street at Race Street

• N. 5th Street at Arch Street

• N. 4th Street at Market Street

• S. 4th Street at Chestnut Street

All attendees must pass through metal detectors at the security checkpoints. The Secret Service instructs pilgrims to allow additional time for screening and expect long lines. 

The agency also released a list of prohibited items, including bicycles, hard coolers, packages, selfie sticks and glass, thermal or metal containers. Backpacks and signs are limited to size restrictions. A complete list of prohibited items can be found here.

The map also includes suggested walking routes — highlighted in green — for pilgrims traveling from various areas of Center City.