More Free and Fun Ways to Celebrate DNC in Philadelphia!

Yesterday morning I  posted about PoliticalFest, 7 special exhibits  celebrating  U.S. Political History. And then I went into Philadelphia and volunteered at 2 of the sites (and visited 4 of them). I want to report that not only are the displays fascinating and worth the trip, for at least 3 of those sites (and possibly 4), one does not need a ticket to go in and see the exhibit. You can visit the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (right next store), and The Heritage Center of the Union League of Philadelphia (around the corner, about two blocks from the previous listed locations). The exhibit at the PA Convention Center (11th and Arch, across the street from the Reading Market, in center city) may also be free; this is the place where you can see a partial mock up of the Oval Office, Air Force One, a life size replica of the Liberty Bell made out of K’nex, and assorted activities for kids. PoliticalFest runs through Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

Liberty Bell at PA Convention Center
original documents – part of Suffragette Women’s History exhibit at Library Company of Philadelphia
some items from previous political conventions, on display at the Union League

Monday, July 25th will also see Philly Feast, United We Eat in Old City at 3rd and Arch, from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. This free event features musicians and performers, food trucks considered to be some of the best in Philly selling their yummiest treats, and Philadelphia area based artisans and others selling crafts, jewelry, clothing, and more.

The main stage will feature performances from Julian King, Chill Moody, Philbilly and the B Street Band. Throughout the festival, attendees will also find roving musician dancers and oter entertainers, creating a multifaceted arts and culture experience.

C-SPAN’s Educational Bus is parked outside the National Constitution Center, now through Thursday; this interactive learning center is open to the public at no cost.

POLITICO is setting up near Rittenhouse Square and is hosting multiple events and watch parties, all free and open to the public;

The POLITICO Hub will provide a top-notch destination experience for convention attendees in Philadelphia. Led by POLITICO’s award-winning team of reporters and editors, programming will include daily Playbook newsmaker interviews, a live convening of the POLITICO Caucus, policy luncheons on the economy, energy and technology and Nightly Lounges to take in the news of the day and watch streaming speeches from the convention floor.

Located just steps away from historic Rittenhouse Square at 2001 Market Street, 2 Commerce Square, the POLITICO Hub will open the evening of Monday, July 25 and continue with programming through Thursday July, 28.

Read more:
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

You can register online to be part of the audience for The Atlantic’s events this week;

Begin each morning during the presidential conventions with The Atlantic to explore key issues in this pivotal election year.  From a deep dive on polling and demographics, to an up-close look at the candidates and their policies, these briefings will combine political insights with sharp analysis.

8:30 a.m. ET — 10:00 a.m. ET

Field House
1150 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

It appears that MSNBC has set up shop in front of Independence Hall, so if you are in the neighborhood, you can stop by and watch them live (as Bernie supporters/protesters appear to be doing tonight).

And on Friday, July 29, 2016, Hillary Clinton will be holding a rally in front of Independence Hall before leaving Philadelphia for a PA tour.- no word yet on time and tickets – so stay tuned (and sign up to receive email alerts when new posts appear on the blog).

Celebrate Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is an amazing city, no matter what is happening, filled with historical buildings, amazing art, great theater, delicious food, and exciting events. This week the main event is the Democratic National Convention. And while most of us aren’t delegates and won’t get into the Wells Fargo Center, by the sports arenas, where the Convention is being held (amidst massive security), there are more than a few public events and activities happening in Center City.

There are 57 painted Donkeys Around Town, one fiberglass donkey for each of the 50 states, 5 territories, Washington, D.C.  and Democrats Abroad. Each one is unique, painted by an artist connected with the Mural Arts Project and Art Jawn.There are maps to track them down, if you prefer to be methodical in your search rather than allow serendipity to guide you. And if you need more motivation, you can also  download Scavify and earn prizes while hunting  for #DonkeysAroundTown. The donkeys will remain on display through September 9, 2016.

PoliticalFest, “a celebration of U.S. Political History,” opens this weekend; one ticket grants you entrance to special exhibits containing interactive activities, displays, historical documents and memorabilia (George Washington’s life mask, and Abraham Lincoln’s death mask, handwritten letters, and a replica of Air Force One, for example). If the heat gets too much for walking around, you can use that ticket to  ride a special Phlash bus going between the seven museums.


On the other hand, if you’d like to do more walking, in addition to the usual historical walking tours offered in the city (some free courtesy of the National Park Service, some not), two new tours are being offered for political junkies this week;

Feel the Bern:

Walk with the people and discover the early populist moments that continue to define our city. Your guide will take you to a church where the 1% prayed with the other 99%, inside an 18th-century house on a typical working-class block, and into the heart of the big bank era in Philadelphia. Grab your sunscreen and feel the Bern on your summer walk through this great neighborhood.

and I’m With Her:

This Hillary-inspired stroll in the 18th-century capital city reveals the prominent women of Philadelphia and their role in the founding of our nation. Discover how smart, ambitious women who couldn’t vote for anyone or be elected to anything wielded great influence. From the impact of our first First Ladies, to the evolution of healthcare in early America, to the impact of women’s suffrage, we explore Philly’s role in this historic moment at the 2016 DNC.

There is much more going on later this week – check back tomorrow to learn more!

As for me, I’m heading into Philadelphia this morning for my first shift volunteering at PoliticalFest – I’ll be at the Library Company of Philadelphia today, founded by Ben Franklin in 1731. The Library Company served as the Library of Congress from the time of the Revolutionary War until 1800.

During the Democratic National Convention (July 22-28), the Library Company will be one of seven Philadelphia sites to host special events and exhibitions for delegates and visitors.

Special exhibitions will showcase a life mask of George Washington, death mask of Abraham Lincoln, various presidential locks of hair, and rare books, graphics, and manuscripts about our nation’s founding, women in American politics, and 19th-century African-American political conventions.



Watch Parties for the Conventions, and other ways you can keep up with the RNC and DNC this month.

The Republican National Convention starts tonight, Monday, July 18th and ends with Donald J. Trump’s Acceptance Speech on Thursday night, July 21, 2016. The Democratic National Convention starts in Philadelphia next Monday, July 25th and ends with Hillary R. Clinton’s Acceptance Speech on Thursday night, July 28, 2016. The Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club will be hosting local Watch Parties each night of the acceptance speeches (more info further down).

If you don’t want to miss a minute of the Conventions, turn on C-SPAN which is broadcasting from 1 p.m. – midnight (unless it runs longer, in which case they will keep the cameras rolling); C-SPAN turns on the cameras and the microphones and skips the commentary, so this is the place to watch it all, unfiltered. If you don’t have the time, or interest, to sit in front of the TV or computer screen all day and night for eight days, all speeches will be archived at

PBS and NPR will be devotion three hours of prime-time coverage each night (more than the networks, and without commercial interruption), from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

MSNBC and CNN will also have extensive coverage, of course.

If it all gets too intense, Jon Stewart will be back with Stephen Colbert, live Monday through Thursday, this week (and next?), on Late Night with Stephen Colbert, 11:30 p.m. on CBS, to help with Colbert’s “2016 Trumpublican Donational Conventrump Starring Donald Trump as the Republican Party* (*May Contain Traces of Republican).”  The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, originates from Cleveland Tuesday through Friday this week, and Philadelphia Tuesday through Friday next week. And non-subscribers of HBO can still catch the two live half-hours ( 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays) this week and next of Real Time with Bill Maher at YouTube or on Maher’s Facebook page.

And Stephen Colbert is once more keeping things interesting with GOP Convention Bingo Cards – multiple cards are available, here is one to get you started.


Wondering about those Watch Parties I mentioned earlier? This Thursday’s Trump Acceptance Speech Watch Party, on July 21, 2016, begins at 8:30 p.m. in East Greenville – when the speech actually begins is anyone’s guess (we suspect 9 p.m. at the earliest). There will be refreshments and beverages of all types on hand. All partisan types; Democrats and non-Trump supporters, are welcome.

Next Thursday’s Hillary Clinton Acceptance Speech Watch Party also begins at 8:30 p.m., on July 28, 2o16, in Marlborough Township (just outside of Red Hill). Once again, this is a partisan event sponsored by the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club, with refreshments and beverages to celebrate through the night.

If you aren’t on the UPDC email list and would like to attend one, or both, of the two Watch Parties, email us and we’ll be happy to let you know the address of the events.


Philadelphia 2016 update

I just received an email the other day from the Philadelphia 2016 DNC Host Committee. Basically, they wanted to let folks to know that it is not too late to sign up if you are interested in volunteering for next year’s Democratic National Convention (and to reach out to those who registered months ago, and were afraid they’d been forgotten). The DNC is scheduled to take place the week of July 25th, 2016.

For those keeping track, the Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland, Ohio the week before,  July 18-21, 2016.

Coming Soon: Volunteer Opportunities
The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention continues to need volunteers and will begin engaging registered volunteers more in early 2016. If you have not yet registered and would like to sign up to be a volunteer, please do so here. You can also email with any related questions.

Looking forward to January 2016

The Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club is taking the month of December off so its members may pursue other (non-political) activities, and rest up for what will be a very busy year ahead! In other words, no meeting on the 2nd Tuesday in December.

We will be meeting on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, 350 Main Street, Red Hill. It will be a relatively short meeting, so that everyone who wants to be home in time to watch President Obama’s last State of the Union address (scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. that night) may do so. At this meeting we will be making plans for the annual January Potluck, along with starting to sketch out ideas for the year ahead (with major races including for the Senate; Senator Toomey is up for re-election and two strong Democrats, Joe Sestak and Kate McGinty, are running in the primary for the opportunity to defeat this staunch, very conservative, Republican in November, and the Democratic National Convention taking place down the road in Philadelphia in July, they’ll be lots to do in 2016).

All democrats in the area are invited to the annual UPDC Potluck on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the Upper Perk Senior Center, 517 Jefferson Street, East Greenville, PA, from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Bring your favorite hot or cold dish, or salad, or dessert, or beverage, to share with the group. This is always a good time and there is always good food and good company to enjoy.


Presidential Debates and Volunteering for the Democratic National Convention

After watching the 2nd Republican Presidential Candidate Debate last night, I am more motivated than ever to work to elect a Democratic President in 2016, and to volunteer for the Democratic National Convention, being held in Philadelphia, July 25–July 28, 2016.

And for those who have been waiting, and waiting, for the first Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate for the 2016 race, mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 13, 2015 (on CNN). You might also stop by the Upper Perk Library (350 Main Street, Red Hill)  before the debate, for the next Upper Perk Democratic Club meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. Because local races and local politics matter – and every vote counts in every election.

And because we’ll be making more plans for our participation in the Upper Perkiomen Halloween Parade (Sunday, October 25th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.) – and we’re always looking for more volunteers; to work on the float, to donate candy, and to walk in the parade that night.


eagle soarsFall 2015 will be a season of change for the Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club.

If you are reading this, then you already know that we have a new website! The former website, first set up in 2000, served us well. But with WordPress we’ll be able to more easily offer opportunities for guest blogs (articles/posts) and for folks to comment on posts and issues. Comments will be moderated, for language and trolls (but not political opinions – the Democratic Party has a big tent and so does the Club). This format also makes it easier to update and to search for older news and information. We will continue to have pages with voter information (including links to the all new online voter registration in Pennsylvania) and contact information for elected officials, in addition to other pages we think you’ll find interesting and useful.

After a trial period last spring, we’ve decided upon a new permanent meeting place; the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library (350 Main Street, Red Hill), on the lower level (parking available out front, out back, and in the nearby bank parking lot). The Upper Perkiomen Democratic Club (UPDC) will continue to hold its meetings at 7 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

What else is changing? Well, we know we’ll be working to elect a new Democratic president next year (and with the Democratic National Convention being held in Philadelphia next July, there will be lots of interesting volunteer opportunities). And we want to get more people involved and hear what you’d like to be doing to make a difference, locally and nationally. This fall’s big push will be for local and county wide races, and we know we always see a big increase in interest in the UPDC and in political activity in presidential election years, so starting in January there will be lots going on – and we hope you’ll bookmark this blog and sign up to receive post alerts to help keep informed about what is happening, near and far.