At 11:00 am on January 20th, 2009, Start at the Center, and watch as the Inauguration is broadcast live on a jumbrotron on Independence Mall, right outside the Independence Visitor Center between 5th and 6th streets and Market and Arch streets. 6ABC News will be on hand to deliver LIVE coverage of all the activities. For those not brave enough to withstand the winter weather there will be a screening in Independence Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the Independence Visitor Center. The outdoor broadcast of the Inauguration is made possible by Independence Visitor Center, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, 6ABC, National Constitution Center and GPTMC. For more information on this and other Inauguration weekend activities please visit www.IndependenceVisitorCenter.Com or www.phillyinauguration.com.
To help visitors and residents enjoy the viewing there will be special discounts in the gift shop on Obama merchandise and Independence Cafe will feature Soft Pretzels and Hot Dogs. FREE hot chocolate will be offered to all outside on the Independence Mall lawn. As a one-stop-shop for everything Philadelphia, the Independence Visitor Center will be the only place to pick up the Philly Presidential Pass. Available from January 16 – 20, 2009 the Presidential Pass provides visitors with up to a 10% discount at many Historic Philadelphia retail shops and attractions, including the Independence Living History Center, Betsy Ross House, Independence Store, National Constitution Center and the African American Museum, among others.
The Inaugural celebrations don’t end at Independence Visitor Center; the entire City of Philadelphia is full of festivities, especially the Historic District. Visit Independence Hall at 10 am or 3 pm on January 20th, 2009, to witness the reenactment of another significant Inauguration in our nation’s history; the transfer of power between President Washington and John Adams. This reenactment portrays the first peaceful transfer of power in a time when power around the world was transferred only through blood lines or blood loss. This event sponsored by Independence National Historical Park, and Friends of Independence National Historical Park will take place in Congress Hall and is FREE to the public!
The National Constitution Center will also host special programming throughout Inauguration day, including the world debut of America I AM: The African American Imprint. The exhibition which opens January 15th, 2009, celebrates the contributions of Africans and African-Americans over nearly 500 years through artifacts, narration, music, art and video. From the typewriter used to write Alex Haley’s novel Roots to the door key and stool from the Birmingham jail cell where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” this traveling exhibit shows how Africans in America have impacted history.
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The Independence Visitor Center, located at 6th & Market Streets, across from the Liberty Bell, provides the region’s best event and attraction information to visitors and locals alike about Independence National Historical Park, the City of Philadelphia and the countryside. Open daily at 8:30 a.m. seven days a week (with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). For information, visit www.independencevisitorcenter.com or call 215.965.7676.