Editor’s Note: Former DNC chairman, Pennsylvania Governor and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell is the guest editor of the Philadelphia edition of Metro published July 25, the start of the Democratic National Convention. Here’s his opening article:
In the summer of 1775, delegates from the 13 original Colonies met in what turned out to be the most important convention in the history of the world. Fourteen months later, those delegates declared their independence from Great Britain, and our great nation was born.
Now, 240 years later, the 4,765 delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention have the opportunity to make history again in a city that continues to make history.
We are thrilled to welcome delegates, guests, and media to the great city of Philadelphia. We at the Host Committee hope that while experiencing the business of formally nominating the Democratic candidate for president of the United States, visitors — in Philadelphia for the convention or not — will also take the time to have some fun and check out the great things this vibrant, charming city has to offer.
Philadelphia was rated the No. 3 city in the world to visit in 2015 by The New York Times — and had the highest ranking of any U.S. city on that list. Recently, the Times spent “36 Hours in Philadelphia,” highlighting some of the fun and unique places to visit and enjoy a meal across a variety of neighborhoods. We are a city that boasts incredible tradition and heritage, amazing arts and culture, great educational and health care institutions and the best combination of fine food and junk food to be found anywhere in America — ask anyone who lives here!
In addition to encouraging guests to explore the city, we have created some extra-special activities for them, along with members of the public, to do while in town.
PoliticalFest is a festival of American history, government and politics being held at seven locations throughout Center City and Old City. This open-to-the public event features replicas of Air Force One and the Oval Office, pictures and documents from all of the modern Democratic presidents, videos of speeches from great American leaders like President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama, and more. There will also be an opportunity to participate in fun games, testing your political knowledge with delegates and members of the public. We hope everyone who is in town during the convention will take some time to visit this one-of-a-kind series of exhibits. To learn more about PoliticalFest and purchase tickets, visit www.phldnc.com/politicalfest.
Also not to be missed are our “Donkeys Around Town,” a program featuring 57 fiberglass donkeys that represent a Democratic delegation in town for the Convention. Each of the donkeys is different, and I hope delegates and Philadelphians alike will try to find as many donkeys as they can — if not all of them! To add to the fun, we have created an interactive app-based scavenger hunt to encourage people to find as many of the donkeys as they can and win prizes based on the number they find. Check out our Donkeys Around Town map and learn how to participate in the scavenger hunt at www.phldnc.com/donkeys.
The Democratic National Convention will offer delegates and media a special glimpse of Philadelphia, but there is so much to see and do here that we hope they are enchanted enough to plan trips of their own to return. This is yet another historic time for Philadelphia and, for a city of firsts, we are particularly thrilled to welcome the Democrats and Hillary Clinton as we share these special moments with the rest of the world and together make history once again.