The massive—and popular—Veterans Day Parade is happening this weekend, bringing 3,000 participants, and likely many more onlookers, to the heart of the city for the fourth year in a row.
The parade will start around 16th and JFK Boulevard and move down Market to Old City, where it ends in a festival with food trucks, a beer garden, and music. Some food trucks and vendors will be handing out flags and water bottles, and others will have cards you can sign to thank veterans for their service. Weather permitting, you may even get a chance to see a flyover with paratroopers parachuting in.
Basically, it’s a big event. And, as with any large-scale event, you’ll need to be prepared for road closures and alternate routes, not to mention the best way to see the event.
So, we’ve put together a rundown of everything you need to know for Sunday.
When is the parade?
The parade starts at noon on Sunday, with marchers, motorcycles, and cars lining up on JFK Boulevard between 20th and 16th streets as early at 8:30 a.m. But it’s a good idea to avoid JFK all the way to 30th if you can—motorcyclists will be getting to the parade that way.
That festival will start at noon and continue until 4:30 p.m.
What’s the parade route?
Participants will line up between 20th and 16th streets, but the parade officially starts at 16th and JFK. It will then follow this route:
- Down JFK Boulevard (past City Hall) to Juniper Street
- Down Juniper Street to Market Street
- All the way down Market Street until 5th Street
The festival will be held at 5th and Market streets.
What’s the deal with road closures?
Understandably, there will be a lot of road closures. The Office of Special Events (OSE) says the entire parade route (and a little extra), will be closed starting at 6 a.m. until the end of the event at 4:30 p.m. That includes,
- JFK Boulevard from 16th to Juniper streets
- Juniper Street from JFK to Market Street
- Market Street to Front Street
What about parking?
A parking ban starts at midnight along the route, and should lift at 4:30 p.m.
How can I watch the parade?
Catch a spot anywhere along the route, or head straight to the festival, which starts at noon on Sunday. Alternatively, there will be bleachers on Market Street, between 6th and 5th, but there’s limited seating.
If you’re planning on attending or participating, make sure to jot down the location of the various Port-a-Potties—they’re between 16th and 17th on JFK.
If you’re not planning on attending, you can always watch the event live on Channel 6 at 12:30 p.m.
Is there anything else to know?
Yes—Daylight Savings is this Sunday, so make sure to set your clock to the correct time if you want to make the parade.
Also, Philly’s a little early to the game this year. Veterans Day is on Sunday, November 11.