A partial government shutdown that’s dragged on for nearly a week now has forced the temporary closure of two of Philly’s most popular attractions: the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
But on Thursday, several city groups announced that they’d had enough.
Visit Philadelphia is donating around $32,000 to the National Park Service to reopen the two historic institutions for the next three days according to the Thursday announcement. That means from Friday through Sunday both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall will be reopen at 9 a.m. through 5 p.m., free of charge.
“While the federal government’s partial shutdown continues to negatively impact services nationwide, I’m pleased that Visit Philadelphia is making it possible for people to continue to enjoy some of our city’s most historic landmarks,” Philly Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Thursday.
The attractions are just two of many national park-run sites across the country affected by the shutdown, which started last week over funding issues regarding the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.
But it’s come at a particularly bad time for the Philly attractions, which have long reported the week between Christmas and New Years as one of the busiest out of the whole year. An estimated 25,000 people visit the attractions during the long weekend (before New Years), according to the statement.
This isn’t the first time the sites have felt the impact of a government shutdown. Earlier this year, in January, another shutdown saw the closure of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (which is closed during the current shut down, as well).