Philadelphia issues moratorium on large public events through Feb. 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic

The City of Philadelphia will no be permitting any large events until at least February 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Large public events," will not be permitted through February 28, 2021.

"Today, I am really disappointed to announce that we will have a moratorium on large public events through February 28, 2021," Mayor Jim Kenney announced Tuesday. "The city's office of special events will not accept, review, process, or approve applications, issue permits, or enter into agreements for special events or public gatherings of 50 people or more on public property through the end of February."

Kenney says the moratorium will apply to special events and public gatherings including but not limited to:

  • Festivals, carnivals, fairs
  • Parades
  • Concerts
  • Flea markets

A timeline as to when such activities may resume will be "communicated as soon as possible," according to Kenney.

The mayor added that the hold on large public events does not apply to demonstrations or other activities protected under the first amendment. It also does not apply to outdoor gatherings that are not publicly advertised, like picnics and weddings, or group recreational activities with less than 25 participants.

Also exempt are events and gatherings on private property, such as performance venues and stadiums, and management must follow applicable guidance from the city's and state's health officials.

Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy later clarified that while stadiums are exempt, the city's professional sports teams could only play without fans, and performance venues would still be held to the city's health department guidelines. 

While the city has not named any of the events that will be canceled, a few of the events that could be impacted include the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia Marathon, Mummers Parade on New Years Day.

Several events have already been canceled in the months since the start of the pandemic, including the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Made in America Festival.


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