DNC Guide: The Parties and Events

The actual convention is hardly the most exciting thing happening in town. So whether you’re here for her or here to drink, there’s an event, festival or shindig for you.

Blavat: Bobby Bank/WireImage/Getty Images; stadium and fox: istockphoto; Loews: G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia; Kimmel: M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia; Noah: Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central.

Blavat: Bobby Bank/WireImage/Getty Images; stadium and fox: istockphoto; Loews: G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia; Kimmel: M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia; Noah: Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central.

For the I’m-With-Her crowd: The Emily’s List party
What: This powerful PAC has been supporting pro-choice female candidates since the ’80s and has raised more than $400 million for their causes. Obviously, this is the election they’ve been waiting for, and they’re hosting a party at the Kimmel Center on July 27th to celebrate. (Psst … look for Ed Rendell in the crowd.)
Can You Get In? Hells yes! It’s free, but you’ll need to RSVP on their site.

For US Weekly Subscribers:The Creative Coalition’s concert and VIP party
What: This nonprofit uses star power (it was founded in the ’80s by Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon and others) to press for arts advocacy, public education and First Amendment rights. Not surprisingly, they’re known to throw kickass parties. The big one will be on July 27th (venue TBD) and feature Fergie as headliner. Can You Get In? You bet! About 500 tickets are available for purchase on their website; proceeds benefit the charity.

For the Smart-asses: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah tapings
What: The quick-witted Daily Show stars will be telecasting from Penn’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts from the 26th to the 29th. (The last time the show was broadcast from Philly was during the 2000 RNC.) Can You Get In? If you were one of 800 Penn students who won the ticket lottery in April, yes. For everyone else, there’s still a good chance; reserve your ticket on the show’s website.

For Political Fanboys/girls: The Atlantic HQ and Politico Hub
What: Both influential media outlets are rounding up their top talent and setting up shop for the week. Politico’s multimedia space in 2 Commerce Square will have nonstop programming, daily briefings, conversations with experts, a nightly lounge and a live watch party. The Atlantic will be at the Field House and offer in-depth analytical morning briefings along with discussions, luncheons, nightly networking cocktail receptions, and a workspace and lounge. Can You Get In? Access to the Atlantic’s HQ is limited; request an invite on their site. Politico’s Hub is open to the public.

For Lifelong Dems: Phantastic Philadelphia 2016
What: Bob Brady is kicking off the festivities with a bash at SugarHouse Casino on July 24th. Five hundred-plus bigwigs, from members of Congress to state senators to local ward leaders, will be getting down to live doo-wop (a favored Brady musical genre) curated by Jerry Blavat. Can You Get In? If you aren’t an elected official or working for one, most likely not. But then again, politicians are always up for discussing favors.

For News Chasers: The major-league media party
What: Correspondents, bloggers, Snapchatters and 10,000 other members of the media will flood Citizens Bank Park on July 23rd for a welcome bash where Philly’s hometown flavor will be on display. Five stages of local musical acts are expected (including the CAPA Jazz Band and DJ Jazzy Jeff), and more than 30 local restaurants (including options from Starr, Garces and Solomonov) will serve up eats. Can You Get In? Are you a member of the media who got your paperwork in on time? Then congrats, you’re in.

For the What-election? crowd: Philly Feast and Center City Sips
What: The Host Committee — the Philly-based group helping to coordinate
everything — is keeping the locals happy with Philly Feast, a daytime food-truck festival (with live music) in Old City on July 25th. And they’re partnering with the Center City District for a special Sips on July 27th; you can mix it up with delegates and convention guests at Dilworth Plaza, Comcast Plaza and Centre Square. Don’t know or care if Hillary is spelled with one “l” or two? These events are for you. Can You Get In? Yes, both are open to the public.

For the Power-in-Diversity crew: The 2016 DNC watch party celebrating the black vote
What: Actress Vivica A. Fox, activist group Dogon Village and some PA Dems are hosting a watch party at Penn’s Landing with dinner, dancing, and a performance by Grammy Award-winning singer Howard Hewett. Five hundred people, including pols and civil rights leaders from around the country, are expected to attend. Can You Get In? Yes. Tickets ($50 to $125) are available at Dogon Village’s website.

For the “Party” people: The hotel bars
What: Thanks to a divisive election, some companies and media outlets known to throw top-notch convention events are staying away this year. But there’s one tradition that can be counted on: The bars in the hotels where large groups of delegates are staying will be lively fun zones. Head to 12th and Market and hop from the Marriott Hotel Downtown (where the delegates from California, Florida and Iowa will be staying) to the Loews Philadelphia (where New York and Virginia are sleeping). Can You Get In? Probably. Buying a few rounds helps.

Published as “The Philadelphian’s Guide to the DNC” in the July issue of Philadelphia magazine.