Crowds Build, Anticipate Pope

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In Bus being escorted to Independence Hall. Rounding City Hall. Pilgrims crowding Benjamin Franklin Parkway, minutes before his arrival, some camped out.

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Above is outside the Cathedral Basilica. Below is view of the altar at Eakins Oval.

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Pilgrims Increase

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Steady arrival of pilgrims in hour before Pope’s arrival in Philadelphia. Security checkpoints with screening several blocks ahead.  Law enforcement and National Guard present, friendly. Streets void of cars strange but understandable.

Early morning trek to Francis Festival Groubds

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In University City about to cross into Center City about 7:45 as barricades increase in advance of visit by Pope Francis.

On Crowd Expectations

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Mayor Michael Nutter says the crowd estimates have been fairly consistent the past few weeks. He says some merchants may be adversely affected but many will be positively affected.  He feels that the Pope’s arrival in the U. S. on Tuesday probable got some people excited and considering coming here when they had not before. The Mayor says he “started to well up a little bit” when he heard the Pope today talk to Congress of the land of the free and the home of the brave. Says the Mayor, “This is real. This is happening.”

The Money Issue

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News Media hear from Mayor Michael Nutter on the cost of the event to Philadelphia. Mayor Nutter says the city “will get reimbursed for any costs beyond normal” by the World Meeting of Families.

Ready

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Mayor Michael Nutter, PA Conv. Center Pres. John McNichol, Meryl Levitz of Visit Philly and Jack Ferguson of PHLCVB today 46 hours before arrival of Pope Francis. Mayor says, “We’re honored, excited and prepared.” McNichol notes just the AV on the Parkway “is the equivalent of 25 Super Bowls.” Levitz says visitors will see a city “rich in history and rich in the future.”

Special Olympics!

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Enjoying  emceeing celebration of athletes at Montgomery County Special Olympics annual awards and dinner in Blue Bell!