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Security, vending plans for DNC convention differ from papal preparations

Vendors sell souvenir Vatican flags in South Philadelphia prior to Pope Francis' September visit to the city. Organizers of the Democratic National Committee Convention are finalizing  security and vending details for the event in July at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Vendors sell souvenir Vatican flags in South Philadelphia prior to Pope Francis' September visit to the city. Organizers of the Democratic National Committee Convention are finalizing security and vending details for the event in July at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Attention street vendors: Doing business during this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia may be easier than it was during Pope Francis’ September visit.

While the city is still formulating its plans, it’s fairly unlikely that they’ll include any kind of restrictive traffic boxes in Center City, though officials do expect perimeters around the Wells Fargo Center, where the convention is being held.

Deputy Managing Director Brian Abernathy said security would look different come July because the convention’s main activities will be inside. The pope’s visit featured several public, outdoor appearances.

“It’s a very different feel, a very different type of event,” said Abernathy.

When Pope Francis came to town in September, roughly 5-square miles of the city were off-limits to cars. Street vendors — licensed or unlicensed — were also barred from selling inside the area. Only those working for Aramark, the official merchandise provider, had that privilege.

This time around, at least two official vendors will be designated.

Earlier this month, the Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention selected Impact Dimensions to sell key chains, mugs, posters, and other memorabilia to delegates and visitors.

The convention itself is also expected to hire a company to produce and sell merchandise.

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