As hometown of the reigning Super Bowl champs, Philadelphia will be hosting 2018 NFL Kickoff Experience at Penn’s Landing Thursday.
The daylong festival leads up to the regular season opener when the Eagles take on the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field.
The event, from noon until 8 p.m., includes a chance to once again watch the thrilling Super Bowl LII and as well as a concert by Shawn Mendes. Interactive games, a display of the full collection of the 52 Super Bowl rings and a chance to take photos with the Vince Lombardi trophy will also be available.
The preparations and the event will partially close Columbus Boulevard and limit parking on several streets starting Tuesday through midnight Thursday.
Old City resident Evelyn DeCarl said events like this one are good for the city, despite the inevitable parking woes.
“My first reaction, when I saw this stage, is I think it’s a pretty cool idea to open up Penn’s Landing for other events as well, not just the cultural during the summer, like Jazz Friday nights,” she said, while at the dog park with her boxer Petey.
DeCarl said festival-goers will face a challenge to find parking, especially on a weekday.
“Honestly, I think on a regular day, parking is bad to begin with, without any activity,” she said. “So I think that if they can find a parking spot that’s great for them, kudos to them … most of the parking lots would probably be full anyway. Again, I think public transportation is the way to go.”
One attraction already in town is the “Sunday Night Football on NBC” tour bus.
Nellie Lerro snapped pictures of her husband, Marco, in the broadcaster’s booth Monday with their toddler, Bruno, who was trying to eat the microphone.
Eagles fan John Hopkins said he intends to take the day off from his job at Christ Church Thursday to join the festivities. He said the prospect of extra traffic doesn’t faze him.
“Working in Old City and in a historic district, we have these things all the time, whether it’s the Fourth of July events or different things, or where there’s closures on Market Street and around Independence Hall,” he said. “So we’re used to it.”
What’s more, the Fishtown resident said, the city has shown it can rise to the occasion.
“Philadelphia, I’m very proud to say, always handles these events — be it the Pope, be it Made in America, Live Aid. Philadelphia is No. 1 when it comes to these kind of things … like we proved with the [2017 NFL] draft,” Hopkins said. “And it just this is a perfect spot for it and hopefully the NFL keeps coming back.”
Old City resident Carla Fisher says having more people around is part of the bustle of city life.
“It’s a celebration of the city,” she said of the Thursday event. “We have to do that from time to time, so it’s not a problem. I walk almost everywhere, so that’s not a problem.”
NFL is giving fans a chance to win two tickets to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The winner will be announced during the Shawn Mendes concert. In order to be entered for a chance to win, fans must register for the NFL Kickoff – Fan Mobile Pass.
Eagles legends — including six-time Pro Bowler David Akers; Jason Avant; four-time Pro Bowler Harold Carmichael; Super Bowl LII champion Brent Celek; four-time Pro Bowler Randall Cunningham; Eagles Hall of Famer Jeremiah Trotter; and two-time Pro Bowler Brian Westbrook — will be there to sign autographs and greet fans.
10 a.m. – Gates open
Noon – Re-watch Super Bowl LII
3 p.m. – LoCash performs
4 p.m. – Daya performs
5 p.m. – America’s Game – The Story of the Super Bowl LII Champions
6 p.m. – Shawn Mendes performs
8 p.m. – Event ends
There will be no screening at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing of the 8:20 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles game against the Atlanta Falcons.