This week, we await a very important anniversary! No, not that special day you celebrate with your husband or wife, or the 30-year mark of the Live Aid performance that occurred here in Philadelphia… (yes that’s true). But, we look forward to celebrating the birth of our nation and its independence on July 4th!
(Photo credit: Uwishunu)
In addition to this honored tradition and holiday, Philadelphia offers up other exciting celebrations and special events this year:
50th Anniversary of the First Gay Rights Movement
Red, white and blue are not the only colors we should be waving on our flags in July. After a grand opening of the Big Gay Ice Cream on 521 S. Broad St., and the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 14th, let’s keep the pride going this year to honor the 50th anniversary of the first Gay Rights Movement here in Philadelphia! Our pride is serious; we have our own Gayborhood, people! Alongside our 4th of July celebrations will be a four-day festival of exhibitions, parades, parties, panels, a concert, fireworks, a film screening, and if that’s not enough, a special 50th Anniversary Ceremony on the 4th.
Why it’s a big deal: Every 4th of July, over the last 50 years, since 1965, a tradition called “Annual Reminders” began right outside of our Independence Hall. The first protest was the largest gathering of gay rights activists of all time and hosted protesters from around the country. These movements sparked a five decades worth of progress for the LGBT community, and happened right outside of where our Liberty Bell once stayed, ringing as a symbol of equality that the gay and lesbian community has been fighting for.
Where: Ceremony occurs at 520 Chestnut St., exhibitions throughout Old City
When: July 2nd-5th, Ceremony occurs on the 4th
Find out more information here!
150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland
Don’t be late for this very important date. It’s the 150th anniversary of “Alice in Wonderland” that Philly honors with three different exhibitions this year! Everyone loves tea parties, chasing rabbits, and smoking caterpillars, and Lewis Carroll found a way to swirl them all into one magical story. All over the world people will be recognizing this date and Philly is not one to miss out.
Why it’s a big deal: It’s not too often that a story will last in the hearts of many for over a century and a half. Lewis Carroll’s tale is to be honored with three exhibitions filled with a history of its making to transport you into his world.
Where: Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008-10 Delancey Place
When: Events will start October 14th, 2015 and last until March 27th, 2016
41st Anniversary of Opera Philadelphia
For all you classical music-lovers out there, Philly celebrates a glass-shattering 40 years of “Opera Philadelphia”! The 40th season began in 2014 and it will reignite on October 2nd for the Annual Gala event. This black-tie formal event will kick off the 41st season of “Philly Opera”, a group that creates operas “for the 21st century”. Whether it is your first time or your fortieth time attending an opera, experience this music rich with culture and depth.
Why it’s a big deal: Have you ever wanted a fancy night at the opera, amazing music, a chance to dress to the nines, great food and company alike? Take the opportunity to visit at the opera’s biggest night, where there is a cocktail party, performance of La traviata, champagne intermission, and of course an after party with desserts and the cast of the show!
Where: Academy House on 14th and Locust
When: Gala event is on October 2nd, 2015
Another musical option! : Although a bit farther out still, the Philadelphia Folk Festival is another option if you like a bit more casual concert setting. If you are willing to make the trek, the 54th annual tradition will occur on August 13-17th, 2015 at 7113 Emlen Street.
Anniversaries of the Future
This year, while remembering and celebrating our history, landmarks and birthdays of the past (such as Sesame Place’s 35th Birthday Party), we’ll also bring forth new traditions: “Pier 68” will be built and finished this year as a great new location along the waterfront.
So, as we look back on landslide events that still impact our world today, we also charge forward into an amazing future in this great city!