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Pope Francis' Philadelphia Visit: Festival Of Families Recap


Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia was an amazing example of how major events can be inclusive of people with all levels of ability.  Although most are aware of the speeches and site visits that the Pope participated in while in the City of Brotherly Love, most are unaware of just how much went into the planning of this amazing event. I urge you to read on and learn some of the fantastic ways that this event was put together. Photo: slate.com


Festival Of Families


The Pope’s speech at the Festival Of Families celebration was held just outside of the Philadelphia Art Museum.  I was an attendee of this event and amazed at the ways that it was made accessible to so many. Security was tight but for good reason. This was a massive event bringing in more than one million people.  Although Pope Francis delivered a great speech, I was more impressed with the way that the event was managed.


There were two main entrances into the event. The first was for those in good health. This was the mob! So many people were pushing in this massive crowd for a good spot to see the speech. The second entrance, which was much closer to the stage, had a dedicated entrance for those unable to navigate the massive crowd. This area for those facing disabilities allowed another 5,000 people to see the speech.


In addition to the additional sections, the entire speech was on more than 25 large projection screens. These screens included closed captioning for those with limited hearing abilities. In conjunction with these services, there were several dedicated sign language interpreters. Because of all these services, anyone who wanted to experience the speech could.


What Went Wrong?


The biggest issues that I noticed was a lack of guidance as to what was open and what was not. Prior to the Pope’s visit, local government warned about massive closures and a citywide shutdown. This was a big issue! Many businesses assumed that they would not be able to open. As a result tens of millions were lost in revenues over blatant miscommunication. Mayor Nutter even came out and shamed those who were in charge of security for their lack of communication skills. While this is a major issue, the event went off quite well.



Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.



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Photo: slate.com