Credit: Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia
With 2015 comes plenty of reasons for visitors to plan a trip to Philadelphia. In fact, only-in-Philly projects, exhibitions, anniversaries and celebrations will give first-time visitors incentives to make that return trip and return visitors reasons to come back yet again.
So whats on the calendar? The Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015, showing off a dozen historic ships on the Delaware River Waterfront; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting, featuring more than 80 works by a whos who of painters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and a special exhibition at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland. Of course, all eyes will be on Philadelphia when thousands of Catholic families from around the globe gather for the eighth World Meeting of Families.
Here are some of the major happenings taking place throughout Philadelphia in 2015:
* Bravo to Opera Philadelphia, celebrating its 40th anniversary with a season of premieres and casts that possess an unprecedented roster of operatic firepower. The acclaimed Lawrence Brownlee will star in the world premiere of Charlie Parkers Yardbird. The East Coast premiere of Oscar will feature David Daniels, hailed by The New York Times as perhaps the greatest countertenor of all time. And Eric Owens will return to his hometown to perform in Don Carlo. Through June 14, 2015. Various locations. (215) 732-8400, operaphila.org.
* Billowing sails will waft in the breeze when the Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015 pulls into port. Visitors can tour the ships, which will dock at Penns Landing and the Camden Waterfront. Headlining the dozen-ship fleet will be LHermione, a replica of the ship that brought General Lafayette to the aid of the fledgling United States during the Revolutionary War. June 24-28, 2015. Delaware River Waterfront, (856) 757-9154.
* Tens of thousands of people from around the globe will converge on Philadelphia for the 8th annual World Meeting of Families. Throughout the week, approximately 100 speakers will lead panel discussions and workshops at the Pennsylvania Convention Center focused on the theme Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive. There is talk that Pope Francis will make his first visit to the United States to say a public mass during the event. September 22-27, 2015. worldmeeting2015.org.
* When the new Pier 68 Park opens, it will provide a southern trailhead for the continually growing Delaware River Trail. Built as a place for passive recreation, the $1.7 million park will be an anglers delight with a dedicated space for casting lines and built in fish-cleaning stations. Native trees and plants will provide shade in the picnic grove and a cutout in the pier surface will allow visitors to watch the tide rise and fall. Late spring/summer 2015. Pier 68 Boulevard off of Columbus Boulevard, delawareriverwaterfront.com.
* The Barnes Foundation will present the first comprehensive survey of William Glackens in almost 50 years. Focusing on his most distinctive works, the exhibition will feature 45 paintings and almost 25 works on paper, most from public and private collections and some on view for the first time. November 8, 2014-February 2, 2015. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway,
(215) 278-7000, barnesfoundation.org.
* Horace Pippin: The Way I See It is the first major exhibition of the artists works in the country in more than two decades. The Brandywine River Museum of Art will feature more than 60 works that capture Pippins bold, colorful and candid paintings reflecting life in the African- American community and commenting on race, religion, war and history. April 25-July 19, 2015. U.S. Route 1 by Creek Road (formerly Route 100), (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org.
Greater Philadelphias official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.