Civic News

You wont see any large public events in Philly until at least March 2021, City says

And oh yeah — Mayor Kenny's right hand announced his resignation today.

A past Mummers Parade.

(Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Update: Mayor Kenney's tweets about the types of events included in the cancellation order have been added. (7/14/2020, 3:19 p.m.)

The City of Philadelphia today announced today because of continuing concerns with the coronavirus pandemic, it will not allow any large public events through Feb. 28, 2021.

While the city has not yet named any of specific events that will be canceled, the ban is for any permit for an event of 50 or more people, Mayor Jim Kenny said at a press conference this afternoon. This points to events such as the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Broad Street Run and the Mummers Parade being canceled over the next few months.

“This changes the event landscape for our city for the foreseeable future,” Kenny said.

The event ban does not apply to civil demonstrations, or private gatherings like family picnics. It also excludes events at private venues, he said.

Most larger events heading into Fall of 2020, like Labor Day weekend’s Made in America Festival, have already been canceled. has also seen a majority of tech conferences, like the Women in Tech Summit go virtual this year. Our very own Philly Tech Week, first moved to September, is now officially fully remote.


In March, when coronavirus concerns first started circulating, the city initially banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people. At that time it also urged that event organizers not go forward with plans for events of more than 250 people.

It’s the second major announcement coming from the City today — Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy will resign from his position Sept. 4, the mayor announced this morning. The Managing Director’s Office is organized around five cabinets: Community and Culture; Community Services; Health and Human Services; Public Safety; and Transportation and Infrastructure Sustainability.

“Even in the midst of COVID-19, we provided hundreds of thousands of meals, housed hundreds of people, and gave calm guidance to Philadelphians in an unsteady world,” Abernathy wrote in a statement. “But as Philadelphia shapes its future, our city must face the demons of inequity, poverty and racism. All voices must be heard — the status quo is no longer acceptable. Progress will not be possible until everyone understands the meaning of Black Lives Matter. To truly tackle these demands, different voices are required at every level of government. ”

A source close to Kenney praised Abernathy’s work ethic, but said the administration did not have confidence in Abernathy to execute a police reform agenda, Billy Penn reported yesterday evening. Abernathy started the role in January 2019.

The Mayor’s Office will be performing a structural review of the office and begin planning to recruit a new managing director, it said.

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