Everything You Need to Know About the Women's March in Philly This Weekend

For the third year running, Philadelphia -- and many other cities nationwide -- is banding together in support of women’s rights. Though this year’s local event was embroiled in scandal (an ousted organizer, competing marches, missing funds) the show -- or more specifically, shows -- will go on. Expect two simultaneous women’s empowerment events for January 19, 2019: one affiliated with the national movement, with over 10,000 Facebook RSVPs, and one not, reporting nearly 3,000 Facebook responses. Here’s what the day has to offer:

What’s different this year?

Well, there are actually two events this year. Women’s March Pennsylvania applied for an event permit with the city on October 1, and the group who organized previous years’ events (called the Philly Women Rally) applied for their permit on November 5 after losing a founding member who they claim took $19,000 from the group. Both were approved, and so we've got two events to choose from.

What's the difference between the two? Well, the Philly Women Rally is centering its event around the theme “We shall be heard” in regard to gun violence, racism, workplace equality, sexual harassment, and reproductive rights. The Women’s March Pennsylvania, meanwhile, is rallying behind a message of “harness[ing] the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” Hope that cleared everything up!

When and where does the march start?

The Women’s March Pennsylvania (the one affiliated with the national women’s marches) will meet at LOVE Park starting at 10am. The Philly Women Rally, meanwhile, will convene at the 1700 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 10am to march toward the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. Speakers and performers will hit the stage at 11am, and both events will wrap by 2pm.

What's the lineup of speakers?

Attendees of the Philly Women Rally will hear from representatives from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Orange Wave, and newly elected Pennsylvania and national officials. Expect performances from musicians Seraiah Nicole, Voices Rising Philly, and Karen Rodriguez.

Women’s March Pennsylvania speakers, meanwhile, are still to-be-announced -- stay tuned for that info!

How to get there

There will be plenty of road closures and SEPTA detours. SEPTA Bus Routes 2, 7, 27, 32, 38, 43 and 48 will be detoured from their normal routes through the Benjamin Franklin Parkway area for 12 hours on Saturday, starting at 5am.

The following streets will be closed starting at 5am on Saturday:

  • Arch Street between 15th Street and 16th Street
  • 16th Street between JFK Blvd. and Cherry Street
  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 16th Street and 17th Street
  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 22nd Street and Eakins Oval (all lanes)
  • 23rd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • Spring Garden Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • Kelly Drive (outbound) from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
  • Kelly Drive (inbound) between 25th Street and Fairmount Avenue (local access maintained to Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive)
  • Martin Luther King Drive between Eakins Oval and Montgomery Drive
  • Spring Garden Street Bridge at 31st Street (Local access maintained to Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive)

Your best bet is to get a rideshare to drop you off as close to the Parkway as possible, or take the subway to City Hall. You can also access the Art Museum by foot or bike via the Schuylkill River Trail.

What to wear to the march

As of now, temps won’t rise above 38 degrees and there’s a chance for snow later in the afternoon, so be sure to bundle up -- don’t forget gloves for hoisting those signs -- wear multiple pairs of socks, and don comfortable shoes.

If you need last-minute poster ideas

You’re too late for online purchasing, but we've got a whole guide outlining brilliant poster ideas in case you're feeling crafty enough to put one together yourself. Alternatively, you can source some ideas from Pinterest or steal something from last year’s cream of the crop. If all else, fails, you can just watch the news for five minutes -- there's plenty of inspiration for you to come up with something fresh.

What to do the rest of the day

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, the Franklin Institute, and other Parkway museums will be open all day for some warm entertainment -- check out our guide to the best museums in Philly for more in-depth info.

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Allie Volpe is a contributor to Thrillist.