Liberty Bell, Independence Hall open this weekend despite government shutdown

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Despite the government shutdown, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center will be open this weekend.

That's because a $32,000 donation was made by Visit Philadelphia to cover the costs to keep both historic tourists attractions open at a time when so many people are visiting our city.

"My brother sent me the story about Independence Hall opening and his face lit up," said Chasity Thompson of Nashville.

The two historic sites reopened Friday morning. The donation to the National Park Service will cover staffing costs.

"It's really nice to see places in the Philadelphia area being able to pick up a little bit of the slack and connect the dots," said Cara Schneider of Visit Philadelphia.

It was a pleasant surprise for one bride visiting with her bridesmaids from out-of-town.

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Government shutdown leaves Liberty Bell visitors looking in. Chad Pradelli reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on December 26, 2018.

"I think that's wonderful," said Megan Becker of Nazareth. "I mean, that's a huge part of our history."

We caught up with a family of four from Dallas who had no problem braving the downpour on Friday after disappointing visits earlier this week.

"We came yesterday and had to stand in a line just to take a picture from the outside," said Joanna McCord. "We saw the news this morning and we hurried and got ready and came down as fast as we could."

Visit Philadelphia says their donation will only keep those tourist sites open through Sunday.

If the government shutdown continues, these sites will once again close beginning on Monday so tourists should plan accordingly.

Back in Philadelphia, the following historic sites and attractions on or around Independence Mall are not impacted by the partial federal government shutdown and will remain open through the holiday weekend and beyond:

  • Independence Visitor Center

  • African American Museum in Philadelphia

  • Betsy Ross House

  • Christ Church

  • Franklin Square

  • Museum of the American Revolution

  • National Constitution Center

  • National Liberty Museum

  • National Museum of American Jewish History

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