Philadelphia now accepting applications for special event permits

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The City of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that the Office of Special Events and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation will start accepting event permit applications. On April 15, the Streets Department will accept applications for festivals and block parties.

"It doesn't necessarily mean we'll be issuing permits starting tomorrow," said Philadelphia Managing Director Tumar Alexander. "We'll have a process where our internal staff will be reviewing those permits, ensuring that folks have all the requirements."

While the rest of Pennsylvania will be able to hold events at 25% capacity indoors and 50% outdoors starting April 4, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said he's not sure if the city will follow suit. The city still has a strict 15% indoor capacity with no food or drinks allowed and 20% capacity outdoors.

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"I'm worried that people are so eager to get back to normal that we are opening up too quickly," said Farley. "So, I'm going to say we're going to look at this."

Over in the suburbs, the planning committee for Glenside's July 4th parade is celebrating Gov. Tom Wolf's easing of restrictions but the parade will look different.

"We're also going to try to have more cars this year, that way people are more distanced," said Jamey Piggott, president of Greater Glenside Patriotic Association. "This year we're going to try to have flatbed trucks, corvettes, or open-air cars."

But event venue operators in Philadelphia find the city's lack of decision disappointing.

Christopher Angeli started working at Regal Ballroom in Oxford Circle at age 12 as a dishwasher. As the proud owner for the last 22 years, he said he hasn't held an event in 366 days.

"The city has not been giving us answers as far as what to tell our clients and that's I think the hardest part," said Angeli.

And with no end of the restrictions in sight, he recently had to sell his home.

"It's a necessary thing to keep the business operating," said Angeli. "Because the last thing I want to do is bankrupt my business."

Farley said the city should have more answers about the easing of event restrictions next week.
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