PhillyGossip: NFL Draft Details & The Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square Returns

PhillyGossip: NFL Draft Details – Run Against Your Favorite Player & Franklin Square Returns

Hey everyone hope you’re well. I’m still getting used to reality after my short vacation to Anguilla. Lots of fun Philly Gossip and Philly News You Can Use has happened over the past week. Let’s get started.


Tuesday was a busy day with press conferences and announcements. I went to the NFL Draft announcement at Phila Art Museum.
The Mayor will join NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O’Reilly and Co-Chair of the NFL Draft Host Committee and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski to unveil the details of the “NFL Draft Experience Presented by Oikos Triple Zero”, an expansive free admission outdoor football festival for fans and families.

The NFL Draft will be held in Philadelphia from April 27-29, with the NFL transforming part of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into the NFL Draft Experience, a free (yes, free!) expansive outdoor football festival.

There will be a staging area where the draft will take place. It will be located on the Phila Art Museum Steps.
Ticketing info is still being finalized by the NFL and more details will be released in the coming weeks. While the NFL is handling the entire ticketing process for the NFL Draft, there will be some unique opportunities to take in the experience, like participating as a seat filler in the theatre and plaza area. Seat filler requests need to be submitted in advance and that can be done by visiting Additionally, information about parking will be communicated once details are finalized by the NFL. Keep an eye on for all the latest NFL Draft information.



The NFL will transform part of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway into the NFL DRAFT EXPERIENCE PRESENTED BY DANNON OIKOS TRIPLE ZERO, a free, expansive outdoor football festival. Fans of all ages and all teams will be able to take part in the future of football through interactive exhibits, immersive games, virtual reality experiences, player autograph sessions and more.

One of the features on the Parkway will be the Combine Corner, which will allow fans to run the 40-yard dash and test their other athletic skills (above is a smaller version which is located inside The Franklin Institute where you run against Eagles Players), to an NFL Virtual Reality experience and NFL replica locker rooms. Plus, the NFL Draft Experience Tailgate will feature menu items from some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants. Other highlights include:

  • NFL Virtual Reality – Experience NFL games using virtual reality technology.
  • The Vince Lombardi Trophy – Fans will have the opportunity to take their photo with the Super Bowl trophy.
  • AFC & NFC Locker Rooms – Visit a replica NFL locker room as it appears on game day. Experience the sights of an NFL pregame with sleek translucent LCDs.
  • NFL Museum (Pro Football Hall of Fame display area) – This exhibit features historical Eagles memorabilia, Super Bowl rings and Conference Championship trophies. Fans can get a digital Pro Football Hall of Fame bronze bust in their likeness.
  • College Football Corner – Fans can view College Football Hall of Fame memorabilia from former first round Draft picks and Eagles legends, and cheer on Draft prospects from their favorite college team. Life-size player mannequins offer unique photo opportunities.
  • NFL Draft Experience Tailgate – Enjoy selections from some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants in a “taste of the town” tailgate.
  • NFL Network Set – Watch NFL Network analysts break down the NFL Draft.
  • ESPN Set – Check out SportsCenter live from NFL Draft Experience.
  • NFL Shop at Draft – Stop by for the largest assortment of NFL Draft merchandise, including customizable Nike Jerseys and the official 2017 NFL Draft Cap by New Era and other exclusive Draft caps.
  • NFL Draft Set – Visit the official NFL Draft set from Thursday to Saturday and see the view from behind the podium.
  • 3-2-2017 9-35-07 AM (Custom)

    • Thursday, April 27: Round 1 festivities, which will include incoming prospects walking the red carpet before entering an outdoor theater. More fans than ever before will be able to view the Commissioner announcing selections and greeting draftees during the first round with the NFL building the first ever outdoor Draft Theatre.
    • Friday, April 28: Thirty-two former players who are members of the NFL Legends Community, one representing each team, will be on hand for Night 2 to announce selections. Night 2 Draft (Rounds 2-3) announcements will also feature winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide.
    • Saturday, April 29: The Draft will conclude with Rounds 4-7 and the final day of the free fan festival.

      (Also what’s excited is by the time the NFL Draft comes along, it looks like both Civil War Monuments will be unveiled. Currently they’re boxed up as they are doing road construction there.)


On the other side of town

Greetings from a beautiful day in Franklin Square! Hard to believe but here we are, about to open for the 2017 season. Today, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. announced that the season opens tomorrow, and Franklin Square will be open daily through December 31. In addition, we are excited to tell you that the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square will return on May 9 for five weeks.


2-28-2017 2-53-16 PM (Custom)

They listened to the critics, and created a creative fence for park goers to enjoy the park during the day when it’s open to the public.

Amy Needle, President and CEO of Historic Philadelphia, Inc. said, “In 2016, Historic Philadelphia, Inc. could have never imagined that despite a rainy few weeks, 92,000 people from all walks of life came to experience the magic of the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square. We are looking forward to displaying all new creations in the Square this spring, and to embracing the historical and cultural immersion this brings to our region.”


John Chin, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, emphasized, “During the 2016 Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square, there was an uptick in Chinatown area restaurants and businesses that the community appreciated. For this coming season, the neighborhood businesses will be developing a series of promotions to complement the Festival and increase visitation to our unique corner of the city. Everyone in the area is thrilled to see the return of this Chinese cultural phenomenon.”

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square is produced by the Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc. and its parent company, Sichuan Tianyu Cultural Communications, Ltd. in cooperation with Historic Philadelphia, Inc. Visitors can learn more here:

2-28-2017 1-19-21 PM (Custom)

Come back on Sunday March 5 for the next edition of Philly Gossip and News You Can Use. We’ll have lots of engagements, weddings and baby announcements. Plus an up to date on what’s happening with the Untouchable Movie. Remember to follow me on Instagram PhillyChitChat and Twitter @HughE_Dillon for daily updates. Also search #PCCBuzz for great events and happenings you might be interested in doing and seeing in our area.
Have a great day.