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Philly Group Uses Tourism Dollars To Open Independence Hall, Liberty Bell Center

Visitors to Philadelphia, the United States’ birthplace, over the long holiday weekend will be able to tour Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center, despite the partial federal government shutdown. Officials announced today that Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center will reopen Friday, December 28 through Sunday, December 30, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with National Park Service rangers on site to provide interpretation. No tickets will be required.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the second busiest time of the year for INHP (with July Fourth being the busiest.) The Independence Visitor Center, operated independently of INHP, expects between 70,000 and 100,000 visitors between Christmas and New Year’s Day. An estimated 25,000 visitors typically visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center over the long weekend (Friday through Sunday) before the New Year. Since the partial federal government shutdown began on December 22, 2018, visitors have been not been able to tour Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the Liberty Bell Center. City and tourism officials felt it was important to keep these iconic historic sites open.

VISIT PHILADELPHIA is donating approximately $32,000 to the National Park Service to cover the costs to keep Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center open for the three days. Tourism is an important part of Philadelphia’s economy. In 2017, 43.3 million people visited the Philadelphia region, generating a total of $11.5 billion—or $31.5 million per day—in economic impact. (Source: Econsult Solutions, Inc.)

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
Follow the hashtag #OpeninPHL on Twitter for news from the attractions. Go to for additional visitor information.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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