Where Can You See Pope Francis When He's In The U.S.? Your 3 Best Bets For Catching A Glimpse
Pope Francis will visit the U.S. from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, making stops in Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. It will be the first time that the pope, who's 78 years old, has ever visited the U.S., and he's sure to have quite the welcoming committee. Francis' approval numbers make him one of the most popular popes ever — even among non-Catholics. So where can you see Pope Francis while he's here? There are a few places you can go, whether you're one of the pope's biggest religious or non-religious fans.
Francis will be greeted by President Barack Obama when he arrives in the U.S. around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22. After the pope rests up, Obama will officially welcome him to the White House Wednesday morning. From there, the pope will begin his hectic schedule of parades, prayers, masses and dinners. Anyone who wants a good shot of seeing the pope, either in person or on a big screen as he stands far away, will definitely have to wake up super early and wait in long lines. Here are three places you can see him during his visit to the U.S.
The Papal Parade At The National Mall
Just after Obama officially welcomes Francis to the White House on Wednesday, the pope will board his popemobile, a sturdy white Jeep Wrangler with a glass roof, for a parade around part of the National Mall and the Ellipse, which is just south of the White House fence. The parade will start around 11 a.m., and the pope will be on 15th Street NW, Constitution Avenue, and 17th Street NW.
If you want to see the pope during the parade, you're going to have to guzzle a pot of coffee. Admission is first-come, first-served, and the security gates will open at 4 a.m. No one will be admitted to the parade area after 10 a.m., and once you're in, you're not allowed to leave, so use the bathroom before. You can find more info at the Papal Parade website.
Papal Procession In Central Park
Tens of thousands of tickets to the pope's procession in Central Park on Friday have already been distributed through an online lottery system. If you're Francis' biggest fan, you might be able to find a ticket on Craigslist, but it will cost you.
Processions To And From The World Meeting Of Families In Philadelphia
Francis will board the popemobile at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday for a parade from Eakins Oval to City Hall in Philadelphia. Though tickets have already been given out to those in the Pope's immediate vicinity, large sections of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway — alongside the parade — will be open to the public. Security checkpoints will open at 6:30 a.m. for the evening procession, and about one million people are expected to show up. For those who can't see the pope up close, there will be 40 large screens placed along the parkway to show the events live.
There will be another, shorter parade on Sunday evening to conclude the World Meeting of Families. The route hasn't yet been announced, but it will probably be similar to the Saturday route. Security checkpoints will again open at 6 a.m. and there will be large screens located along the parkway. Visitors won't have to worry about getting too bored during their 12-hour wait on Saturday or Sunday. Mark Wahlberg will be hosting the Festival of Families, which will include performers like Aretha Franklin, comedian Jim Gaffigan, and the Fray.