Pope Francis visited the United States for the first time this week, and millions of people flocked to see him. After touring Washington, D.C., and New York City, the pope was scheduled to tour Philadelphia Saturday and Sunday.
His 9:30 a.m. EDT arrival Saturday at the Philadelphia International Airport will likely be a private affair. The airport will briefly shut down for when Francis gets there, though what happens after the plane touchdown will be broadcast live on jumbo TV screens in the Center City district, according to PhillyVoice.com.
The Pope's 10:30 a.m. mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is also closed to the public but will live streamed on the Jumbotrons. Francis' 4:45 p.m. speech on the Independence Mall is open to the public, but the 10,000 free tickets to attend sold out within 30 seconds earlier this month. The pope will speak about religious freedom and immigration. Several people are selling their passes to the event on Craigslist -- an option the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has denounced and threatened to report to police. They range from free to $200 a ticket. Or you can check with local parishes and religious organizations to see if they have any passes left.
I GOT A POPE TICKET IM GONNA SEE THE POPE AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Anna Fitz (@fitzsmores) September 15, 2015
The pope will attend a parade from Eakins Oval to City Hall and the Art Museum before the Festival of Families. An Archdiocese spokesman told the Philadelphia Inquirer the pope would have "broad visibility" during this event, which does not require tickets.
At the 7:30 p.m. Festival of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, there will be a sold-out ticketed zone for 10,000 attendees. But you can go without tickets to be near the pope and watch his appearance -- as well as those of Mark Wahlberg, Aretha Franklin and the Fray -- on big screens throughout the area. Access is open from 20th Street to City Hall and farther, according to the World Meeting of Families website. If you don't have a ticket, you must enter through one of these security checkpoints: North 15th Street at Cherry Street, North Broad Street at Cherry Street, South Broad Street at Chestnut Street, South 15th Street at Chestnut Street, South 17th Street at Market Street, or South 17th Street at John F. Kennedy Boulevard. No animals, balloons, bicycles, drones, selfie sticks or large signs will be allowed.
At 9:15 a.m. EDT on Sunday, Francis has a meeting with bishops at the World Meeting of Families in a closed event. Afterward, he'll privately visit inmates at 11 a.m. at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
I CANT WAIT FOR PHILLY AND THE POPE AND MY FAMILY! NEXT WEEKEND WILL BE SO GREAT
— Laura Rose (@LauraRose_15) September 17, 2015
The pope will travel to his main event, the closing mass, in another parade. The route has not been announced.
The 4 p.m. closing mass at the World Meeting of Families -- surprise -- sold out of its 10,000 free tickets. But no passes are required from 20th Street to City Hall and back. If you don't have a ticket, enter through a security checkpoint at North 19th Street at Wood Street, North 18th Street at Cherry Street, or North 19th Street at Cherry Street.
At 7 p.m. he will meet privately with organizers at the airport before leaving at 8 p.m., according to PopeFrancisVisit.com.
The takeaway? Try to get tickets -- either through a friend, a parish or online marketplace -- but if you can't, don't panic. Just be prepared to walk and have to stake out your spot on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. You may not see Pope Francis in person, but you'll definitely be able to catch him on a nearby Jumbotron.