Philadelphia – November 3, 2023
Philadelphia’s upcoming mayor will play a pivotal role in overseeing preparations for the significant events scheduled for the year 2026, which have the potential to be transformative for the city. These events are not only America’s 250th anniversary but also include the World Cup soccer tournament, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, and the PGA golf championship, along with at least 20 major conventions.
As Philadelphia gears up for this extraordinary year, Angela Val of VisitPhilly, the city’s tourism marketing organization, emphasizes the importance of starting preparations now to ensure Philadelphia shines on the international stage in 2026. She highlights the need for clean and safe streets as a priority for the next mayor, as the city aims to address the perception of safety, making Philadelphia’s walkable streets even more inviting.
Both mayoral candidates, David Oh and Cherelle Parker, have made public safety a central focus of their campaigns and recognized the urgency of preparing for the city’s banner year in 2026. Parker, in particular, intends to enhance her program, PHL Taking Care of Business, which supports community-based cleaning efforts. Oh emphasizes improving public transportation via SEPTA.
City Council candidates are also keen to contribute to the success of 2026. Rue Landau, an at-large candidate, advocates forming an intergovernmental workgroup with the mayor’s office to enhance infrastructure, promote arts and culture, and prioritize residents’ needs. Drew Murray, another at-large hopeful, underscores the importance of a comprehensive plan for safe streets, effective governmental coordination, and robust city marketing.
Preparations for 2026 extend beyond city government. Coalition 2026, comprised of various organizations, is working collectively to coordinate efforts and secure funding. Philadelphia250 is focusing on neighborhood-based events and ensuring residents’ voices are included in the planning process.
Additionally, the philanthropic Connelly Foundation is financing city programs to make 2026 a success. The foundation has already received over 80 proposals and is distributing the first round of funding, which is expected to reach seven digits. Tim Durkin, the foundation’s vice president, encourages the next mayor to start planning for 2026 immediately after the election, including the formation of a transition committee dedicated to 2026 preparations.
Despite the challenges and lessons learned from past anniversaries, Philadelphia is determined to make 2026 a remarkable year that benefits both visitors and residents. The focus is on community engagement, economic development, and creating a lasting legacy for the city.
Ultimately, the success of the events in 2026 will depend not only on the mayor but also on the dedicated individuals and organizations that surround the mayor in ensuring Philadelphia is ready to shine.