#whyilovephilly Party Recap

Second big #whyilovephilly Party is done! Whew. When scheduling the party, I didn’t realize I would also be opening Waterfront Winterfest the week before, so for about 6 weeks, I’ve been running on complete manic energy (with only one freak out). But now it’s done, and I have to say, I’m a bit sad. I think I like party planning.

Recap of the Party:

This year, I teamed up with Drink Philly, the Arden Theatre Company and Philebrity. We sold out (700 tickets!) on the Wednesday before the party, and then had a mild panic attack about the size of the space. Luckily, the Arden allowed us to use the second floor of their beautiful Hamilton Family Arts Center. The building turned out to be perfect for the event, with little and big rooms scattered throughout. Note for next year — more art and projections needed for the space.

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Despite the rain and cold, at least 400 people came out to celebrate. Later in the evening we were even able to open up the party to those coming in off the street. Note for next year: Open up the back room for sitting areas. Make it even bigger! Also, coat check.

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This year, we got a ton of food donated by Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Bierstube Continental, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse and Headhouse, High Street on Market, Victoria Freehouse, and Joe’s Steaks. If you enjoyed their food at the party, go give them some love.

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We made our own #whyilovephilly ice cream with Martin Brown, co-owner of Little Baby’s

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We drank a lot, all because of our nice sponsors: Victory Brewing Co, Round Guys Brewing, Philadelphia Distilling Co., Triumph Brewing Co., and Philadelphia Brewing Co. The $5 donation for 4 food/drink tickets turned out to be a pretty sweet deal, especially after seeing the drinks that the guys from Philly Distilling were pouring. We actually had booze left over, and I scored myself a nice bottle of Bluecoat. Note for next year: Flat donation, open drinks and food. 

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We had some great entertainment including Tom Moon, Shawn Ryan, Brian Langan and Bruno Joseph

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Matt was on hand drawing portraits

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We ran an Instagram contest using the hashtag #whyilovephilly_13, an idea I developed with the help of Philly Instagrammer Rachel Hara (@rachelhara). We had over 1300 submissions within 2 weeks, which meant that I spent 4 hours one night sorting through Philly photos to find my favorite 8. Yes, this was completely subjective. We turned those into Philly Love Note postcards and little prints to give out in the goodie bags. Congrats to the winners: @rachelhara @RadioWar @aengle215 @cbeatz852 @dmz75 @FedExRich @so_jane @thejuicepective. Also, a big thanks to Franklin Fountain, Quirk Books, United by Blue and Menagerie Coffee for donating prizes for the winners. Note for next year: Get original photo files, 72dpi just doesn’t cut it.

All-put-together

We had people hand write Philly love notes. Ok, so this part didn’t really work. I was hoping that people would use the blank postcards to write love letters, which I would then address and mail out (like last year). I wasn’t very explicit with these instructions, so only maybe 4 were turned in. Note for next year: Have manned love note writing stations.

We had a great Philly photographer join us to take photos (thanks Matt Stanley). You can see the results here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/111249514@N04/

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We raised over $3000 for the Arden Theatre’s programming (that’s 10x last year)!

We had a ton of fun, until the lights went out, which I swear was not intentional — damn PECO. Luckily the party went dark at 9:05PM, right when we were supposed to be ending. Note for next year: Can you even double check with PECO to make sure there will be no intermittent power outages?

We had an incredible group of sponsors who make the night possible: PHL/CVBVisit PhiladelphiaCity Paperthe Marc Hammarberg Groupthe Philadelphia Parking AuthorityUberNewsworks, Free Tours by FootSixers CaveP’unk Ave and Flying Kite. If you get a chance, visit their websites and learn about the great things that they do for our city.

And of course, we had an amazing group of people who stopped by, hung out, got their portraits drawn, got drunk, ate delicious food, posed for pictures, and generally showed why our city is so great.

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