PHILADELPHIA, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) and National Park Service (NPS) are gearing up for another eventful Memorial Day Weekend and the beginning of Philadelphia's vibrant summer tourist season in and around Independence National Historical Park.
The Independence Visitor Center will be open daily until 7:00 p.m. starting Friday, May 24 through Labor Day. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center will close at 5:00 p.m.. Admission to see the Liberty Bell is free and does not require a ticket. Free-timed tickets to tour Independence Hall must be picked up at the Independence Visitor Center on the day of the tour, or reserved in advance at www.nps.gov/inde for a $1.50 reservation fee. For more information about the services offered at the Visitor Center, visit www.PHLvisitorcenter.com.
The National Park Service (NPS) is hosting the following FREE programming over Memorial Day Weekend:
May 24-26 Starting Memorial Day Weekend, free story telling benches return to locations throughout the park. Once Upon A Nation, a joint program between Historic Philadelphia, Inc. and the National Park Service, offers an opportunity for visitors of all ages to hear fascinating tales with history that speaks to you.Become a part of the Continental Army and drill with Washington's troops in a joint program hosted by Historic Philadelphia, Inc. and the National Park Service. Meet in the Signers' Garden at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. May 24-26. Join a National Park Service Ranger for "Stories of Struggle," a free, illustrated program highlighting the stories of the people, places and events surrounding the founding and early years of the United States, at 4 p.m. at the Second Bank of the United States on May 25 and 26. Memorial Day On Memorial Day, the National Park Service will welcome the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War for a wreath-laying ceremony on Independence Square at noon. The 19 th Annual Commemoration and Wreath-Laying Ceremony with the Daughters, Sons and Children of the American Revolution will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington Square at 4 p.m. For more information about programming hosted by the National Park Service, visit http://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm. Crosswalk Cafe, located on Independence Mall across the lawn from the Visitor Center on 5 th Street between Market and Arch Streets, is open from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Crosswalk Cafe is the ideal setting to take in views of Independence Hall and Philadelphia's historic district. Choose from an assortment of cafe items paired with one of our hand-crafted beers or savory wines. For more information about Crosswalk Cafe, visit www.CrosswalkCafePhilly.com. The PHLASH Downtown Loop will begin daily service on Friday, May 24 through Labor Day from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PHLASH is the quick, easy and inexpensive connection to key Philadelphia attractions and cultural institutions. The bright purple trolley is the best way to get around to more than 19 key locations in Center City for just $2 per ride. Purchase tickets on board or at any Visitor Center location. For more information about the PHLASH, visit www.PhillyPHLASH.com or find PHLASH on-the-go with the mobile site, www.RidephillyPHLASH.com. The Independence Visitor Center Corporation is a Pennsylvania non-profit, 501(c)3 organization which operates in cooperation with the efforts of the National Park Service, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Independence Visitor Center is Independence National Historical Park's and the region's welcome center for people from all over the nation and the world offering visitor amenities including trip planning service, easy onsite ticketing for area attractions, multilingual concierge staff, comprehensive daily listing of area events, attraction displays and regional maps, free, informative historical and orientation films, free wireless Internet access and much more. Follow @PHLVisitorCntr , the Visitor Center's virtual concierge service on Twitter, and like us on Facebook . For more information about the Independence Visitor Center, visit www.PHLvisitorcenter.com . A unit of the National Park Service , Independence National Historical Park was created by an Act of Congress on June 28, 1948. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Independence NHP covers almost 54 acres in Philadelphia's Old City, and includes Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall, Franklin Court, and other historic buildings associated with the founding of the United States. The park is open from 9:00 am daily with the exception of Christmas day. A visit to Independence National Historical Park should start at the Independence Visitor Center, located at 6 th and Market Streets. Here, visitors can pick up a park brochure, park map, and the free, timed tickets required for Independence Hall. For more information visit the park's website, http://www.nps.gov/inde or follow us at twitter.com/independencenhp or facebook.com/independencenhp. Crosswalk Cafe, located in the heart of Independence National Historical Park, is a seasonal outdoor cafe managed by the Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) and operated by Brulee Catering. The menu features a full-line of fresh cafe items including specialty salads, sandwiches and small bites. Crosswalk Cafe offers a selection of hand-crafted beers and savory wines. For more information about Crosswalk Cafe, visit www.crosswalkcafephilly.com . The PHLASH Downtown Loop seasonal transit program is managed by the Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC). PHLASH vehicle service is provided by Philadelphia Trolley Works. For more information about the PHLASH, visit www.phillyPHLASH.com or find PHLASH on-the-go with the mobile site, www.RidephillyPHLASH.com . For information about the IVCC, visit www.PHLvisitorcenter.com . SOURCE The Independence Visitor Center Corporation