NFL and AACA, Ay-Yi-Yi!
The Antique Automobile Club of America, sponsors of vintage car events nationwide but perhaps best known for the enormous “Hershey” event each October, holds its annual meeting in Philadelphia every February, and this weekend brings the 82nd such meeting. Unlike your local car club’s monthly gatherings, the annual AACA meeting is a genuine Big Deal, taking place at the Sheraton Downtown hotel in Philadelphia.
The event begins this Thursday, February 8.
But so does the victory parade for the 2018 NFL Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles!
This has created a somewhat unique situation for the AACA. The hotel, as its name implies, is located in downtown Philly. As you might expect, so will be the parade. The parade is expected to kick off around 11:00 AM at Broad and Pattison in South Philadelphia, then head north to the Art Museum, getting closer and closer to the hotel with each block.
Also getting closer and closer to the hotel – or trying to – will be hundreds of AACA members.
Philadelphia sports fans are rabid, so much so that the schools are being closed on Thursday in Philadelphia and surrounding communities, even some in neighboring New Jersey. The spectator turnout for the parade will be no small thing. Several downtown streets will be closed to accommodate the parade, and with no doubt traffic will be more congested than normal, both in the city and around the Philadelphia area.
To help their members cope with this, the AACA has issued some advisories. First, they’ve listed the streets near the Sheraton Downtown that will be closed from 5 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m. on Thursday. These include some pretty significant thoroughfares:
-Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 16th Street and 20th Street, including Logan Circle
-17th Street between Arch Street and Vine Street
-18th Street between Arch Street and Vine Street
-19th Street between Arch Street and Vine Street
-Race Street between 20th Street and Logan Circle
-20th Street between Race Street and Callowhill Street
The good news for AACA members is that the entrance to the Sheraton Downtown and it’s parking garage will not be affected, but a little creative routing will help. The AACA has recommended the following path: Approach the city from the west on I-676 (the Vine Street Expressway) and take the Broad St/15th Street Exit. Make an immediate right on to 15th Street and then another quick right to Spring Street, which may look like an alley. At the end of Spring Street the hotel will be right in front of you.
Miss the turns and, well, pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks, maybe you’ll get there in time for some baseball.