Now that the papal visit's excitement has ebbed, it's time for the city and the Secret Service to pivot to preparing for the next big event in Philadelphia: the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Once again, tens of thousands of guests are expected. And not all of them as well-mannered as the pope's pilgrims: There's a move afoot to keep bars open late that week.
But before you book a DNC-cation for July 25-28, you should know that the crowd won't be nearly as big - one official likened it to an Eagles game - and Center City won't be paralyzed the way it was for the pope.
"It's not going to be to the extent of the papal visit," Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said. "I suspect it will be like past RNC [Republican National Convention] and DNC . . . contained to one or two locations."
Hoback said Secret Service planning was about to rev up. City officials have been at it for months.
The convention, which will be held at the Wells Fargo Center, is expected to bring 35,000 to 50,000 people to Philadelphia - a fraction of Pope Francis' crowd, estimated at up to a million. The convention, of course, is where Democrats make their pick for president and vice president. The Republicans are hosting their nomination party in Cleveland a week before.
Like the pope's visit, the DNC's is considered a National Special Security Event - meaning that the Department of Homeland Security has deemed it a potential terrorism target and that the Secret Service is overseeing security.
Though Philadelphia has hosted party conventions before - most recently the GOP's in 2000 - all were pre-9/11, when security measures weren't as high.
Not to worry, said David L. Cohen, executive vice president at Comcast and top adviser to both the papal visit and the Democrats' event. He said that based on his experience at past conventions and his involvement with security planning for the pope's visit, he thinks Philadelphians' lives will be less disrupted this time.
If there is a traffic box, it will be near the stadiums, he said.
"There won't be 200,000, 300,000 trying to get in," Cohen said. "It will be like going to see the pope at Madison Square Garden."
The ubiquitous Comcast executive, who was heavily involved in the 2000 Republican convention planning, said that much like the plan in 2000, he expects that the city will make a deal with the Phillies: no home games those July days, or on the weekends bookending the event. "The stadiums will be dark during the convention," he said.
The Secret Service magnetometers that were part of Center City life during the papal visit will likely reappear at the Wells Fargo Center. The many other convention-related parties around town will likely have private security manning the doors and checking who goes in, Cohen said.
The Secret Service will have its hands full - protecting presidential candidates and at least two other likely guests: President Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
Motorcades will move candidates and other protectees around. "They will close the road for a short period of time while the motorcade is proceeding," said Cohen, who has hosted fund-raisers for Obama. "It's like when the president is in town and travels to my house."
Businesses and restaurants are hoping for relative normalcy. Restaurateur Stephen Starr, who complained about loss of business during the papal visit, said he can't imagine the city would ever again shut down that way.
"The city needs to be careful not to overreact," Starr said last week. "This is not the first time we have a big event."
He would know. During the GOP convention in 2000, Starr remembered, the "city was alive" and people packed the restaurants. Even when Obama visits, "The city has been relatively normal, so we should be relatively normal when a bunch of people wanting to be president are here," Starr said.
The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce expects that businesses, especially those not in the food trade, will be able to run on normal schedules.
Because convention events wrap up late, the chamber is checking with city and state officials about whether restaurants and bars can be allowed to serve customers past the legal closing time of 2 a.m., chamber spokesman Matt Cabrey said Wednesday.
"Some restaurants may want to consider a light menu" from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. or later if that happens, Cabrey said.
That is, if people are still hungry. Cohen said most delegates - about 5,000 from across the nation - will be well-fed at all events they attend, including late-night ones
To Starr, a measure of such a national event's success is having locals appreciate the buzz. "In the end, it's regular people who live here who pay the bill," he said.
A quick search of AirBnB and Craigslist showed few area residents offering to rent space to visiting Democrats so far. Compared with prices in the papal-visit frenzy, some rents sound reasonable: A two-bedroom apartment in the Rittenhouse Square area was listed for $400 a night during the Democrats' week; the place usually rents for $225 a night in the summer.
The Philadelphia 2016 host committee, made up mostly of area politicos and well-heeled donors, will be working on logistics such as transporting delegates and other guests and coordinating 10,000 volunteers, said Kevin Washo, the group's executive director. The committee also aims to raise $84 million. Those on the committee wouldn't say how much has been raised - just that it is going well.
Fund-raising for a national party's convention is different from trying to line up the private donations, mostly local, that financed the papal visit. Conventions bring in millions from across the nation, Cohen said. It stands to reason: All sorts of donors, businesses, unions, and interest groups want to make nice to national parties and their nominees. Modern conventions have become less about nomination battles and more about showcasing the ticket and raising the dough.
The Democratic convention's executive staff members, from all over the country, have already been in town for a few weeks. They have watched how the city manages big events - from the Made in America festival, which drew 64,000 people, to the papal visit.
"Although these undertakings are entirely different in terms of both scale and location," said the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, the convention's CEO, "we are confident that the experience of a recent national security event like the papal visit puts Philadelphia in an even better position to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention."
Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney, who could be mayor by then, said that the city deserves a "solid A" for its handling of the papal visit, but that he wants to see an A-plus for the forthcoming convention. "There's always something to be learned or tweaked, see what we can do better," Kenney said. "Make it less onerous."
The tweaking has begun: Everett Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety, said city officials will soon complete a report on lessons learned from the visit, as they do after each big event, and try to apply those lessons to the Democrats' event.
He said its scale will feel familiar.
"We will have 50,000 and that's the absolute 'max' with all the journalists, candidates, and all the delegates," Gillison said. "That's basically an Eagles game or less - and we do that every weekend."