What better excuse for a party than the new $523 million, 1.3-million- square-foot Pennsylvania Convention Center?
Next weekend's opening is part of an 11-day wingding called Welcome America! that includes festivities related to the center's debut (ribbon- cutting by Vice President Gore) as well as the Freedom Festival, the city's Fourth of July celebration, highlighted by the presentation of the Philadelphia Liberty Medal (by President Clinton to Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk).
The joint celebration will begin next Friday and run through July 5. A full schedule will appear in Sunday's Inquirer and again in a special Convention Center section next Friday. Here are next weekend's highlights.