Celebrating the NFL Draft in Philadelphia

I expect you already know that one of this country’s great annual national sporting events will be held in Philadelphia this April. The National Football League Draft will be held right here in the City of Brotherly Love from April 27-29.


As you might expect, there will be amazing festivities in Philadelphia over these three days, when over 200,000 fans are expected on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. As part of the 2017 NFL Draft, there will be a huge free NFL Draft Experience Fan Festival, which will include interactive activities (like a 100-yard zip line), and numerous opportunities for autographs from current and former players, as well as the chance to take pictures with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Where will the actual draft be held? Inside a 3,000-person theater on the Parkway itself. As you may have heard, the first NFL Draft was held in Philadelphia, in 1936, which consisted of nine rounds of teams picking names written on a blackboard—and with no media coverage. Imagine that!

Even though the football season is now long over (with a stellar performance by Philadelphia’s own Matt Ryan, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons), this April weekend seems like a perfect reason for breaking out your Eagles paraphernalia along with some Philadelphia tailgating—and daily— specialties.

If you are going to center city Philadelphia for the NFL Draft festivities, keep an eye out for Philadelphia food trucks that will be serving some Philadelphia specialties. Even if you are staying at home, there is still great reason to celebrate with these wonderful Philadelphia culinary traditions, like:

  1. The Cheese steak: It may be the most famous of all Philadelphia culinary traditions, a source of both fierce love and debate among our food aficionados. If not buying cheese steaks from your local Philadelphia food trucks (including vegetarian cheese steaks which Jerry’s Kitchen offers on its regular and catering menu), but making them at home, keep in mind that they work best with separate preparation and storage of ingredients until you are ready to serve the dish. You will want to keep the meat separate from the rolls and cheese until you are ready to serve, so the bread stays soft (not soggy) and the meat moist.
  1. Hoagies: They are another great Philadelphia—not to mention global—sandwich tradition. As we all know, hoagies are widely available across the Philadelphia area, as well as easy to make. If making them at home, you will want proper hoagie rolls, and a good variety of meats and cheeses to maximize flavor, along with the lettuce, onions, salt, pepper, oregano, and oil. Again, make your hoagies as close to serving as possible, so you can maximize freshness and avoid sogginess.
  1. Italian Sausage and Soft Pretzels: Both local delicacies those are widely available. Italian sausages come in a variety of flavors and sizes, as do soft pretzels. They are great to consume together, and are wonderful to serve as a snack or appetizer if you are hosting (or even if you are not).

Just make sure you celebrate both Philadelphia and the NFL this April with some delicious food!


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