Everything you need to know about Bloomsday

What is Bloomsday?

June 16 is the day the world celebrates James Joyce and his literary masterpiece, Ulysses. The celebration is called “Bloomsday” after one of the main characters, Leopold Bloom. As the residence of the complete manuscript of Ulysses, the Rosenbach has celebrated Bloomsday for more than 20 years. The main event features readings from Ulysses, spoken aloud by Philadelphia-area writers, artists, and other public figures, accompanied by musical performances. Our 2017 event features a beer garden and local food trucks, as well as a silent auction to benefit the Rosenbach. The museum will be open and free from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. and visitors are welcome to explore our historical house and current exhibition. For more details, see the event page.

Bloomsday at the Rosenbach takes place on June 16, rain or shine; weather permitting, the celebration takes place outdoors on beautiful Delancey Place between 20th and 21st streets.

What happens if it rains?

In the event of bad weather, a relocation announcement will be made at 8 a.m. on the day of Bloomsday and posted to our website and social media. The rain location is the nearby Trinity Center at 2212 Spruce Street.

If no announcement is made, the celebration will go forward on Delancey Place as planned. Bring an umbrella just in case.

Where do I park?

Street parking is limited in our neighborhood, but there are several parking lots nearby. We recommend Classic Parking at 2031 Lombard Street, which offers a discounted rate if you validate your ticket at the Rosenbach (offer not valid for early bird rate). There are also several parking garages located on 20th Street a few blocks north, near Walnut Street and Chestnut Street.

You can also avoid parking altogether by taking public transit. The Rosenbach is a short walk or cab ride away from Center City transit hubs such as 30th Street Station, and several SEPTA bus routes (17, 2, 7, 40) travel nearby.

Is Bloomsday family-friendly?

Families with children are always welcome at the Rosenbach! Visiting families who wish to enjoy free museum admission on Bloomsday should ask the front desk for a family guide for the exhibition or historic house. However, please note that Bloomsday is a celebration of Ulysses, a novel which includes mature content. Consider our Bloomsday readings PG-13 rated: parental discretion is advised.

How about dog-friendly?

Leashed dogs are welcome to listen to the readings! However, they may not come inside.

Are there restrooms?

Bloomsday attendees are welcome to make use of the restrooms, water cooler, and seating area on the first floor of the Rosenbach.

What should I wear?

We encourage you to dress appropriately for the weather and comfortably for sitting, eating, and drinking. Some Ulysses fans like to wear bowler hats or straw boaters, in honor of certain characters from the novel.

What if I haven’t read Ulysses?

You certainly won’t be alone! But Bloomsday is a wonderful way to encounter Ulysses for the first time: many readers agree that hearing the novel read out loud brings it to life. More importantly, Bloomsday–like Ulysses–is about many things: connecting to your community, engaging the senses, sharing moments of beauty and humor.

For Ulysses novices and fans alike, we’ll have a printed program (including a plot summary) that will help you follow along.