Between celebrity sightings, rousing renovations, and remarkable events, Philly had quite a year. Here, we list the most exciting things that went down in 2014.
1. Jake Gyllenhaal Surprises Moviegoers
In October, Gyllenhaal surprised fans by showing up to a screening of his new movie Nightcrawler at Rave Cinemas in University City. The actor even stayed after the credits to take pictures with locals and chat about the film.
2. Jon Bon Jovi Accepts the Marian Anderson Award
The musician visited the Kimmel Center in November to accept the Marian Anderson Award, presented to individuals who use their artistic talents for the betterment of themselves, their fans, and their community.
3. The Miss America Pageant Takes Over Atlantic City
Miss Maryland 2014 Jade Kenny, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, and Miss Pennsylvania 2014 Amanda Smith.
Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall hosted the 87th Miss America Pageant on September 15. Miss New York Kira Kazantsev wowed the judges with her beautiful voice and was crowned Miss America 2015.
4. President Obama Stops Down in Philly
On November 2, Temple University students were in for a treat when none other than President Barack Obama showed up at the school’s Liacouras Center to discuss education, job creation, and student debt.
5. Ali Larter Celebrates Her Philadelphia Style Cover
A pregnant Ali Larter came home to attend a September soirée held in honor of her Philadelphia Style cover. The glowing Cherry Hill native confidently rocked heels on the red carpet.
6. Kanye Performs at Made in America
The third annual Budweiser Made in America festival rocked out Philly over Labor Day weekend with headliners Kings of Leon, City and Colour, The National, and the always-controversial Kanye West.
7. Dilworth Park Gets a Makeover
This year, Dilworth Park got a face-lift with the addition of a plush lawn, lovely trees, and an interactive fountain (pictured above). To top it all off, the park's Rothman Ice Rink opened just in time for the holidays.
8. DesignPhiladelphia Turns 10
For its 10th anniversary, DesignPhiladelphia had one of its most successful festivals to date; the nine-day affair included more than 100 events throughout Philly to celebrate local design talent in almost every form imaginable.
9. The Philadelphia Marathon Draws 30,000 Runners
Runners crossing the starting line.
Beginning at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and ending on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the 2014 Philadelphia Marathon drew more than 30,000 participants. Who came in first? Dan Vassallo with a time of 2:21:58.
10. Courtney Lapresi Wins MasterChef
Former University of the Arts student Courtney Lapresi won season 5 of MasterChef. The 26-year-old chef mesmerized the judges with her delicious talent and took home the $250,000 prize.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES; FACEBOOK.COM/MISSAMERICA; EDWARD SAVARIA; GORE-TEX PHILADELPHIA MARATHON