Selfie sticks not allowed at pope's Philadelphia events

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — If you want to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia later this month, you'll have to leave your selfie stick at home.

The Secret Service on Wednesday announced a list of items that will not be allowed inside secured areas where the pope will appear during the World Meeting of Families on Sept. 26 and 27.

Small bags and backpacks — those under 18-by-13-by-7 inches — will be allowed, and they need not be clear. Signs made of cardboard, poster board or cloth are allowed if they are no larger than 5-by-3 feet. Support structures for signs aren't allowed.

Other banned items include balloons, bicycles, pets, hard-sided coolers, laser pointers, drones, anything made of glass, and, not surprisingly, weapons and explosives.

The Secret Service also announced the location of entry points to events where the pope will make appearances.

Five screening areas will be set up around Independence Mall, where ticketholders can see the pope on Sept. 26.

On the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the pope will appear on Sept. 26 and hold Mass the next day.

Seven entry areas will be available to ticketholders only on both days. For those without tickets, nine screening areas are planned on Sept. 26 and three on Sept. 27.

The Secret Service said it's not clear how many metal detectors will be in place at each entry; the number will vary by spot.

All the secured areas will open at 6 a.m. on the days of the events.

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