Parkway 100: Celebrating a Century of the Ben Franklin Parkway

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is turning 100, and in true Philly fashion, the city is celebrating in the most exciting way possible. From September 2017 to November 2018, the city will host Parkway 100, a massive celebration commemorating the parkway’s centennial anniversary.

If you want to get the insider scoop on everything you can expect from this extravagant city-wide and year-long event, check out the guide below!

Events for the Centennial Celebration

As the Ben Franklin Parkway turns 100, Philly natives and visitors will have a chance to immerse themselves in culture, arts, and history for more than a year. Starting in September, Parkway 100 will feature a variety of events that your entire family is sure to love.

Festivities will commence on September 8, 2017, with Parkway 100’s “We Are Connected” Kickoff Festival. From 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM, families are welcome to come out for more than 100 free attractions and activities at museums, parks, and other public places along the Parkway.

Other events taking place during Parkway 100 include:

  • Night Skies in the Observatory at The Franklin Institute
  • City in Bloom Planting Day on the Parkway
  • Concert series at the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter & Paul
  • Summer 2018 season at The Oval, presented by Fairmount Park Conservatory and the City of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Educational events, guided walking tours, lectures, and behind-the-scene tours will also be featured throughout the year to help you learn all about the history of the Ben Franklin Parkway.

After an entire year of fun, excitement, and celebration, the festivities will conclude on November 16, 2018, with the Parkway 100 Finale. During this event, all participating museums, institutions, and attractions will open their doors to the public for a “visit-them-all experience.” Installations, concerts, café talks, and educational programs are just some of the things taking place during the big finale in 2018.

Centennial Exhibitions for Parkway 100

One of the largest attractions during this year-long event will be the exhibitions. For the first time, all members of the Parkway Museums District will come together to create a series of exhibitions called “Collections and Connections.”

The series will feature a centennial theme, and will commemorate iconic arts, culture, and architecture of the city right on the Parkway. The exhibition as a whole will connect the institutions as a common destination for all things arts and culture during Parkway 100.

Winter Fountains for the Parkway by Jennifer Steinkamp will also be featured. This installation will include five beautiful architectural domes covered with glass beadinginspired by the fountains along the Parkway landscape. Animated video will be projected onto each dome for a beautiful glow during the day and to illuminate the Parkway at night.

Other Parkway 100 exhibitions include:

  • Corridor of Culture: 100 Years of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the Free Library of Philadelphia
  • A Peek at the Past at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
  • Celebrating Moore’s Legacy: 170 Years of Art & Design at Moore College of Art & Design
  • Paul Philippe Cret and the Barnes Foundation at The Barnes Foundation

Celebrate 100 Years of the Ben Franklin Parkway

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is just as important to the city as the Liberty Bell and cheesesteaks. So, check out Parkway 100 to celebrate its centennial anniversary starting in September.

And be sure to connect with Parkway Museums District on Facebook for updates and more information about this year-long event!