Fun on the Parkway as Philly Thoroughfare Celebrates 100 Years

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia is celebrating 100 years with multiple events. NBC10's Randy Gyllenhaal has details on the festivities and the history of the parkway.

(Published Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017)

For 100 years the Benjamin Franklin Parkway has connected Philadelphia City Hall to Fairmount Park, hosting American presidents, popes, academics and, even, Beyoncé along the way.

It's the beating heart of Philadelphia's cultural scene and its turning 100 years old.

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The Parkway was originally designed to give Philly a little slice of Paris. Construction began in 1917 and took about a year to finish. It was originally called the Fairmount Parkway before being named for Philly’s favorite Founding Father in 1937.

To celebrate its centennial, the city has a full year of events planned including a big one Thursday night, the Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies public art performance featuring see a dreamlike orchestra of pedicabs – which are peddled taxi-cabs – mounted with glowing lanterns. The 7:30 p.m. event is free.

For the next year, Parkway 100 has events planned from special museum exhibits to public art installations to concert series. Click here for details.