How to get around Philly during the Made in America Festival

Road closures near the parkway ramp up Friday morning.

Mike DeNardo
August 31, 2018 - 7:20 am
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will soon be closed during the Made in America Festival.

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Jay-Z's two-day Made in America Festival, a staple of Philadelphia's annual Labor Day celebration, this year featuring headliners Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj and Janelle Monae, is either a thrill or an inconvenience for people who live in the area along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where the event is hosted.

To accommodate the venue construction and festival, gradual road closures along the parkway and in sections of the Fairmount neighborhood began as early as Aug. 26. The number and magnitude of street closings and parking restrictions has increased by the day since then.  More road closures took effect Friday.

The outer drives of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway have closed for the weekend. Fencing is up between 21st Street and the Art Museum, outlining the perimeter of the Made in America concert grounds. 

This is the seventh Labor Day Made in America festival on the parkway, so Philly knows the drill by now:  Road closures and parking restrictions all weekend, between 20th Street and the Art Museum. Drivers should expect delays and to allow for extra driving time during set-up, through the weekend, and during breakdown of the venue. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes in the areas near the festivities. Double parking is illegal and further limits traffic flow.

Kristin Coffan lives nearby. She has a bit of a love-hate relationship with Made in America.

"Both exciting and frustrating," she said. "Exciting, because of all of the energy and all of the people and all of the festivities and hoopla. But also a little bit interruptive, if that's a word!"

Another neighbor didn't seem to mind so much: "It doesn't bother me. It's just harder to park. I live far enough off and I have my own parking. That's the biggest issue."

The current phase of road closures —through 5 a.m.. Sept. 4 — is as follows: 

  • Outer lanes of Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 20th Street and Eakins Oval
  • 23rd Street, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • 22nd Street, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Park Towne Place
  • 21st Street, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Winter Street
  • Kelly Drive outbound, from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
  • Outer lane of MLK Drive adjacent to Paine’s Park

Starting at 10 on Friday, because of the closed outer lanes on the parkway, traffic headed into Center City from the Spring Garden Street Bridge or Martin Luther King Drive must exit Eakins Oval on the 24th Street ramp. Traffic headed into Center City on Kelly Drive must exit at Fairmount Avenue.

All roadways will re-open prior to morning rush hour on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Some low-impact parking and travel lane restrictions will remain in place until midnight that day. 

A special hotline (917-732-7501) and email address (info@madeinamerica.com) set up for questions, concerns and complaints are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and during festival hours on Saturday and Sunday.