Neighbors react to news that Made in America is staying put

Some concerns have been addressed through the years, but there is more to discuss with city officials.

Tim Jimenez
July 24, 2018 - 8:07 am
Made in America

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio, file


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Residents who live on or around the Benjamin Franklin Parkway are having mixed reactions to the news that Made In America will be staying put next year. This is according to the presidents of two neighborhood associations directly affected by events on the parkway.

RELATED: Kenney: Made in America will remain on the Parkway

Bruce Butler, head of the Fairmount Civic Association, says there are positives. It's good to bring people into the city, he says, and some businesses see a boost. 

However, on the other side, he said, "I think some of the neighborhood was kind of happy with the initial announcement that it was gonna be the last year this year. So, I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of disappointed people."

Butler says there are a number of lingering issues that come with Made in America. 

"Initially, I think there was a bit more of an uproar when it first started because [festival-goers] really did a lot of damage to the parkway and surrounding areas," he said.

Drew Murray, president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, says noise tops the list. From the early-morning mic checks to the performances late into the night. Second, he says, getting around is a pain. 

"The parkway is shut down days before the event for set-up, and it is shut down days after for the teardown. And obviously during the actual festival, it's completely shutdown. Parking is restricted, and it has a major impact on the residents," Murray said.

Murray said he was intially surprised last week when he heard Made in America would be moved. 

"I was even more surprised yesterday when I heard the announcement that Mayor Kenney decided to bring it back to the parkway," Murray said.

And so, with Made in America not going anywhere else, Murray says he'll be meeting with city officials in the near future to address the problems that haven't gone away. He says there has been progress in years past. For example, the city has been putting up more portable toilets outside of the festival gates.

But he and Butler say they hope the city addresses more of their concerns. 

"I hope, going forward, they'll be a little more considerate of what disruption it does cause to the neighborhood," Butler said. 

Murray agrees. "We feel that there needs to be a major step up to lessen the impact on our community."