On Aug. 25, the National Park Service will be turning 100 years old and park enthusiasts won’t have to travel too far to wish them a happy birthday.
Independence National Historical Park will kick off Founders Day on Independence Mall at 10 a.m. with a plaque ceremony honoring Stephen Mather, one of the founders of the park service, followed with a variety of free ranger programs including a special centennial walking tour, national park quizzo and a chance for your kids to enlist in the Continental Army.
Visitors to the park will also get to enjoy free admission to the Ben Franklin Museum located right at Third and Market streets.
And after a full day of activities, who can turn down a invitation to picnic in the park?
Beginning at 5 p.m., attendees can either pack their own basket or purchase a premade one for two at the nearby Independence Mall Cafe. Adults, it’s BYOB! The picnic will also be your only chance to see a time capsule that will be sealed that day and placed inside the Independence Hall Tower where it will remain until Aug. 25, 2116, the bicentennial of the National Park Service. What’s inside, you ask? The public is encouraged to vote on their favorite items to be included such as an arrowhead patch, a key to Independence Hall and even a Lego park ranger!
But where’s the cake? Franklin Fountain to the rescue! The Old City favorite will debut a special birthday cake flavor ice cream to the hungry patrons. First come, first served. The evening will wrap up with some foot-stomping bluegrass by the local band Mason Porter and a campfire talk about the stars. Discover America’s story here in the birthplace of independence.
Happy Birthday, NPS!
If you go:
Founder’s Day: Happy 100 Birthday National Park Service
600 Market St.
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.