Days before Made In America was set to kick off on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the remnants of Hurricane Ida struck Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Tornadoes, flash floods and heavy rain left thousands of people without power, shelter or the ability to travel. As a result, many people thought that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney would cancel the event. However, he stood by the Labor Day weekend festival because he felt that it would be a great way for many people to “have some fun” in the midst of what has been a difficult 18-month period in history.
“This thing has been planned for an entire year or more,” Kenney said, according to Philly Voice.
While some will be having fun on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Kenney acknowledges that many Philadelphia residents will be preoccupied with recovery efforts. He believes that the city “can do two things at once.”
“There have been commitments made. There have been people booked. There have been tickets sold. We can do two things at once, and I think it’s good for the city to have this kind of event so we can celebrate a little bit, even in the midst of potential tragedy. Jay-Z, Beyonce, the Biebs is coming. It’ll be fun for a change. It’d be nice to have some fun, wouldn’t it?”