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Remembering Super Sunday

Posted on Friday, August 7, 2020

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Super Sunday, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Circa 1980 (Credit: Neil Benson, Free Library of Philadelphia)

This classic photo of a bygone and beloved Philadelphia tradition was taken circa 1980 by Neil Benson and it shows large crowds attending Philadelphia's annual Super Sunday celebration.  

The New York Times called Super Sunday "the world's biggest block party" and estimated that the crowds in 1974 were about 300,000 people.

Super Sunday was a giant all Philly block party generally held on the second Sunday of October along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway stretching from one end of the Parkway at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (seen in the background) to Logan Circle. There were great amusement rides such as the Zero Gravity Ride in the picture above, games of skill and chance (think large stiffed animals from amusement parks), along with plenty of Philly food vendors with Philly soft pretzels, Philly cheesesteaks, water ice, hoagies and more.

All of the cultural institutions along Museum Mile including the Philadelphia Art Museum, Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences and Free Library of Philadelphia participated in some manner with providing activities, special events, and discounted or free admission.

This was Philadelphia at its finest.  A bygone tradition.

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