By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Made in America festival kicks off Saturday afternoon, with more than 60 acts on five stages over the next two days. The city is testing some enhanced services and security measures along the Ben Franklin Parkway ahead of the pope’s visit at the end of the month.READ MORE: FBI, Philadelphia Police Searching For Woman Who Allegedly Robbed Wells Fargo Bank In Logan Square, Police Say
Made in America has grown since it started in 2012 and so has the city’s capacity to manage the crowd.
Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says the city learns from each event and makes adjustments. Two years ago, it added a grid system to the Parkway, marking each location with a letter and number. That now extends all the way to Logan Circle.
“If you are in any kind of trouble and you’re going to call for help,” Gillison says, “all you have to do is look up and say, ‘I’m standing in M-1, M-2.'”READ MORE: Teen In 'Extremely Critical Condition' After Being Shot In The Face, Philadelphia Police Say
There are more security cameras in place along the Parkway, and, this year, Gillison says, concert-goers should notice better cell service.
“AT&T, Verizon and everyone has enhanced the capacity in this area in advance of the papal use of the Parkway,” he says, “so we’re going to test and see how much usage we’ll get.”
Gillison says he was a little alarmed when he found out how late Labor Day was this year, fearing that if the cleanup took more than a couple of days, it would bleed into the set up for the papal mass.
“We actually have worked with the production companies,” he says, “so things can be done simultaneously should that happen.”MORE NEWS: Multi-Car Crash Leads To Car Fire, Power Outage Near Frankford Avenue
Gillison says the Parkway likely will reopen for less than two weeks before shutting down again to prepare for the visit of Pope Francis.