Eastern State Penitentiary will host a Prison Break Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last entry 4:00 p.m.). The event, designed to commemorate some of the most infamous prison breaks in American history, will feature interactive and family-friendly activities all weekend long. Visitors can try their hand at Bocce Ball, a means of escape for inmates in the 20th century, or decide which inmate is truly responsible for Eastern State’s 1945 tunnel escape.
Most inmates didn’t literally escape from prison; they found meaning, friendship and recreation, when possible, inside the walls. This weekend, visitors can try their hand at Bocce Ball, a traditional Italian recreation practiced by aging inmates at Eastern State throughout the 20th century. The original courts were built at the base of Eastern State’s massive wall and will open, fully restored, for the first time this weekend. Prizes awarded all weekend for best players! Bocce Ball will remain part of the Hands-On History program throughout the 2012 season.
Also during Prison Break Weekend, two actors—one portraying tunnel mastermind Clarence Klinedinst and one portraying bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton—will give their conflicting accounts of who designed the 1945 tunnel, how it was built, and why the escapees got caught. Visitors can vote on which inmate is telling the truth. The debate will take place throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, and the winner will be announced on easternstate.org Monday, June 11.
All Prison Break Weekend events are included in standard admission. Regular daytime programs, including “The Voices of Eastern State” Audio Tour, guided Hands-On History tours, history exhibits, and artist installations, are also included in admission.
For more information, visit: www.easternstate.org/events