In Transit Blog: Celebrating the Centennial of the Panama Canal

Written By wartini cantika on Kamis, 07 Agustus 2014 | 17.36

Photo A ship at the Miraflores Locks.Credit Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

With the Panama Canal's official centennial on Aug. 15 this year, a number of events have been planned to celebrate the feat of engineering that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in 1914.

The focal point of the celebrations will be at the Miraflores Visitors Center in Panama City where each Saturday in August "Magical Nights at the Panama Canal" will be open to the public from 6 to 10 p.m.

The evenings will include fireworks, live music and dancing as well as a few historical costumed characters including the French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps (the canal's developer); William Gorgas, a United States Army General who helped stave off workers' yellow fever; and Col. George Washington Goethals, the engineer who completed the project.

"We were inspired by the movie 'A Night at the Museum,'" said the corporate communications specialist Vicente Barletta of the evening activities. A 500-pound cake in the shape of one of the canal locks will serve approximately 3,000 at Miraflores on Aug. 15 (admission to the museum starts from $3; evening events are free).

Through Oct. 5, a "Traces of a Historic Undertaking: Panama Canal Expansion" exhibition at the city's Museum of Contemporary Art will feature 44 oil paintings and watercolors. A running theme of the exhibition is the ongoing canal expansion that includes two new locks (one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides) designed to double traffic capacity by 2015. Featured works will include those by George Scribner, a Panama-born Disney artist, and two acrylics by canal employees.

The hourlong Centennial Gala on Aug. 15, which will be shown on  television from 8 to 9 p.m. local time, is the celebration's highlight. The invitation-only event will feature the salsa star RubĂ©n Blades as well more than 200 musicians and acrobats detailing the canal's history through tableaux of dance and sound.

A live stream of the gala will be televised on this site; social media updates can be found at the tag #Canal100.


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