NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York (MTA) and Metro-North Railroad open Grand Central Terminal to the public on February 1, 2013 for the celebration of its 100 th Anniversary with a full day of activities, including a morning public rededication ceremony and musical performances that will keep visitors entertained well into the evening. The morning ceremony will feature elected officials, high-profile celebrities and VIPs, and performances by award-winning musicians and New York students. Throughout the day—which is hosted by Metro-North, the New York Transit Museum and other partners—members of the public can enjoy live performances, national award presentations, sponsor giveaways, special retail deals, and the opening of "Grand by Design," a spectacular six-week exhibit that chronicles the history and impact of New York's greatest building and one of the world's most famous train terminals. The February 1 events are presented with support from Target.
These events fall 100 years to the day that the first set of keys was handed to the Terminal's station master on February 1, 1913. (The first train left the Terminal just after midnight on February 2.)
OPENING CEREMONYWell-known names and faces will wish the Terminal a happy birthday that morning. The day kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with a concert by the West Point Brass & Percussion (including "Grand Central Centennial Fanfare," a new piece written for the occasion). Speakers, performers and activities at the 10 a.m. public ceremony include New York City resident Cynthia Nixon ; former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins , who will read an original poem commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit; author and preservationist Caroline Kennedy whose mother Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is widely credited with saving the Terminal from destruction in the 1970s; Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress Melissa Manchester ; members of the Vanderbilt family whose ancestor "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt inspired the construction of Grand Central; baseball MVP Keith Hernandez ; the Celia Cruz Bronx High School Choir; and several special presentations, including a surprise "sweet" delivery that caps off the event.