A photo posted by Wendy Galvez (@zevlagydnew) on Sep 27, 2015 at 1:31pm PDT
They called it the Golden Ticket, but for many people trying to see the Pope on the parkway, there was nothing golden about it.
The line on 20th Street to the checkpoint spanned for blocks.
Men, women and children, young and old were elbow to elbow - some with tickets, some without.
By 2:30, many gave up and either headed home or go in search of a TV.
The Kuryluk family of five from Langhorne had waited three hours with tickets.
"It sucks. It stinks," said Cathleen Kuryluk. "This was supposed to be a line for people with tickets."
By close to 3 pm they were three long blocks from the checkpoint.
"It took us over two hours to go one block," her husband Eric said. "We'll never get in now. The kids are really disappointed. They were pumped to see him."
Some people said they started on one line but were then redirected to another which was even longer.
Rich Diefenbach, 53, a history teacher from New Canaan, Conn., came by bus to Philly with his 11-year-old son Michael.
"We didn't have the Golden Ticket but then again the Golden Ticket got you nowhere," he said.
Their bus arrived at 7:30 a.m. So they thought they would have no trouble reaching the Parkway.
"We were told to go to three different places for three different lines," he said.
"We kept getting told to keep moving," he said.
"I wanted it to be a great opportunity for my son. For him to see the pope would be very moving."
Instead they tried to get close to the Jumbotron at 17th and Cherry. But they couldn't hear.
Then when Michael got hungry they slipped into Con Murphy's Irish Pub and they watched the Pope on TV.
Leroy Bickens, 80, came to the World Meeting of Families from El Paso, Texas.
He had a ticket to the Mass but after a three hour wait, he gave up and went to the jumbotron at 17th and Cherry.
"I would have liked to have gotten in but there were just too many people," he said.
He caught a glimpse of the Pope yesterday as he drove by in the Popemobile on the way to the parkway last night. He was 20 feet away.
"It's the only time in my life that he will ever be that close," he said.
— Barbara Laker (@barbaralaker) September 27, 2015