This weekend, Philly Beer Week is curating the beer list at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Today the riverfront park will feature beers from New Jersey and Delaware. Tomorrow will highlight the Keystone State and Sunday, beers from Maryland will be featured.
Unfortunately the city’s adored summertime hangout Spruce Street Harbor Park will soon be a mere memory, but not before converting into an autumnal wonderland for a weekend-long fall-themed celebration.
Spruce Street Harbor Park Fall Fest will begin this Friday, September 19th, and run through Sunday, September 21st, giving you three days to enjoy the park’s seasonally appropriate makeover, along with a full schedule of activities for adults and kids alike.
Philly Beer Week will curate a lineup of regional beers, pouring craft brews from a different mid-Atlantic area each day, along with special seasonal cocktails (think red sangria with cranberries and oranges). Plus, food trucks will be onsite to satisfy every sort of palette, serving up eats with a focus on fall’s freshest ingredients.
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has extended Spruce Street Harbor Park through September 28th. The riverfront park was originally scheduled to close on August 31st. The hours of operation for the park and the Garces Group operated Blue Anchor will remain the same. Look for some seasonal additions for September.
Spruce Street Harbor Park was built using a substantial grant from ArtPlace America to show visitors the potential of the Penn’s Landing Marina area. The objective of connecting Philadelphians and visitors to the waterfront clearly succeeded. 35,000 people per week visited the park, nearly twice that over the Independence Day weekend.
Of course, with success like that, you might wonder if it will be back next year.
Spruce Street Harbor Park [Foobooz]
If any one thing cinched Spruce Street Harbor Park as the summer’s best pop-up, it was probably the hammocks — dozens of them scattered in the shade, cocooning people reading or napping or making out. The sprawling swatch of riverfront, complete with swan boats and floating barges and water lily gardens, was so picturesque that it felt more like the Hollywood set of a park than it did an actual park nestled on the southeastern edge of Philadelphia, within spitting distance of the I-95 on-ramp.
If this were a movie set, it would be for one of those cheery rom-coms, the type where the city is all twinkle and no grit. (In essence: More Nora Ephron than Woody Allen.) Just look! Down the river there’s a boardwalk lined with shipping crates that hold hot-dog vendors and games like air hockey; behind that, children play with four-foot-high chess pieces and venture barefoot into a wading fountain. Around them, dozens of park-goers are sprawled out on beach chairs or waiting in line for a Jose Garces truffle-and-cheddar burger, while park employees hand out maps and greet newcomers: “Hi there, welcome to Spruce Street Harbor Park.”
That this place appeared to draw and delight every possible demographic is no wonder, really. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, collaborating with David Fierabend from Groundswell Design Group, did such an amazing job creating this $600,000 shaded Shangri-la that upon entering, you forgot it was very recently a boring swath of nothingness sandwiched between the Independence Seaport Museum and the USS Olympia. You forgot that behind those greeters is the rest of the city, where people sit in airless cabs, where planters are dead-bolted to front porches. And you forgot, until too late, not to fall in love with this place that will eventually vanish as quickly as it popped up, like a vaguely hipster Brigadoon. (Update, 8/27: You now have a one-month reprieve — the new closing date is September 28th.)
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In Philadelphia, there’s always something to argue about. Whether it’s the Phillie Phanatic, the clientele at Center City Sips or the worthiness of Wawa, we are a people who love to gripe. All the time. No matter what.
Or at least that’s how it was until Spruce Street Harbor Park opened this summer to universal praise — and justifiably so. The revitalization of the waterfront is a no-brainer when it comes to things that should happen in this city. By adding hammocks and floating gardens and brightly colored chairs and, perhaps most importantly, food and booze, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has given us good reason to go somewhere besides Penn’s Landing when we want to gaze across the river at New Jersey.
But the thing about being universally loved is that Spruce Street Harbor Park brings out all types of people — people who do not usually interact on a day-to-day basis. Here, a roundup who you’ll see when you venture down to the waterfront.
Spruce Street Harbor Park—your favorite place in the city right now—will play host to a free concert led by Philly acts. Purling Hiss and Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band will perform on a custom stage built in the center of the park. This is one of only two concerts planned for the space this summer.
The show will also serve as a benefit for the Philadelphia art collective Vox Populi Gallery. Video projections and 3-D artwork from Vox-Populi artists will be on display throughout the night. There will be food and drinks available for those looking forward to a night of snacking with their music and art.
The concert is to be held on July 24th and will begin at 7:30 p.m. For a list of future events to be held at Spruce Street Harbor Park, click here.