The City Is Throwing a Party for LOVE Park on Wednesday

We asked you to reserve judgment about the revamped park (which some have called bland and barren) until it officially debuted. Now, the day has come.


Robert Indiana’s sculpture “LOVE” in LOVE Park. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Wednesday’s the day, Philly!

We know some of you haven’t been thrilled with the LOVE Park redesign. Some say it’s hostile, bland and barren and detest the lack of proper seating. Inga Saffron at the Inquirer called it a “granite Sahara.”

Last month, we asked you to reserve your judgement until the park officially debuted, and now, they day has come: The city will hold a grand reopening celebration for LOVE Park at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

A number of high-profile city officials will be there to kick it off: Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council president Darrell Clarke, managing director Michael DiBerardinis, Parks commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and Fairmount Park Conservancy executive director Jamie Gauthier. The event will be hosted by 6ABC anchor Rick Williams.

Expect all the rituals: Officials will cut the ribbon for the park and turn on the new fountain (which hopefully won’t leak all over nearby streets again). If you work in the area, you might want to plan to eat your lunch at the park — there will be food trucks, a DJ for the lunch hour, giveaways and performances from Philly-based arts groups.

Plus, if you want to stick around (and spend some dough), the new Friends of LOVE Park will hold an inaugural VIP fundraising event for the park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday night. The event will include “an exclusive evening under the stars at the new LOVE Park featuring entertainment, inspired cocktails and cuisine, a raffle and more!” per a Fairmount Park Conservancy event page. Tickets will cost you $125 a pop. Proceeds will support park maintenance and public programming at the park throughout the year.

All that being said, it’s finally reckoning day. We wonder: Will the park include “critical green space, a great lawn and two gardens with native plantings … well-designed seating, pathways and public restrooms,” as was promised to us?

We’re on Twitter and Instagram @PhillyMag. Feel free tag us in photos of the grand shebang — and be sure to share your thoughts.