Fairmount Park concert venue may be renamed, but not until 2015

Some in Philadelphia City Council want to rename a Fairmount Park summer concert venue for a local broadcaster.  Even if the measure gets final approval, the change can’t kick in for three years.

For decades, Georgie Woods dominated the airwaves of Philadelphia’s African-American radio stations.  A grass-roots effort wants to re-name the city-owned Robin Hood Dell the Georgie Woods Entertainment Center at the Robin Hood Dell.

He also was a businessman.  Councilman Kenyatta Johnson remembered when Woods sold potato chips bearing his name.

“For me what that symbolized as a young man was that we can do anything,” said Johnson.

Broadcaster E. Stephen Collins says Woods helped elect Wilson Goode as Philadelphia’s first African American mayor and fought against discrimination in many ways.

“Georgie Woods went to the old Civic Center and confronted Frank Rizzo and demanded dignity for the African-American people of this city,” said Collins.  “He did it over and over and over again.”

City regulations bar renaming the venue until 2015 — 10 years after Woods death.   And those who market the facility worry that a new name could confuse people.  As part of a name change there will be a fundraising campaign for upgrades and maintenance.

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