The former Boy Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council headquarters on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was host to the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s annual fundraiser, Glow in the Park.
The building, modeled on an Italian palazzo, was built for the Boy Scouts in 1930 on land owned by the city. The organization occupied the building until 2013, when a legal dispute with the city over the Scouts’ ban on gay members resulted in an eviction. The city paid $825,000 for the building, and the Parkway property is currently vacant.
Fairmount Park Conservancy hosts a party every October featuring live local music, art, food, and drinks in an effort to bring together “the next generation of park champions” and more awareness to lesser known parts of the nation’s largest park system.
The weather was perfect as more than 400 guests danced and mingled in the warm night air. This year, the West Philadelphia Orchestra provided Balkan-influenced big brass band sounds that brought dancers of all ages to their feet.
With the night’s signature drink, a Tito’s Vodka Moscow Mule, or Flying Fish beer in hand, patrons wandered the square-block space. Philadelphia-based art shop, Klip Collective, projected a colorful and movement-filled light installation on and inside the historic building.
Vendors provided an array of tempting dishes, including crepes by Bonjour Creperie out of Bucks County. Owner Rebecca Bisilliat said she enjoys bringing her food to Glow in the Park, as she has been doing for three years. “It’s a really nice vibe,” she said. “The people who come out are into it and for what it stands for.”
Another standout was the Poi Dog Philly food truck, which had a steady line until the end of the night.
The cost of the party includes a membership to the conservancy, which serves as partner with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to preserve, improve, and enhance the Philadelphia park systems.
Organizers were keen on reminding everyone about Love Your Park, a service day to help clean up the Fairmount Park System, on Nov. 12.