Spruce Street Harbor Park, the premier pop-up destination of last summer, will reopen Memorial Day weekend and stay open through September, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation announced on Thursday.
In addition to the hammocks and Jose Garces restaurants that defined the park’s first season, 2015’s program will also include a waterfront roller skating rink near Penn’s Landing, in place of the Blue Cross Winterfest ice-skating rink. The summer season will also include an expanded set of events, including a Tall Ships festival at the end of June, a 4th of July concert from the Philadelphia Orchestra and free movie nights at Penn’s Landing in July and August.
Mayor Nutter marked the announcement at City Hall with representatives of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, corporate sponsors, and Councilman Mark Squilla, who represents the area in City Council.
Nutter told the crowd that he deeply enjoyed roller skating as a child and looked forward to testing out the rink.
He declined to test out the hammock. Councilman Mark Squilla was game.
Nutter said that replacing the old Penn’s Landing Corporation with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation was one of his finest moments as mayor. The group has been slowly securing waterfront land and developing a trail which it hopes will one day stretch from the southern tip of the city to Allegheny Avenue, eventually connecting the East Coast Greenway the length of the eastern U.S.
In the last few years, the city has formally recognized the Master Plan for the Central Delaware with a zoning overlay, intended to guide more active, pedestrian-friendly development along the waterfront. DRWC also recently rearranged its board structure so that future mayors would only have three discretionary appointees, with the majority selected by the board itself, effectively ensuring continuity at the organization.
Spruce Street Harbor Park was the most successful of a string of pop-up parks that opened last summer, drawing 500,000 visitors during its three-month run. DRWC promises more hammocks and more eateries this season.