New, Returning Local Spots Featured on 2017 Parks on Tap Program
Parks on Tap, Philadelphia’s traveling beer garden program, sets off next month and neighborhood locals will have plenty of opportunities to join in on the festivities. The program recently announced its 2017 schedule, which will feature seven local sites on the 20-park, 20-week agenda.
The initiative launched in June 2016, spearheaded by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department and Fairmount Park Conservancy in partnership with Avrim Hornik of FCM Hospitality. The inaugural season included 14 stops, with more locations being added for the second year.
Neighborhood newbies include the Azalea Garden, situated between Boathouse Row and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which will open the season on May 17th, along with the Matthias Baldwin Park and Strawberry Mansion Bridge locations.
Return engagements will also be held at Aviator Park near the Franklin Institute, Lemon Hill, Franklin’s Paine Skatepark and Mt. Pleasant Mansion. Last year, Parks on Tap also visited Playing Angels Park and Fairmount Water Works, which weren’t included in this season’s program.
“We were looking for even more geographic diversity, to go to some places we hadn’t been to before,” said Elizabeth Moselle, associate director of business development at Fairmount Park Conservancy, who said organizers polled many guests at last year’s events about their impressions, and were impressed by the “overwhelmingly positive” feedback.
“We learned people loved Parks on Tap, which was rewarding because it’s definitely a lot of work,” Moselle said. “The biggest takeaway from last year was that people wanted us to keep doing it. So we decided to do it in even more places and to scale it up a bit.”
Marc Wilkens, director of business and event development for Parks & Recreation, said organizers sought out additional sites to help expand the program’s reach throughout the entire city. Among the new locales, there will be events in areas like Northeast Philadelphia and Roxborough.
“We wanted to expand the program city-wide and hit lots of neighborhoods throughout the city with a diverse mix of spaces that are both hidden gems and neighborhood parks,” Wilkens said. “We created a diverse and unique set of locations so that each has its own feel.”
Parks on Tap features beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. Guests can bring blankets, and organizers also supply an array of comfy chairs and hammocks.
Moselle noted that last year’s events drew a wide swath of Philadelphians, most particularly in the 24-45 age range, and many brought their children.
Wilkens said lawn games like cornhole were a big hit with youngsters last year, so the organizers decided to expand kid-friendly offerings in the 2017 programming. “We wanted to accommodate that experience and add more elements to it by bringing in more games and more kid-friendly food options and amenities,” Wilkens said.
Apart from socializing with friends and neighbors, the program is a good way for Philadelphians to appreciate the many green spaces that abound in the city, Moselle noted. “It shows the city’s amazing assets that you may not know about,” she said. “You can kick back in the park and enjoy the beauty that’s around us, because I think we forget that sometimes being in an urban area. You relax and enjoy yourself with a brew, some food and friends and you start to see the parks in a whole new light.”
Local Parks on Tap programming:
- Azalea Garden (grounds of the Philadelphia Museum of Art), 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.: May 17-21
- Matthias Baldwin Park, 423 N. 19th St.: June 7-11
- Franklin’s Paine Skatepark, North 24th Street: June 21-25
- Strawberry Mansion Bridge: June 28-July 2
- Lemon Hill, Sedgley and Lemon Hill Drives: July 26-30
- Aviator Park at the Franklin Institute, 263 N. 20th St.: Aug. 2-6
- Mt. Pleasant Mansion, 3800 Mt. Pleasant Drive: Sept. 6-10
Programming at each site will take place from 5-10PM Wednesday-Thursday, 1-11PM Friday-Saturday and noon-10PM Sunday. For more information and the full schedule, visit www.parksontap.com.