No end in sight for park events with opening of Dilworth Park

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An aerial view from the Municipal Services Building of the almost-finished Dilworth Park in front of City Hall (WEST Side) as seen Aug. 19, 2014. The park will partially open (about 2/3's) on Sept. 4, 2014. The transportation concourse below the park will be completely open by that date. ( CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )

The long-awaited renovation and reveal of Dilworth Plaza — now tweaked to Dilworth Park — is upon us. With an opening slated for Thursday, Sept. 4, the transformed public space (featuring an outdoor café, tree grove, open space, fountain, public art and will in the winter months include an ice rink) has a weekend (and continued schedule) of opening events set for its triumphant unveiling.

The park officially welcomes guests at a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4 with remarks from Mayor Michael Nutter followed by an all-day party running until 5 p.m. featuring performances from the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, Mad Beatz, Philadanco and more.

The following day, Friday, Sept. 5, pack up your lunch and enjoy it on the park’s lawn as the venue is filled with sounds from performers like the Rich Tucker Trio and the Hot Club of Philadelphia. Picnic in the Park starts at 11 a.m. and wraps up with a happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

It’s for the kids on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as all the stops are rolled out for the ultimate playtime: arts and crafts, activities in the interactive fountain, music and storytelling.

If you thought the end of outdoor movie viewings was in sight, think again. Dilworth Park brings its own al fresco film series to the lawn every Tuesday at 7 p.m. from Tuesday, Sept. 9 through Oct. 28. First up on the docket is “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

On Wednesdays, local talent takes to the park to bring lunchtime entertainment from noon to 2 p.m. starting Wednesday, Sept. 10 with blues rocker Brian LaPann. Each week until Wednesday, Oct. 29, a different performer will take the stage and First Person Arts will hold a story slam during intermission.

We’ve got another pop-up market on our hands, here. Before you go rolling your eyes, hear me out: This one, on Thursdays from Thursday, Sept. 11 through Oct. 30, features local designers selling everything from jewelry and women’s and men’s apparel to outerwear and lifestyle goods from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

It’s like middle school dances — only way better — every Thursday evening. A different DJ and radio personality will host a night of dancing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. starting Thursday, Sept. 11 and running until Thursday, Oct. 30. Expect top 40 hits on the first dance night and more genres in weeks following: Sounds of Sinatra, house and electro pop, and alternative rock.

The music entertainment continues on Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, Sept. 12 through Friday, Oct. 24 when harpists, violinists, cellists and the like perform over lunch: noon to 1:30 p.m.

Rounding out the fall season are three Octoberfest celebrations on Saturday, Oct. 18, Thursday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 25 with a beer garden, art installations, vendors and live music. Musical acts include Norwegian Arms, Drgn King, Dave P. (Making Time) on Oct. 18 and DJ Statik & Mathew Law of The Illvibe Collective & Son Little on Oct. 25th. The festival runs from noon until 6 p.m. on the Saturday dates and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

While you’re at it, grab a bite at Jose Garces’ new dining spot, Rosa Blanca Café, located in the park.

Situated on the west side of City Hall at Broad and Market Streets, the park will also provide entrances to the Broad Street and Market Street subway and trolley lines. 

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