First Annual Rail Park Block Party to Take Place June 11
Friends of the Rail Park will bring Noble Street alive with family friendly activities for a day of community connection.
The first annual Rail Park Block Party will bring together more than 1,500 people throughout the day, from the 10+ neighborhoods that border the current and future park for a day of connection and celebration. During this free, family-friendly event, Noble Street and Phase One of the Rail Park will come alive with family-friendly activities, performances, and public displays. Plus, attendees will gain access to special pricing and offerings from neighborhood restaurants in celebration of the Block Party.
Planned in collaboration with the Friends of the Rail Park’s Community Engagement and Partnerships Committee, the Rail Park Block Party will feature community organizations, a pop-up skatepark, hands-on activities and workshops, and a headlining performance by 7-piece brass band, SNACKTIME. People’s Paper Coop will also be premiering their multimedia installation, Liberation Journeys, which highlights the impact of the criminal justice system on women in Philadelphia, and celebrates their individual and collective journeys towards freedom.
“We’re thrilled to offer free, family-friendly programming like the Rail Park Block Party that celebrates the neighborhoods and communities the Rail Park is a part of and will be a part of in the future” said Rebecca Cordes Chan, Executive Director, “the Block Party honors the unique history of Philadelphia while connecting people to the city and each other.”
The proposed site of the Rail Park travels from Northern Liberties to Brewerytown. “We’re hosting the first annual Rail Park Block Party to bring each of these communities together for a day to celebrate and connect through arts, culture, and nature. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn something new, connect with neighbors, and dance together, surrounded by nature in the open air. We hope there’s a little something for everyone,” Chan added.
Participants of the Block Party include Asian Arts Initiative, Sol Garden Studio, Friends of Mathias Baldwin Park, Skate the Foundry, and more. Attendees can the full event itinerary and register for the Block Party in advance on the Rail Park website.
Friends of the Rail Park
Founded in 2010 after years of advocacy by a committed group of community members, Friends of the Rail Park (FRP) is the non-profit organization that drives the vision behind the transformation of historic rail lines that traverse Philadelphia into the Rail Park. FRP’s mission is to build bold, transformative, and inclusive public space that connects Philadelphia’s residents and visitors to the city and each other. Working in close partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, FRP is part of a growing international movement of infrastructure reuse projects, supporting community development and transforming cities in the process.
The Rail Park is a vision for a three-mile linear park and multi-use pathway connecting 10 distinct Philadelphia neighborhoods and 50+ city blocks along the site of former historic Reading and Pennsylvania Railroad lines. The above and below grade site offers an opportunity to create a world class public space driven by collaborating with communities from every corner of the city, building from existing cultural assets, promoting health and wellness, and advancing equitable access to the investment in this large-scale public works project, positioning the park as an integral part of comprehensive community development in Philadelphia.
Open to the public since June 2018, Phase One of the Rail Park is a $13 million project transforming a quarter-mile section of the former Reading Railroad—which reaches from Broad and Noble streets up onto the elevated 1100 block of Callowhill Street in Philadelphia. Serving as a stunning “proof of concept,” Phase One is a welcoming community greenspace, with pathways, low-maintenance perennial plantings, trees, seating, bench-style swings, local art, and elevated city views. The design preserves and restores much of the historic steel viaduct structure, while introducing materials of a similar industrial scale and character.