This Saturday is shaping up to be huge in Philadelphia. There’s the always popular Midtown Village Fall Festival, which is easily one of the best festivals in Center City all year. Then there’s also the RiverCity Festival at Penn Treaty Park and the Revolutionary Germantown Festival in Northwest Philadelphia. And, oh yeah, a little thing called Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park — Go Phillies!!
And that’s before we’ve even mentioned one of Saturday’s biggest events: the grand opening of PAFA’s Lenfest Plaza, a 13-hour, festivity-filled celebration complete with an outdoor arts festival, free museum tours, the inaugural lighting of the 51-foot Claes Oldenburg sculpture Paint Torch, with an after-party to follow.
Construction began on Lenfest Plaza back in February, and it’s finally set to open to the public. The plaza is a 24-hour pedestrian court taking over about half a block of Cherry Street (between Broad Street and Carlisle Street), closing it to vehicular traffic and reclaiming it for public use. So you’ll be able to enjoy an outdoor bite, people watch and take a load off in a beautiful cultural setting, all year long.
Here’s a rundown of the opening day festivities:
• Family Arts Festival: noon-5 p.m.
The afternoon Arts Festival is free and open to the public. There will be free art activities, including Spin Art, Kite making and Face Painting. Other kid-friendly entertainment will include guest appearances by Kathy O’Connell from WXPN’s Kids Corner and a performance by The Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale. Everyone can take advantage of complimentary admission to the Historic Landmark Building as well as free museum tours. The museum’s doors will remain open until 5 p.m. Outside there will be entertainment and a variety of food vendors on-site throughout the day.
• The Lighting Ceremony: 6:30-7 p.m.
After the festival, stick around for the dramatic sunset lighting of Claes Oldenburg’s Paint Torch. It’s sure to be a moving moment. The lighting and the unveiling event is also free and open to the public. Marguerite and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, Mayor Nutter and artist Claes Oldenburg, among other dignitaries, will be in attendance.
• After Party: 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Celebrate the new plaza into the wee hours with an After Hours Dance Party, featuring a DJ, late night food trucks and a cash bar. Click here to purchase After Party tickets, $25.
Lenfest Plaza is set to become a new anchor for North Broad Street, the portion of the Avenue of the Arts north of City Hall for which much exciting development is planned. We can’t wait to see it all come to life.
Lenfest Plaza Opening Celebration
Where: PAFA, 118-128 N. Broad Street
When: Saturday, October 1, noon-1 a.m.
Cost: Free (except for dinner and after party)
More info: www.pafa.org
Previously: Save The Date: PAFA’s Grand Opening Celebration For Lenfest Plaza Set For October 1 With An Arts Festival, Free Museum Tours And The Inaugural Lighting Of Claes Oldenburg’s 51-Foot Paint Torch Sculpture