Popular Spruce Street Harbor Park opens Friday

Summer starts this weekend — unofficially anyway — and it’s time for barbecues, trips to the Shore, family getaways and, for its second year, Spruce Street Harbor Park.

The park, at Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street at the Delaware riverfront, opens today after a boffo debut last year.

The park, sponsored by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation attracted huge crowds from all over the greater Philadelphia region.

“It was a fantastic success,” explained DWRC vice-president Joe Forkin. ”We exceeded all expectations and brought in over 500,000 people throughout the entire summer. “

Following the popularity of a winter ice skating rink at the site, the DWRC partnered again with Blue Cross and installed a roller rink for the summer season, with a mere $3.00 skating fee. Skates can be rented for $10.00.

“We wanted to return this summer strong and with the success of the ice rink, we’ve teamed up with Blue Cross again for a family-fun roller rink,” explained Forkin.

Spruce Street, along with the rest of Penn’s Landing, was already a popular spot for one-time events and concerts, and officials wanted to expand its appeal.

“We learned Spruce Street needed to be an everyday attraction,” said Forkin, “It’s rewarding and complementary to our city and is a great place to listen to live music, enjoy a sandwich, grab a beer or take a nap in a hammock.”

Spruce Street Harbor Park is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The opening weekend will include an appearance by the Phillie Phanatic and a performance from Philly’s own DJ Jazzy Jeff.

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