Imagine you are on your daily stroll through your neighborhood park. You stumble on something that you do not see most days on your stroll. Much to your surprise, you notice a long line of familiar and unfamiliar faces eager and excited to fill their cups up with ice-cold frosty beer. Then you notice, heads peeking out of colorful hammocks, set up for relaxation and enjoyment. The aroma of spicy chicken sausages and chicken parm sliders pushes you to go check out what is going on.
This is not your ordinary beer garden; this is Parks on Tap. Parks on Tap is a program created by Philadelphia Parks and Recreations, Four Corners Management and Fairmount Conservancy. Parks on Tap is a beer garden like no other. The missions is to create a pop-up beer garden to promote the awareness to different parks throughout the Philadelphia area. The plan is to have people come out and explore the various parks that they know and might not even heard of.
People can bring their families there. There are many activities for the kids and adults also. According to ushistory.org, Fairmount Park, is the largest park stretching out over 4,000 acres of land. The program started July 4th weekend and ended October 2.” We had to build all of our own, everything from scratch,” Meredith Setzman, Director of communications of FCM said. “From setting up the operations to how each set up at each park would look, What to use for the furniture, how to have a truck that would have the right beer for the flow,” Setzman said.
Throughout their three-month span, Parks on Tap visited 14 different parks. “There are 14 parks around Philadelphia that we handpicked,” Christine Horn, Staff of Parks and Recreation said. “We went around and visit them and we tried to get some with good views. Some of them have the mansion and some of them are in the middle of the neighborhoods. We really went around seeing which ones needed some extra support to bring people out to the parks,” Horn said.
This is Parks on Tap’s first year running and they plan to have many more in the future. “Now that we are at the end of the season, we probably activated the parks and brought about 36,000 people out to the city of Philadelphia in a very short period,” Horn said. Everyone wins with Parks on Tap and the community get to enjoy fun festivities and a great atmosphere. In return, the parks get the recognition it deserves. Most importantly, a designated day and time is dedicated to giving back half of their revenue back to the park. “Each group is given an opportunity to raise money for their park,” Horn said.
The money goes to a Friends groups that is designated in most parks throughout Philadelphia. The organization helps support parks who are in need of care and maintenance. This helps to make the park better by fixing it up in its appearance so that people will come to the park more. Parks on Tap did not go without a few setbacks concerning the weather but overall it seemed to be a success. The three companies already booked parks for next year and hope to begin sometime around Memorial Day.