A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.
"Where better to go than a park on the Parkway?" asked Mark Wilkin, a park concessions manager with Parks and Rec.
Farm Fest is the name of the event taking place at The Oval this weekend. From an Easter egg hunt to a petting zoo and a tree-climbing workshop for kids led by experts, Farm Fest at The Oval should give families plenty to do this weekend.
"Last year was wildly successful, we're hoping this year will be even bigger," said Colleen Campbell, an events coordinator with Fairmount Park Conservancy. "There's programs for families, for young adults, for everybody."
Although The Oval is trying to get the word out through publicity, Campbell acknowledged that a lot of people who come are just curious passersby walking on the Parkway.
"We get so many people who are just passing by and are like, 'Oh, what is this?'" Campbell said.
Hundreds of people are expected to flock to the Oval each day this weekend to enjoy music, play games of oversized chess and checkers, and get a variety of meal options from food trucks.
As summer gets going, more events will be held at the Oval.
"This is our second year activating the space," Wilkin said. "This is all part of the city's efforts to make the space more accessible to the public."
Usually just an empty parking lot, Eakins Oval is being targeted for renewal along with nearby parks including Von Colln Memorial Field, Park Towne Place and the park around the nearby red abstract Iroquois sculpture.
"We're going to make it bigger and better each time we do it," Wilkin said.
Activities at #TheOvalPHL
On Friday, there's kids' karaoke, live bluegrass music and a Victory Brewpub mobile beer garden.
On Saturday, there's an Easter egg hunt, a petting zoo, live clogging performances and a kid-safe instructor-led tree-climbing activity.
There's food trucks all weekend, oversized chess and checkers and music.