The Oval Pops up for a Month of Summer Fun
Enjoy games, dance parties, a beer garden, and more.
Philadelphia’s Eakins Oval has been transformed for a fifth season as the Oval, a pop-up hub for summer fun.
This year, organizers are calling it “the Oval+” because of an expansion that spreads programming and activities to two other parks along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway: Shakespeare Park and Aviator Park. Events run from July 20 through August 20 from Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 11 pm.
This year, in addition to food, activities, and entertainment, the Oval includes installations that prompt visitors to think about the Parkway and all the possible ways it could be used as a public space.
“The Oval+ is an example of what a vibrant, public space the Parkway could become, from Love Park to the entrance to Fairmount Park,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, the commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. “We are eagerly considering how this beautiful 100-year-old boulevard could be energized for our times.”
Highlights of the Oval include a winding maze through the trees near the park and bright murals painted on the ground. At night, the installations will be illuminated.
“When you bring art and culture into the open, you create a different kind of connection with people from what happens in a museum or concert hall,” said Jamie Gauthier, the acting executive director of Fairmount Park Conservatory. “The Oval+ is designed to get people interacting with the installation and with each other in ways that are both fun and thought-provoking.”
Highlights include a rotating line-up of food trucks; “Wellness Wednesdays” with free fitness classes; music and dancing on on Thursdays, outdoor movies on Fridays, and games on Saturdays. Sunday is for family fun, with special kids’ activities, including a dance party from 2 to 7 pm. For adults, there’s a beer garden that’s open from 5 — 11 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 2 — 11 pm on the weekends.
A full event calendar is available online.
Photographs by Albert Yee, courtesy of the Fairmount Parks conservancy.