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Sneak Peek: The Oval Pop-Up Park Opens Today

It returns for the fourth year

A view of the Oval pop-up park with City Hall in the background.
The Oval pop-up park opens Friday, July 15 at 5 p.m.
Photography by Melissa Romero

The Oval, Philadelphia Park and Recreation’s always colorful summer pop-up park, officially returns for the fourth year today at 5 p.m. And like always, the city plans to make it the Oval’s best, most entertaining year yet.

"We’re continuing to transform the city’s vision to transform the Parkway into an oasis for pedestrians," said Kathryn Ott Lovell, commissioner of Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation.

The big backdrop of the Oval like in years past is a colorful, massive mural painted onto what’s normally a parking lot throughout the rest of the year. Created by local artist Brad Carney, Rhythm & Hues clocks in at 30,000 square feet and was painted onto the pavement this past week with the help of 60-plus volunteers.

Carney says certain sections of the mural were designed with the idea that there would be an area specifically for dancing, picnicking, and playing music. Pianos can be found scattered throughout, and there’s a grand piano surrounded by a drum set and other instruments for people to play together at jam sessions on Thursdays.

In addition to the mural, sponsor Warby Parker has its mobile eye glasses store set up in a school bus for the entirety of the Oval season, which runs until August 21. Across the way, construction crews continued to work through the ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon to install the beer garden designed by landscape architect Brian Dragon. It will feature 90-plus liquid storage cubes that will light up in colors complementing the mural throughout the day and evening.

Pretty great, right? Now go convince the rest of your office to duck out early (TGIF, right?) and head over there. "Doors" open at 5 p.m.

The Oval

2451 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA