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Festival will kick off mid-October opening of Cherry St. Pier

The Delaware River Waterfront also announced 14 artists who will work in the space when it opens.

The interior of the Cherry Street Pier. The ceiling is high and vaulted. There are people sitting and walking on the ground floor. Renderings by Groundswell

The much-anticipated Cherry Street Pier, which brings artists, food, and a market to a public space on the water, is officially opening in two months, and organizers plan to kick it off with a bang.

On October 12, the Cherry Street Pier—which sits off Christopher Columbus Boulevard at the former site of Pier 9—will open with a three-week-long arts festival called “The Festival for the People.” The event will include participatory programs, events, sculptures, and art installations, and it will serve to introduce the public to the newly renovated Cherry Street Pier.

“It’s a good way to open the pier....It’s representative of what we want the pier to be,” Emma Fried-Cassorla, of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) said of the festival’s interactive nature.

The DRWC announced the festival and opening date Wednesday, along with a list of 14 local artists, who will set up residence in 14 studios at the pier.

It’s big news for the $4 million project, which has been underway for a year at the 93-year-old pier. When we checked in with the project earlier this month, the roof had been torn down and workers were preparing to install glass walls and glass roll-up doors so visitors could constantly see the green space and water outside.

The pier’s renovations in June Matt Stanley, DRWC

When completed, the pier will feature an outdoor garden, market space, food vendors, and art installations. The artists, who have all signed one-year leases, will work in the glass-fronted studios, fully visible for people walking by to check out their work. Fried-Cassorla said that was a conscious decision—they chose artists who were local and who were eager to interact with the public.

“It will provide a foundation for emerging artists,” she added.

Several aspects of the space are still unknown, like the food vendors for the space—though there will likely be three—and the specific hours that the pier will be open. According to Fried-Cassorla, the space will be open every day, likely with long hours, as it is a public space.

“The Pier will continue to help reconnect the city to its waterfront by creating a community space that is inclusive, educational, exciting, and collaborative,” said Joe Forkin, President of DRWC.