Clark Park Youth Soccer getting ready for Fall 2014 season

197Registration is now open for the Fall season of Clark Park Youth Soccer; we’ll start up on Saturday, September 27th and play until November 22nd. This family-friendly program for children ages 5-11 has been a fixture at Clark Park for 17 years. Information about the program, and registration forms, are available on this site .

We’re also looking for new coaches — if you like working with kids and can be available most Saturdays in the Fall, please email

New benches by the Dickens statue

The Charles Dickens circle, home to a unique statue of the 19th century author posing with one of his characters, Little Nell, has beautiful brand new benches after a major cooperative park improvement project.

The six modern units replaced the crumbling, unsafe, unsecured, backless planks on bricks that sat around the circle for years. Friends of Clark Park coordinated the effort to put them in, but we have many collaborators to thank.

The Philadelphia Chapter of the Charles Dickens Fellowship, the Blakemore Foundation, University City District, and individual donors helped finance the additions. Mr. Dickens’ neighbors across 43rd Street, the City of Philadelphia Public Health Center #3, with assistance from director Patricia Pate, patiently stored the benches while we organized ourselves.

Power Corps PHL, a program that puts people to work improving public parks and rec centers, demolished the old benches, assisted with building the new ones, and provided a comprehensive cleanup throughout the park. We hope you’ll notice weeded gardens, removed trash, and mulched vegetation as a result of their enthusiastic labor. The Department of Parks and Recreation, through the care of stewardship director Barb McCabe, made sure we had the city resources we needed. Finally, the city’s skilled trades department did the actual work of building and physically installing the benches with amazing speed and professionalism.

As you sit, take a moment to enjoy quotes lovingly selected by the Fellowship from Dickens’ writings on the plaques at the backs of the benches. Rest assured that the benches have been tested by the drum circle musicians. Use them as a space for shade or reflection as you head to the many exciting events in Clark Park this summer, like Shakespeare in Clark Park  at 7 PM south of Chester today through Sunday, the Awesome Fest movie nights 9 PM every Thursday except tomorrow, and Bark in the Park this fall.

Look for news about even more places to sit courtesy of Friends of Clark Park soon, when we deploy a fresh shipment of the popular orange chairs seen in the northern plaza since the revitalization.

_01 Benches - 01 _02 Benches - 02 _03 Benches - 03 _04 IMG_0607 _05 IMG_6721 _06 Benches - 71 _07 Benches - 76 _08 Benches - 81 _09 IMG_4274 _10 IMG_4286

Friends of Clark Park general membership meeting 7 PM Wednesday, 7/16, USciences Griffith Hall

We will have a general membership meeting this coming Wednesday, 7/16, at 7 PM in Griffith Hall, the big USciences building across 43rd Street from the park just north of Woodland.

A crew from the workforce development program Power Corps PHL will be coming to the park this month to install new benches around the Dickens statue and help with any maintenance needs we can think of, so we will discuss projects for them to work on. We will also talk about what we might do about trash in the park.

Summer Festival Lights Up Clark Park This Saturday

Celebrate Philadelphia arts at the Clark Park Summer Music & Arts Festival this Saturday, June 21 at Clark Park (43rd and Chester Ave.)

One of Philadelphia’s oldest community events returns for its 44th annual celebration on Saturday, Jun. 21, 2014 at Clark Park beside the Bowl. The Clark Park Festival displays and celebrates the talents of the community, while uniting businesses, artists, and local residents.

Dating back to 1970, over 40 vendors and 10 bands gather twice a year providing free entertainment to the public for the sake of charity and commerce. This year we are proud to announce our first kid zone. We have a zip line, giant slide, bouncy house, face painting and more kid activities. Come out to see all of our amazing craft vendors and non profits.

The concert begins at noon with Rock to the Future, Fishtown’s non profit that provides free music education to Philly’s underserved youth. Their house band will kick off the festival with a set of contemporary and classic cover songs. Performers this year include electro-dance duo City Rain, Former Belle, lead singer of local folk band Toy Soldiers Ron Gallo, indie rockers Commonwealth Choir, Portland Senator, looping violinist Brian Fitzy, Lovers League, Lazy Susan, Family Vacation, and On the Cooling Board.

Time: 12 noon – Sundown.


For more information and updates please visit:
Director: Joshua Craft

Awesome Fest Outdoor Movie Series Coming to Clark Park this Summer!

This summer Clark Park has been chosen as the location for the Awesome Fest, a seven week outdoor movie series that will run from June 26th – August 14th. In collaboration with University City District and the Friends of Clark Park, the Awesome Fest will present seven movies on the theme of rock n’ roll. Please note all films have been selected and curated by the Awesome Fest. Some may not be suitable for young folks.




The 2nd annual Party in Clark Park beer garden is this Saturday!

Join the Friends of Clark Park for our 2nd Annual Party in the Park.

Celebrate the best park during the best season with a beer garden / food trucks / live music / $1000 in raffle prizes from local businesses / games for all ages.

Foolish Waffles and Dapper Dog food trucks will be on hand.

Disco Hootenanny, Flat Mary Road, and Nicole Gauthier’s Temple University dancers will be performing.

Admission is free. New / renewing Friends of Clark Park members get a free Dock Street beer. 4-8 PM, Saturday, 5/17. Rain or shine.


‘Party in the Park’ Is Back! Volunteers Needed

  • Back by popular demand! FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK will put on the 2nd annual Party in the Park on Saturday evening, May 17, from 4 to 8pm. The beergarden will flow with Dock Street wares. There will be food trucks. Bands will play & field games will be organized for children & adults who want to let off steam.

    We are calling for volunteers of all sorts who’d like to help make this party fly! If you have experience tapping kegs & serving beer, your help will be most welcome.

    We are also looking for people who will take turns sitting at our membership tables to collect dues; sell beer tickets, raffle tickets & Clark Park gear.

    Can you show up in the park from 1 to 4 before the party, to help set up? You will be extremely valuable.

    If you’re interested in helping, email

    We look forward to seeing the whole neighborhood in the park May 17! Cheers,

    –Tony West

  • Apology for that “Tree Removal” note

    I’m Brian Siano, contributor to the Friends of Clark Park web page. I’d like to apologize to all of our readers and supporters for that note about tree removals. That was a newsletter article from 2010, when the Park A reconstruction was in progress. It is NOT a new news item about Clark Park, and as far as I know, we aren’t planning any tree removals anytime soon.

    So why did that article appear? Well, I had the idea of putting some of our older materials on our website, and enhance its value as an archive of our park’s history and the work the FOCP has accomplished. Most recently, I created pages containing photo galleries of the 2011 Park A Revitalization and the 2007 Basketball Court Rebuild.

    I also decided to try taking older newsletter articles, and inserting them into our website as backdated news posts. That way, they’re archived. (Eventually we’ll put up PDFs of our old newsletters.) So, I took an an article I wrote in 2010 and posted it to our news feed. However, I forgot to turn off the option that sends new articles to our subscribers.

    Again, I apologize for setting off any alarm bells.