July 22, 2016
A familiar sight along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia will return this weekend.
The installation of new lights has been completed that will allow Boathouse Row to illuminate brighter than ever, the Mayor's Office announced Friday.
“We are delighted to show off Philadelphia’s magnificent Fairmount Park with this display of patriotic color,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “It is with the support of civic-minded people like Joanna Lewis that we are able to maintain and enhance one of the largest urban park systems in the country.”
The relighting is scheduled for Saturday night as delegates and media arrive in the city for next week's Democratic National Convention.
The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the Fairmount Park Conservancy to upgrade the lighting with a donation from The Joanna McNeil Trust.
“The Host Committee of the Democratic National Convention is grateful to Jody and The Joanna McNeil Trust, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and Fairmount Park Conservancy for timing the relighting of Boathouse Row to coincide with the convention,” said Ed Rendell, Chair of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the DNC. “The lights are a wonderful way to showcase one of Philadelphia’s many beautiful public spaces."
The new lighting system can be programmed with a variety of colors for special occasions.
For example, a display of red, white and blue lights will shine during the DNC.
Boathouse Row will illuminate in its customary white lights on a regular basis.
The lights were last replaced in 2005. However, failures began occurring in 2012 that left gaps in the lighting. Changes in technology made a complete replacement necessary.
“Philadelphia’s 10,000-plus acres of public parks belong to everyone, and it’s up to all of us to help keep them in good shape,” said Joanna NcNeil Lewis. “I appreciate how hard everyone worked to get the new lights up in time for the world to see one of the most stunning views our city has to offer.”
Plans are underway for a celebration in September to demonstrate the capabilities of the new lighting system.