By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)– Philadelphia’s Franklin Square is offering special activities for kids, today. But good times on Memorial Day in Franklin Square are something of a redemption story. After decades of neglect, Franklin Square has become one of the city’s leading destinations for families.

squareburger mclaughlin A Day Of Festivities In A Revitalized Franklin Square

Stephen Starr's Square Burger food stand provides premium snack choices to park-goers. (Credit: Timothy McLaughlin

The Memorial Day scene at Franklin Square is idyllic.

“We went on the noodle, we checked out the miniature golf, we love it, we’re having a ball.”

“Just love the amenities. It’s good for all ages. It’s got something for everyone.”

The carousel, playground, mini-golf and good eats in Franklin Square attract locals, “Me and my wife live up in Northeast Philly and we come down here all the time just because it is so nice.”

And out-of-towners, “We are here in the area for a hockey tournament. This is great, yeah, my kids are having a blast. (They) love the carousel, beautiful, great playground.”

But such delight would have been unimaginable before the park’s 2006 reclamation.

“I think it’s a very good project, a revitalization of a park that used to have derelicts and now you see families and children,” says visitor Derek Snowten. He takes heart from seeing the extraordinary turn-around the park has made in just five years.

carousel franklinsquare mclaughlin A Day Of Festivities In A Revitalized Franklin Square

(Credit: Timothy McLaughlin)

Most visitors aren’t even aware of its history as a hang-out for homeless and haven for drug users but those who are say they may appreciate it even more.

“You get to take advantage of something that was already here: all these old trees make a great environment for the kids, they can have a little shade, enjoy a lot of play, it’s a beautiful, beautiful park.”

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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