PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Center City’s Franklin Square Park is a place where families are able to get in some socially-distanced, outdoor fun and for the month of October, that includes getting married.
“We’ve created a whole wedding experience here,” said Joe Volpe, owner of Cescaphe Event Group.
Cescaphe has constructed a temporary outdoor event space on the 6th Street side of the park to host weddings and other special events that cannot happen indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from glittering chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, it’s a blank canvas for couples who want to get married despite the current limitations.
“They are definitely getting very creative, with the fact that people are comfortable outdoors at this stage,” Volpe said. “All couples are now doing what they have to do to make their celebration happen the way they want to envision it.”
The wall-less venue can accommodate up to 150 people, which is the capacity limit for outdoor events in Philadelphia, though Pennsylvania already allows larger gatherings.
“I recommend if people gather at all, that they do it outside, that they limit their numbers … that they wear masks and they keep six feet from each other,” said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.
Twelve couples have booked weddings at the park this month. There is still limited availability for more.
When the space is not booked for an event, members of the public are free to use it for recreation. Cescaphe and Historic Philadelphia, which maintains and operates the park, consider the arrangement a win-win.
“We’ve had the elders from Chinatown come and do their dance classes, we’ve had yoga classes,” said Amy Needle, president of CEO of Historic Philadelphia.
Cescaphe and Historic Philadelphia have not decided whether they will keep the tents up beyond October.
Elsewhere in the park, nightly spooky mini-golf captures the Halloween spirit.
“There’s black lights, there’s fog and then there are these little creepy creatures all over the place,” Needle said. “No one jumps out at you, so if you’re looking for a family-friendly event to take your kids to this fall, to get into the spirit, this is the perfect place to go.”