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Pop-Up park officially opens downtown

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.--The Beale Street Music Festival isn't the only thing adding to a busy weekend downtown.

After months of planning, RiverPlay, a pop-up park along Riverside Drive, is officially open.

The park was paid for by a multi-million dollar grant from private foundations, officially opened at 3 p.m. Friday. There is a skating rink, a hangout and eating area, basketball courts and other games. The goal is to connect communities.

There is a bright, new place to play basketball downtown.

"It's pretty creative and it brings a positive vibe to the city. It shows everyone is welcome," said Kadarious Lacy.

Accompanied with friends South Memphian native Kadarious Lacy brought his son to see what the new spot is all about.

"Something that Memphis needed. Something Memphis needed for real," he said.

The pop-up park, known at RiverPlay is designed with the purpose to connect communities and reinvigorate the connection between downtown and the Riverfront on the Fourth Bluff.

"It's one block long, it doesn't take up a lot of space but we pack a lot of fun things into it," explained Dorchelle Spence, Vice President of the Riverfront Development Corporation.

Grand renders for the park showed added trees and lights. Trees were brought into the closed off street. While some might not be too happy taking a detour around Riverside Drive, Spence says it's important to remember this temporary and important to see what works for our city.

"It really lets you reimagine how you use the Riverfront, reimagine how you use Riverside Drive is their connections that make sense, where there are no vehicles where its just pedestrian, where it's just for play and for fun and connecting these parks. We've got two great parks we've got Mississippi River Park and then just up the bluff, you've got Memphis Park," she said.

While families enjoy the park Spence says they'll be secure.

"We will have security on site during the open hours and we'll have some roving security at night," she said.

To come to the pop-up park it's free and runs through the summer.

It costs $5 if you want to rent some skates and there will also be food trucks with food and drinks for sale as well.
An important reminder, families are welcome, organizers say they are not a babysitting service and don't want parents just dropping off their children.

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