Rain Doesn’t Dampen Park(ing) Day Spirits

Photo by Noah Jeppson/Instagram
Photo by Noah Jeppson via Instagram

As water drizzled from the sky, people walking down Main Street could be seen enjoying a small urban forest, taste-testing a sandwich, or having a “wolverine experience.” Downtown Dallas got a slightly different look today as metered parking spots were transformed into temporary parks for the third annual Park(ing) Day Dallas.

Although the rainy weather resulted in a few cancellations by groups and musicians who were slated to participate, co-organizer Noah Jeppson wasn’t discouraged. It’s his last Park(ing) Day in Dallas before he moves to Seattle in October.

“It’s neat to think we are part of this big advocacy for public space that takes place around the world,” he said. A couple hundred cities in dozens of countries participated this year.

In one parking spot, Jessica Martinez was swinging high on a tall, yellow swing set designed by creative urbanist Patrick McDonnell. Onlookers passing by took pictures of the curious unusual downtown Dallas sight. When she finally came down from the swing, Martinez, with smile on her face, yelled “Oh my God, that was so awesome!”

Martinez helped organize the music for Park(ing) Day, and it’s her third year participating.

“This is one of my favorite community events,” she said. “It’s great to see how people envision their parks, and it’s also great to see people come out on a soggy day.”

Among the other mini-parks that were set up:

Nasher Sculpture Center is having people create a sculpture together, inspired by the “Tower of Lace” by Jean Dubuffet.
The Environmental Protection Agency is educating people about green infrastructure and low-impact development in Dallas.
Downtown Pawz created a small dog park for downtown residents to bring out their dogs to play with other dogs.
Local artist Susan Hubenthal is asking owners and their pets to be part of a mural by getting their feet wet in paint and walking on a canvas.
Digital marketing agency Soap Creative is letting people have a “wolverine experience” by playing a video game they developed for the recent movie The Wolverine.

The event continues until 7 p.m. tonight. So maybe get a little wet and listen to live music, create art, or just swing along Main. Then hit the after-party, at City Tavern.