Canal Park Opening Enjoyed by All

Washington Canal Park Grand Opening

I traveled to Washington, DC to photograph the opening event for Canal Park and returned the next day to enjoy the site with my family. It was great to see the community come out in full support of this new urban park.

An artist paints the scene as the String Poets serenade guests entering Canal Park prior to the opening ceremony.

Music, art and movement were the common threads weaving throughout the three-block park over the course of the two days. It started late Friday morning with the peaceful sounds of a string trio during the opening ceremony.

 

Ice skaters stop to listen as the Washington Showstoppers drill band marches through the 3 block park.

After the ribbon cutting on the ice rink, pop tunes emanated from the speakers, enticing skaters to glide rhythmically around the loop. As my family and I approached the park on Saturday, we were welcomed by the hypnotic beats of a drill band, and my two boys immediately fell in line behind the drummers as I ran to the front of the procession to capture the moment.

 

A face painting station engages children at Canal Park.

Fathers assist their children in exploring the curves of David Hess’s sculpture on the middle block, one of five the artist designed for Canal Park.

After having their faces painted, children made their own masterpieces out of recycled materials and then ran to swing and climb on the striking sculptures designed for the park by David Hess. In addition to being a sustainable destination, this park promotes physical activity. We saw many people out for a jog or walking their dogs, and the park also featured a temporary children’s obstacle course and complimentary Zumba class as part of the opening weekend festivities.

 

Top: View of the Black Locust wood bench and ice skating loop from the roof of Canal Park’s largest pavilion, designed by STUDIOS Architecture. Bottom: My youngest son, Tahj, adorned in Spider-Man face paint, begins to make his way up one of the higher waves of the bench.

 

The ribbon bench beckoned small children to walk, run, and jump up and down the crafted wood panels and my youngest, Tahj was no exception. His eyes lit up when we approached the bench like it was an old friend that he hadn’t seen in years, while my oldest son couldn’t wait to lace up his skates and hit the ice.

 

Left: Hasani (my oldest) laces up his skates, ready to hit the ice. Right: People of all ages crowded the rink on opening day.

Needless to say, the unique ice skating loop was a huge success and was enjoyed day and night by people of all ages. My family can’t wait to take another trip to Washington, DC to enjoy all the park has to offer.

 

Even as night begins to fall on opening day, visitors at Canal Park continue to skate, thanks to the lights which illuminate the rink and the park during evening hours.

Comments
  1. Bonnie Kirn says:

    What a lovely and thoughtful photo-essay. It captures the true meaning of social space. Well done Sahar!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>