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Washington Park Signature Playground

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 27, 2006 7:39PM

Yesterday Chicagoist heard that Perry Farrell would be announcing more bands to the Lollapalooza line-up while delivering a big check to Parkways. We went down to Washington Park to be present for this press conference mainly because we wanted to get the names of those new bands out there faster than anyone else, but no such announcement was made. We did, however, learn a great deal about how the "cutting edge" Lollapalooza audience is allowing the Chicago Park District to go forward with improvements that wouldn't have been realized without our hard-earned music dollar fees.

2006_04_washpark.JPGThe Washington Park Signature Playground concept is based on a historical theme where the main pathway becomes a timeline through the park and community history. Washington Park celebrates the 125th anniversary of its naming this year, and it was important to all involved that Hyde Park's rich cultural history be captured in this playground and that it be accessible to everyone.

Parkways Foundation has promised to raise $700,000 for this playground, and today Perry Farrell and Charlie Jones from Capital Sports & Entertainment gave them a check for $400,000 of it. This money came from last year's Lollapalooza, and this year they expect Lollapalooza will raise $600,000 to help benefit a playground at Haas Park.

Perry Farrell was on hand briefly to let us know that he's excited that the fun of Lollapalooza will help transform Chicago's parks and that he believes Chicago is the greatest location in the country for music festivals. We agree! Tim Mitchell from the Chicago Park District declared Chicago to be the "home of the blues, home of the greenest mayor, and home of Lollapalooza!" The next time anyone claims that we're just wasting our money by attending those evil rock-n-roll shows, we're going to take them to the Washington Park Signature Playground and say, "This is what the power of rock-n-roll can do."