Memphis riverfront activated with skating rink, Downtown activities

RiverPlay, a temporary pop-up park with playing fields and basketball courts, a skating rink, and spaces for mobile food vendors, will open in early May on the Memphis riverfront within Mississippi River Park and adjacent parts of Riverside Drive.

“Everything we are doing at the Fourth Bluff fosters Memphians’ attraction to and curiosity about the riverfront,” said Benny Lendermon, president of the Riverfront Development Corporation.

“This is where our city literally began, and it’s an area to which more and more people are returning. Temporary projects like RiverPlay are fun ways to get people, especially families with children, to see our riverfront parks and public spaces with new eyes. When people connect to our river, they connect to each other.”

The project is part of the Fourth Bluff initiative to activate sections of Memphis’ Mississippi riverfront and the costs of installation are funded by private donations. RiverPlay partners include the Memphis Grizzlies, the City of Memphis, Riverfront Development Corporation and Downtown Memphis Commission.

Memphis is one of five cities participating in the nationwide “Reimagining The Civic Commons” initiative, which hopes to spark civic engagement, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability through revitalizing and connecting parks, libraries, community centers, and other public places.

The Fourth Bluff is a four-block area of the riverfront within a larger area called the Promenade, which includes the historic Cossitt Library, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law promenade, Memphis Park, Mississippi River Park, and portions of the Riverwalk that connect them.

Last winter, the Fourth Bluff ice rink was temporarily installed in the park and was very popular.

Installation work on RiverPlay will begin on April 22 when portions of Riverside Drive close for Memphis in May festivities at Tom Lee Park. RiverPlay will remain open through August.

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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