A heartbreaking trend throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was seeing businesses, restaurants and venues forced to shutter their doors. But Playwicki Farm in Feasterville was a rare exception. Locals flocked to the 110-acre space, located at 2350 Bridgetown Pike, to enjoy the outdoors – one of the few safe activities for some time.
“It really increased our following on social media because of them being able to go there and just sit down, walk, go to the playground for the children,” said Playwicki Farm Foundation president Rose McMenamin. “It’s a very popular place and I think it really helped a lot of people.”
Despite an uptick in visitation, the farm wasn’t permitted to hold any of its beloved events, such as Second Fridays and annual holiday festivities. These traditions were sorely missed in 2020, and thankfully, residents had to miss them for only a year.
McMenamin proudly shared that the Lower Southampton Township board of supervisors gave Playwicki the green light to bring back these favorite community happenings.
“You’re never certain how a vote will go. I just wanted to present the information, what we had planned, that we would follow the guidelines and protocols of the CDC and do all of that,” said McMenamin, who is working with Jen Flannery, of Mommy’s Lil’ Black Book, to organize the Second Friday series. “She has everything in place.”
The four-part series, sponsored by American Heritage Credit Union in Feasterville, commences June 11, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. As always, attendees can enjoy food trucks, a beer and wine garden, balloon art, a moon bounce and more.
“We are trying to offer something for every member of the family, young or old,” said Flannery.
Second Fridays continue on July 9, Aug. 13 and Sept. 11. Attendance and parking are both free.
According to McMenamin, the only change is that there will be no live bands. The staging area is needed for socially distanced picnic tables, so a DJ will entertain the crowd instead.
In order to ensure CDC protocols are met (whatever they may be at that time), signs will be placed throughout the farm to remind everyone to socially distance, wash their hands, etc. McMenamin believes Playwicki guests will adhere to any guidelines in place.
“People just want to get out, enjoy themselves and have a good time,” she said. “It’s been too long.”
In addition to Second Fridays, Playwicki is bringing back other programming, including the Sept. 11 tribute “Time to Remember,” which begins at 8:30 a.m.; Fun Day for children on Sept. 23, which includes a trunk or treat from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and an Octoberfest on Oct. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This, said McMenamin, was previously held at night as part of Second Fridays, but it got dark too early.
A holiday market is scheduled for Nov. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as a holiday open house featuring a special arrival of Santa Claus, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Parents are encouraged to bring a camera and take photos of Santa with their children.
Through December, the Love Grows Farmers Market is offering fresh fruits and vegetables every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“They farm right on our property,” said McMenamin. “Everything is grown there.”
Restrictions from the CDC on masking and public gatherings continue to ease. McMenamin said she hopes this trajectory continues so that Playwicki’s jam-packed schedule can go off without a hitch.
“This year is all about the community,” she said. “All of the events are in line for us to be doing what we want to do for the community.”
Playwicki Farm is currently celebrating its 27th anniversary since the Lower Southampton Township board of supervisors purchased it for the public to enjoy. The Playwicki Farm Foundation was later created as an independent tax-exempt corporation to raise money for charitable, educational and scientific purposes. Funds are used for the repair, maintenance and preservation of the farm and the development of educational programs.
Any proceeds raised this year will benefit the placement of concrete outside of the farmhouse. Past projects include the installation of a commercial kitchen and the refurbishment of the barn for events.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org