Memorial Day is on visible display in Bridesburg well before the actual holiday occurs.
American flags line telephone poles the length of Richmond Street, and Americana bunting is draped from iron-wrought, front-porch railings throughout the neighborhood.
Riverfront North Partnership, the nonprofit charged with raising awareness and finding funding for the completion of the 11-mile Greenway trail along the Delaware River from Port Richmond to the Glen Foerd Mansion in the Far Northeast, is no stranger to Bridesburg’s patriotic celebration.
“Like many Philadelphia neighborhoods, you know the season based on how the houses are decorated in Bridesburg,” said Gina Craigo, community engagement manager at Riverfront North. “To aid in the celebration of its famed Memorial Day parade, Riverfront North Partnership is sponsoring a patriotic house decorating contest.”
Riverfront North hosted an “On the Table” dinner, a program run by the Philadelphia Foundation, in October 2019, with both new and native 19137 residents.
The goal of the dinner program is “to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and create a unifying experience,” according to Craigo.
Riverfront North then applied and was awarded a grant to carry out that goal and ultimately decided on holding a decorating contest.
Aside from its history of hosting one of the largest and oldest Memorial Day parades in the River Wards, the ongoing development of a 10-plus acre park at Orthodox Street and Delaware Avenue has spurred increased involvement in the area.
“With the building of the new riverfront park at Orthodox Street and Delaware Avenue, RNP is committed to community engagement in the 19137 ZIP code to gather input from the community and work together to learn and pilot small projects together,” Craigo said. “Our end result will be an activities plan for the park’s first season as part of this process.”
Everyone in the 19137 ZIP code is welcome to participate, from homeowners and renters to businesses.
Categories include porch, flower pots, bay window, business, new neighbor and community choice.
New neighbors must have lived in the 19137 ZIP code less than a year, and voting for Community Choice will take place on Facebook from May 13 through May 15, at noon.
Each category will include a $50 prize for the winner.
There is no cost to enter, and entries must be received by Tuesday, May 12, at noon. Contest is only for exterior decorations that must be visible from the street. Windows and light poles may be decorated, but cannot obstruct sidewalks or sight of traffic.
Decorations should remain up until July 4.
While this contest focuses solely on Bridesburg, in the future, Riverfront North hopes to bring similar initiatives to neighboring communities.
“While we’re focusing on Bridesburg now, we hope to build a model that can be replicated in all the neighborhoods with parks along the greenway,” Craigo said.
For more details about the Bridesburg Patriotic House Decorating Contest, visit www.riverfrontnorth.org/decorate.