If a crowd of 175 people enjoying food, beer, a roster of stand-up comedians and an aerialist are any indications of a successful event, then The Monarch pop-up beer garden is off to a good start.
Last Thursday’s first-ever Holmesburg beer garden outside the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion brought an evening of 21+ fun to the community, while also raising funds to give back to the neighbors. Based on the turnout, organizer Cheryl Molle said they raised enough to purchase one security camera for a resident and two spotlights for businesses on Frankford Avenue.
“The community really showed up,” Molle said. “I’m surprised and elated so many people came out.”
Garden-goers participated in activities like games, shopping, food and entertainment. Just before sunset, aerialist Jessica Victoria of Cirque du Nuit took to the sky, performing feats of athleticism while dangling from ropes.
“I really enjoy bringing joy to people and it’s nice to hear how they interact with certain parts of the performance,” she said. Cirque du Nuit, a performance design company based in New York City, has a partnership with local theater company Wings of Paper and will return to the Insectarium for future events.
The event was organized by Molle and John Cambridge, who owns the Insectarium and runs Wings of Paper. The event was created to provide adult-skewed community events to the neighborhood.
All profit goes back toward community initiatives. Attendees were able to pick up physical applications for the security cameras at the event, and an online application will be available in a few weeks. Future profits will go toward initiatives like crosswalks, public art and community cleanups, Molle said.
The beer garden is planned to take place every fourth Thursday of the month. Aug. 22’s beer garden will feature additional beer selections and cocktails with more bars present to choose from. Additional options in food, shopping and entertainment will also be available. ••