Roger McGuire Green reopens in Asheville’s Pack Square Park

The Roger McGuire Green has reopened! And the timing couldn’t be better as the Parks & Recreation Department is set to kick off its Movies in the Parks series this month.

The first movie this season will be “Inside Out,” beginning at dusk on May 13. Come early for free crafts for the kids at 6:30 p.m. Bring the family, friends, and a blanket or some chairs. Local food vendors will be serving up tasty treats throughout the evening.

John A. Gavin, Asheville Parks Planning & Development Manager, said the green is now in better condition than ever. “It’s lush and soft, great to go barefoot as the season warms up,” he said.

Under Gavin’s supervision, a contractor took up the old sod in early March and put down the new grass. The grassy area was fenced off for 2 months while the new sod took root. Recent rains helped it to get established.

Named in 1900 after George Pack for his donation of land to be used as a public park, Pack Square Park could be called Asheville’s front porch. When it comes to placemaking it’s our ultimate civic space. Pack Square Park serves as a focal point for Asheville’s vibrant downtown.

This 6.5-acre park that runs from Pack Square to City Hall forms a figurative and sometimes literal village green.

The Roger McGuire Green runs from South Spruce Street to the Reuter Terrace at the east end of Pack Square Park, where Splasheville and the stage area are in front of City Hall. It was home to 55 special events and festivals in 2015, ranging in size from 100 to 25,000. The largest festivals held there were LEAF Downtown, Independence Day, Shindig on the Green, Beer City Festival, Goombay, Blue Ridge Pride, New Belgium’s Clips Beer & Film Tour, Smoky Mountain Toy Run, Healthy Kids Day and OrganicFest.

Obviously, it’s a much loved and high impact area.

Because it hosts so many special events, attracting thousands of visitors, the turf sustains a considerable amount of wear and tear. Now it’s freshly resod for a new season of festivals and fun.

Look for the reopening of Splasheville soon, too!