Polar Park’s latest play “Summit Street Fair” is set to debut Wednesday with ducks, diners, music and magicians
The final homestand of WooSox’s inaugural season in Worcester will put the finishing touches on Polar Park.
When the stadium welcomes fans on Wednesday, it will also open Summit Street, which the team compared to Jersey Street in Fenway Park – a boulevard teeming with fans, food and pre-game activities.
Attractions arrived along Summit Street throughout WooSox’s first year in the city. First, a crane dropped the Sherwood Diner in a location behind the center field. Then the duck, “Beantown Betty” arrived, nestled near the restaurant. The murals and the playgrounds also added to the flavor of the streets.
A handful of other items will debut on Wednesday, including a Wormtown Tap Bar, a WooSox “Cap Car” which will serve as a merchandise stand and “A Taste of Worcester” which will turn the kitchens of local restaurants in Polar Park.
At the official opening of Summit Street, fans will also not have access to “The WooSox Loop,” a 0.4 mile route that allows fans to walk around the stadium. The loop will also be open to the public whether the team is in town or on the road.
“We are proud to be finishing this final stretch of Polar Park in time for fans to enjoy this inaugural season,” said WooSox President and Principal Owner Larry Lucchino.
The Sherwood Diner will house the WooSox Foundation. It has been restored to its original 1940s configuration with a donation from the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation.
The restaurant will always be a place to have dishes such as table pies, coffee and polar drinks. WooSox also plans to use a space to host player autograph signatures, mascot meetings, radio shows and other events.
“Beantown Betty” retired to Worcester after competing in world championship parades in Boston, most notably with the Red Sox.
On game days, Summit Street, which the team is touting as the “Summit Street Fair,” will typically have music, wizards, makeup artists, and other family fun. The Smiley Ball and Woofster mascots should be frequent visitors.
The mural along Summit Street behind the Worcester Wall in Right Field pays homage to some of Worcester’s icons. It was painted by local artist Ryan Gardell of Artifakt Studios, with Ferlay Jean-Baptiste, Ferdinand Nazario and Ghrimm Xavier participating as assistant artists.
One of the most recognizable faces is Babe Ruth, who frequented the Vernon Hotel in the Canal District in Kelley Square while visiting one of her mentors, the legendary Jack Barry. The fresco also pays homage to Theodore Tonna, founder of Table Talk Pies; Emma Goldman, political activist and women’s rights pioneer; Tobias Boland, the contractor for the construction of the Blackstone Canal; Jaki Byard, internationally renowned jazz pianist; Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate of the United States; and Mary Jane Mack, who for 55 years was a teacher and principal of Ash Street School, the building that now sits on Ash and Summit Streets.
“We think fans will enjoy the WooSox Loop, whether it’s to stretch their legs, see various stadium features or take advantage of the new amenities that Summit Street has to offer,” said Lucchino. “We also look forward to showcasing these new additions at the many events taking place after the baseball season, including the ‘EBW Classic’, the inaugural college football game on October 23 featuring Holy Cross vs. Colgate. “