Monday, June 28, 2010

Edgar Allan Poe Haunted Homecoming Tour

June 28, 2010 - The department's Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum and Haunts of Richmond Ghost Tours will present the Edgar Allan Poe Haunted Homecoming Tour at Shockoe Hill Cemetery July 15, Jully 16 and July 17 at 8:00 p.m.
This is a dramatic nighttime tour of Shockoe Hill Cemetery based on the many loved ones of Edgar Allan Poe who are buried there. The tour is led by Poe himself, as he guides visitors through his old haunting grounds and interacts with the spirits of those he knew while living in Richmond.
Each tour is limited to 25 people, so register early. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for children age 14 and younger and can be purchased online at The proceeds will benefit the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery.
For more information call 804-648-5523.

Friday, June 18, 2010

City Opens The Landing at Byrd Park

June 18, 2010 - Mayor Dwight C. Jones officially opened The Landing with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, June 18. The Landing is the new concession building constructed by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities at Fountain Lake in Byrd Park. The new facility includes restrooms and free WiFi, as well as outdoor tables with umbrellas.

“This is a wonderful new addition to Byrd Park that will enhance the amenities of the park,” said Mayor Jones. “Now residents and visitors can come and enjoy Byrd Park, use the free WiFi, and have refreshments from Sally Bell’s.”

“This makes it a perfect place for office workers to sit outside to enjoy lunch or for families to bring the kids for lunch after a pedal boat ride,” said the city’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities J. R. Pope.

“You can also order in advance and stop by to pick up something if you’re attending one of the city’s Festival of the Arts performances at Dogwood Dell,” he noted.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities incorporated several green components into the construction of the building in keeping with Mayor Jones’ green city initiative. These include the installation of waterless urinals, low-velocity flush toilets, and solar tubes in the roof to bring in more sunlight. The department is also making all of its new signage with recycled materials, and big belly trash cans in the park require emptying less often and save on gas.

The Landing will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, and Sally Bell’s, which has operated in Richmond for 85 years, will be offering their box lunches, as well as items from the grill, sides and desserts. You can find their complete menu online at, and orders can be placed in advance by calling (804) 204-1501.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

City to Kick Off Free Outdoor Movie Series June 18

June 10, 2010 - The department kicks off its second year of “Friday Pictures in the Park” on June 18 at 8:30 p.m. in Byrd Park with the showing of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." “Friday Pictures in the Park” is the showing of free movies in city parks and community centers with free popcorn and cotton candy.

New to this year’s series are theme nights, when audiences are encouraged to dress like the movie's characters for the showing of "Star Trek," "This Is It" and "The Princess and the Frog.” In addition, a dance competition will be held in conjunction with the showing of "This Is It.”

Theme night movies will begin at 7:30 p.m., while the remainder of the movies will begin at 8:30 p.m. All movies are free.

The department's movie nights are co-sponsored by Pepsi and 106.5 the Beat, and the additional opening night sponsor is Stratford Hills Chick-fil-A.

Billed as the most delicious movie since macaroni met cheese, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is a Sony animated movie that tells the story of Flint Lockwood, whose invention, the Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, causes new foods to rain down on the town of Swallow Falls every day.

The complete schedule is as follows:
(* indicates a theme night)

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Friday, June 18, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Byrd Park, 600 South Boulevard

Imagine That
June 25, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Battery Park, 2803 Dupont Circle

*Star Trek
Friday, July 9, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Abner Clay Park, Brook Road and West Clay Streets
Costume contest

Planet 51
Friday, July 16, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Mary Munford Playground, 211 Westmoreland Avenue

The Blind Side
Friday, July 23, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Blackwell Community Center, 300 East 15th Street

Monsters vs. Aliens
Friday, July 30, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Jefferson Hill Park, 21st and East Marshall Streets

*This is It
Friday, August 6, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Broad Rock Sports Complex, 4801 Old Warwick Road
Dance Contest

Friday, August 13, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Chimborazo Park, 2900 East Grace Street

Friday, August 20, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Hotchkiss Community Center, 701 East Brookland Park Boulevard

*The Princess and the Frog
Friday, August 27, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Forest Hill Park, 4100 Forest Hill Avenue
Costume contest

For more information, call 646-5733.

City Kicks Off 54th Annual Festival of the Arts June 11

jUNE 10, 2010 - Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will kick off its 54th annual Festival of the Arts at Dogwood Dell on Friday, June 11, at 8 p.m. with an evening of big band music by the Upper East Side Big Band.

In addition to the lineup of performances on the Dell stage, this year's summer-long festival of free outdoor entertainment for families includes a series of Tuesday Blue Plate Specials at 12:30 p.m. for active adults; a series for young audiences on the Ha’Penny Stage adjacent to the Dell; a Gospel Music Fest on July 11 from 3 to 9 p.m.; a Words & Music Festival on July 18 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; the Fourth Annual Latin Jazz Festival on August 14 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; a series of Carillon concerts performed by the city’s Carilloneur Larry Robinson; and the popular Fourth of July annual performance series concluding with cannon fire and a fireworks spectacular.

Audiences are encouraged to bring the entire family and arrive early to secure a seat in the outdoor amphitheatre. Picnicking is also encouraged; however, audiences are reminded that no pets, alcohol or glass containers are allowed at the Dell.

The program guide listing this year’s lineup and more information, can be found on the department’s website at under Cultural Arts, or for more information, call the Dell Information Line at (804) 646-DELL or the department’s main office at (804) 646-5733.

Friday, June 4, 2010

MARTIN'S Donates Park Benches to City Parks

June 4, 2010
Richmond, VA – MARTIN’S donated 25 benches to Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities yesterday in a ceremony at Byrd Park. The supermarket chain, which now operates four stores in the city, encourages recycling and works with Trex® of Winchester, Virginia to turn recycled plastic bags into park benches, which it then donates to community organizations.

“We could not be more pleased with this donation,” said Dr. Carolyn Graham, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for human services. “We welcome MARTIN’S to our city as a new corporate partner that cares about our community and is willing to step up to the plate and help us build a better Richmond.”

“These benches will help make our parks and playgrounds more inviting to the public and encourage outdoor activity,” said J.R. Pope, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

MARTIN’S Regional Vice President Jim Scanlon was on hand to donate the benches. “Each year, we donate park benches made from recycled plastic grocery bags to beautify local parks and green space in the neighborhoods where we have stores. We call it ‘Bags to Benches’ and we are delighted that 25 benches will find a new home in Richmond city parks where our customers and associates will be able to enjoy them,” he said. MARTIN’S employs approximately 700 full and part-time associates in its four Richmond stores.

The ceremony took place during the city department’s “Senior Day in the Park,” an annual event that kicks off a summer of programs for Richmond’s senior citizens. Four of the benches are already installed at the Byrd Park Tot Lot located just southwest of the Carillon. The remaining will be installed at parks and playgrounds throughout the city.

The department is responsible for 55 tot lots, 60 playgrounds and more than 57 parks and opens spaces throughout the city, including the James River Park System.

“Getting our city’s residents outdoors and active is one of the department’s most important missions,” said Roz Johnson, deputy director of the department. “It is also significant that MARTIN’S donation is based on recycling, an environmental initiative that is becoming increasingly more important. Recycling not only helps our planet, it helps our department save on park maintenance and transporting waste to the landfill,” she said.

Each bench is made from approximately 5,500 recycled plastic bags, according to MARTIN’S. Since 1997, the company has donated 1,400 park benches to a variety of organizations, including parks, playgrounds, fire departments, churches, libraries and schools.

For more information on MARTIN’S Bags to Benches program visit

For more information on Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities visit