Thursday, June 30, 2011

City to Cut Ribbon on New Basketball Court

WHO: Richmond Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall
CarMax President and CEO Tom Folliard
CarMax Foundation President Lynn Mussatt
Richmond Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities Dr. Norman C. Merrifield
Other City and CarMax Officials and Youth Basketball Teams

WHAT: A ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a new basketball court and recognize the CarMax Foundation for its

donation of a $155,000 grant to support youth basketball in the City of Richmond.

WHEN: Thursday, June 30, 2011
4 p.m.

WHERE: Pine Camp Arts & Community Center
4901 Old Brook Road
Richmond, VA 23227

The CarMax Foundation has awarded a grant of $155,000 to the Enrichmond Foundation for use by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities to build a new basketball court, restore an existing building for use as a concession facility, and expand league play to include more Richmond youth and a new wheelchair league. This is the fifth year that CarMax has supported youth basketball in the city. Since 2007, the CarMax Foundation has given more than $500,000 to restore and expand the department’s basketball courts at Pine Camp and fund league play for hundreds of Richmond youth between the ages of 10 and 17.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Children Encouraged to Join Guinness World Record Attempt

City children between the ages of one and 14 are invited to join the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and other children at sites around the world to help set a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™.
All children need to do for a chance at becoming a world record holder is come to the department’s Swansboro Pool at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14, and participate in the swimming lesson which will take place at 11 a.m. (3 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time) simultaneously around the world. The Swansboro Pool is an indoor pool located at 3160 Midlothian Turnpike.
Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities is participating in the global event to help spread the message that swimming lessons can save lives. Drowning is the second largest cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 14. In addition, research shows that if children don’t learn to swim before the third grade, it is likely that they never will.
“The importance of learning to swim is a message that is critical to us,” said Richmond’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Dr. Norman C. Merrifield. “With the James River serving as a major attraction in Richmond and the department operating 10 swimming pools, it’s extremely important to us that we teach children how to swim as well as provide lessons in water safety.”
Richmond’s fire chief concurs. “Our water rescue teams are involved in numerous rescues every year,” said Chief Robert A. Creecy. “I would encourage every parent to make sure that their children learn to swim and know about water safety.”
The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is an event designed by a coalition of the nation’s leading water safety and training organizations to build awareness for and draw attention to the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. The inaugural event held in 2010 established the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever and included almost 4,000 participants in 34 states, five countries and three continents. Tragically, the threat of childhood drowning is even greater around the globe.
Thousands worldwide will be participating simultaneously this year in the same 45-minute swimming lesson in the attempt to set a new Guinness World Record. The lesson, developed by a team of leading water safety and swim instruction professionals, will be an easy-to-follow beginner lesson to allow for the broadest participation possible.
Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will follow up by offering two “Learn to Swim” camps for children this summer. In addition, the department provides swimming lessons year-round on Tuesday and Thursday nights at its indoor Swansboro Pool. For more information or to register for the summer camps, call 646-1126 or 646-1441. To register for lessons at the Swansboro Pool, call 646-8088.
To learn more about the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, visit To learn more about the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities aquatics programs, visit

Discount Theme Park Tickets Available

The department of is selling discount tickets to Kings Dominion, Water Country USA and Busch Gardens at prices that range from $31 to $54.
Kings Dominion Good Any Day tickets are on sale for $42 for adults and $32 for youth and senior citizens. In addition, discount tickets for admission on Park and Recreation Days, July 1 through Aug. 5, are available for $32 for all ages.
Water Country discount tickets valid through Sept. 5 are on sale for $31 for visitors ages 3 to 9 and $37 for visitors age 10 and older.
Busch Gardens Discount Days tickets, good through Sept. 5, are on sale for $38 for ages 3 to 9 and $48 for ages 10 and older. Tickets good any day from Sept. 6 through Oct. 30 are $44 for ages 3 to 9 and $54 for ages 10 and older.
Tickets must be purchased with either a cashier’s check or money order in Room 308 of the Landmark Theater at 6 North Laurel Street, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Cash, personal checks and credit cards will not be accepted, and one day’s advance notice is required for ticket purchases of 25 or more.
For more information, call (804) 646-6934 or (804) 646-6067 or e-mail
The department is a member of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society, which makes the discount tickets available.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

City to Kickoff 55th Annual Festival of the Arts June 10

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the City of Richmond will kick off the 55th annual Festival of the Arts on Friday, June 10, at 8 p.m. on the Dogwood Dell stage with the Upper East Side Big Band. The festival features 30 evenings of outdoor family entertainment at Dogwood Dell throughout out the summer that are free to attend.
Highlighting the annual festival will be the city’s Fourth of July Celebration at the Dell. This year, beginning at 4 p.m., it will feature local hip hop group Kids in Da Biz, jazz by Sharon North, a concert on the Carillon bells, and rousing patriotic music by the Richmond Concert Band concluding with a fireworks extravaganza.

Other highlights of the annual summer festival include a Gospel Music Fest on Sunday, July 10, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival on Saturday, July 23, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a special tribute to local musician Page Wilson on Sunday, July 17, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. that will feature Terry Garland and Lil’ Ronnie, Wilson’s band Reckless Abandon, and the Janet Martin Band performing rock, blues and Americana music.
In addition to the wide variety of musical entertainment, the festival brings dance, movies, and theater to the Dell, as well as an entire lineup of morning and afternoon entertainment especially for young audiences on the Ha’Penny Stage, which is adjacent to the Dell.
Families are encouraged to bring picnics and blankets to performances, however no alcohol or pets are allowed. The outdoor amphitheatre is located in Byrd Park at 1300 Blanton Avenue, just north of the Boulevard Bridge.
The Festival of the Arts is produced by the Cultural Arts Division of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. The complete schedule of programs can be downloaded from the main page of the city’s website at