Friday, May 31, 2013

Correction on Free Family Fishing Fair at Byrd Park

The Department’s Free Family Fishing Fair will be held as planned on Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Byrd Park’s Shield’s Lake, and experts will be on hand to teach basic freshwater catch and release fishing. Those younger than age 16 will not need a fishing license to participate; however anyone age 16 or older will need a freshwater license to fish.
      Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is June 7, June 8, and June 9, not this weekend as previously stated.
      Adults as well as children are encouraged to attend the department’s event to help teach their children how to fish and to go fishing the following weekend, June 7 – June 9, when no fishing license is needed.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Free Family Fishing at Byrd Park Saturday

The department will hold its annual Family Fishing Fair on Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to noon at Shield’s Lake in Byrd Park. The family event celebrates Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend, when no license is required to fish, and is meant to introduce newcomers and novices to the sport and fun of fishing.
      Local fishing experts will be on hand to teach basic freshwater catch and release fishing, and at 11 a.m. there will be a Kid’s Casting Contest and a Backyard Bass Contest. Both contests will offer fishing rods and reels as prizes.
      The public is encouraged to bring their fishing equipment and come see if they can “catch the big one!”  
       Some loaner poles and tackle will be available for use on a limited basis.
       For more information contact Wyatt Kingston at (804) 232-1982 or


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ban Caribe, Kirby Carmichael to Headline Event for Seniors

Free senior day in the park features live music, food and games - Senior citizens age 50 and older are invited to grab their gear and come out to the park for a day of fun with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities at the annual Senior Day in the Park. The free festival, which features live music, food, games, and all kinds of fun for senior citizens, will be held Thursday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Carillon in Byrd Park.
    Providing the entertainment will be Richmond’s popular Ban Caribe, with its hot blend of Afro-Cuban, Latin, Caribbean and rhythm and blues music. Also, Richmond radio legend Kirby Carmichael will play the hits from his collection of oldies that guarantee a trip down memory lane.
    Between the entertainment, festival attendees can shop, eat, and play games like cards, chess, dominoes, puzzles and checkers, or participate in an arts and crafts activity. Vendors will have food items on sale such as hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, fish, box lunches and more. Participants can also bring their own picnic basket and games and are asked to bring their own lawn chair for seating.
    A variety of retailers will have items like books, jewelry, handbags, hats, and handmade crafts for sale. Various agencies will have information tables on site pertaining to resources that are available for seniors. Prizes will be given away throughout the day.
    For more information, call (804) 646-5733.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pedal Boat Rides at Byrd Park Now Open

Make it a family tradition and get out and take a pedal boat ride on Byrd Park’s Fountain Lake. It’s a Richmond experience you don’t want to miss, and something many Richmond adults remember from their own childhood and now want to share with their children. The pedal boat rides are now open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and cost just $12 for half an hour.
      In addition, Croaker's Spot Express has taken over the concession at The Landing at Fountain Lake. They are offering a variety of seafood and other dinner plates and sandwiches, as well as kids’ meals and ice cream. Watch their website at for more information on their menu. You can also call your order in ahead at (804) 353-1717 for a quick pick up or a picnic to take to one of the upcoming outdoor performances at Dogwood Dell.  
     The pedal boat rides and concession at The Landing are made possible by Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Celebrate Memorial Day with a Free Concert in the Park

The public is invited to attend the City’s free Memorial Day Concert at the Carillon in Byrd Park on Monday, May 27 at 4 p.m. 
      The concert, hosted by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, will feature a vocal performance by soprano Lisa Edwards-Burrs, associate professor of voice at Virginia State University who has performed extensively in recital, oratorio and chamber music. She will be joined by classical/jazz pianist Russell Wilson, who has also enjoyed a distinguished career as a soloist and chamber musician, as principal pianist for the Richmond Symphony, and performing with the Russell Wilson Quartet and the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra.
      The program will begin will musical pieces played on the bells of the World War I Memorial Carillon by Lawrence Robinson, the City’s Carilloneur, a title he has held from more than 50 years.
      Croaker Spot Express will be on hand to provide lunch in the park. For information on their menu, call (804) 353-1717 or (804) 303-8754.
      Following are some of the pieces to be performed:

“Morning Has Broken”
“Amazing Grace”
“Beautiful Dreamer”
“God Bless America”
“My Country 'Tis of Thee”
“Let There Be Peace On Earth”
“We Shall Overcome”
“Blue Skies”
“Abide With Me”
“Turn, Turn, Turn”
“Simple Gifts”
“Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen”
“At Last”
“Oh, What A Beautiful Morning”
“What A Wonderful World”

For more information, call (804) 646-1031.


City Dance Theatre to Perform

The City Dance Theatre Company, the award-winning youth dance company sponsored by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, will present its annual concert at the Grace Street Theater on Saturday, May 25 at 7 p.m.
     The program, “Lest We Forget,” will include a variety of pieces ranging from modern dance to lively jazz. The production will feature the choreography of Rodney Williams, who along with Annette Holt is co-director of the company, and Talita Jackson, who teaches dance for the department.
      “These young dancers are top-notch,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. “I was amazed the first time I saw them perform. I doubt there are many municipally-sponsored groups as good as these young dancers anywhere in the country,” he said.
      Currently, the company consists of 21 young dancers ranging in age from nine to 16. Through the years, the company has consistently won numerous awards in the regional and national DanceAmerica competitions, and it is typically the only municipal-sponsored company to compete. This year in the regional competition, City Dance Theatre Company won 10 first place awards and two second place awards.
      Tickets to the annual concert are $20 and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds from the event will be used to help pay for the company to travel to compete in the national DanceAmerica competition this year in Chicago.
     The company is also available to perform at community events. For more information on this, call (804) 646-3673.
      Grace Street Theater is located at 934 W. Grace St.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Help Send a City Kid to Summer Camp

The department will hold its annual radiothon fundraiser on Thursday, May 9, to help pay for city children to attend summer camp.
     “This is a great opportunity for area residents to have a real positive impact on our community’s youth and their development,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, PRCF director. "By helping us provide the summer camp experience for Richmond’s children, you are providing them with positive, educational leisure this summer that will expose them to new experiences and fun.”
      The radiothon, held in conjunction with Radio One and the Enrichmond Foundation, will kick off at 10 a.m. on 92.1FM iPOWER, 99.3FM and 105.7FM KISS, and 104.7FM PRAISE. Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones will be on the air to lead off the radiothon and encourage listeners to donate to help the department reach its goal of raising $25,000 in funding to enable children without financial resources attend summer camp. The public is encouraged to tune in to one of the Radio One stations and call 804-521-8400 to make a donation.
     Callers who make a donation of $25 or more can also have their musical request played on either iPower or KISS as well as have their name or organization mentioned on the air. In addition, everyone who donates $250 or more will be entered into a drawing to receive two tickets to the 9th Annual Stone Soul Music and Food Festival, which will be held on Saturday, June 1 at Richmond International Raceway.
     Donations can also be made anytime online at, and all donations are tax deductible.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Department to Highlight National Photography Month

The City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will celebrate National Photography Month in May with an exhibit at its Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center featuring the photographs of Louis Draper.  
     The exhibit, titled “Louis Draper, Master Photographer,” opens on Friday, May 10 with a public reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be on display through June 20. The exhibit highlights several of the iconic figures’ photographs including some never before seen images. The black-and-white images by Draper, a 20th century photographer who was mentored by Langston Hughes as well as other important artists, will be on display.
     Draper, a highly accomplished African-American photographer was born in Richmond, Virginia and eventually moved to New York in the late 1950’s to further his education. He was a noted photographer as well as an educator. During his time, Draper photographed many celebrated individuals including jazz great Miles Davis, legendary dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham and activist Malcolm X.
     The City’s art department team, Trudy Haynes and Shaunn Casselle, are available to answer more questions about Louis Draper. “The fact that we can highlight a Richmond born artist who was nationally renowned is simply amazing," said Casselle.
     Pine Camp is located at 4901 Old Brook Road. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The reception is open to the public and free to attend.
     The department offers a variety of art as well as dance classes for both youth and adults at its Pine Camp Arts and Community Center. A complete list of classes is available in the department’s Program Guide at, or for more information call (804) 646-3674.