Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dogwood Dell Offers a Family Fourth and Fireworks

Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and bring the entire family to the City’s free annual Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks Extravaganza presented by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities on July 4 at Dogwood Dell in Byrd Park.
     The program will begin with a Children’s Carnival from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. behind the Ha’ Penny Stage on the west side of the Carillon. It will include inflatables, face painting, and games. Vendors will be on hand selling food and drinks in the children’s area as well as in the circle in front of the Dell stage throughout the evening. Of course, the public also can bring their own food and drinks or snacks, but no glass containers or alcohol are allowed in the park.
      At 5:45 p.m., the program will begin on the Dell stage with jazz by Simply Kevin B. Next, Larry Robinson, the City’s carilloneur for more than 50 years, will follow with a performance on the Carillon bells at 7 p.m.
     At 7:30 p.m., the Richmond Concert Band will take the stage to perform a program of pop and patriotic music, including many traditional numbers the audience will recognize and want to sing along with. The highlight of the evening is the annual finale, the “1812 Overture,” played with cannon fire and Carillon bells as it was originally composed to be played. The piece will conclude with the annual fireworks display.
     Event parking will be available at City Stadium, located at 600 McCloy Street, with shuttle bus service to and from the Dell starting at 2 p.m. Individuals with valid handicapped parking stickers will be allowed to park in the Dell parking lot to the east of the Carillon. Carillon neighborhood streets will be closed to traffic and parking, and the Boulevard Bridge will close at approximately 6 p.m. and remained closed until the fireworks are over.
     The public is reminded that no dogs are allowed in the park, and the adjacent Barker Park Dog Park will be closed July 3, July 4 and July 5 for safety purposes.
     The rain date for the event is July 5. For last minute updates, call the Dogwood Dell production office at 646-1031.
     The Fourth of July Celebration is a part of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ Festival of Arts, the summer-long program of free outdoor family entertainment that takes place at Byrd Park’s Dogwood Dell amphitheater. The complete summer schedule is on the department’s website under Cultural Arts.

Sunday's Dell Performance Cancelled

Sunday, June 30’s performance by the West End Assembly of God at Dogwood Dell has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. There will be no show at the Dell that evening.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kids Can Eat Free All Summer

Anyone 18 and younger can eat for free this summer under the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ Summer Meals for Kids program. The free meals are available by merely walking in at meal time to any of the 120 sites throughout the City and surrounding counties that participate in the department’s program. No registration is required.
      “With this program, there is no reason for any young person to be hungry this summer,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the department.
      The Summer Meals for Kids program is made possible through the department’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During the summer of 2012, the department served approximately 268,000 free meals through the program.
      Most of the department’s community centers are participating in the program Monday through Friday and are serving breakfast from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and lunch from noon to 1 p.m. The program will continue at community centers until Aug. 23, but other locations may choose to serve the meals through Aug. 30. A complete list of the participating 120 sites can be found at www.richmondgov.com/PressSecretarymayor/documents/2013SummerFoodListing.pdf.
      For more information, call (804) 646-5752.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Movies in the Park Starts Friday

The department will officially kick off its annual Movies in the Park program Friday, June 21 in Byrd Park beside Fountain Lake with a showing of Madagascar 3.
     The annual series of free movies will be held every Friday night in a different park through August 16. The movies will begin at 8:30 p.m., or as soon as it’s dark, and families are invited to bring their own blankets or chairs and refreshments and enjoy the free PG-rated movies in the park. Vendors will also have refreshments for sale, and prior to each movie RVA Hoop House will provide hula hoop activities for all to enjoy. 
     This year’s series, co-sponsored by Pepsi, the CW Richmond, Bounce Richmond, and 106.5 the Beat, is scheduled as follows:

Date                            Location                                 Movie
June 21                        Byrd Park                                *MADAGASCAR 3
June 28                        Blackwell                                *RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
July  5                          Broad Rock Complex            *PARANORMAN
July 12                         Jefferson Park                         *HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA
July 19                         Hotchkiss                               THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN
July 26                         Humphrey Calder                   *BRAVE
August 2                     Abner Clay                              CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
August 9                     Battery Park                            JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
August 16                   Forest Hill                               OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
                                                                                    * =  animated

For more information, call (804) 646-5733. Park visitors are reminded that no glass containers and no dogs are allowed in parks.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Kicks Off with Pool Openings, Ribbon-Cutting

The department will celebrate the kickoff of its summer season and the renovation of two of its seven outdoor public swimming pools on Saturday, June 15, at 1 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting at Battery Park Pool, located at 2917 Dupont Circle.
     “As the City continues to upgrade infrastructure and improve our public spaces, quality of life for residents is always at the forefront. These new pool renovations not only make them safer but also more enjoyable and interactive for city families. This encourages Richmond families to be more active and healthier and City pools are a great place to exercise, learn how to swim, and enjoy fellowship with your neighbors,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones.
      Both the Battery Park Pool and the department’s Fairmount Pool, located at 2000 U Street, have been completely renovated this year, to include new pool splash pads.
     The new splash pads feature water jets that spray water in several directions. Splash pads are considered by the pool industry to be much safer than the traditional baby pools and provide hours of active play for children.
     Other renovations at include pool deck renovations, replacement of the pool gutter systems, and new ventilations systems in the pool bath houses that will lower humidity, increase comfort and improve maintenance.
     In addition, the department has also adjusted the deep end of the Battery Park and Fairmount pools raising them from 12 feet to eight feet, another measure taken to increase safety.
     “While we are delighted to bring so much fun to the public every year at our swimming pools, safety always has been and always will be our highest priority,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of PRCF.
     The department will continue making improvements to its swimming pools in the fall when it will begin work on the Blackwell Pool, located at 238 East 14th Street. Earlier this year the department opened its Bellemeade Pool, which was converted into an indoor year-round swimming pool at the Bellemeade Community Center, located at 1800 Lynhaven Avenue. PRCF also operates the Swansboro Indoor Pool located at 3160 Midlothian Turnpike.
     It is free to swim at any of the department’s swimming pools, and the pools are open seven days a week during the summer months. With the exception of the Battery Park Pool, which will open after the ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m., the department’s other six outdoor public pools will open on June 15 at noon. Pool hours are Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday noon to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
     The public is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting celebration. For more information on the department’s swimming pools, call (804) 646-5733.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Join the Ping Pong Challenge

Do you enjoy playing ping pong? If so, come join the Ping Pong Challenge hosted by the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities on Friday, June 21, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 E. Belt Boulevard. It’s free and open to all who are interested.
     Ping Pong, also known as table tennis, began as a parlor game in the 1880s.  Today, it is played throughout the world for exercise, sport and recreation.and has even evolved into an Olympic sport. It’s a game that can be played at any age and enjoyed year-round, making it a life-time sport embraced by millions. In fact, ping pong is said to rank second only to soccer in number of participants.
      No matter your age or how well or often you play, the Ping Pong Challenge is your opportunity to meet others who enjoy playing ping pong and get involved in a fun and healthy activity that’s known to help develop eye-hand coordination, reflexes, and mental alertness.
      Additional tournaments will be held at various locations. For more information, call (804) 646-7934 after 1:30 p.m. or stop by the Hickory Hill Community Center anytime between 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Senior Center to Hold Open House, Crafts Sale

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ Linwood Robinson Senior Center will hold an open house and crafts sale on Thursday, June 20, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
     The public is invited to visit the center, which is located at 700 N. 26th Street, to meet the staff and learn about the free programs offered for senior residents age 60 and older. In addition, a variety of crafts items, hand-made by the Linwood Robinson senior citizens, will be on display and available for purchase. Light refreshments will also be served.
      The Linwood Robinson Senior Center offers games, arts and crafts, field trips and other activities for the city’s senior residents Monday through Friday.
      For more information, call the center at 646-3115.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tonight’s 57th Festival of the Arts Opening Postponed

Due to rain, the department has postponed tonight’s scheduled opening of the 57th Festival of the Arts at Dogwood Dell until tomorrow night, Saturday, June 8.
      Tomorrow night’s program will begin at 7:15 p.m. with children’s activities and entertainment, including a stilt walker, balloon art, face painting, an organ grinder and a make and take puppet project.  At 8:30 p.m., Virginia Repertory Theatre will present “Town Mouse/Country Mouse,” a children’s theatre production based on the fable, on the main stage.
     The program will repeat on Sunday, June 9 at the same times.
     The Festival of the Arts is the department’s summer-long program of free outdoor family entertainment that takes place at Byrd Park’s Dogwood Dell amphitheater located at 1100 Blanton Avenue. The entire season’s program can be found on the department's website under Cultural Arts.
     For future postponements or cancellations, please call the Dell Hotline at (804) 646-DELL (3355).