Central Park: Looking backward, looking forward

Jan. 19, 2013 @ 11:26 AM

At the beginning of each year, I have big fun looking at the year that has just passed to take stock of how the folks of Durham have used Durham Central Park as their “backyard” to host parties, events and just hang out.

Here’s a general list of what you might have experienced at DCP in 2012:

-- Two church services

-- Five food truck rodeos

-- Six  movies (Full Frame, Durham Cinematheque & Rock the Park)

-- 16 musical concerts ( eight Music in the Park events, five Warehouse Blues concerts, three benefit concerts)

-- The Leaf dedication

-- Three corporate employee and customer events

-- One chili challenge

-- One Independence  Day parade

-- Four dance events (including a Zumbathon and a square dance)

-- One pig picking

-- One Easter Egg Hunt

-- One Earth Day celebration

-- One scavenger hunt

-- Two YMCA Family Nights and one YMCA Trunk or Treat

-- Two weddings

-- One seafood festival

-- Five political gatherings

- Three prayer vigils

-- Random yoga, tai chi and aerobics classes

-- Two school celebrations

-- Three fundraiser runs through the park

-- Two bike rides through the park

-- Countless YMCA after school events and summer camp activities

-- 52 Durham Farmer’s Market Saturdays and many Wednesday markets

-- 20+ Durham Craft Market artists each Saturday

AND over 4000 volunteer hours logged throughout the year by Durhamites who love Durham Central Park!!!

And these are just the events that have been scheduled at the park.  This list doesn’t include the hundreds of heartfelt conversations taking place throughout the park each week by park visitors sitting on the benches, the lawn, in the gardens or walking along the pathways…or the thousands of skateboard rides at all hours of the day that happen in the rain and shine. 

The vision of the wise folks who dreamed up Durham Central Park more than 15 years ago was to have a green space where the community could gather for all kinds of events and reasons.  They imagined this five-acre spot in downtown Durham would become Durham’s “big backyard”….and it has! 

Durham, come join in the fun at Durham Central Park in 2013!  Stay tuned to our website www.DurhamCentralPark.org to keep up with events and news of what is happening at the park.

Ann Alexander is executive director of DCP Inc.

Durham Central Park, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that manages and maintains the five acre green space in Durham at 501 Foster Street.  DCP’s sole mission is to create and sustain a unique urban park to engage the Durham community.  For rental or event information, visit our website at www.DurhamCentralPark.org