100th Anniversary Celebration at Bryan Park on Saturday

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Saturday, Richmond will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Joseph Bryan Park. But first, let's review how things have transformed over the years at the park.

Sommer Humphries is a regular visitor here at Bryan Park with her two little ones. Over the past days and months, she's seen a big change here.

"It's nice because it takes a while to walk here then I get them worn out. Then, we hang out have lunch sometimes. It's just a daily field trip for us," Humphries said.

That's exactly the idea leaders had in mind when they transformed this park over the past 100 years. From the rich history --- to present day -- things look quite different.

John Zeugner is with the Friends of Bryan Park, an advocacy group helping to improve the park.  "The more good people we get in here, the happier and healthier Bryan Park will be."

Recently, some major improvements took place here. The city added an 18-hole disc golf course that runs throughout the park and they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix the wall at Young's Pond, as well as renovating the Azalea Garden pond.

"A lot of families come up here on Saturday they have a lot of picnics," says Sommer.

But years ago, things weren't so rosy. "The park was wide open and people we hanging out an it got a bad reputation," says Zeugner.

But Zeugner and the city have transformed the park and there are plenty of other improvements lined up, including a new concession stand with bathrooms near the soccer fields. They'll replace the port-a-potties currently near the fields.

"It ought to make it a first class recreation facility," adds Zeugner.

To mark the big celebration, a time capsule will be placed in the ground to be opened 100 years from now. And tomorrow, Humphries will be there for it all.

"Not sure what to expect but hopefully they'll have a lot of neat things," adds Sommer.

The event will take place from noon until 6 p.m. The celebration will feature food, live music, children's activities, and a wide variety of vendors and exhibitors, including local artists, non-profit organizations, and environmental groups. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.  

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and other dignitaries will provide opening remarks at 12:30 p.m., while Susan Greenbaum, the Chris Adams Band, and the Bopcats will provide the musical entertainment at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively. In addition, members of the Richmond Raiders professional indoor football team will be on hand to meet the public, and the Lady Raiders Dance Team will perform.


Arts and crafts, a tree climb, a moon bounce, and a fire truck from Richmond Fire and Emergency Services will be available for children to enjoy. The RVA Hoop Lovers will provide hula hoop demonstrations and the Richmond SEAL physical training team will conduct a tug-of-war. The SPCA will bring its walk-through Tail Wagon and the Richmond Police Department will have mounted police on hand.    

One highlight of the day will be the burial of a time capsule in the park.

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