Downs Park Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary At Family Fun Day
By Kevin Murnane
Photos by Atalie Day Brown
On May 19, nearly 4,000 area residents made their way down the Pasadena peninsula to attend the second-annual Family Fun Day at Downs Park. The event, which featured numerous activities for families, kicked off the parks 30th-anniversary celebration.
Our family day last year was rained out unfortunately, but we had perfect weather for this years event, said Downs Park Superintendent Debbie Yeater.
Organized by the Friends of Downs Park group - the volunteer group which promotes and organizes events at the park including the annual concert series - the day included an array of activities, including music from Old Mills High Schools steel drum band and the band Bad w/ Names. As a way to introduce youngsters to fishing, the Pasadena Sportfishing Group hosted casting contests throughout the day.
Face painting, a moon bounce and craft-making stations were also available for all children in attendance.
Many of the people in attendance were at the park for the very first time, and they were able to see our great view of the Chesapeake Bay and walk our trails, explained Yeater.
Downs Park has more than five miles of walking/jogging trails, as well as a fishing pier that extends into the Chesapeake Bay. The park also features three large pavilions for outdoor weddings, picnics and camping events. Recently, a canoe and kayak launch area was added so the public can have access to the bay and surrounding creeks.
One of the greatest features of the park is just the scenic beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and the nature trails, said Yeater. We expect many visitors when the tall ships come to Baltimore this June, and we always have many family reunions during the summer as well.
Downs Parks summer season is highlighted by their annual Summer Concert Series. Every Sunday at 6:00pm in June and July, a live band performs.
Downs Park is located on 236 acres and has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s when the land was owned by the Carroll and Caton families. The land was used as a farm in its early years, and then the Thoms family built a large estate on the property and made it their summer home. The county eventually purchased the land and named it after Jack Downs, who was a distinguished public servant for the county.
The park is open every day except for Tuesday, and there is a $6 entrance fee per car. There are also annual permits and the park offers senior discounts as well. For more information on Downs Park, call 410-222-6230 or visit the countys website at www.aacounty.org.