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Upcoming Events: Discovery Park Walking Tour Saturday and Cowen Park Picnic Tuesday August 30th

Upcoming Events: Discovery Park Walking Tour Saturday and Cowen Park Picnic Tuesday August 30th
The Discovery Park Loop Trail passes by a wide variety of plant life and trees. (Photo by The Urbanist)

The Urbanist is excited to announce two more events in our summer series. This Saturday (August 27) we’ll be meeting at Discovery Park at 11am and hiking the Loop Trail, starting the hike from the North parking lot around 11:35am. RSVP for the Discovery Park walking tour.

On Tuesday August 30, we will be picnicking at Cowen Park starting at 5:30pm and doing a stroll through Ravenna Park at 7pm. RSVP on our Cowen Park Eventbrite page.

Discovery Park Walking Tour

At 534 acres, Discovery Park is the largest city park in Seattle. The Loop Trail is a great way to take in the spectacular variety the park has to offer, from thick old growth forests to flowery meadows to the scenic Magnolia bluffs overlooking the Salish Sea. The hike is about three miles with some rolling hills, but no major elevation change. The trail is well-kept, but it is not fully accessible for people with disabilities.

The park used to be a military base (Fort Lawton) before it was decommissioned and converted to a park in the 1960s. The fledgling park was the site of one of the most dramatic nonviolent demonstrations in Seattle history when a 1970 Indigenous occupation of part of the fort led to the creation of the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center on a northern section of the property.

“Led by Bernie Whitebear (Sin Aikst), Bob Satiacum (Puyallup) and indigenous peoples of Western Washington, 100+ Native Americans and supporters occupied areas of Fort Lawton using a base camp just outside the fence line,” the City of Seattle website notes. “Famous supporters such as Jane Fonda and Black Panther chapter of Seattle helped increase national attention to the cause.”

We’ll meet at the picnic table next to the Route 33 bus stop at Discovery Park’s North Parking Lot. (Image by The Urbanist)

More recently, activism is leading to an affordable housing complex being added, as the last remaining Fort Lawton Army Reserve compound is being decommissioned and its 34 acres converted to housing and recreational space, including about five acres to be added to Discovery Park. In 2019, the Seattle City Council approved a redevelopment plan to create affordable housing on the site, with at least 235 homes in the works. Magnolia homeowner activists led by Elizabeth Campbell fought the affordable housing and mounted a legal challenge, but they have only succeeded in slowing down the project rather than stopping it. Urbanists and housing advocates rallied in support of the project and opponents have all but exhausted legal avenues.

Discovery Park’s South Beach includes lots of driftwood to sit on and a great view of Mount Rainier, the Magnolia Bluffs, and Elliott Bay. While not on the Loop Trail, it’s a half-mile side trip. (Photo by Doug Trumm)

Urbanist staff will be on hand to answer questions about Discovery Park and related plans, but participants will also be free to mingle and take in the natural beauty during the hike.

Parking at Discovery Park’s North Lot. Take Texas Way for the less steep bike route to the North Parking Lot and find a post to lock to. (Photo by Doug Trumm)

Getting there: Metro’s Route 33 bus stops at the North parking lot. We’ll congregate at the picnic table near the bus stop (Illinois Avenue & Texas Way), which is the end of the line, and hit the trail shortly after the Route 33 run scheduled to arrive at 11:35am shows up. Thanks to the protected bike lanes on Gilman Avenue W, biking to Discovery Park is also a great option. If you’re coming from Ballard, it’s also possible to cross the Ballard Locks and take the secret forested path through Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park, which is accessed from 33rd Avenue W. There isn’t specified bike parking area at the North parking lot, but there are lots of signposts to lock to. If you are taking an app-based bike, be aware more operators cut e-assist and do not their bikes to be parked within Discovery Park boundaries so you may want to park at the edge of the park and walk the rest of the way.

Cowen Park Potluck and Ravenna Park Walk

On Tuesday August 30th, The Urbanist is hosting a potluck picnic at Cowen Park starting at 5:30pm. We’ll have snacks to share, but we encourage folks to bring something to contribute or snack on/sip yourself. This social event is intended to take advantage of summer to get outdoors and enjoy Seattle’s beautiful park system.

The picnic tables are located near the playground at Cowen Park. (Photo courtesy of Seattle Parks and TIA International Photography)

Ravenna Park and the neighboring Ravenna Boulevard were designed by the Olmsted brothers as part of a plan to given Seattle a world-class park system. Cowen Park is the adjoining park to the west also integrated into the Olmsted-designed system, with the ravine trail starting at the northern edge of Cowen Park. Stand in the middle of Ravenna ravine and you hardly know you’re in the middle of a bustling city, with a new trove of skyscrapers rising just to the south in the U District, as giant trees provide thick canopy overhead.

After snacking and chatting at Cowen Park, we’ll wander into Ravenna Park to enjoy the Olmsted-designed trail system and get lost in the trees. The Ravenna walk will start at 7pm. The ravine trail is well-maintained gravel and has a steep hill at the start but is accessible to people with disabilities.

Urbanist writer Ryan Packer rides their bike over the 20th Avenue pedestrianized bridge, with tree canopy on either side.
20th Avenue NE offers a bike and pedestrian-only bridge over Ravenna Park. (Photo by The Urbanist)

Getting there: Cowen Park is well served by transit, including Route 45, 67, and 73. It’s 0.4 miles southeast of Roosevelt Station, making light rail an easy way to get there. There are also good biking options. From the west, protected bike lanes connect to the park via Ravenna Boulevard. The Burke-Gilman trails gets within a few blocks of Ravenna Park, with the ravine trail connecting through to Cowen Park.

RSVP for the Ravenna-Cowen Park event on our Eventbrite page.

Doug Trumm is the executive director of The Urbanist. An Urbanist writer since 2015, he dreams of pedestrianizing streets, blanketing the city in bus lanes, and unleashing a mass timber building spree to end the affordable housing shortage and avert our coming climate catastrophe. He graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.

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Alabama Credit Union to Again Provide Free Admission to Charger Park Events, Volleyball Games – UAH Athletics

Alabama Credit Union to Again Provide Free Admission to Charger Park Events, Volleyball Games - UAH Athletics

HUNTSVILLE | The University of Alabama in Huntsville Department of Athletics announced on Monday that thanks to a continued generous corporate commitment from Alabama Credit Union, admission to all UAH regular season events at Charger Park along with volleyball games at Kelly Court at Spragins Hall will be free for all spectators.
This is the second straight year UAH has partnered with ACU to provide free admission to all spectators for volleyball and at Charger Park.
The first opportunities for Charger fans to take advantage of this special offer for the 2022-23 academic year come this week as women’s soccer opens up the home slate on Thursday at Charger Park followed by the men’s soccer home-opener on Sunday.
Women’s soccer welcomes Trevecca Nazarene at 5 p.m. on Thursday, followed by the men’s game on Sunday against North Georgia at 2 p.m. at Charger Park. Volleyball’s first home action will also be the beginning of Gulf South Conference play on Sept. 16 against West Alabama at 6 p.m.
About Alabama Credit Union
Founded in 1956 by people who wanted a cooperative approach to banking, Alabama Credit Union remains a people-driven organization that exists to serve its members, support its employees and their families, and enhance the communities we serve.
We are part of the communities we serve; we work and live where our members work and live and take pride in being “real people who offer real help”. We are here to give our members a hand, make life easier, and share money know-how tips to achieve their goals. “Good enough” isn’t how we do things—at Alabama Credit Union we get it right. We offer everyday banking and “loans for real life” with rates and service that make our members smile. At Alabama Credit Union it is not just about the bottom line—we know that taking care of business means taking care of people.

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SURREY EVENTS: More ‘Movies Under the Stars’ at Holland Park, plus comedy, festivals, etc. – Surrey Now-Leader

SURREY EVENTS: More ‘Movies Under the Stars’ at Holland Park, plus comedy, festivals, etc. - Surrey Now-Leader


Music on the Plaza concerts to Sept. 6 at Surrey Civic Plaza, 13450 104 Ave, on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. “With different musical genres performing live every Tuesday evening, bring a lawn chair or a dance partner and enjoy your summer evenings to the fullest.”

Sounds of Summer concerts at various Surrey sites this summer. Details posted to Schedule includes Aug. 17 with Cookin’ with Brass (Funky brass Pop covers) at Elgin Heritage Park at 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 24 with Akaaljot & Satpreet Dhadda (Traditional Indian instrumental) at Bear Creek Park at 6:30 p.m.

Aegis Rocks 2022 at Bell Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 10. “Now graced by 7 members, one of the most popular OPM bands- six girls and a man, whom the girls tease as already being like one of them (Of course, they’re just kidding)- is now the New and Enhanced AEGIS Band.” Tickets/info:

Coffee Concert: Dancing with Eight Hands: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre. A Surrey Civic Theatres presentation. “Enjoy an amazing morning of music with not one amazing piano duo, but two. The Canadian Piano Quartet are the Bergmann Duo and Duo Turgeon and their combined tickling the ivory power means audiences are in for double the fun.” Box office:, 604-501-5566.


Beach House Theatre: At South Surrey’s Blackie Spit (Crescent Beach), Beach House Theatre Society presents summer theatre annually in a limited run at its state-of-the-art tent stage. From Aug. 9-14, the community-based group’s eighth season will highlight “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni, adapted by Tracy Young and Odd Gross directed by Candace Radcliffe and Rick Harmon. Info:

POP! Summer Strolls at Darts Hill Garden Park offer Performances Outdoors in Parks from Aug. 18-28, 1633 170 St., South Surrey, featuring Vostok, Pangaea Arts, Gamelan Tekanan Suara and Cause & Effect Circus. Tickets $5-35,, 604-501-5566.

“Drag Out Your Friends”: Pivot Theatre presents an all-ages drag bunch show Sunday, Aug. 21 at The Greek Corner, 7218 King George Blvd., Newton. Shows starts at noon. Tickets $50, includes entry, food entree, drag entertainment, part proceeds to Rainbow Refugee. Hosted by Aria Treble, performances by Isabella, Margaux Rita, Eva Scarlett, Heathen, Batty B Banks, Abeiya Miraj, Mystic Minx. Info:

“To Perfection”: A ‘genderational’ play by Meghan Gardiner kicks off Surrey Civic Theatres season Sept. 13-17 at Surrey Arts Centre, via Shameless Hussy Productions. “Gloria, a former celebrity TV chef, played by the inimitable Patti Allan, is finally reuniting with her estranged grandchild, Alex.” Tickets: $22-$29; student/senior matinee for $15 on Sept 15. Box office:, 604-501-5566.

“Menopause the Musical”: Musical comedy is set in a department store where four women meet by chance while shopping for a black lace bra, Oct. 6 at Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey. Tickets range $55-$65 on, or call 604-507-6355.


“Mriya: Life in Rhythm” performed by Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 12. “Rich in intensity, energy, and spirit, Cheremosh takes audiences on a colorful and exhilarating journey, thrilling them with intricate choreography, spectacular costumes and dynamic music.” Tickets/info:


An Evening With Mary Walsh: At Main Stage at Surrey Arts Centre on Oct. 29 (new date). “Join Canadian cultural icon, comedienne, and social activist, Mary Walsh, as she performs some of her best comedic bits and most popular characters from Dancing With Rage, CODCO and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, along with up-to-the-minute local political satire.” Tickets $54, 604-501-5566,

Yuk Yuk’s comedy club at Elements Casino Surrey, with shows Saturday nights at 17755 60 Ave., Cloverdale. For calendar and tickets, visit or call 1-800-899-9136, ext. 0. Aug. 13: Darryl Lenox with John Perrotta; Aug. 20: Amber Harper-Young, with opener Ryan Williams; Aug. 27: Ola Dada with openers Travis Waters & Mark Nesbitt.


Donegal’s Irish House: Live music and more at 12054 96th Ave., Surrey. Info: 604-584-2112,

White Hart Pub: Live music, jam nights and more at 8593 132 St. Info: 604-503-5735.

Dublin Crossing: Live music on stage at 18789 Fraser Hwy. 604-575-5470, online at

Mojitos: Latin music and more at The Turf Hotel, by bands and DJs, 12411 King George Blvd. Info: 778-223-6936,

Taphouse Guildford: Music/sports bar, 15330 102A Ave., Surrey. Info: 604-583-8828, DJ Paul the Wall (Fri./Sat.).

Brewster’s Pub: Live music Saturday nights at 7380 King George Blvd. No cover. Info:,


Bear Creek Park Train and MiniGolf: Mini train rides through the forest at Surrey’s largest park, 13750 88 Ave. For hours and rates, call 604-501-1232 or visit


Movies Under the Stars: Outdoor movies at Surrey’s Holland Park in August, with pre-movie entertainment and games starting at 6 p.m. Event hosted by Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (BIA). Three family-friendly movies will be shown at the Whalley-area park in August. Continues with “Encanto” (shown Aug. 13) and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (Aug. 20). Info:

Hollywood 3 Cinemas: 7125 138 St., Newton. 604-592-4441. Movie listings:

Landmark Cinemas 12 Guildford: 15051 101 Ave. 604-581-1716, Info:

Strawberry Hill Cineplex: 12161 72 Ave., Surrey. 604-501-9400,


The Cloverdale Market: “Your Weekly Treasure Hunt” in two buildings with 200 tables and 100+ outdoor spots, open every Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cloverdale Fairgrounds, off 176 St. (Hwy 15) and 62 Ave., Surrey. Info: 604-837-1676,


Authors Among Us: Surrey Libraries hosts local authors for online Q & A sessions. For a detailed calendar of events/authors, visit

“Genealogy: Eastern Europe Border Changes”: Online program hosted by Surrey Libraries on Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. “Anyone researching their family history in Eastern Europe probably has faced the challenges that changing borders present. In this program, Edie Adam will use findings from her family history research to demonstrate the key factors – time and place – and how to use them to your advantage.” Free. Registration required. Email or call 604-598-7327. Web:

“Genealogy: Online Polish Records”: Online program Tuesday, Aug. 30, 10 a.m. Free. “Presentation will provide a brief overview of two primary databases which reveal parish and civil registry records in Poland encompassing many Polish, German and Jewish residents of in the 19th to early 20th centuries: Geneteka and Metryki.Genealodzy. Registration required. Email or call 604-598-7327. Web:


Surrey Urban Farmers Market: Weekly summer market runs until Oct. 8, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Royal Kwantlen Park, in the parking lot at the corner of 104th ave and Old Yale Rd. Info:


Powerplay Hockey League is a fun league for boys and girls aged 6-9 and 10-13 who want to play the sport they love in an environment focused on fair play and participation. “Learn the rules of the game, practice your skills, and experience being part of a team all at an affordable price. No body-checking allowed.” Fall sessions at Sport & Leisure Complex on Sundays. Fee: $139.50 for 10 sessions. Goalies play for free. More info: 604-501-5875.


Habitat for Humanity 11th Annual Butterfly Release: “Check out a live butterfly release charity community event in Fleetwood, fundraising for Habitat for Humanity,” on Aug. 13, 11:30 a.m. at Fleetwood Villa 16028 83 Ave. Free to attend; $20 to purchase a butterfly to release. “Come for a lineup of live entertainment. The event is organized for seniors, but the family can come and join in on the fun.” Info: 604-590-2889.

F.U.B.A.R. Golf Classic 2022 tournament on Sunday, Aug. 28 at Guildford Golf & Country Club, to benefit Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon. “The F.U.B.A.R. Golf Classic is a Best Ball Tournament for men and women who want to FUNraise and help bring hope, joy and strength to families living with critical illnesses.” Sponsors sought. Info:

“Ignite a Dream”: Annual charity gala hosted by Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society “to help remove barriers and ignite the dreams of children in Surrey by providing educational opportunities that would not exist without community support,” Sept. 24 at KPU Cloverdale campus. Info:


Surrey Environment and Business Awards on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel (15269 104 Ave.), featuring speaker Josie Osborne, B.C.’s Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship and Minister Responsible for Fisheries. Luncheon event starts at 11:30 a.m. Info:

Surrey Arts and Business Awards: Surrey Board of Trade seeks nominations for businesses and individuals that have enriched Surrey through arts and culture. Categories are Philanthropy, Cultural Ambassador, Legacy, Arts & Innovation and Music. Deadline is Aug. 22. Info:


Community Picnic at Royal Kwantlen Park on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. “Pack a picnic and celebrate at this free outdoor event. Enjoy games, fun park activities, and free hotdogs for the first 150 people,” at 13035 104 Ave., North Surrey. Info: Email:, call 604-501-5050.


Battle of the Brews on Saturday, Aug. 20 at Surrey Civic Plaza, at city hall, 1 to 5 p.m. “An afternoon of beer tasting, food sampling and music,” in support of Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society youth initiatives. Tickets at or

Give Peace a Chance festival Oct. 1 at Bell Performing Arts Centre hosted by Global Peace Alliance BC Society with theme of “End Racism, Build Peace,” featuring singers, dancers, guest speakers, art exhibit and more. Info:, 604-329-0850.


Run Surrey Run: First-time event on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 11 in City Centre area, with start/finish at Holland Park, on 5K/10K route. Race route is posted to, with registration details. Fees start at $25 and rise to $45.

Surrey Walks Together: City hall initiative encourages residents to “reconnect with others while walking to improve both mental and physical health.” Meeting locations are posted to Surrey Walks web page ( along with other walking resources including trail maps, information on self-guided walks, walking groups, charity walks and more.


MYzone After School Drop-In Program offers activities for children ages 8 to 12 at reopened recreation facilities in Surrey, from October to the end of June. “Play games, make arts & crafts, learn new things, take part in community projects, have quiet time for reading or homework in supervised and safe environment.” Info on, or call 604-501-5100.


Surrey Muse: Interdisciplinary art and literature presentation group meets on fourth Friday of each month except December (5:30-8:30 p.m.). Gatherings feature an author, a poet and an artist/performer at varying levels of artistic development, followed by an Open Mic session. Virtual gatherings continue for now. Info:,


Jane Saborio art exhibit Saturday, Aug. 20 at Clubhouse Paletteon The Park, 12711 64th Ave., Surrey, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Art cards, matted and unmatted watercolours, framed acrylics, more. “Florals, landscapes, seascapes, still life, architectural images inspired through a lifetime of travel and deep appreciation of nature’s beauty, color, light & shadows.” Info:, email:, 604-596-9345.

Surrey Art Gallery: Gallery at Bear Creek Park, 88 Ave./King George Blvd. 604-501-5566, “Mere Phantoms: Shadows Without Borders,” (to Aug. 14), plus “Black Breath Spectacle” (also to Aug. 14); video installation “Zachery Cameron Longboy: Guardian of Sleep,” to Nov. 26; Fraser Valley Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists with “Fresh Paint” juried exhibition, to Oct. 16.

Newton Cultural Centre features works by local artists at 13530 72 Ave., at venue of the Arts Council of S urrey. August feature: Lynne Kelman and Carla Paterson: Stories in Photographs and Stitch.

Thursday Artist Talk: Events hosted by Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA) on first Thursday of every month, 7:30 p.m. Free. Info: 604-501-5566, On Facebook.surreyartgalleryassociation.


Museum of Surrey: At 17710 56A Ave., Cloverdale. Info:, 604-592-6956. “Body Language” showcase of Indigenous tattoos and culture, to Sept. 4; “Inspiration X: Dilber Mann” showcases Mann’s collection of movie/comic statues, to Sept. 25.


The Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR) is offering free 3-hour online workshops every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm. “The goal of the workshop is to learn to identify different types of abuse, support survivors of abuse and learn how to find additional supports and resources for survivors of abuse.” Email nevr@kpu to register for a free VIP workshop. Info: 604-599-2267.


Surrey International Writers’ Conference: This annual event attracts hundreds of writers to the city from points around the globe, with workshops, panel discussions and “Night Owl” events at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel and also online. The 30th annual conference dates for 2022 are Oct. 21-23. Info:


Westcoast Harmony Chorus: Group rehearses in Surrey at Parkland Community Church (9574 160th St.) on Wednesday evenings, 7 p.m. “A group of women and people of marginalized genders who love to sing and are personally committed to excellence and lasting friendships.” New members sought. Email, or visit


Recovery Canada: “We are a free, in-person, self-help support group for people experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. In-person meeting is on a summer break and will resume on Tuesday Sept. 13 at 1:30-3pm at St. Cuthbert Anglican Church, 11601 82 Ave, Delta BC. For more info contact Anita at or 604-788-4633. The virtual meeting will continue as normal on Thursdays 7 -8:30 pm. Contact Gilles at for more info, or visit

Surrey Prostate Cancer Support Group meetings on last Saturday of month at Valley View Memorial Gardens 14644 72 Ave., Surrey (no meetings July and December). “Everyone is invited who are interested in knowing more about prostate cancer. Coffee & cookies provided. Call 604 594-5257.”


Surrey Art Gallery docent program seeks volunteers to lead weekday school group tours of contemporary art exhibitions. Application deadline is Aug. 22 for the next training session, beginning Sept. 12. Visit “Volunteering at the Gallery” page on or contact Chris Dawson-Murphy, Volunteer Coordinator,, 604-501-5198.

READ Surrey/White Rock Society is recruiting volunteer adult literacy tutors for their fall training. Info:

Fraser Health Crisis Line is marking 50 years of operation this year; that’s 50 years of 24/7 service delivered by volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, contact the Fraser Health Crisis Line:


Technology Forums for seniors hosted by City of Surrey on Sept. 7 at City Hall, Nov. 5 at Newton Seniors Centre and Feb. 11 at Clayton Community Centre. “Free forums aim to help seniors learn about relevant digital resources that support healthy active aging, make life easier and enhance social connectedness.” Secure spot by phone at 604-501-5100, online at, or in-person at any Surrey Parks, Recreation & Culture facility.

Surrey Singles Over Sixty: “We are a group that meet for dinners, card games, bowling, dancing, picnics etc. We are based in the North Surrey/North Delta area. New members (fully vaccinated) are welcome.” Call Georgie at 604-585-7304 or Bob at 778-545-5350.

TALK (Third Age Learning at Kwantlen): Program promises “creative and stimulating educational activities” for the 50-plus age group in Surrey and surrounding cities, with a mix of in-person and online events. TALK courses are “ideal for retirees who want to continue learning.” Fees range from $15 to $30, plus $10 annual membership fee. Info:, 604-599-3077.

Seniors Centre Without Walls: Join various presenters for telephone-based exercises, literature or coffee clubs, learning mindfulness or estate planning. View details for information about the Seniors’ Centre Without Walls initiative by Seniors Come Share Society and register by calling 604-531-9400 ext. 205 or


READ Surrey/White Rock Society’s Partners Program offers free, one-to-one tutoring for adults who want reading, writing or math support. “If you or someone you know needs literacy help, call Shanti at 778-242-7323 or email” Info at

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A vacant building near Washington Park is to be converted into an events venue. It would be the latest in a series of nearby developments. – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A vacant building near Washington Park is to be converted into an events venue. It would be the latest in a series of nearby developments.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Books in the Park events

Books in the Park events

Books in the Park events

To help children keep reading over the school holidays, two ‘Books in the Park’ events are taking place.

Part of the Essex Year of Reading, the events include special story time sessions. They take place at Thorndon and Weald Country parks on Thursday 11 August. During the sessions, families can hear children’s classics, The Gruffalo and Stick Man.

The session at Thorndon takes place 10.30am-11.30am and the session at Weald takes place 2pm-3pm. The events are free but car parking charges will apply.

The Country Parks are home to the Gruffalo and Stick Man trails. Families are welcome to walk the trails before or after the story time sessions.

Children and adults can also visit the Essex Library Service mobile library on the day. A range of books will be available to borrow. Parents and carers can also sign their children and themselves up for free library cards.

The mobile library will be at Thorndon between 10am-12pm and at Weald between 1.30pm-3.30pm on the day (subject to weather conditions).

There are lots of other ways to get involved with the Essex Year of Reading this summer. Take part in our ‘Reading in Unusual Places’ challenge. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play for more fun ideas to help your child discover a lifelong love of reading.

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Emancipation Day events returning to Lakeside Park

Emancipation Day events returning to Lakeside Park

Niagara’s annual Emancipation Day celebrations will return to live events this month.

Organized by Matter of Black (MOB) and BlackOwned905 in partnership with FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, the four-day event will feature workshops, live performances and a vendor market at Lakeside Park and downtown St. Catharines.

The event marking pride and solidarity among the Black Canadian community is returning from two years of virtual and hybrid celebrations.

Performing arts centre programming director Sara Palmieri said the event is meant to “remember, honour and respect the struggles of freedom that Black Canadians experience, while continuing to learn and celebrate.”

In years past, the Emancipation Day Picnic at Lakeside Park would attract upwards of 8,000 people from Toronto to Owen Sound, with some attending from Virginia and Tennessee.

The Emancipation Day Picnic has been held in St. Catharines since 1924.

The raising of the Pan-African flag at city hall will kick off the festivities Friday at 2 p.m.

Events on Saturday will include the Black Owned 905 Market with DJ Rennie from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. along with a performance by SHAD at 5:45 p.m., in front of the performing arts centre at 250 St. Paul St.

Sunday will offer an open house and tour talk at Salem Chapel BME Church on Geneva Street from noon to 4 p.m.

Emancipation Day at Lakeside Park on Monday will feature music and activities all day, including a drumming performance by Alpha Rhythm Roots at 2 p.m., a spoken word performance by poet Dwayne Morgan at 6:30 p.m. and a concert by local legends LMT Connection at 7 p.m.

All events are free.

For a full list of Emancipation Day activities visit