If you haven’t been to Stead Park yet, this fall will be great time to visit.
Until last fall, Stead was mostly known for its nice, but crowded playground at 1625 P Street NW. But the playing field was little-known and little-used by the local community; partly because it was hidden by buildings on P Street, 17th Street and 16th Street NW; the tall, prison-like fence and gate that was not reliably unlocked by citywide park rangers; and partly because the field itself was noteworthy only for its bumpy, patchy and barren condition.
All that changed last year when Friends of Stead Park (FOSP) and residents successfully advocated for a field revitalization that includes a jogging track, a spray park, a performance stage, soft turf with water-retention, trees and flowers and entrances from 17th street and 16th Street for the first time ever.
But many still walk by without having ventured in to see this new community treasure. FOSP hopes that will change this fall with a great lineup of events for all ages.
Their first fall event is a musical movie night on Saturday Sept. 19 at 7:00pm.
“Grease” will be screened and will feature singalongs and prizes for the best 1950s outfits.
A second, likely animated film is planned for Saturday, Oct. 3.
World’s Cutest Parade
On Oct. 24, FOSP is cosponsoring the world’s cutest parade: – The 5th Annual Little Goblins Parade along P Street NW, an annual pre-Halloween tradition.
For the first time, FOSP will be hosting the parade’s after party at Stead Park on the new playing field with a concert, dance performance, games, and of course sweetstuff!
The fun will start at Logan Circle. Cheering on the long parade of cute costumes is popular with all ages. Many businesses and restaurants along P street get into it, so, even if you don’t have children, you can get a spot or a restaurant seat early and cheer the kids on as they strut by. It’s also fun to volunteer for a bit. It’s a blast for everyone.
According to the parade organizers, Joelle Myers and Evelyn Boyd Simmons, the parade has evolved with the neighborhood and entertainment will be fun for all, but targets kids up to 12 years old.
Following the parade, the last event before the cold sets in will be a fall festival on November 14.
Revitalizing the Small/Old Recreation Center
Once it’s cold outside, Friends of Stead Park will be partnering with businesses and organizations such as Whole Foods on P Street and the Foundry United Methodist Church to hold events for children at their venues rather than at Stead’s old brick recreation center building. Currently, the park cannot meet the demand for FOSPs popular indoor programs, but a recreation center is actually one of FOSP’s top priorities for the future of the park.
Last year, we asked the city to open a cooperative daycare program at Stead. But they determined that the rec center was not safe enough for toddlers to use for this purpose.
Clearly the recreation center needs to be modernized. But, with so many families moving to the area — and staying here — this is a good opportunity to expand the public indoor space available to the community. If you would like to help us work toward this goal, please contact us.
To volunteer for the Little Goblins Parade, please email [email protected]
Photo via Friends of Stead Park