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D.C. Plans Walter Pierce Park ‘Fun Day’ Amid Firetruck Controversy

by Tim Regan — August 31, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Walter Pierce Park Playground bare spot

(Updated at 5:24 p.m.) D.C.’s General Services and Parks and Recreation departments will help bring a firetruck to an Adams Morgan playground tomorrow afternoon, but it won’t be Freddy.

The agencies are scheduled to host a “family fun day” in Walter Pierce Park Thursday from 4-8 p.m., according to an email from the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services. The event will include free popcorn, a moon bounce, an inflatable slide and a working firetruck from D.C. Fire and EMS.

“We thought it would be a great idea to have a real firetruck with real D.C. Fire personnel,” said Gwen Crump, a DPR spokeswoman. “We’re going to have some snacks. It’s going to be a fun day.”

District officials will also use the party to update locals on the status of the plan to replace Freddy Da Firetruck, the beloved playground equipment that DGS mistakenly disposed of earlier this month. As detailed by the Washington Post, workers trashed Freddy after months of back-and-forth between frustrated locals and city officials.

Though it may seem like the city organized the event as a way to placate neighbors miffed by Freddy’s untimely death, DGS spokesman Kenny Diggs said he “wouldn’t characterize it as that.”

“The mayor’s office wanted to put this event together and DGS was more than willing to participate,” he explained. “We do apologize for the miscommunication of the firetruck incident. I wouldn’t characterize it as placating.”

Chanda Washington, a representative of the mayor’s office, explained the purpose of the event thusly:

“Clearly, we made a mistake in how we communicated to the community about the status of a popular piece of playground equipment,” Washington said. “We wanted to bring the kids out… have a little fun, and at the same time, give them an update of where we are about getting the equipment back.”

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