Pen Mar hosts an event with fun in mind for everybody

August 26, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

CASCADE - Everybody's Day commemorates the golden years of Pen Mar Park in Cascade.

The scenic park in the northeast corner of Washington County will be filled with big-band ballroom music, children's activities and classic cars during the annual celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29. The free event is a highlight of the park's summer concert series, which runs rain or shine from 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 10.

Once a mountaintop resort and amusement park, Pen Mar Park closed after World War II when many families began traveling to oceanfront resorts. The county's Recreation and Parks Department, which reopened the park in 1977, has since partnered with the American Federation of Musicians Local 770 to sponsor the free summer concert series.

Everybody's Day attracts about 5,000 visitors, organizers said.

"We've got a lot more going on this year that we haven't in other years," said Jim Powers of the AFM Local 770. "It's going to be a great day."


Powers booked the popular Ray Birely Orchestra of Thurmont, Md., to entertain guests at this year's event from 2 to 5 p.m.

"The original Ray Birely Orchestra was there, I think, from the 1930s," he said. The late M. Raymond Birely Sr.'s son, Raymond "Rocky" Birely Jr., now conducts the orchestra.

A swing dance contest will start at 2:30 p.m.; a waltz contest follows at 4 p.m. Plaques will be awarded to winners. Psycho Jammers, a group of dancers in period costume, will do the Lindy Hop and other dances in and around the park's big pavilion at 3 p.m., Powers said.

Also new this year, Hub City Model A Ford Club members will display the kinds of vehicles "you would have seen had you come here in the heyday of Pen Mar Park," Powers said. Similarly, a photographer will be on hand to snap souvenir photos of festival attendees - as was customary in years past, Powers said.

The celebration also will feature a vintage street rod show, miniature carousel display, woodcarvings and performance by the Potomac Dancers. Children can enjoy a magician, balloon sculptor, sack race, three-legged race, clown and candy scramble. Visitors of all ages also can check out shows by the Beale Street Puppets.

The park's concession stand will be open, and picnic lunches are welcome.

Everybody's Day

Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29

Pen Mar Park, Cascade

Live swing music from 2 to 5 p.m., dance contests, vintage car show, children's activities.


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