The Best In Special Events

By Christine Schaffran

Let’s face it—if you’re bored with your list of programs, so are your visitors. Seniors can only yell “bingo” so many times, and although the quest for tricks and treats probably never gets old for children at Halloween, it’s probably time to make some changes to the run-of-the-mill menu of programs.

Try something new! © Can Stock Photos Inc./lenm

Try something new! © Can Stock Photos Inc./lenm

What can you do to liven things up?

Here is a list of the some of the most unique ideas we found:

The Mullet Haul
The Mullet Haul will feature both a 5-mile and a 10-mile race on the trails of Mullet Hall Equestrian Center at Johns Island County Park. We encourage racers to sport their mullets, either authentic or artificial, as part of this themed event. The award ceremony and a party with live music and beverages will be held immediately following both races.
--Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission (S.C.)

Slow and steady wins the turtle race. Photo courtesy of Shakopee Parks and Recreation

Slow and steady wins the turtle race. Photo courtesy of Shakopee Parks and Recreation

Turtle Derby
$2 per entry, Free to Watch

Shiny shells bursting with turtle power will scurry or slouch their way across the finish line. Bring your own turtle or borrow one of ours. There will be a Slow Poke Champion and Derby Champion with trophies and prizes awarded. This event is fun for all ages!
--City of Shakopee (Minn.)

Flashlight Egg Hunt
Join us as we put a new spin on an old spring tradition. Children ages 11 to 14 are invited. Bring your sense of adventure and a flashlight to light up the night as we hunt for Easter eggs.
--Williamson County Parks & Recreation (Tenn.)

Mud Mania
The 34th Annual Mighty Mud Mania will be held at Firefighter’s Park. Mud Mania is open to anyone wanting to take part in this annual summer ritual, which signals the start of the coming school season.

Firefighter’s Park will be the scene of the crime as nearly 400 brave souls will slip and slosh their way to a dirty and gritty ending while trying to win the crown of fastest mud runner in their age division.

Boys and girls compete separately to see who can navigate the obstacle course the fastest. The Champion and Runner-up in each age division is awarded a Mud-Mania T-shirt and the winner will also receive a Champion Mud-Mania Trophy. Age divisions are divided into 4 and 5 years old, 6 and 7, 8 and 9, 10 and 11, 12 to 14 years, 15 to 17, 18 to 34 years and the Sr. Division of 35 years and older.

It’s all for fun and a great way to spend a day in the park. Participants will also have the opportunity to get clean by stepping into the friendly Haz-Mat shower after their run.

Concessions will be available complements of the Optimist Club of Kingman. Proceeds from concessions go back to parks and recreation to support the Youth Mighty Mite Basketball program. It’s gonna be dirty and it’s gonna be fun, so we’ll see you at the big event!
--City of Kingman (Ariz.)

Rubber Ducky Regatta
Once again, parks and recreation, Walgreens and the Take Care Clinics, team up to present this hilarious family event for its 17th consecutive year. Hundreds of rubber duckies float down the Neshaminy Creek to compete in a race to the finish line. Your duck(s) could win and you could receive prizes totaling $500.

Numbered ducks will be placed in the water in Kemper Park and duck marshals will be on hand to retrieve them. Official ducky number tickets may be purchased at the WREC, Township Building Tax Office and Library. The more ducks you buy, the better your chances! Tickets donated by CP Printing.

$5 for 1 Ducky or 5 Duckies for $20
You need not be present to WIN! Tickets sold day of the event (starting at noon) until sold out!

1st Prize - $200
2nd Prize -$150
3rd Prize - $100
4th Prize - $ 50
--Township of Warminster, Penn.

Ahoy Matey! It’s A Pirate’s Paradise!
For all ages. Shiver me timbers! It’s a pirate’s life for me! Enjoy a day of everything pirate at Deep Run Park. Be prepared to walk the plank, venture on a hunt to search for pirate’s treasure, get temporary airbrush tattoos, have your face painted, make pirate crafts, or maybe even meet Blackbeard himself!

Bring the kids in their best pirate attire for costume contests and games. Get ready for life on the high seas with authentic pirate tunes and sea chanteys performed by The Press Gang. You won’t want to miss this pirate-themed day of fun! Concessions will be available for purchase.
--Henrico County, Va.

Superhero Saturday
Dress up as your favorite superhero and come join us at the Ice Haus to skate with some of your favorite superheroes! Exhibitions by the Mountain View Skating Club and a free 30-minute group lesson, from 12:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., by our certified instructors will help you skate like a superhero. Ages 3 and up. $4 admission, $1 children 4 & under, $2 skate rental. Get $1 off admission if dressed like a superhero!
--City of Greeley, Colo.

The Homegrown Experience
August 19, Nicollet Island Pavilion, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join us for the third year of The Homegrown Experience presented by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB). This event will focus on sustainability, connecting people to the land and providing healthy and enjoyable experiences.

The event will feature chef demonstrations, local restaurants, farmers, CSAs, co-ops, food producers, local vintners and brewers. In addition, an outdoor Farmers Market will be featured. Participants will be able to sip, sample, purchase and, most importantly, learn about local, sustainable and organic foods.

We are proud to offer a unique component to the event in the form of education. Through an educational stage as well as the ability to talk one-on-one with local food producers and chefs, people will gain greater understanding and appreciation of where their food comes from, and how to enjoy it--the Homegrown way. Please note this is a 21+ event.
--Minneapolis Park & Recreation, Minn.

Celebrate your community's most beautiful home gardens. Photo courtesy of Whitemarsh Township Parks and Recreation Department

Celebrate your community's most beautiful home gardens. Photo courtesy of Whitemarsh Township Parks and Recreation Department

Garden Contest
Whitemarsh Township residents and businesses are invited to share their love of gardening with the community and receive recognition for doing their part to make our area greener and more beautiful. Only the judges will visit your property. All contestants agree to have their garden photographed and filmed for township publicity and the government channel. Categories for entries include: Commercial, Habitat, New, Pleasure, and Vegetable.
--Whitemarsh Township, Penn.

Don't be sheepish about building a program around your community's strengths. Photo courtesy of Chester County Parks

Don't be sheepish about building a program around your community's strengths. Photo courtesy of Chester County Parks

Sheep & Wool Day
The sheep are losing their winter wool, and you're invited to the shearing at Springton Manor Farm!

Spend a day churning, spinning, shelling, dancing, hatching & playing!

Experience sheep shearing, butter making, apple cider pressing, wool spinning and weaving, corn shelling and bee keeping. Learn how eggs hatch and visit with the young animals in the Great Barn.

Springton Manor’s Great Barn and Agricultural Museum will be open to tour and learn about seasonal tools and apparatus used on Chester County farms from the 1700s to the 1900s.

At noon, watch the FiddleKicks Appalachian Cloggers perform on stage, then participate in a dance workshop.

The Kids Corner will provide demonstrations including:

11 a.m.--Butter Churning
12 p.m.--Fibers
1 p.m.--Cider Pressing
2 p.m.--Corn Shelling
--Chester County, Penn.

Dog Frisbee Contest
Come join the fun and see how well your dog can catch a Frisbee. Event to be held at Young’s Pond located on Route 146. Pre-registration is required. This event is free. When the contest is over, consider staying and rewarding your special furry friend by participating in the “Dog” Bone Hunt!
--Town of Branford, Conn.

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