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DID YOU KNOW?? Festival in the Park has been ranked as one of the Top 200 Festivals in the entire U.S. by Sunshine Artists Magazine. Festival in the Park is a non-profit organization, which relies on public and private donations for funding of its operations. The Festival offers interactive, educational and hands-on opportunities for all children. Except for one full-time office employee and several seasonal employees, the Festival is produced by volunteers and the co-operation of Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation. Volunteering at Festival is a great way to fulfill Community Service Hours required by many schools and businesses. Historically, Festival in the Park visitors typically exceed 85,000 visitors each year. Seventy-two percent of the Festivalgoers live within Charlotte's city limits. Seventy-seven percent have come back from a previous year; fourteen percent interviewed have attended for twenty years. Exhibiting artists compete for cash prizes and ribbons. A majority of the artists who participate are from the Charlotte area and have won many awards on the national level at other festivals. Some artists come from as far away as Washington State and this year over 21 states are represented. Festival in the Park needs you to bring your special talent and participate as an artist, performer or as one of the many volunteers!

Since 1964, Festival in the Park has been bringing good music, good art and good times to Charlotteans and visitors from around the world. The sounds of "big band music" drift across Freedom Park's lake whose still surface reflects the lights strung from Camelot exhibit tents. The scents of a variety of food fill the air, as small children with painted faces happily produce their first art work. Others find the many talented artists who can create an original work of art to grace their home or to give as the perfect gift. First time visitors are taken by the simple, relaxed atmosphere. Old timers marvel at the freshness of each year's offerings, as memories from long ago festivals are revisited. Unlike most festivals our lighting system allows us to continue into the night. In years past, visitors to Festival in the Park typically exceeded 85,000 each year. However in 2014, it was estimated that 120,000 attended the Festival.

Mecklenburg County News

Park and Recreation Commission Vacancies As of September 4th, the Park and Recreation Commission (PRC) will have 2 vacancies and we are looking for folk to apply that would be strong advocates for all things Park and Recreation! The Park and Recreation Commission is a BOCC appointed board and acts as an advisory council to the Park and Recreation Department. Duties include but are not limited to monthly PRC meetings, leadership on Park and Recreation Citizen Advisory Councils, attendance and participation in Park and Recreation events, ground breakings and grand openings. PRC members advise and advocate for the Department’s master plans, budget requests, park naming petitions, fees and charges and strategic planning and long range financing. If you know of someone that would be a great fit for the PRC, please ask them to go to the link below and complete an application. Vacancies are in the following park regions:

Central Region 2 North Region 2

Mecklenburg County News

2 Vacancies as of September 4, 2016 Central 2 North 2

Partners For Parks

Partners For Parks

GC/MS, Youth & Adult Athletics

Community & Recreation Centers Therapeutic Recreation: This past weekend, the TR Section took a group of young adults camping at McDowell Nature Preserve. We braved the storms and rain and enjoyed tent camping, camp fires, and s’mores! During the weekend we went kayaking, did crafts and went hiking. Sunday we enjoyed geocaching and hiking at Cane Creek Park.

Community & Recreation Centers

Community & Recreation Centers Tom Sykes Recreation Center : Tom Sykes Afterschool Lights-CameraAction Program !!! Tom Sykes rolled out the red carpet for their new theater arts afterschool program called “Lights-Camera-Action!� The kids will have their chance to earn their star on the Tom Sykes Walk of Fame by participating in all aspects of theater arts from learning the basics of plays, skits, puppet shows, dancing, singing and music. For more information about Tom Sykes Afterschool Programs, contact or (704) 432-4803.

Community & Recreation Centers Berewick Recreation Center : Berewick Works Well With Their Mentees Berewick Recreation Center Mentee’s Kayla and Donavon work with the children in the CMS afterschool program. Twice a month the mentee’s lead the arts and craft program at the center. Our mentee’s are students at Olympic H.S. and Nations Ford H.S. For more information on the Mentee program or other programs at the center contact staff at 704 432 4934 or

Community & Recreation Centers Naomi Drenan Recreation Center / Grayson Skate Park : Grayson Skate Park After School Skate Session GSP welcomed the return of the school year with its introduction of the After School Skate Session. The 8 week program which began on September 8th runs every Tuesday from 4:00pm to dusk for boys and girls ages 7-14 at a cost of $30.00. The youth skating program focuses on building skills and friendships through pier mentoring and is helping to bridge the gap between our annual members and occasional visitors. Participants also learn from GSP Skate Instructors and participate in weekly challenges. For more information about our programs, events and outreach opportunities, contact or call 980.314.1100.

Community & Recreation Centers Methodist Home Recreation Center: Start Smart Soccer Methodist Home Recreation Center started their Start Smart Soccer program for children ages 3-5 years old this past Monday. The program is designed to teach the fundamentals of the sport to the kids. When they are old enough to participate they transition into our Youth Sports Programs. This is a six week course and runs for one hour each week. The parents help with participation to keep the children on task and focused. Methodist Home offers this program for soccer, flag football, and baseball. The cost of the program is $45 and includes a trophy. If you think your child would be interested, please email or call the center 704-432-6455.

Community & Recreation Centers Senior Trips at ARRC: On September 15th, a group of lively seniors from Albemarle Road Recreation Center took a trip to one of the most popular attractions in the southeast region, Charlotte Motor Speedway. While there, they got an opportunity to tour the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, ride through two infield race tracks, and take a picture in the Winner’s Circle.

For more information on senior trips at the Albemarle Road Recreation Center, contact or 704-567-1941.

Community & Recreation Centers Lil RAY Flag Football Banquet at Ivory/Baker: Participants in the Lil RAY Indoor Flag Football program at The Ivory/Baker Recreation Center had a wonderful time at their end of the season banquet celebration. The children, 3 and 4 year olds, received participation trophies, a goodie gift bag, and a certificate of appreciation for their efforts and accomplishments. Coaches and the team mom were also recognized for their outstanding efforts and given plaques in appreciation. For more information about upcoming sports programs contact, or call 704-432-4580.

Community & Recreation Centers Albemarle Road Recreation Center: On Saturday, August 29th, Albemarle Road Recreation Center hosted its MeckSeniors Card Tournament. Seniors from all over the county, including those from other recreation and senior centers, participated in the event. The tournament included Spades and Bid Whist. The event lasted for 3 hours with a 30min break for refreshments. First and second place awards were given in both categories. The seniors enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship and some friendly competition. We would like to thank our volunteers and community partners for making this another successful event for our seniors. For more information on senior programs at Albemarle Road contact, or 704-567-1941.

Community & Recreation Centers Book Bag Giveaway & Basketball Tournament at Sugaw Creek: On Saturday, August 22nd, the 5th Annual Community Book Bag Giveaway & Basketball Tournament was held at Sugaw Creek Recreation Center. It was a huge success! Everyone enjoyed the Law Enforcement’s display of the helicopter, S.W.A.T. truck, rescue boat, fire truck and more. Kids were provided school supplies, book bags, promotional giveaways, food, drinks and the opportunity to witness a competitive basketball tournament. During half time of the Police vs Fire Department game, Charlotte –Mecklenburg Chief of Police, Kerr Putney, presented awards to Sugaw Creek Recreation Center Track & Field Junior Olympians Kendal McDougald and Cheyla Scott. These student-athletes were among 9,000 competitors in the USA Junior Olympics in Jacksonville, Florida. Cheyla Scott is a (2) Time National Champion in the 9/10 year old girl’s high jump and triathlon. A round of applause goes out to everyone for a job well done in serving the needs of the community! For more information on upcoming programs and events, contact or 980-314-1124.

Community & Recreation Centers

5841 Brookshire Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28216 (704) 336-8840

Recreate All Year! Subscribe to the Park and Recreation E-Newsletter to learn of new and exciting way sto continue recreating during the spring and summer months. Subscribe to the Park and Recreation E-Newsletter to stay up to date on activities that may be available to you. Please submit all news for the Friday Letter to your Division Director for review and routing. Park Partners may contact The Friday Letter Team at Richard . McNeill for publication assistance.

The Friday Letter Volume 4 • Issue 11 • September 18, 2015

CHARMECK ALERTS The CharMeck Alerts Notification System relays accurate and timely emergency notifications. You control how you’re contacted— whether it’s on your cell, work or home phone, via text, email or voice message. You can receive up-to-the-minute notifications about events and emergencies that may affect your home, workplace or other points of interest—anywhere in Mecklenburg County. Sign up here or call CharMeck 311. To receive CDOT-specific alerts, you must sign up for that item in the list.

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Senior Leadership Team Jim Garges, Director Michael Kirschman, Deputy Director Renea Barber, Human Resources Mario Chang, Budget Administration Lee Jones, Capital Planning Terri Stowers, Community and Recreation Center Services Jeff Robinson, Park Operations Chris Matthews, Nature Preserves and Natural Resources

The Friday Letter | September 18, 2015  
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