When area residents mention going to hang out at one of the area parks, they are usually referring to either Memorial or Benzinger Park, but that may soon change: Jason Schreiber, recreation director at Memorial, Luhr, and Kaulmont parks, and his staff recently began holding activity nights at Luhr Park on Wednesday evenings, and so far the events have been met with considerable success.
The first Activity Night at Luhr Park was held last week and had a turnout of between 50 and 75 people.
"What we did was we had a miniature Frisbee golf course set up, and by that I don't mean we only had greens, we just had like six flags set up. We had cards out, and we played basketball quite a bit," Schreiber said of the initial event.
The Activity Night held this past Wednesday also had a good turnout, as Schreiber estimated around 50 people stopped by to enjoy an evening at the park.
"My staff and I came up this morning and painted the picnic table and tried to touch up the pavilion a little bit. We set up the screen [for the movie], and they've been working probably since 1 p.m. to set everything up for today," Schreiber said.
In addition to enjoying hot dogs, popcorn and various beverages, attendees on Wednesday evening also played pick-up games of basketball and ended the night by watching the movie "The Sandlot" at the park's pavilion.
"What we're trying to do is every week plan a different activity up here for the neighborhood and for the park," Schreiber said. "Next week, John Benjamin and I were talking about possibly having a flag football tournament and running it [in the grassy area at the park.] We will also probably show another movie in the upcoming weeks."
The park's neighbors have been particularly receptive to the event, offering food and drinks to help add to the success of the weekly gatherings.
"Neighbors brought different food and snacks last week, and this week they brought different drinks," Schreiber said.
Diane Gies, who lives near Luhr Park and assisted with coordinating the events, remarked on Wednesday evening that she thought the idea of having a weekly Activity Night there was 'great.'
"I love seeing kids being in the park and playing and laughing and having a good time and people being able to bring their little kids up here to play in the playground," Gies said. "We've got an awesome park, but we can never use it because all the older kids are here. It's nice to see it getting used for what it was when I was a little kid."