Sutcliffe Park is Turning 100 Years Old (in 9 years) Party Time!
By Brian Coll
Hear me out, Sutcliffe Park is turning 100 Years Old in 2030. We should throw a year long party. It will give us something to look forward to while we figure out how to get through this pandemic. So, who knows who will be around to follow this plan, or even part of this plan, but maybe someone will remember this when we get closer to the year 2030. My thought is to have at least one major event each month in the year 2030 in honor of Mary Jane Sutcliffe and her husband Frank who donated 37 1/2 acres to the borough. The park itself was dedicated on July 4th, 1930.
I would kick off the year 2030 with a firework celebration on New Year’s Eve 2029, have the fireworks at like 6:00 and a party in the park. Hot chocolate, maybe a spiked hot chocolate station. Offer local restaurants the opportunity to set up in the park at the different year long events.
In February, have a “frozen” night or afternoon at the park. Have the basketball court frozen for ice skating, set up some fire pits around the park and offer s’mores. Ice sculptures. Have Frozen 1, 2 or maybe by the year 2030 Frozen 3 or 4 will have come out playing on a big screen.
March, have the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade end up at Sutcliffe park, the Irish dancers can show off their stuff, the bands could all take center stage… of course, earlier in the day there could be an Irish coffee contest amoung the community restaurants and bars.
April, make it about The Conshohocken Baseball and Softball League. They have a great opening day tradition of a parade. We could invite all the alumni, from like ever to attend. Have a few alumni softball games on the big field while the little guys and girls start their season. Bring in some big names to throw out the first pitch of the season.
May…. Memorial Day picnic. Have some kickball and dodgeball games along with some old school activities like 3 legged races, water ballon tosses, egg walks with spoons. This could be done for practically no money, because July is coming soon and the borough should throw the largest firework celebrations ever, eclipsing the previous record set in the year 2001.
June, would be a great time to host two events (maybe) an outdoor mass, with each of the community congregations given the chance to contribute. The priest or pastor could contribute to the event. June would also be a time to have a community clean up. Starting at the park, groups of people could branch out onto the avenues and within the community. The event could wrap up with hot dogs and burgers at the park.
July, Fireworks on July 3rd, please include Beanie Bounce Party rentals and have all the kids activities for free. This would be an excellent time to start the days activities early in the day and showcase the Golden Bear Cheerleaders, Destolfo’s Karate demonstration along with any other community groups that could show off.
August…. sprinkler day. The firecompany set one of these days up a couple of years ago and it would be a big hit. Maybe a slip and slide. If the borough needs help with this event, there is a great group of people at the Conshohocken United Methodist Church at 6th and Fayette that has put together a wonderful water event day at the church the past few years.
September, bring the Funfest and beer garden back to Sutcliffe Park.
October, create an artist event in the park. No commercial vendors… just local artists. Maybe a localish community theatre company or maybe PW High school would like to host a play in the park.
November…..would be a great time for a Turkey Trot 5K event. There is a running club in the borough, there are local companies that can time the event. We have so many runners in the community. For those non runners in the community, this could be a perfect time to have a Police and Fire Appreciation type event, where families and neighbors could come out, check out the vehicles of other local police and fire departments. Even incorporate the Conshohocken Public Works and some of the cool vehicles. A get to know your local hero type event.
December, line the walking path with lighted figures. The borough has done a great job at Mary Wood Park the past couple of years during the holiday season and maybe they could bring the festive aspect to Sutcliffe Park. Create a winter wonderland. End the year with fireworks on the 31st.
Two events that deserve to be considered or swapped for an event on the list so far….
One event that I would love to see happen in 2030, and maybe before that would be a massive restaurant event at Sutcliffe Park. I’ve often wondered how one of those dinner en blanc events would work in Conshohocken. I would love to see every restaurant in the community participate and make some money doing this type of event. If any money is raised above and beyond the costs for the event and the restaurants, maybe it could go to the Colonial Neighborhood Council, or if I’m dead by then raise some money for my family… Hopefully I’ll be around.
Another 2 events that could be incorporated into the year 2030 or probably any year in all reality would be a dance for the youth or an adult prom like the one held last year at the Great American Pub. Of course with the youth dance, you could hire a DJ and get the kids of the community together. The adult prom that was held around this time last year was a great night of dancing, drinking and eating while sharing laughs with friends and making new ones. You could do that on the basketball court with people all dressed up. A good theme for this type of event would be the roaring 20’s to go back in style about 100 years.
So, there you have it. A number of things you could do throughout the year 2030 to pay tribute and celebrate Sutcliffe Park. Ideally I’ll still be around and would love to help coordinate this type of year long celebration. If I’m not I know there will be some good people in our community who care about the history of not only our parks but our community.
One more thing….. let’s keep supporting our local businesses in this unique situation. It’s been these businesses that have sponsored Little League, have paid for fireworks at the park when the borough couldn’t afford it. It’s been our small mom and pop places that have spent their own time and money making sure that Conshohocken looks great. Even during these challenging times, a number of small business owners reach out to me making sure the Library is in good shape, or if the Colonial Neighborhood Council is in need of anything.