Happenings Lifestyle

Elizabeth Park Celebrating 125th Anniversary

Elizabeth Park Rose Garden. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Five days of celebration of Elizabeth Park’s 125th anniversary as a public park begin July 13.

Elizabeth Park is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Facebook photo

By Ronni Newton

Elizabeth Park – once the grounds of Charles Pond’s estate and named in honor of his wife, Elizabeth – was bequeathed to the City of Hartford in 1897 for use as public park.

“I give to the City of Hartford, this gift of about ninety (90) acres, to be forever held and used as a public park. My wish is that this land may be associated with the name Elizabeth, in memory of my beloved wife,” Pond’s will stated, according to the Elizabeth Park website. The park now encompasses more than 101 acres, and although owned by the City of Hartford, roughly 81 acres of the park, including the world-famous Helen S Kaman Rose Garden – the oldest municipal rose garden in the country, which opened in 1904 – are in West Hartford.

Elizabeth Park Rose Garden. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Five days of festivities in celebration of Elizabeth Park’s 125th anniversary began on Wednesday, July 13, and will continue through Sunday, July 17.

Concerts Wednesday through Sunday nights, health and wellness activities, an arts and crafts show, and en plen aire painting, as well as a day for the dogs on Sunday with a parade and look-alike contest, are among the activities. Special events for children include storytelling and faceprinting. A Mark Twain look-alike contest will be held on Saturday.

The concerts feature performers Latanya Farrell, Moto Soco Salsa Band, De 4 Awee Steel Band, and Nat Reeves.

The schedule is below, and more details can be found on the Elizabeth Park website.

Wed July 13 noon to 4 p.m. Health & Wellness Day
    Organizations on getting and keeping yourself healthy.
  10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Tree Tour
  6:30 to 8 p.m. Latanya Farrell in Concert
  9 to 10 p.m. Full Moon Light Tour
Thurs. July 14 noon to 4 p.m. Craft Show
    Crafts Men & Women from Connecticut
  10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Rose Garden Tours
  6:30 to 8 p.m. Moto Soco Concert & Dance Lessons
Fri, July 15 noon to 4 p.m. Artist Day
    Local Artists will paint “en plen aire” in the park
  10 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Annual Garden Tours
  6:30 to 8 p.m. De 4 Awee Steel Band
  6:30 to 8 p.m. Stilt Walker & Dancers
Sat. July 16 noon to 4 p.m. Kids Day
  noon to 4 p.m. Face Painting, Caricatures, & Hula Hoops
  noon to 4 p.m. Tulip Bulb Sale
  noon to 4 p.m. Color Pages of the Park
  noon to 1 p.m. School of Rock will perform and engage kids
  2 to 2:30 p.m. Music & Movement for families with Jedda LaRue
  3 p.m. Story Time with West Hartford Librarians Sara Bartelmo and Carol Waxman
  4 to 6 p.m. Mark Twain Look-Alike Contest
  7 to 8:30 p.m. Nat Reeves Jazz in the Park
Sun. July 17 1 to 4 p.m. Dog Day Fun
  1 to 4 p.m. Bring your best friend for a day of their own.
  1 p.m. Dog & People Parade
  2 p.m. Dog Owner Look-Alike Contest

Elizabeth Park Rose Garden. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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