Killens Pond State Park to mark 50th anniversary

FELTON — Killens Pond State Park plans to bring back nostalgia for the mid-1960s during its 50th anniversary celebration Saturday.

The 1965 Summer Festival will include vendors, a live animal show, a hula hoop contest and other leisure activities that took place in the 1960s.

“We wanted to take it back,” said Kara Okonewski, naturalist at Killens Pond State Park. “It will be more like a carnival, as they were big during that time. We will have things like face painting and ring tossing.”

The festival is free with a paid park entry, $4 for in-state vehicles and $8 for out-of-state. It will start at 9 a.m. and will continue until 10 p.m.

Killens Pond traces its history to a millpond established in the late 1700s. Prior to the pond’s creation, the Murderkill River and surrounding hardwood forest were sites of several American Indian homes and hunting camps.

According to legend, the river’s unusual name refers to a local tribe’s massacre of a Dutch trading party at the mouth of the river in 1648. Now a peaceful oasis, Killens Pond became a state park in 1965.

During the festival organizers hope to break the Guinness World Record for the most Frisbees thrown simultaneously.

“The record is 853,” Ms. Okonewski said. “The Guinness World Record is very strict, so we need have registration for everyone participating.”

She said registration will begin around 5:45 p.m., as the throw starts at 6:30 p.m.

“It was one of the largest pastimes during the 1960s,” Ms. Okonewski said.

Hula hooping was very popular, as well. But once Frisbees came along it became a great leisure activity among families.

“We wanted to do something big and made sure everyone had the chance to be a part of history,” she said.

Ms. Okonewski said the staff has been planning the event since February and can’t wait for the festival to begin.

“We wanted to do something special,” she said. “We wanted to bring back that essential joy for everyone.

“We want everyone to come to the park as a family and just thank them for helping us maintain the park to get to this point.”

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