Silver Lake Day offers family fun and a boost to park’s image

DOVER — In an effort to project a more positive image and cast a brighter light on Silver Lake Park — at 182 acres, the largest among the city’s parks — the city of Dover’s Parks and Recreation Division will be hosting Silver Lake Day on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Silver Lake Day, a free event that is open to the public from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., will feature the fifth annual Mayor’s Canoe and Kayak Regatta, a Silver Lake Tree Walk, a Cardboard Box Boat Competition, as well as music, food and games — and argh!, pirates from Pirates Plunder Entertainment Inc.

“Silver Lake is a gem in our community,” Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said. “It took a little bit of a hit this year by some people besmirching its reputation, and we’re just doing everything we can to have as many supported events out there that will bring people down to Silver Lake where they will see that it’s safe, that it’s a great resource in our city and it’s one of the reasons that a lot of people come to the city of Dover.

“I think it’s going to be a great event and we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Mayor Christiansen was referring to Silver Lake Park becoming the subject of concern back in March of this year after a deceased body was found near the lake in what was deemed by Dover police to be a suicide.

At the time, Dover City Councilman Roy Sudler Jr. called for the park’s indefinite closure until further safety measures were considered.
Backed by a public outcry, the park was not closed, but three security cameras were installed at the park following the March tragedy.

Carolyn Courtney, who works with Dover Parks and Recreation, believes that Silver Lake Day will help the local community remember that the park is still there and that there are many unique things to discover at the park.

“I am excited to see the Mayor’s Regatta morph into a larger event,” Ms. Courtney said. “I’m also excited to see the Tree Walk where we’re going to be able to walk people through the park and tell them what kinds of trees that they’re seeing and the value they bring. That will bring a nice educational component to the event.”

She said the goal of Silver Lake Day is to get people out of the house and to realize there are fun opportunities just around the corner.

“The goal is to promote healthy lifestyles for the residents of Dover and getting them outside to walk and view the different things we have in Dover and to capitalize on Silver Lake being the often-unheralded jewel that it is,” said Ms. Courtney. “It really is among the centerpieces of the city’s park system.

“Plus, having Silver Lake Day on Labor Day weekend might give a lot of people that might not have the opportunity to go away on Labor Day weekend something to do right here in Dover that is of no cost to them.”

The Mayor’s Canoe and Kayak Regatta will remain the focal point of Silver Lake Day. Those with canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, inflatables, row and peddle boats are welcome to join the fun just after 10 a.m. in a floating parade that will take off from the Washington Street entrance at the Silver Lake Beach area, travel to the Silver Lake Bridge, and then return.

Kayaks and canoes will be provided free of charge to those who don’t have them, along with life jackets.
“Silver Lake is a jewel for the city of Dover,” Mayor Christiansen said, “and there’s not a better way to experience it than being right on it.”
Besides the Mayor’s Regatta and the Silver Lake Tree Walk, a Cardboard Box Boat Competition will be new this year in which participants will be tasked with turning recycled cardboard into festive boats.

There is no entry fee to participate and onsite registration will take place from 10 until 11:45 a.m. The boat competition is set for 12:15 p.m.
Boats may be any size, shape or design, but must be made of recycled cardboard.

Boats should be painted with multiple coats of any type of on‐part polyurethane or enamel paint.

Mayor Christiansen, along with some special guest pirates from Pirates Plunder Entertainment, will judge the boats for creativity and best design and another award will be presented to a cardboard box boat that can go from one end of the beach to the other. If more than one boats completes the journey, the boat arriving first wins.

“I believe the mayor has christened us to become Dover’s pirates,” said Lou Hernandez, also known as Captain Cutthroat Cortez, of Pirates Plunder Entertainment.

“He said he was very excited about us coming out and it worked out where we’re able to come out and do some pirate performances during the course of the event.

“We’re going to be helping to judge the cardboard boats.”
The pirates will also be hosting a “sword school,” as well as having a group of singing pirates, called “Bedlum Bones,” while the “Pirates of Fortunes Folly” will be performing pirate antics during the event. There will be a small pirate ship on scene.

Music, food and fun games will complete the festivities compliments of NCALL’s Restoring Central Dover initiative. There will be plenty of free parking available at the park.

“This is actually our second year partnering with the mayor and the city of Dover on our Restoring Central Dover’s Open Streets Dover program,” said Chanda Jackson, a community engagement specialist for NCALL. “We are very excited to be able to bring together health organizations and resources for our community.

“I am looking forward to providing a day of free, healthy, family friendly, fun with food and activities.”

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