December 19th, 2016
This week we will be interviewing, Anna Stanley, Program Supervisor from Swansboro Parks and Recreation. Anna will share details of the Town of Swansboro's Snow up the Park event, a fun way to get people outside and active during the winter. Snow up the Park turns Swansboro’s Municipal Park into a winter wonderland with slopes for sledding and a play area filled with two tons of snow. Winter themed arts & crafts and other activities for the kids are also featured.
1. How did the idea for "Snow up the Park" come about?
We actually heard an advertisement on the radio for a similar event in a town that was an hour away. We googled it and said we have to do this!
2. What activities do you offer at your "Snow up the Park" event?
Each year we try to add on different activities. We always have free winter arts and crafts for children. We have made sock snowman, wire beaded snowflakes, and Olaf snowmen (with toilet paper rolls). We hire a DJ that plays family friendly music and gets the crowd involved. We bought a penguin costume and have our mascot, Chilly. Last year we added food vendors, which was a success. We have a small area that the company sprays snow, creating a free children’s play area. We limit it to ages 5 and under.
3. Which company do you use to provide the snow for the event? Do you partner with any other organizations when putting on this event?
Snow My Yard, out of Raleigh provides the snow, sledding ramps, and play area. The first year we partnered with the Chamber. In subsequent years we have sold sponsorships to help recoup some of the costs.
4. How do you staff this event?
All staff work the event (which is 4), Parks and Recreation Board members, town staff that volunteer, high school students earn SAT hours, and lots of volunteers.
5. Are there any especially hard logistical challenges that have come about during the planning of your event?
I would have to say our largest obstacle is our fields in the park. Anytime we have lots of rain, our fields retain water. Each year the trucks that bring in the equipment and get stuck which is difficult to pull them out. Other challenges are the lines are super long and lighting. This year we hope to eliminate by creating different types of lines; single riders and multiple riders. The first year we had a challenge with lighting, due to the event being held in the evening. The second year we rented and borrowed large portable work lights and it helped out tremendously. This year we have moved the event to the day time.
6. What has been the biggest success of the "Snow up the Park"?
The biggest success is simple, providing unique and fun entertainment for the community. At the time, the event was unique to our community, and we do not get to see snow in our area. Even though it is not real snow, it’s fun for the kids to see.
7. When is this event? (in case anyone would like to attend!)
February 4, 12-4pm
Sledding and other traditional snow activities are actually great ways to burn calories! Offering a unique winter event similar to Swansboro’s is a great opportunity to get people active in the colder weather. To find out more information about active activities in the winter, check out our blog post on winter fitness.
Special thanks to Anna and Swansboro Parks and Recreation for sharing details about their program! If you have a cool, active, program you’d like to share, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Snow Up the Park, check out the Town of Swansboro website!
Until next time,