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Maritime park 2017 musings and memories

The Holly Point markets were very popular in 2017.

by Bill Powell
Events Director

It’s hard to believe the 2017 season is at end.

Seems only yesterday it was April 15. Randy Simmons and I were parking a lot full of cars for our annual Easter Egg Hunt and the next thing you know, blink twice and we’ve baked the last biscuit and served the final Bistrobenedict on Thanksgiving Saturday at our best-attended-ever Holiday Gift Market. That market ended the museum’s official events season.

But in between, omigosh!

The best Groovin’ in the Park season ever with over 2,000 tickets sold. Music, music, music. Six Holly Point markets, an “Evening of Dinner and Magic,” 2 dinner/dances, the Deltaville Seafood Festival, the annual Members Meeting, our “Art & Seafood Festival”, Family Boatbuilding Week with 10 Wright Skiffs built, the FBW Fish Fry, the “Great Skiff Race,” the trophy presentation,  helping with the  “Leukemia Cup Regatta,” county government events, 19 weddings, 11 community events and 8 reunions, birthdays and anniversaries . . . all ending with our previously mentioned Holiday Gift Market. Whew! That’s a bunch.

And . . . no, I did not forget our ever growing “Scary Halloween in the Park”—just wanted to mention that we now have folks from all the adjacent counties coming to enjoy this safe scary event. Thanks to Sheriff Bushey and his deputies for all their help and support. 

And the people! People came to the museum from all over the United States and other countries to visit us in 2017.  The museum has had over 7,000 guests to look at its expanding exhibits and treasures and attendance in the Park and at the events has been over 9,000. All the folks who visit are genuinely interested in both our maritime and local history with its links to Jamestown and Captain John Smith and they all just love the park, nature trails and gardens. There is so much to see and do.

The holidays are coming up and all the maritime park’s volunteers and staff are hard at work getting everything set and ready for next year. We’ve already locked in all the main dates for the 2018 schedule. I’ve got about half of Groovin’ and the dance music booked, we have scheduled the Magic Evening, preparing and sending out the vendor applications for all the markets and festivals, the Family Boat Building Week in July is accepting applications and we are already booking and have booked weddings, proms and other events for 2018. John’s sharpening his tools, Rob and the Explorer Society are sprucing up their costumes, and the Gardenerds are trimming back everywhere for the first growth of spring.

2018 will be a very good year!

See you all there.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 12.20.2017

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