Village of North Palm Beach marks 60 years on April 2
By GERRY BARKER
North Palm Beach Life/ firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday, April 2, North Palm Beach will celebrate its 60th birthday, and a very special party has been planned for the occasion.
The chief party planner is Mark Hodgkins, North Palm's Director of Parks and Recreation. Such a big occasion -- the pressure must be on for a good show, right?
For Hodgkins, who has been in charge for the 16 previous Heritage Day celebrations, it's more like a walk in the park.
"I started working on this one the day after last year's Heritage Day," said Hodgkins in his office at Anchorage Park. The Rhode Island native has had plenty of experience to draw on -- he's worked for North Palm Parks and Recreation for 33 years, and held the Director job for the last 30 of those.
Of course, it helps to have someone at your side like Nancy Hensler, Hodgkins' Program Coordinator. The two have worked in tandem for the last 30 years. "She was the best hire I ever made," Hodgkins said.
Together, they coordinate the myriad of details that go into a celebration that includes a parade, carnival rides, business expo, live bands -- and for the first time, a cornhole tournament, a game that has both fun and serious devotees.
Hodgkins explained how cornhole -- where the contestant attempts to throw a corn bag into the hole in a platform -- has a national association, as well as state groups like South Florida Cornhole, who will host both a pro and a "newbie" bracket at Heritage Day.
They strive to have activities that are affordable and appeal to all age groups. In the case of the carnival rides, you can buy a $20 wristband ($15 in advance) and ride as many times as you like. They also will have food trucks, and a putting contest.
Originally, Heritage Day events were held at the Country Club driving range, and the parade moved down US 1, Hodgkins said. But it was soon changed to its current location at Anchorage Park.
Like years past, it promises to be fun for the whole family. And you can bet a day or two after, Hodgkins and Ms. Hensler will start work on birthday number 61.
The Parade features bands, civic groups, clubs and organizations from the area. It begins at 11:00 am at the North Palm Beach Village Hall, 501 US Hwy 1. The Heritage Parade will travel north on Eastwind Dr., west on Lighthouse Dr., and south on Anchorage Dr., ending at Anchorage Park. One can view the parade from anywhere along this route.
The Heritage Festival is held at Anchorage Park, 603 Anchorage Drive from Noon - 8 p.m.
Taylor Norris 1:30-3:30 pm, Memory Lane 4:30-7:30 pm
Tickets are $1.00 each. The carnival rides cost 3-4 tickets each. A wristband can be purchased for $20 which will allow unlimited carnival rides for the duration of the festival.
Pre-sale of wristbands begins March 21 at the discounted fee of $15 each! These can be purchased at the Anchorage Park Activities Bldg
More information: Village Website