This weekend's Independence Day festivities in greater Prince William will kick off Friday with a "Patriots Day" celebration at Catharpin Regional Park, which will include a fireworks display.
While some associate "Patriots Day" with the April holiday in New England that commemorates the beginning of the American Revolutionary War and coincides with the Boston Marathon, Supervisor Pete Candland is putting his own spin on the holiday to celebrate it on the Independence Day weekend with fireworks and family fun honoring the county's public safety personnel.
“During this time of year, when we are celebrating what makes this country so great, Supervisor Candland wanted to host an event for the public to thank those who put their life on the line every day to make our community safer,” Brooke Stark, Candland’s chief of staff, said in an email.
Stark said Candland decided to hold the event after hearing from constituents who “wanted to make this event a celebration to include games, activities and fireworks,” Stark said.
In addition to the fireworks display at dusk, attendees can expect games and activities, including a "mega obstacle course," rock climbing wall, train rides, face-painting and a performance by comedy magician and puppeteer, Flabbergast, Stark said.
Catharpin Regional Park is one of the county’s newest parks, opened just one year ago. It is located in rural northwestern Prince William near Sudley Road and Pageland Lane. The park features baseball and softball fields, soccer and multiuse grass fields, a half-mile asphalt walking path and an ADA-compliant destination playground.
Candland mentioned his intent to hold a event such as "Patriots Day" at Catharpin Park during his remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in June 2021. He said he hoped there would be future events at the park, which he considers a “destination facility for the folks of Prince William County.”
While "Patriots Day" is “a special event hosted by Candland’s office, the county parks and recreation staff will work the event, and the supervisor’s office will pay for it,” said Amir Wenrich, assistant director of marketing for Prince William County’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.
Stark noted that Candland’s office is “still working on purchasing items for the event and securing public safety personnel to help run the event.”
The cost of the event is estimated between $30,000 and $40,000, which will be covered by Candland's Gainesville District office funds, Stark said.
“The costs of the event will be paid for through the Gainesville District office funds (both this fiscal year and next) and through donations from the community,” she said.
Candland hopes “this becomes an annual event which moves from one magisterial district to another,” Stark said.
Reach Cher Muzyk at firstname.lastname@example.org