NEWINGTON - Planning a gathering for about 25 people this spring or summer and need a fun outdoor venue to host it at?
The Newington Parks and Recreation Department just renovated its picnic pavilion in Mill Pond Park and is opening it up for rentals when the weather warms up.
Superintendent Bill DeMaio is excited to expand residents’ entertaining options, since picnic rentals of nearby Churchill Park sell out every year.
“When we open up reservations for Churchill hundreds of people line up at our office,” he said. “It’s a crazy day.”
DeMaio estimated that the park’s three picnic areas see over 13,000 visitors each summer, with parties every weekend.
“In an effort to address that need we renovated the existing pavilion at Mill Pond,” he explained. “What an opportunity for families and businesses!”
The pavilion is situated beside scenic Mill Pond and has electricity, lights and an outdoor charcoal grill available for use. It was just outfitted with a new roof and floor.
People who rent the spot will have access to the park’s handicapped-accessible playground and sensory garden, as well as the walking trail around the pond, a basketball court, baseball field and the newly-built Saputo Fitness Center. There is an additional fee for use of the park’s pool and tennis courts.
“It’s the perfect location for a children’s birthday party, a Boy or Girl Scout group or a corporate gathering,” DeMaio pointed out.
Parking is just a short walk from the pavilion and he recommends using a rolling wagon to transport food and other supplies. The rental fee is $65 per day and the park is open from dawn to dusk. Beer permits are $35 extra.
Reservations must be made in person at the department’s office in Newington Town Hall, 131 Cedar St. Sign-ups for reservations in either park begin Thursday, March 1, at 9 a.m. Rental fees at Churchill are different depending on the chosen site. Proof of Newington residency is required.
The department’s first-ever Voice Your Love on Valentine’s Day Contest is coming up next month. People are invited to share what they love most about Newington Parks and Recreation on its Facebook page, in response to a post made on Thursday, Feb. 1. Entries can be submitted up until Wednesday, Feb. 14, at noon. One entry per person can be in the form of a written comment or a photo, as an alternative.
“It can be anything coordinated by the Newington Parks and Recreation Department that you or your family enjoys being a part of,” said Recreation Specialist Joe Harvey.
The department offers over 700 programs and events each year.
“If a picture is used, it must be of you or your family taking part in a Newington Parks and Recreation program, event, league, etc.,” Harvey added. “The top three comments that receive the most ‘likes’ by Feb. 14 will be the winners.”
Prizes are gift certificates to department programming, in increments of $75, $50 and $25 for the top three favorites.
Visit facebook.com/-newingtonparksandrec-reation to learn more.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, @schmittnbh or email@example.com.