Park Day Reunion returns to Springfield after a two-year break

Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 8:19 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield Reunion Club is bringing the annual Park Day Reunion back to Silver Springs Park and other nearby locations through August 7.

The primary purpose is to bring together friends and family from Springfield and the country. The events happening over this weekend are organized by the Springfield Reunion Club and in partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. This year’s theme is “Reunited… Together Again,” meaning the reunion is finally coming back after COVID concerns led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events.

Stage that will be used for multiple churches to sing gospel music on during Sunday's...
Stage that will be used for multiple churches to sing gospel music on during Sunday's festivities.(KY3)

Nora England, the Springfield Reunion Club President, said once the club announced the reunion was on for 2022, they received a lot of positive reactions.

“They’re excited about coming back,” England said. “Some of them are driving, flying in, coming in by bus or train, and they’re excited to spend the whole weekend here.”

England said Saturday will be their most significant day for activities since the first event will begin at 7 a.m. and the last will get over at 1 a.m. If you want a complete list of this weekend’s festivities, visit the Park’s website.

England said the Park Day Reunion Parade on Saturday at noon will be a festivity no one will want to miss.

“We’ll have a lot of cars, we’ll have people that are walking, and kids that are walking in the parade,” England said. “We’ll also have various organizations in the parade. It’s exciting.”

England said they’re expecting around 900 people to attend this weekend.

A member of the Springfield Reunion Club, Cheryl Clay, said the Park Day Reunion had been around for many years, and it’s an event people look forward to attending.

“Even when I moved away and came back to Springfield, I always made sure to schedule my vacation to coincide with Park Day and this weekend,” Clay said. “People still do that. They plan their trips and family reunions around the first weekend in August.”

According to the Park’s website, Silver Springs Park was established in 1918 on land known as the old Fairbanks pasture and was later named for a spring on site flowing into Jordan Creek. Silver Springs was the city’s only public park designated for black residents during segregation.

Clay said this weekend’s reunion festivities will highlight the park’s history and carry on well-known traditions.

“You see people you grew up with that you don’t normally see,” Clay said. “It’s just a tradition, one that the African American community has held onto and we continue to have every year.”

Sunday’s events will include morning worship at various churches, golfing, and discounted swimming at the Silver Springs Pool, and the weekend will wrap up with a Praise in the Park Gospel music concert.

Clay and England said anyone is welcome to attend. It does not just have to be the nearby community members. If you want a complete list of this weekend’s events with times and contacts, visit the Park’s website.

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