Wilmington’s 8th Annual Summer In the Parks Program Returns

The events will meet all of Delaware’s Phase 2 COVID-19 guidelines, and offer free arts experiences to children.

While summer looks a little different this year, it’s not stopping the Summer in the Parks program from kicking off its eighth year.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, City Parks and Recreation Director Kevin F. Kelley, Sr. and The Grand Executive Director Mark Fields announced the 2020 program this month. It is the eighth year that the City and The Grand have partnered on the program.

During the month of July, the newly renovated William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center (WHACC), located at 501 North Madison St., will host free arts experiences for children ages 6-12. These recreational opportunities are provided with all necessary COVID-19 health and safety precautions in place in accordance with Delaware’s Phase 2 guidelines. Should any activity offered by the city result in COVID-related health concerns for participants or staff, the activity will be halted immediately for further review, according to a news release.

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Summer in the Parks began in 2013 and provides a variety of visual and performing arts activities for families in their neighborhoods.

“I am thrilled that we are able to provide some form of exposure to the arts for children in Wilmington and very excited to announce our upcoming concerts in the parks,” Pamelyn Manocchio says, The Grand’s director of community engagement, in a news release. “We ask all residents and participants to join us– but to do so safely by following the state guidelines on social distancing. Our community deserves to enjoy the arts and The Grand is doing our best to make live entertainment available to all.”

Summer in the Parks is now offering a different art form each weekday afternoon at WHACC, beginning at 12:30 p.m. The schedule is as follows, according to a news release:


Poetry and spoken word with Christian Wills, focusing on participation and learning poetry, poetry writing, open mic and performance techniques.


Dance and movement with Ashley SK Davis from Pieces of a Dream, learning various styles of dance, rhythm and musicality, basic choreography, spatial awareness and body control.

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Theatre and acting with Mariah Ghant and Anthony McIver from Delaware Shakespeare, providing a fun and interactive introduction to the works of Shakespeare, the time period, his use of language and acting out famous scenes.


Music and drumming with Jason Keller, focusing on participation and learning drums, drumming techniques, drum lines, with fun and familiar music.

The Grand will also present four evenings of free concerts in city parks. Concert times are 6:30-8 p.m. Face masks are required and social distancing will be enforced. The schedule is below, according to a news release.

  • July 15: Pristine Raeign at the Holloway/Compton Park (East 7th and North Lombard streets)
  • July 22: Christina Cultural Arts Center featuring Richard Raw and the Word Warrior Band at the Haynes Park (Miller Road and West 30th-32nd streets)
  • July 29: Jea Street Jr. at the Father Tucker Memorial Park (North Lincoln Street and West 9th-
  • Howland streets)
  • Aug. 5: The Music School of Delaware and Delaware Children’s Theatre at the Union Park Gardens (South Bancroft Parkway and Sycamore Street)

All programs and schedules contingent upon weather and are subject to change. For more information and a full schedule, visit thegrandwilmington.org/parks and facebook.com/summerinparks.

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