More than 10 million people visit Prospect Park every year. Not only do they enjoy the lush setting but also the educational services, activities, and programs the park has to offer. Few, however, may know that a good portion of the funding for the park’s upkeep, as well as its programs, comes not from the city but from a nonprofit partner—the Prospect Park Alliance.
Founded in 1987 in response to the park’s deterioration, the Alliance “plays a significant role in funding the operating budget that keeps the Park clean, safe, and beautiful, and employs three-quarters of the staff that takes care of the Park and engages its diverse surrounding communities.”
The city mostly provides vehicles and day-to-day maintenance like trash pickup and joins the Alliance in providing turf and horticulture crews, but without the Alliance, the Park just wouldn’t be what it is today.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Park’s opening in 1867, the Alliance is throwing one heck of a dinner party—the Prospect Park Soiree on Saturday, June 24. According to Deborah Kirschner, PPA’s AVP of Marketing, it will be an evening “for thousands of friends and neighbors to get together as a community and celebrate the Park.”
Here’s what you’ll need to bring:
- Yourself and your family/friends
- Wine/beer (no hard alcohol)
- Table decor
- A creative hat/headwear (more on that later)
PPA will provide:
- Tables and chairs for those thousands of people
- Lawn games
- A DJ
- The location (the Peninsula)
Wait. The Peninsula? Where’s that?
We had to look it up on the map too, which is part of what will make this event so great. It’s an area of the park most people are unfamiliar with as it’s somewhat out of the way. If you’re a dog owner, you might know it since it’s one of the park’s designated early-morning off-leash areas. As Kirschner describes it, it’s “an open meadow surrounded by woodlands and water—it’s right on the lake so you’ll be able to take drinks and walk to the waterside.”
To make the night even more special, they’ve come up with a theme—hats and headpieces. Attendees are invited to adorn their heads with show-stopping creativity and style. Get as audacious as you like. Maybe something like this. Or this. Or these.
Kirschner says—”the intention is to turn it into a great dance party” by the end of the evening. They’ll be posting specific info on the DJ, lawn games, etc. (as well as hat inspiration) on social media, so make sure to like them on Facebook and join the Soiree event page to keep up.
This is the first year PPA is hosting the Soiree but they’re hoping to make it an annual event. So come out and help make it a success!
Doors open at 5pm. Things get going at 6pm and wrap up at 10pm. Kirschner points out that if you visit the Peninsula the next morning, you’ll have no idea there was an event there the night before—all thanks to the incredible staff you just helped to support.
Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at prospectpark.org/soiree. You MUST purchase in advance online. Tickets will not be sold at “the door” (aka the Park).