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SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Following a two-year break, Springfield’s annual Park Day Reunion returns August 4-7 to Silver Springs Park, 1100 N. Hampton, as well as other locations around the area.
The annual reunion takes place the first weekend of August, bringing together friends and family from Springfield and around the country. Events are organized by the Springfield Reunion Club, in partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
This year’s theme is “Reunited… Together Again,” a nod to bringing the reunion back after COVID concerns led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events.
“We are excited to be reunited and back together again,” said Nora England, president of the Springfield Reunion Club. “The Reunion Club looks forward to seeing everyone.”
Although picnics have been held in the park for many years, this event was named Park Day in 1952 when Gerald Brooks, a parks supervisor and a teacher at Springfield’s former Lincoln School, and Robert Wendell Duncan, also a park supervisor, started a day of games and sports events for young African American residents at Silver Springs Park.
This year’s reunion schedule includes multiple locations, all in Springfield, unless otherwise noted. Please note: the previously announced location of Saturday’s dance has been changed to the Lamplighter Inn.
Park Day Reunion schedule
Thurs., Aug. 4
Fri., Aug. 5
Sat., Aug. 6
Sun., Aug. 7
Silver Springs Park is one of Springfield’s 10 Historic Parks, each dating to before World War II. Silver Springs was established in Springfield in 1918, on land known as the old Fairbanks pasture, and later named for a spring on site, flowing into Jordan Creek. During segregation, Silver Springs was the city’s only public park designated for Black residents and sports leagues, including visiting baseball teams. In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration lined the creek channel with rock, installed the fieldstone retaining walls and built Silver Springs Pool. The Jordan Creek Greenway connected Silver Springs Park to Smith Park in 2003. Silver Springs Pool was renovated in 2010. In 2015, historic Timmons Temple was relocated into the park, reopening as Timmons Hall in 2019. Springfield’s first marker on the Springfield-Greene County African American Heritage Trail was installed in the park in 2018, the same year Silver Springs Park celebrated its centennial.
Earlier this year, a pipe collapse caused flooding in Silver Springs Park, near the amphitheater and playground. Repairs were begun in late June, with the affected areas set to reopen in time for the reunion.
For more information about the Park Day Reunion, visit Springfield Reunion Club Facebook page or email the Springfield Reunion Club.
For more information about Silver Springs Park, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510 (mobile).