We’re back-September 5th is our next Food Truck Rodeo!

We’re back! Make your Labor Day Weekend shine Sunday, September 5, with our first Food Truck Rodeo since the pandemic began. In 2020 we’d planned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Food Truck Rodeo, the Triangle’s original rodeo, but had to cancel seven of them, due to gathering restrictions. The Food Truck Rodeo is an all-ages Sunday afternoon gathering of dozens of the Triangle’s most popular food trucks, five times each year, but it’s also a way the 501c3 Durham Central Park Inc. raises up to one third of its annual operating budget, so we’re happy to be back.

It’s also a great way to support local chefs and entrepreneurs on wheels–many, such as Cocoa Cinnamon, Pie Pushers, Boricua Soul and Only Burger have continued to national television competitions, awards and to open brick and mortar locations here in Durham, North Carolina.

But food trucks aren’t a 21st century fad. In the U.S., chuck wagons, pulled by horse and mule were the first food trucks. What was on the menu? Dried meat, beans and coffee got the loggers and cowboys through their work days. Then there were sausage wagons serving to Ivy League students in the late 19th century–and did you know the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile dates back to 1936?

Ice cream trucks and Loncheras (taco trucks) followed. Here’s a walk down memory lane with our Food Truck Rodeos, which have also served to document the changes in downtown Durham’s skyline.

PLAYlist Concert Series Returns July 2nd!

Durham Central Park and WNCU 90.7 Join Forces To Present PLAYlist Concert Series 2021!

Durham Central Park, a downtown destination for outdoor recreation, relaxation and cultural events is joining forces with WNCU 90.7, the Triangle’s jazz and NPR station, to present the 2021 PLAYlist Concert Series! Every first Friday, July through October, as the sun sets and the weekend begins, see North Carolina’s Al Strong, Vanessa Ferguson, Soul Understated and an irresistible tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire. Concerts are free, open to the public, all ages and rain or shine.

WNCU’s DJ Travis Gales will simulcast his funk and disco show live, from Durham Central Park, at 7 p.m., which is when local food trucks, craft beer and vendors begin serving. Bring your folding chair or blanket. Parking is free in the lot beside Durham Central Park. There are restrooms at DCP and the venue is wheelchair accessible.

PLAYlist has presented artists such as Rebirth Brass Band, Too Many Zooz, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Valerie June and Van Hunt to an adoring, often dancing, multi-generational audience since 2017. Last year’s series was fully booked, but had to be cancelled, due to Covid-19. Durham Magazine readers named Durham Central Park a 2021 Best Venue for Live music (large venue) in their annual Best Of Survey!

Admission to PLAYlist Concert Series is free, due to support from City of Durham, Downtown Durham Inc., North Carolina Arts Council, Durham Arts Council, Acme Plumbing, Resolute Builders, Foster On The Park and Morningstar Law. RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS.

Sustain PLAYlist Concert Series

If you specify your gift to support PLAYlist and our free programming, gifts of $50 or more will receive a PLAYlist t-shirt (see photo below– a variety of colors are available).
Offering free, welcoming and inclusive programming is integral to Durham Central Park’s mission of Providing Space for Community. In addition to PLAYlist, our programming includes the Children’s Independence Day Parade and Food Truck Rodeos. We also partner with other local groups to provide free, fun activities at the park, from yoga to the annual Iron Pour.
Over the past 21 years, DCP has become a unique activity hub downtown. It’s a beloved community gathering space and some see it as a “sacred” place in the heart of Durham. Why? Because Durham residents and businesses have made an investment in creating, building and sustaining this wonderful urban oasis. None of this would be happening today without supporters like you.
As the non-profit that manages and programs the park, DCP, Inc. relies on your financial support. If you love our free programming or just the feeling that you get when visiting the park, please make a secure one time or sustaining donation on our website at durhamcentralpark.org/donate or mail a check to: Durham Central Park, PO Box 1526, Durham NC 27702.

Reaching Out To Durham’s Hungry: A multi-site photography project by Rhonda Klevansky begins May 21

An estimated 1 in 5 Durham County households can’t put regular meals on the table (Feeding America). Food insecurity has no single face, color, or ethnicity, no nationality, gender, or sexual orientation. Food insecurity weakens our communities because it leads to poor health and lower education outcomes. It creates an additional obstacle to economic well-being. The burden of food security has fallen especially on Durham’s African-American and immigrant communities and has worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic.

These portraits show some of the inspiring people who have responded to this crisis by supplying free food to those in need. They are among the many Durhamites who run food pantries, cook meals, and give away the vegetables, breads and dairy products they produce.

The photographer, Rhonda Klevansky is a visual storyteller and writer who lives in Durham, NC.  She felt the need to bring attention to the extent of hunger in our county and to those who are working to address the problem.  For more information about these grassroots responses: https://www.endhungerdurham.org/reachingout

May 21 – July 16, 2021 portraits from the Reaching Out to Durham’s Hungry project will be on view at:
Durham Arts Council
21c Museum Hotel
Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub
Durham Central Park
Museum of Durham History

NEW! Story Time with Barnaby D. Troll Starts Tuesday, March 30

Story Time with Barnaby D. Troll

Tuesdays 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Durham Central Park’s NEW, free weekly program for preschoolers and their families starts March 30th. Join us each Tuesday, from 10:30-11:30 a.m., at the Leaf when instructor Ms. Kristin reads a favorite children’s story, sings a song or two and re-create the story through play on the ADA-accessible Mt. Merrill playground. After Story Time, you can continue to visit Barnaby, Mr. Pickles the Turtle, Rockin’ Reuben the Cardinal, and create a complimentary craft.
  • Best for ages 2-5 years
  • Masks are required for adults and children 5 and up; recommended for younger children if possible.
  • Parents/caregivers must stay with their child the entire hour and are ultimately responsible for their child’s/childrens’ behaviors.
  • Rain Location: The Pavilion
Meet Story Time wit Barnaby D. Troll’s Ms. Kristin: Kristin has worked with young children for more than 30 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist in private settings and in the school system. Her love is sharing favorite stories with preschoolers and then retelling the stories as the children actively participate through language, music and play. Ms. Kristin is excited to use Durham Central Park as a platform to read her favorite children’s books.

Parties For The Park Is Back!

Does it feel that summer party you wanted to have never quite happened? CELEBRATE in autumn. The wait is over–we’re unveiling our Parties for the Park fundraiser series today and tickets are on sale now! We’ve got virtual parties, an outdoor party and a silent auction for a week-long stay at this fantastic Sugar Mountain vacay home:

Sugar Mountain vacation house silent auction

Parties for the Park is Durham Central Park’s annual fall fundraiser. The funds raised through Parties for the Park provides 30% of the operating budget for Durham Central Park Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit organization.

For more than 22 years, we have built the infrastructure that makes the DCP beautiful, accessible, functional, comfortable and welcoming to the entire community. The funds raised from Parties for the Park have supported many projects over the years including continuation of our PLAYlist Concert Series, the installation of benches, tables, gardens, trees and art, Mt. Merrill and our newest feature, a larger-than-life troll sculpture and Troll Trail. Additionally, the funds help to cover the usual costs for staffing, maintaining, and programming the park.

By buying tickets to these parties, you will be helping to keep Durham Central Park a vibrant and accessible community space:

Trivia Night with Arturo Sanchez #1, Sept 30
Trivia Night with Arturo Sanchez #2, Oct. 1
A Tour of Italian Wines… From Home!, Oct 9
Deep Fried Swap Meet Hootenanny, Oct 10
Take and Bake! An Italian Meal to Warm the COVID Heart, Oct 18
Kingfisher Presents: Real Cocktails/Virtual Party, Oct 22

Read all about the parties at PartiesforthePark.org

The silent auction for the Sugar Mountain Vacation Home (pictured above) will be live from October 14-18.

If Zoom or in-person parties aren’t something you are up for right now, but you want to just have a party or picnic with close friends, family or Quaranteam and make a donation to DCP, that is also wonderful.

DCP Rocks Bingo!

Durham Central Park rocks and we’ve got your second themed park bingo/scavenger hunt ready! At your leisure, and following physical distancing and face mask mandates, come to DCP with this “rock” and why “DCP rocks” bingo card. Post your pictures of what you or the young people in your life discover.

Durham Central Park is a 5-acre city owned park located in the heart of Downtown Durham. The park is managed, developed and programmed by Durham Central Park, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our Mission: Providing Space for Community.

Durham Central Park is a place filled with natural beauty and man-made wonders. Yet, in a way, it is also a blank canvas—an empty stage ready to be the setting for your story.

Our mission is providing space for community, which means a number of things including:

–Continuing to maintain and improve an already amazing urban park;
–Working hard to ensure that the park is accessible to everyone;
–Hosting enjoyable, free events to enliven the park and enrich the community;
–Offering an affordable and attractive venue in the heart of downtown; and Safeguarding a place for people to gather in celebration or rally around a shared belief, meet up with friends or just be alone for a moment, appreciate public art or simply play in nature—a place for Durham to be Durham.

If you haven’t had a chance to play the first in our series, Pollinator Bingo (in honor of Pollinator Week last month, and Durham’s status as a Bee City, you can access the bingo card here

Durham Central Park’s 2020 Calendar of Events

Durham Central Park is a 5-acre city-owned park located in the heart of Downtown Durham. The park is managed, developed and programmed by Durham Central Park, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organization. This is a preview of our 2020 Calendar of Events. ALL free and open to the public.

Mission

Providing Space for Community.

Durham Central Park is a place filled with natural beauty and man-made wonders. Yet, in a way, it is also a blank canvas—an empty stage ready to be the setting for your story.

Our mission is providing space for community, which means a number of things including:

  • Continuing to maintain and improve an already amazing urban park;
  • Working hard to ensure that the park is accessible to everyone;
  • Hosting enjoyable, free events to enliven the park and enrich the community;
  • Offering an affordable and attractive venue in the heart of downtown; and
  • Safeguarding a place for people to gather in celebration or rally around a shared belief, meet up with friends or just be alone for a moment, appreciate public art or simply play in nature—a place for Durham to be Durham.

Vision

A vibrant, urban park where everyone feels welcome.

Location

Durham Central Park is located in the 500 block of Foster Street (both sides of the street) between Corporation and Hunt Streets.
To find it with GPS, use 501 Foster Street, Durham NC 27701.

Hours

Durham Central Park is open every day from dawn to dusk. All visitors and members of the community are welcome to visit and enjoy our gardens, facilities and the great outdoors in the heart of our lovely city.

Contact

Phone: 919-794-8194
Mail: PO Box 1526, Durham NC 27702
Email: [email protected]

EIN: 58-2222977
Charitable Solicitation License: SL002658

Liberty Arts and Durham Central Park Present 4th annual Iron Pour November 16

Liberty Arts Studios & Foundry and Durham Central Park present their 4th annual public Iron Pour at Durham Central Park, Saturday, November 16 from 4-9 p.m. All evening and into the night, 4,000 pounds of molten iron will be poured into molds, in an exciting fiery display creating the iron tiles made by the public and sculptures made by NC artists. Additionally, there will be Liberty Arts artists’ work for sale, Liberty Arts T-shirts, beer glasses and hand-blown glass pumpkins. Come enjoy drumming performances from Batalá Durham, local food trucks and craft beer while watching this very creative and gritty Durhamesque event.

You can really get involved by creating your own scratch block in an upcoming workshop. Scratch a design into hardened sand and watch it get filled with molten iron. The result is an iron tile created by YOU. The cost is $40 per mold. You will be able to take home your iron tile from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday the 17th at the Liberty Arts Foundry at the park, across Foster Street from the pour site.

2019 scratch block workshop schedule:

  • September 25, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

  • October 2, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

  • October 5, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • October 8, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

  • October 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • October 16, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

  • October 19, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • October 30, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

  • November 2: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  •  November 3, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. (during the Food Truck Rodeo)

  •  November 6, 4:30 — 7 p.m.

  •  November 9, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  •  November 13, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

  •  November 16, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Day of Pour)

  • November 16, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. (Day of Pour)

We’ve got everything you need. Just bring your imagination and get ready to have some fun. Admission to the Iron Pour is free.  Blankets and folding chairs welcome. Food trucks and breweries will serve from 4-9 p.m. To kick off the event, Batala will perform 2 sets between 4 and 6 pm.  Scheduled food trucks/brewers include Poblanos Tacos, Bulkogi, Bull City Burger and Brewery and Ponysaurus. For more information, visit www.durhamcentralpark.org. You can sign up for a scratch block workshop online at www.libertyartsnc.org/classes. Have questions? Contact Liberty Arts at [email protected] or call (919) 294-8006.

 

Liberty Arts Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization is a combination of artist studios on Pearl St and a foundry on Foster Street.

The foundry was created to bring awareness of and access to public art into the heart of Durham.

Durham Central Park is the five-acre downtown oasis on Foster Street. DCP is a city-owned park that is managed and developed by Durham Central Park, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization.

FAQ for Parties For The Park: Tickets on sale Friday!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Parties for the Park?

It is a series of parties and event from September to November that DCP enthusiasts host at their home, restaurant or other venues. The parties have different themes, prices, and numbers of attendees. All the parties are donated by the hosts and the ticket sales go straight to DCP, Inc.

Who gets the money from the Parties for the Park ticket sales?

All of the money from the ticket sales goes directly to Durham Central Park, Inc.

What is the money used for?

The funds raised through Parties for the Park make up about 1/3 of DCP Inc.’s annual operating budget. The money pays for DCP staff, maintenance and improvements of park structures, free programming and special projects.

What are this year’s special projects?

In 2020, we will focus our efforts on re-making the Sister Cities Grove (the area north of the Pavilion). That area has been in flux for the past 2 years with recent construction and city waterline upgrades. To make this area of the park comfortable and welcoming, we will be installing new trees, new benches & tables and updated signage. In 2020, we will also be installing plantings in the newly built terraced planting beds behind the Pavilion. In addition to supporting DCP’s operating funds, money raised through the 2019 Parties for the Park will support these special projects.

Is my ticket considered a tax-deductible donation?

No. The laws surrounding this are complex. We work with the hosts to price the events close to fair market value. We will continue to explore this and may be able to change it in the future.

What is the processing fee?

In order to use ticket processing services, like Eventbrite, there are fees associated with safe processing of information. Since these events are fundraisers for DCP, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization, we truly appreciate your support in paying the processing fees in order to ensure that the funds from the ticket sales are used to support the operation, programming, and improvement of Durham Central Park!

Do I need a physical ticket for the events that I’ll be attending?

No. When you purchase your tickets through Eventbrite, your name will be added to the guest list. All of the hosts will have the guest lists and will welcome you when you arrive.

After I purchase my tickets, will I be sent any additional information?

Yes. The week of the event, we’ll send you additional info about your event, where to park, how to get there, and any other pertinent information that you may need to easily and successfully get to your event. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Erin at [email protected]

Who do I contact if I have questions about the event?

Please feel free to get in touch with Erin Kauffman, Durham Central Park’s Executive Director. She can be reached at 919-794-8194 or [email protected]

Can I host a Party for the Park next year?

Absolutely! If you are interested in learning more about hosting, please get in touch with Lee Ann Tilley, the Parties for the Park Chair at [email protected]

Songwriter VAN HUNT headlines Durham Central Park’s PLAYlist Concert Series

“Inspired by the music of The Delfonics, Parliament-Funkadelic, Pink Floyd and Billie Holiday, Hunt chronicles love, loss, and nostalgia through the sounds of original funk and old soul. He achieves the kind of heated, raw sound that has virtually disappeared in to much of today’s overly-manicured R&B and Hunt never loses sight of the past as he progressively forges his own way forward” –The Boston Globe. VAN HUNT headlines PLAYlist, Durham Central Park’s free, annual concert series Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.

A Dayton, Ohio-born musician, Hunt made his way to Atlanta where he drew acclaim for his production efforts and crafty songwriting, featured on recordings by such diverse artists as Dionne Farris and Rahsaan Patterson, as well as the platinum-selling soundtrack, Love Jones. 2019 marks the 15th anniversary of his own self-titled debut album.

It instantly established Hunt as a distinctive and original talent with its idiosyncratic melding of R&B, soul, funk, pop, and rock ‘n’ roll. Hunt received a 2005 “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” Grammy nomination for his breakthrough hit single, Dust featured on that album. 

Parking is free in the lot beside Durham Central Park, and there are metered spaces along Foster Street which change to free parking meters after 7 p.m.

Picnics, blankets and folding chairs are welcome. Local food trucks and craft beer vendors will be on site serving at 6 p.m. There are restrooms at Durham Central Park and the venue is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit https://durhamplaylist.com/