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Indianapolis residents encouraged to ‘Pack the Parks’ for Saturday, July 8

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The city of Indianapolis is encouraging thousands of people to head outside this weekend to pack the city's parks.

Mayor Joe Hogsett stopped by the FOX59 Red Couch to talk about the initiative and how your family can take advantage of some free activities.

FOX59 is a proud media partner of the 2nd Annual Pack the Parks event on July 8. It's billed as a community-wide celebration of the city's parks and is intended to help Indy residents familiarize themselves with park facilities in their neighborhood.

"There are 210 parks throughout the city," Hogsett said during the show. "We have a lot of park space. We're trying to encourage more Indianapolis residents to use it, so all the amenities inside each of the parks will be free on this Saturday."

Hogsett said 16,000 people participated in the event last year. He's hoping 20,000 people will make it this year.

"Our parks have wonderful programming for people of all ages," Hogsett said. "We're encouraging them to come to the parks if they have not recently been to experience the wonders of our parks system and become return visitors."

The special day includes free admission to pools, weight rooms and gyms, Eagle Creek Park and the Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens. The event includes more than 40 activities. Hogsett himself will visit several of the parks throughout the day.

Here are some other highlights:

  • Pete the Planner at Windsor Village Park
  • Yoga in the Park in Garfield’s Sunken Gardens & at Holliday Park
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art Mobile Art Truck at Broad Ripple Park and Riverside Park
  • Nine13 Virtual Reality Biking at Brookside Park
  • IndyGo Bus and Cooling Station at Tarkington Park
  • Summer Servings Meal Program at several locations
  • USA Track & Field at Tarkington Park
  • Art and Activity Carts
  • Radio stations with give-a-ways at several pools

And here's a look at some activities for specific parks:

  • Riverside Park - Basketball Games, Tennis with Bob Hill, Indianapolis Museum of Art Mobile Art Truck
  • Tarkington Park and Spray Plaza - IndyGo Bus, Summer Servings meals program until 1 p.m. for youth ages 18 and under, University of Indianapolis health education activities, family activities near the spray plaza, USA Track and Field
  • Pride Park - Backpack give-a-way to 200 children
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Playground - Concerts at the newly unveiled shelter pavilion (musical act: Queen Delphine & the Crown Jewels with Special Guests, begins at 4 p.m.)
  • Douglass Park - Summer Servings program offering lunch and snow cones, basketball clinic, flag football
  • Indianapolis World Sports Park - Sports exhibition throughout the day including USA Track & Field, Run-Jump, and other field activities
  • Garfield Park Family Center - Immunizations, kickball, flag football
  • Garfield Park Arts Center - Arts for All Activities and various poetry and spoken word performances throughout the day
  • Broad Ripple Park - Indianapolis Museum of Art Mobile Truck, Lawn Games, 99.5 WZPL Pool Patrol (music and prizes for guests)
  • Stout Field Spray Ground, Municipal Gardens Spray Ground, Carson Park - No scheduled events, but residents are encouraged to visit

The event is part of the mayor's "My City" initiative, a three-year campaign to engage residents in the health of Indianapolis.