BERLIN — The newly remodeled basketball courts at Henry Park will get a baptism by fire of sorts with the first annual Berlin Day in the Park, a three-day event over Memorial Day weekend that will include basketball tournaments and other festivities after the Mayor and Council approved the event this week.
Last fall, an ambitious program was undertaken to rehabilitate the dilapidated basketball courts and other amenities at Henry Park in Berlin along the east side of Route 113. That project is now nearing completion and the town has been seeking a signature event with which to christen the new facilities. The Mayor and Council got the event they were looking for this week with the approval of the first-ever Berlin Day in the Park event set for Memorial Day weekend.
Event organizer Terran Wright told the Council on Monday the three-day event would include a youth basketball tournament and an adult tournament for players in grade 10 and up, along with a free festival for kids and adults of all ages in conjunction with the Sonrise Church. In addition to the basketball tournaments, the Berlin Day in the Park event will include food and music, inflatable amusements for kids, horseshoes and several other events geared to all of the residents in the community.
“We were aiming for something for kids to look forward to and we came up with an idea for the basketball tournament,” said Wright. “That idea led to several others and we decided to try to make it a weekend-long event over Memorial Day. The long-term goal is to make this an annual event every Memorial Day.”
Wright said the event will afford kids in the community with wholesome activities and provide other entertainment for people of all ages in the community.
“I’ve been coaching youth football for a number of years and I’ve seen a lot of the problems with kids,” he said. “It’s nothing that can’t be fixed.”
Berlin officials embraced the idea for the Berlin Day in the Park and approved the three-day event.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Councilwoman Lisa Hall. “He’s done a lot of work on this and it sounds like a wonderful event.”
Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen said Berlin was looking for a special event to celebrate the renovation of Henry Park and Wright’s basketball tournaments and associated events fit the bill.
“We were hoping for somebody to step up and execute a basketball tournament to celebrate the opening of Henry Park,” she said.